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Recent editorials published in Indiana newspapers

January 1, 2019

The Munster Times. December 25, 2018

Remember our better angels on Christmas.

The hardest edges of our society make it difficult to see the deeper, redeeming and meaningful sides of humanity.

But everywhere around us in Northwest Indiana are good people — extraordinary neighbors — putting the better angels of human nature on display.

On this Christmas Day, we highlight some of the stories, hoping to remind the Region of the true meaning of the season — and that good thrives in our communities year round.

On the front page of Saturday’s Times, we learned about a local holiday hero, bringing Christmas cheer to young and old for half a century — even through an epic battle with cancer.

Bill Eaton, 76, of Lake Station, has been donning a Santa suit and bringing tidings of the season to children and the elderly since he was 26.

It all began with about 20 houses in his neighborhood shortly before Christmas five decades ago.

A child in the neighborhood had been told Santa wasn’t real. Eaton borrowed a suit and went door to door, spreading Christmas magic and reaffirming the faith we all should hope never to lose.

Eaton recently completed chemotherapy for lung cancer, but it didn’t stop him from continuing his annual red-suit tradition in 2018, including spreading Christmas cheer to Colonial Nursing Home in Crown Point.

Monday’s front page profiled the powerful story of Heather Wesley, a Region steelworker who handles personnel scheduling at an ArcelorMittal East Chicago plant.

On Dec. 27 last year, Wesley scheduled herself for the most important shift of her life, but it wasn’t at the mill.

On that day, she donated a kidney to fellow steelworker Jason Reyes.

Though she barely knew Reyes at the time, Wesley had learned Reyes was sick when he called in to take a leave of absence from his steel foundry job.

She volunteered to be tested for compatibility as a donor after learning Reyes was seeking a kidney transplant.

A match she was, and a kidney she gave, hoping her coworker could enjoy many more Christmases to come.

Monday’s front page also told the story of Heather Zivkovich, of Crown Point, who recently fulfilled the lifetime dream of her father, Bob Morgan.

Morgan died at age 64 in April 2017 before he could fulfill his dream of publishing a children’s Christmas book he was writing.

Hours before his death, he confided the project in his daughter and asked Morgan to pick up the pieces after his death.

She did.

“Is My Grandpa Santa’s Elf?” recently published, and Morgan has been sharing it with schoolchildren throughout the Region.

We know all too well the difficult stories that break in the news every day. While those are important to tell, so are the redeeming stories of our Region neighbors performing extraordinary acts of humanity.

Let’s all remember these better angels as we join our families around festive trees and at the holiday dinner table.

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The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette. December 26, 2018

Pacers’ hire proves landmark for NBA

The Indiana Pacers made history last week, hiring longtime Indiana Fever executive Kelly Krauskopf as assistant general manager. Though a woman held the same title in the mid-1970s, she had responsibilities only on the business side of the Pacers’ organization. Krauskopf will be focusing on basketball. It is the first time a woman has been hired for such an administrative position in an NBA franchise.

Krauskopf was the WNBA’s first director of operations in the 1990s. She helped lead the Fever organization for its first 17 years, during which the team was in the playoffs 13 times and won the 2012 WNBA championship. She is known for her sharp basketball mind and respected for her ability to assess prospective players.

But Krauskopf, who played college basketball for Texas A&M during the early 1980s, told the Indianapolis Star she still credits former U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh for creating the opportunity for female athletes to succeed by authoring Title IX, the 1972 amendment to federal education law that guaranteed equal treatment for men’s and women’s sports.

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(Terre Haute) Tribune-Star. December 28, 2018

Hoosier senator advances cause

U.S. Sen. Todd Young, Indiana’s junior senator, hasn’t allowed all the partisan flailing and bickering going on in Washington over border walls and government shutdowns to get in the way of doing legitimate business for the public good.

And he apparently doesn’t buy into all the Trumpian claptrap about fake news from national news outlets either.

Last week, in the wake of a report in The Washington Post that exposed grave flaws in the nation’s organ transplant system, Sen. Young announced that he intends to introduce legislation to reform the system and bring about greater accountability.

“More than 10,000 people die annually waiting on an organ or become too sick to receive a transplant. In Indiana alone there are more than 1,300 Hoosiers currently in need of a transplant and this is simply unacceptable,” said Senator Young.

“After more than 30 years of our nation’s organ donation system operating in darkness, it’s time to get a look behind the curtain. That’s why I plan to introduce legislation in the next Congress to create greater transparency, oversight, and accountability in our organ donation system, and dramatically increase organ availability for patients in need.”

Young’s aggressive action demonstrates an important truth that tends go unnoticed these days. The press is functioning as it should, on many fronts, embracing its watchdog role over social, cultural, business and governmental institutions. The Post’s work on the organ transplant system revealed that the “transplant industry could more than double the number of organs available for transplant each year if it expanded efforts to collect and use organs from older and nontraditional donors, such as people with hepatitis C.”

With media organizations under fire from President Trump and other conservative politicians for being the “enemy of the people,” it’s essential to shine a spotlight on the investigative work done by The Post and other outlets that help expose wrongdoing and flawed practices in public, private and nonprofit entities.

What’s more, we applaud Young for recognizing the good work done by The Post and using it to propel change for the public good. The senator has worked on the issue of reforming the organ transplant system in the past without immediate success. But we appreciate his persistence and tenacity in pursuing the matter and his willingness to seize upon The Post’s revelations to help advance the cause.

Much of what happens in Washington may be deserving of scorn. Sen. Young’s work in this case, however, is deserving of respect.

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