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BC-IN--Indiana Weekend Digest, IN

March 6, 2019

AP-Indiana stories for the weekend of March 9-10. May be updated. Members using Exchange stories should retain the bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the AP-Indiana bureau at 317-639-5501, 800-382-1582 or indy@ap.org.

SATURDAY EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-RARE ADOPTION-BOY’S SECOND LIFE

KOKOMO, Ind. _ Marcus was 13 months old, lying in a bed inside a medical facility, struggling to stay alive. His tiny body was racked by fevers and infections due to severe heart and lung defects. A ventilator and trach tube were the only things keeping him fed and breathing. Marcus was motherless and alone. He was born three months premature, weighing 1-pound, to a heroin addict, and then abandoned at the hospital. No one was coming for Marcus. And that’s when he felt a kiss on the cheek, and heard a voice whisper in his ear. “My name is Kelly. I want to be your mom. Would you like to come home with me?” The voice came from Kokomo native Kelly Lively, who looked down at Marcus with a feeling she had never experienced. “He smiled so big when I kissed his cheek, and I knew I was going to do everything I could to give this baby a chance,” Lively said. “I knew he was my son.” By Carson Gerber. Kokomo Tribune. SENT: 1,630 words, photos requested.

EXCHANGE-50 YEARS OF SHOP CLASS

VINCENNES, Ind. _When administrators with the South Knox School Corp. embarked last year on a corporation-wide $15 million renovation project, long-time shop teacher Bob Greene wanted nothing to do with it. “They wanted to move this wall over here and that one over there,” Greene said, gesturing wildly inside his wood shop, sawdust covering just about anything that stood still long enough. “But I tell ya,” he said with a mischievous smile, “I raised so much cain, they eventually said, ‘Eh, I don’t want to fight with him anymore!’ and left it all alone. At 72, Bob Greene proudly considers himself “old-school.” He’s been teaching “shop” classes for more than 50 years, and while he’s resisted some changes — like the movement of walls — he’s embraced others. By Jenny McNeece. Vincennes Sun-Commercial. SENT: 980 words, photos requested.

SUNDAY EXCHANGES:

EXCHANGE-MISSING BOY-UNSOLVED MYSTERY

HAMMOND, Ind. _ Monica Spisak gave away most of the photos she had of her son. In the search for Joseph Spisak, his family handed out his photo to different people and agencies. Some of the family photo albums were ruined in a basement flood. Today, Monica Spisak is left with a small photo of her son that she keeps in a safe space. “That’s all I got left,” she said. Joseph Spisak disappeared Jan. 27, 1974, in Hammond when he was 11 years old. His family never saw or heard from him again. Now, after more than 45 years, they still want to know what happened to him. “This family has not quit, has not given up hope and never will,” Steven Spisak, Joseph Spisak’s younger brother, said. By Becky Jacobs. Post-Tribune. SENT: 1,630 words, photos requested.

EXCHANGE-SURVIVORS OF SUICIDE

PENDLETON, Ind. _ A Maple Ridge sixth-grader took the microphone and shared her heart-wrenching experience of considering suicide two years ago. “I was scared to ask my parents for help. How can I get through life without these negative feelings?” she asked tearfully. Her question was for Jenna Scott, survivor of her 14-year-old son Hudson Scott’s death by suicide more than 3 years ago. “If you trust your parents, I strongly encourage you to tell them. If that’s not an option, talk to an adult at school,” Scott answered. “I know it’s hard. I’ve been in your shoes. I know it’s horrible, but it does get better, I promise you.” Scott, who founded Brownsburg-based Project Hudson with her husband, Wesley Scott, was at Pendleton Christian Church to share her story and dispense suicide prevention advice for parents and students at a program titled “It Is Okay to Not Be Okay.” By Rebecca R. Bibbs. The Herald Bulletin. SENT: 780 words, photos requested.