By Brian Howey
The Hendricks County Flyer
Mon Mar 25, 2013, 02:16 PM EDT
Welcome to Indiana, the Methamphetamine State.
It just hurts to write that of this deadly scourge that hollows out faces, lives, and families, that rots away teeth, and is now threatening to engulf our cities and towns, as well as creating toxic waste sites along our county roads and highways.
I watched Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer at the Statehouse recently, holding up a box of Nexafed and for a brief moment he struggled to keep his composure. Then he related what happened in his city the prior weekend.
That's when a methamphetamine lab exploded at a Days Inn motel, injuring a 36-year-old man who, Thallemer explained, had a lengthy meth-related rap sheet. The blast was strong enough to "blow the toilet off the floor" while displacing the ceiling by four inches. A 22-year-old bystander was also injured when he attempted to put out the ensuing blaze.
By the time Warsaw police located the meth maker, his clothes and skin were smoldering and his hair, the mayor said, had been burned off his scalp. "We had to send the addict to a hospital in Fort Wayne in a helicopter where he'll be for a long time," Thallemer said. "Who pays? The motel owner will pay. The hospital will pay."
The incident, Thallemer noted, became "just another story buried on page 5 in the Fort Wayne newspaper."
And that, my friends, is a scandal of passivity that needs to be immediately and effectively dealt with by Gov. Mike Pence and the Indiana General Assembly. They have until April 29 to get this right.
The statistics are alarming. Indiana State Police busted a record 1,726 meth labs in 2012, up from 1,437 in '11, another 1,104 in '08, and 803 in '06. That last figure was down from 1,137 meth labs in 2005 that prompted then-Gov. Mitch Daniels to press for limits in the purchase of over-the-counter cold medicines such as Sudafed and Nexafed, the key meth ingredient.
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An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.
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