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2012 Stars Shine, Goals Reached, Some Left Too Soon

Last updated on Sunday, January 1, 2012

(BEDFORD) - Goals were achieved, stars shined bright and some left us too soon in 2012.

72-year-old Alma Herbert, a former Lawrence County clerk, recorder and county council member, was killed in a traffic accident in September in Ripley County.

The accident happened west of Holton. Herbert was traveling west on U.S. 50 in her 2005 Honda Accord when for some unknown reason the car went left of the center line and collided head-on with a 2000 Ford F-350 truck.

Herbert who had to be freed from the wreckage was taken by ambulance to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital, where she later died.

Herbert served on the Lawrence County Council, being elected in 2000. During her two terms on the county council, she served as president. She served as county recorder and was elected as county clerk.

Skillman Honored

Leadership Lawrence County paid special tribute to Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman In October. Commissioner Dave Flinn presented Skillman with a proclamation declaring October 10th Becky Skillman Day. City Council President Byron Buker presented Skillman with a street sign after the council changed the name of Plaza Drive North to Becky Skillman Way, and Mayor Shawna Girgis presented Skillman with a limestone key to the city. Skillman was honored at a reception at the Lawrence County History Museum.

Counselor And Historian Lost

Norm Taylor, who enriched the lives of students and the community with his talents of blending the past and the future passed away in November while exercising at the Avoca Fish Hatchery.

Taylor, resided in Oolitic with his wife Annette, and was a counselor at the North Lawrence Career Center. Taylor, who loved history, was most recognized as founder and chief promoter of the Lawrence County History Festival. Taylor was determined to do his part to preserve local and national heritage and shared his passion of history on the airwaves with "Lawrence County Oral History" which later became know as "Indiana History Project".

Because of his accomplishments,Taylor was bestowed the 2011 Frank and Judy O'Bannon Heritage Enrichment Award.

Ciro Joins BPD

The Bedford Police Department has a new police dog named Ciro. He joined the department in December. Ciro is a German Shepard and His handler is Captain Jeremy Bridges.

Routh Persimmon Festival Grand Marshal

In September Jeff Routh, a life-long resident of Mitchell, lead the 2012 Persimmon Festival as parade grand marshal.

Steve Dobson, general chairman, says the Persimmon Festival theme "Hometown Heritage" celebrated Mitchell's past and only one person that comes to mind and that was Jeff.

Routh, serves as one of a few authorities on Mitchell's history. He's served in various volunteer roles and capacities over the years and currently works as the president of the Mitchell Alumni Association and is a reporter for the Times-Mail.


In March, Clayton Orender, a senior, was named Mr. BNL. The contest is a fundraiser for BNL Renaissance, which is a reward and incentive program to encourage good attendance and academics. Sixteen boys participated. They were judged on fitness, costume, talent, formal wear/interview and overall impression.

Williams Honored

In April, the Bedford Rotary Club honored John Williams in a "toast" with harmless antics to mark Williams' 24 years as mayor of Bedford.

Bowden-Purlee Wins Chamber Honor

In May, Adele Bowden-Purlee was honored at the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet with the chamber's Community Service Award. Bowden-Purlee served as chamber president for more than two decades. She also has led various economic development efforts in the community, took over as director of Success and Opportunity at Reading after her retirement and now serves as a Bedford City Council member.

Wong Lilly Scholar

Ashley Wong, a Bedford North Lawrence High School senior, was awarded the Lawrence County Community Foundation's 2012 Lilly Endowment Community Scholar in March. Wong is the daughter of Sarah and the late Henry Wong.

The award provides a full-tuition scholarship to a four-year Indiana public or private college or university, along with an annual $900 stipend for required books. Wong plans to attend DePauw University in Greencastle to major in biomedical studies and research.
After that, she said, comes graduate school.

Bill Baker Resigns

In August, Bill Baker, Lawrence County's Veterans Service Officers announced he will resign at the end of the year. 81-year-old Baker has been helping veterans for two decades.

As service officer Baker is a liaison between the veterans the the government, He provides the government with information, insuring veterans get their benefits. He also sees veterans are transported to and from the Roudebus Veteran's Hospital in Indianapolis.

Baker served two years as a medic with the U.S. Army in France and has been working with local veterans at the courthouse since 1993. Baker also worked at the Times-Mail. And is a known leader at the Boys Club, where he served as director and assistant director, retiring in 1992 after 36 years of service.

Dr. Girgis Grand Marshal

In July, Dr. Medhat Girgis, served as grand marshal of the 2012 Limestone Heritage Festival Parade. Girgis, a native of Egypt, was honored to be named grand marshal. Girgis is a physician with Indiana University Health Hospital. He has celebrated 40 years of medical service in Lawrence County. Keys to the cities of Bedford and Mitchell are positioned prominently in his small office.

Jacobs Reaches Goal

In July 90-year-old David Jacobs, of Bedford completed his first 5K when he walked the Limestone 5K. His goal was to finish in less than one hour. He made it in 58 minutes.

Young Lady Sings To Fame

In June Meredith Deckard Won the Judah Idol Contest. At just 11, Meredith Deckard was the youngest competitor to make the finals, but she showed she is talented beyond her years by winning the contest with "I Love You Like A Love Song," by Selena Gomez. Meredith, a sixth-grader at Oolitic Middle School, received a medal and $100.

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