The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 01, 2017 1:00 am


Ethanol vital component of rural Indiana economy

A couple of weeks ago, our congressman, Jim Banks, made discouraging statements about the hard work of Indiana farmers and biofuel producers as “just another example of crony capitalism.” His remarks came at a congressional hearing titled “Examining Advancements in Biofuels.”

In truth, bio-refiners in local communities such as Bluffton, Marion, Portland and North Manchester work with local farmers like myself to turn agricultural feedstocks into renewable energy. The federal Renewable Fuel Standard ensures that Hoosier farmers can compete at the pump.

The corn we grow is converted to ethanol, a renewable fuel that supports thousands of jobs in our state, many of them in struggling rural communities. An Informa Economics study reported that ethanol adds almost $1 billion to the gross state product.

Without policies like the RFS, oil companies will destroy rural economies. Farmers in Indiana are facing our fourth straight year of declining income. Imagine what would happen if such a large market for our corn were to disappear.

Ethanol burns cleaner than oil and it helps the environment. Research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that ethanol cuts carbon emissions by 43 percent, compared to gasoline. That's the equivalent of taking more than half a million cars off the road.

I hope Rep. Banks, along with Sens.  Todd Young and Joe Donnelly, will take the time to visit with their rural constituents.

Indiana farmers are counting on them.

John Nidlinger


Warden will be missed

As a lifetime reader of the Fort Wayne newspapers, I have appreciated the outstanding talents of many of their sports and feature writers over the years.

There have been too many great scribes to mention because of the fear of omitting someone, but among the best was Steve Warden.

Steve's sports reporting for so many of his years at Fort Wayne Newspapers was always a treat to read, as were his feature stories. A 51-year job well done. His retirement is certainly deserved, but he will be missed.

Joe Smekens


Police mistreatment of suspects out of hand

This is my second attempt to get police to stop beating heads against the pavement.

On Aug. 16, there was a report of a white police officer, with a history of disciplinary issues, punching a black man in Euclid, Ohio, more than a dozen times and hitting his head on the pavement several times. Why?

They must know there will be permanent damage to the brain (or at least temporary). Who pays for the cost of hospitalization, rehab, and maybe loss of the ability to work or even think?

He was stopped on suspicion of having a suspended driver's license and did not “face away” fast enough to please the officer.

This officer had a history of disciplinary issues and should have been smart enough to realize what he was doing and what damage he could cause. The physical abuse, to me, doesn't fit the crime – or any crime.

Why can't they be retrained or held responsible for any damage done to the head?

Of course their account of the incident was different from the dashcam, and that alone should be an offense of some kind.

I am sorry to have used the “black” and “white” descriptions – that shouldn't be an issue in these cases, but seems to be a prerequisite in all cases.

Could we get some kind of solution to bashing someone's head for any reason? This has gotten out of hand.

I thought their slogan was to “protect and serve,” not abuse!

Evelyn Boesling

Coldwater, Michigan

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