THE MAYOR'S REPORT: Remembering Logan Starliper, National Recovery Month and more

Ben Thomas Jr., Greencastle mayor

As I sit on the side porch on a beautiful autumn Sunday afternoon, a cool breeze is blowing. Very comfortable with a light jersey. Yes, autumn has arrived. A nice time of year as the grandchildren are already looking forward to helping rake leaves and then, of course, jumping in them. Grab a cup of coffee or tea and maybe a light jacket and join me.

Greencastle Mayor Ben Thomas Jr.

Quite frankly, I’m glad I didn’t author this article several days ago. I had read the story with the headline “Two found guilty in toddler’s death.” So, I write to memorialize the short life of Logan Starliper who died in her bedroom along West Baltimore Street on Jan. 5, 2018, less than two weeks after Christmas. Quite frankly, to read the facts and court testimony made me sick to my stomach. As a former police officer and emergency medical technician spanning many decades I never got used to seeing the violence caused by addiction. Meth was the drug of choice in this situation. The profound, traumatic impact of this tragedy will continue to weigh heavily on Logan’s family as well as the first responders who were on the call and who conducted an exhaustive criminal investigation that resulted in the arrest of nine individuals. I’m glad God has a special place for Logan who would now be 6 years old. Let us not forget her short life.

If anyone reading this may be challenged with an addiction issue, please seek help if no other reason, for the ones you love. The goal throughout September is to come together, celebrate individuals in recovery, and offer hope to those who are struggling. National Recovery Month reinforces the positive message that behavioral health is essential to overall health, prevention works, treatment is effective and people can and do recover.

Sept. 11, 2001, to Sept. 11, 2021: Greencastle's 9/11 Walk and ceremony commemorate 20th anniversary of terror attacks

At the station:Greencastle's Rescue Hose Co. to host Fire Prevention Week open house

The 2021 September National Recovery Month theme, “Recovery is For Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community Opens In A New Window,” reminds people in recovery and those who support them that no one is alone in the journey through recovery. Everyone's journey is different, but we are all in this together. The purple lights on Center Square are a reminder to all of us.

I recently wrote about Greencastle, circa 1868. In a future edition I’ll write our community 100 years later in the mid-1960s. I heard what some of you just said ... ”I lived here then ... I remember!” Good! You can see how accurate my information will be. I recently received a letter from Puyallup, Wash., from one who grew up in Greencastle and graduated in 1949. Stay tuned for that information. Harry and Pattie Myers just pulled up to the side porch to say hi. Maybe we’ll open a drive-thru here on South Washington Street as traffic this afternoon appears to be obeying the 25 MPH speed limit.

October is National Fire Prevention Month, a good time to check the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Yes, autumn has arrived. This coming Saturday, Oct. 2, the Rescue Hose Company is hosting their Fire Prevention Week Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event had to be canceled last year due to COVID restrictions. National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 3 to 9 with the theme of learning the sounds of safety. This means your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the warning sounds they produce. Do me a favor ... after you read this article, go and test all of your detectors. If yours needs an annual battery replacement, please do so now. They’re usually the square 9 volt batteries. Be sure to date when the batteries were replaced. Some detectors have 10-year batteries or are hard wired (electric) with battery back-ups. Test them as well. Oh, by the way, the Rescue Hose Co. was founded in October 1896. This is the company’s 125th anniversary serving the G-A community and beyond. Be sure to stop by and say thanks to the volunteers.  

I’m pleased that the Apple Festival will be held Oct. 9 at another community gem being the 45-acre Tayamentasachta Environmental Center. Plan to come out for this wonderful event and enjoy some apple dumplings, chicken BBQ, apple cider, and other festivities. I love the trails and the educational opportunities for our G-A students.

My very best to you and your loved ones. Support your family, friends and neighbors. We are so blessed.