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April 4, 2014

Death of captive rhino halts propagation efforts in US

Death of captive rhino halts propagation efforts in US

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Dr. Terri Roth, director of CREW, with Suci.
Image: Cincinnati Zoo.

Dr Roth gave an overview of the Sumatran rhino project at USI less than a week after Suci’s death.
Video: Rfshipman1.

After the death of the Cincinnati Zoo’s female Sumatran rhinoceros last Sunday, Dr. Terri Roth, the director of the zoo’s research facility specializing in propagation, told Wikinews her organization remains committed to the Sumatran rhinos, an animal that is currently listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as critically endangered.

Suci (pictured left with Roth), the last female in captivity in the United States, died and was one of only two Sumatran rhinos in captivity in the United States.

The number of Sumatran rhinos worldwide is now around 100, according to Roth, who is the vice president of Conservation and Science and the director of Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) at Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden in Ohio. She told Wikinews her research facility will continue to work with its partners abroad and focus on genetic diversity.

“Realistically, the odds are against us. This is going to be a tough one to save. It’s been a roller coaster experience and it’s been a challenge,” said Roth.

In the 1980s, Indonesia and the United States entered into a pact to save the animal. According to the plan, Indonesia would enclose captured rhinos in a secure wildlife habitat and provide United States zoos with additional captured rhinos, with the two working together to rebuild the population using the wildlife and captivity. The US program experienced a set back when four out of its seven rhinos died, while zoos were learning to feed them ficus rather than hay.

Roth is an expert on the propagation of the Sumatran rhino. Since the late 1990s, when the Cincinnati Zoo received the last three surviving captive rhinos in the United States, she has studied their mating and pregnancy. This led to the ability to detect pregnancy within sixteen days of conception by ultrasound. After five failed pregnancies, Roth tried hormone treatments of progesterone with success. In 2001, CREW and the Cincinnati Zoo celebrated the first rhino birth in captivity in 112 years, a male named Andalas. The previous Sumatran rhino birth in captivity occurred in 1889 in a zoo in Calcutta, India.

Roth’s work with Emi also produced Suci, a female born in 2004; and Harapan, a male born in 2007. Andalas was returned to Indonesia to sire Andatu, another success in the joint Indonesia-US project. Back in the US, the CREW facility would have to partner Suci with her brother Harapan once he reached sexual maturity between six to seven years age. Suci’s death on Sunday ended that plan.

“We were hoping to produce another calf, for a number of different reasons. One is that the females do lose fertility over time if they don’t get pregnant. So we thought even though were not doing a good genetic match, at least getting her pregnant would preserve her fertility. Although, we never got the opportunity to do that.” Roth said.

Indonesia will not be sending the US zoos any more Sumatran rhinos, Roth said, and for Indonesia it is a matter of national pride to rescue the Sumatran rhino.

SumatranRhino3 CincinnatiZoo.jpg

Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) at Cincinnati Zoo.
Image: Ltshears.

Dr Terri Roth.jpg

Dr. Terri Roth, director of Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife.
Image: Snbehnke.

Dr Terri Roth at USI.jpg

Dr. Terri Roth tells an audience at the annual Marlene V. Shaw Biology Lecture at the University of Southern Indiana about the work of Center for Conservation and Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW).
Image: Miharris.

Terri Roth's Presentation 2.JPG

Dr. Terri Roth giving her presentation on Sumatran Rhinos.
Image: Snbehnke.


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March 29, 2014

Wikinews interviews Indiana State Senator Mike Delph

Wikinews interviews Indiana State Senator Mike Delph

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Saturday, March 29, 2014

File:Senator Mike Delph 2014.jpg

Indiana State Senator Mike Delph, S-29
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

On Wikinews, we have an exclusive audio interview with Indiana State Senator Mike Delph.

Today is Thursday, March 27, 2014. I am Chad Tew and we are here in The Edge radio studios with my journalism students and recording from the campus of the University of Southern Indiana.

This is Wikinews.


Indiana State Senator Mike Delph is a Republican who represents the northwest side of Indianapolis and Carmel, as well as Zionsville, Indiana.

After being selected to finish former State Senator J. Murray Clark’s final term in 2005, Mike Delph has served two full terms for District 29 in the Indiana State Senate. He is currently facing re-election this fall. His opponent is likely to be Democrat JD Ford, who is running as an openly gay candidate.

Senator Delph has also been considered in the past for US Congress but he declined to run, and he has already been mentioned in the Indiana media as a possible candidate for any potential opening in the US Senate in 2016. He is widely known across the state of Indiana for both his Arizona-style legislation on immigration and his support of traditional marriage.

During the legislative session this year, Senator Delph made what is known in Indiana as the “tweet heard around the world”. The tweet announced the defeat of a proposed amendment to the Indiana State Constitution in a form that would have banned civil unions. Senate leader David Long punished Delph because of this tweet on the grounds that it concerned confidential caucus information. What exactly took place in that Republican caucus and between Senator Delph and Senator Long is currently unknown to the public.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: State Senator Delph good morning and welcome to Wikinews.

Mike Delph: Thanks for having me professor.

Interview (part I): A biographical portrait

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Chad Tew: Here with our first question is Ashely Jones Phillips. Jones Phillips: Hi! Good morning, Senator Mike Delph. My name Is Ashley Jones-Phillips. The first question that I have is, I wanted to know if you can tell me a little bit about your parents, where are you from, and where were you were raised and born?

Mike Delph: Sure, I grew up here in Carmel, Indiana. I was raised by my mother. My parents were divorced for most of my upbringing. While my father was on leave from his business — or actually helping his dad, my grandfather, with one of their plants out east — I was born in South Weymouth, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. So I was actually born in Boston or just outside of Boston but raised in Indiana by my mother. I have three brothers. I shared a bedroom with my little brother John. And my two older brothers Jamie and Stephen were with us as well.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Jones Phillips: Can you tell where you went to school at?

MD: I went through the Carmel school system. And I’m a graduate of Carmel High School — in 1988. And then I went on to college at Indiana University. And ultimately received four degrees from Indiana University.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: And those degrees are in …?

MD: I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications with minors in Spanish, biology, and an emphasis in chemistry. I have a Masters in Public Affairs with an emphasis in international relations — or comparative international relations — and public finance. I have a Masters of Science in Environmental Science, focused on applied ecology. And then I have my law degree at the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png And lastly I want to know, how did you become interested in politics?

MD: I kind of backed my way into politics. I had served as a page for Indiana State Senator Dan Burton. And my mom and dad went to high school with Congressman Burton at Shortridge High School. We had a family friendly connection there. But I really didn’t grow up in politics. I didn’t serve in student government — except one little stint when I was a graduate student at Indiana University. I served one summer stint as a representative from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. But I really wasn’t involved in politics.
After I was getting ready to graduate from graduate school, I had planned to go to work for State Farm Insurance as a bond analyst. About that time, I had made contact with Congressman Burton, who was going to become the first Republican chairman, to chair a Congressional committee in over 60[?] years from Indiana. And we got to talking and eventually that led to a job offer for me to come and join him on his personal and professional staff out in Washington D.C. working on Capitol Hill. So I worked out of the personal office and then the professional staff of the House Committee on Government Reform, primarily focusing on Drug War policy. I also did some work with the House International Relations Committee, which at the time was chaired by Congressman Ben Gillman from New York.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Hello Senator Delph, I’m Sara Behnke. We were wanting to know about your family and your work outside of the Indiana Senate.

MD: My family is: My wife is Beth. She is from Zionsville. She grew up in Zionsville and graduated from Zionsville High School. She is the daughter of Russ and Nancy Frankel and has one brother, who is younger, named Matthew. My in-laws are now constituents of mine, which is nice because my mother-in-law could put my yard sign in her yard without confusing her neighbors.
I have five daughters. My oldest daughter is 19 and a freshman at IUPUI here in Indianapolis. She’s our first proud graduate of Delph Academy for Girls. She did really well her first semester of college, making the Dean’s List. So mom and dad were obviously very ecstatic there. I have a 17-year-old daughter, who just turned 17. She told dad that she wanted a boyfriend for her birthday, and so I went out and got a little stuffed animal of the good guy from Frozen [a film], which I said you can take to bed with you every night and cuddle with. So her name is Evelyn. I have a 14-year old named Anna, a 10-year old named Emma, and my 7-year-old, who will probably — well her name is Lilly, that she believes she will be the next rock star of rock music. And she and I play my guitar and sing every night. So that’s a little bit about my family.
I work as general counsel for a second-generation family-owned business based out of Bloomington, Indiana, named CarDon & Associates. And we are in the business of senior housing and long-term care, post-acute care, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and independent living facilities.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Behnke: We understand that you and your wife home educate your children. How did you decide to home educate your children?

MD: Well the name of our home school is the Delph Academy for Girls. Originally my 19-year old was part of the Carmel school system and attended Carmel Elementary and had a real challenging year, her first grade year. We were actually told by her first grade teacher that she would have a hard time graduating from high school and that college was not in the cards, which obviously was a lot for mom and dad to take with our first grader. We went and had a battery of tests done. And there was a dispute within the school system as to what, if any, learning disabilities that she might have, and what we should do about it. So we finished out that school year and went a little bit into the next, and then we just made the decision as a family that we weren’t going to fight the system. We were going to take matters into our own hands and start homeschooling our daughter. Then we just started homeschooling the rest of our kids. It’s turned out to be a very big blessing in the life of the Delph family for obvious reasons because our daughter has turned around her academic life in a very positive fashion and is doing very well in college, as I mentioned before.
Another reason why we homeschool our students, is we teach Bible in our school. And obviously you can’t do that in the public school system. Our faith and Christian values are very important to Beth and I and to our daughters.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Behnke: What is your religious affliation?

MD: We are Christian. We are not Catholic. That is a falsehood put out on Wikipedia, and I’m not sure where that came from. I think people just assume that if you have a lot of kids that you are Catholic. And there is one nice thing about that, we live right across the street from a very large prominent Catholic Parish called, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and they have a fall festival every year and so it’s the one place we can go as a family where people don’t give us funny looks because of the number of girls that I have, everybody has a large family in that parish.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Hello Senator Delph, I’m Jerrilyn Thompson, and I have a question for you. The Sagamore of the Wabash Award, you were awarded that in 2005. And this honorary award is awarded by the Governor. And what did you do to get this honor?

MD: That was something that I was recommended by former Congressman Baron Hill, who represented the southeastern part of the state. And I had gotten to know Congressman Hill when I was an executive with Comcast Corporation. We actually brought the C-SPAN school bus throughout his district, especially to his hometown of Seymour, Indiana. And we had gotten to know each other, and he found out that I had served as an international election observer with the International Republican Institute in Nicaragua in 1996 and then in Mongolia in 2000. And then he had also learned about my service with Congressman Burton and also here in the state of Indiana, and he was gracious to recommend me for that award. And then Governor Kernan, before he left office as our governor, was very gracious to award me the Sagamore of the Wabash.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thompson: Okay, just a few more questions. You had mentioned earlier about the role that Congressman Dan Burton had played in your life, could you please talk a little bit more about that?

MD: Well certainly. He is somebody that was my boss, I’ve known him for a good chunk of my life. When I was thirteen or fourteen, I served as a page for him. When he was an Indiana state senator. I had volunteered a little bit on his political campaigns but not a great deal. Primarily putting stickers on fire hats in preparation for his parade season.
But I worked for him from — I want to say — 1996 to 2004. Roughly eight years, give or take. I served as a member of his professional staff when he was chairman of the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight. And then I also served as a member of his professional staff, handling a number of different policy areas, including foreign policy and national security policy. I covered agricultural issues and environmental policy forum, given some of my academic background. But primarily in the national security foreign policy area, primarily focused on anti-narcotics and the drug war. I was able to travel — in addition to traveling when I was an international election observer — I was able to travel as a member of his staff to countries like Turkey and Colombia.
When I was in Colombia, I got to watch an eradication mission of coca and poppy fields down in Colombia. I also got to work on other cases. There was a new tribes and missionary case that I worked on where there were three men who were abducted by the FARC, and there was no proof of life, and they just basically disappeared. And I was able to work with the families and others in leadership within the FBI to bring that whole issue to closure. They eventually declared the missionaries as being killed by the FARC. But as you can imagine, it was one of those things where the family was in limbo and they just did not know and nobody was trying to find out for them.
It was a great honor to work as a staff member for Congressman Burton. Probably one of the most thankful points in my time for him was when I helped write, or helped ghost write, the resolution honoring the life of Mother Theresa, which was adopted by the Congress. You all probably don’t remember, but Mother Theresa died right around the time that Princess Diana died and all of the news coverage at the time was dedicated towards Princess Diana. And Mother Theresa is arguably somebody that had lived more of a Christ-like life than anybody, since Jesus Christ.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Thompson: Okay one last question from me. What was your father and mother’s relationship with former congressman Dan Burton?

MD: They went to high school together and knew him from their time in high school. And my mother specifically was involved with the Young Republicans when Congressman Burton was involved with the Young Republicans. And they all kind of grew up in politics together. And then she later became a volunteer for his campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Jordan Mornout: You ended up losing your first campaign when you sought the nomination for Indiana’s Secretary of State in 2002. Of course, your opponents that year were impressive, but can you tell us from your perspective about the dramatic finish to that nomination?

MD: That is a very sore subject with me, but it’s not as sore as it used to be. It’s interesting because you guys really… I was kind of surprised with the capturing of the whole flyer deal on the floor, which misled the convention to think that I had willingly dropped out of the race, and my strategy was to win it on the second ballot. I was everybody’s second choice. The people that were supporting Todd Rokita were supporting him because of their relationship with Sue Anne Gilroy, and they would support me if Todd was not in the race. The people that were supporting Richard Mourdock were supporting him because he was older and had more experience than I had. But they liked me after they got to know me, and I was their second choice.
And so I had literally campaigned in all 92 counties for two years of my life, driving around the state of Indiana in my American-made Honda Civic, which became a political issue for part of the race. During that race, Congressman Luke Messer was part of the field for a time. Diana Cordray, the clerk treasurer at Carmel, was in part of the field for a time. Kent Benson was a big part of it. Campaigning against him was like campaigning against Elvis Presley. Because we’d go to these southern Indiana counties, and he would autograph basketballs with the starting five in the 1976 Indiana University National Championship team. And that was the time that I said I had to do something because he was killing me politically, and so we started putting our name on peanut butter and passing out peanut butter. We said that if peanuts were the food of elephants, then peanut butter was the food of the grassroots of the Republican party, whose symbol was the elephant.
So we, we ran hard. We ran a strong campaign. And really it was that campaign that created the foundation for my ability to become a senator. But there’s no question that that was a hard-fought campaign, and the way that it ended was less than favorable. Literally, the next day I had to get on an airplane to fly to Camp Shelby, Mississippi to do my 2 weeks of army training in the middle of nowhere. And I remember being on a rifle range, and a there was misfire happening, and I looked up to the safety officer on the rifle range and I said, “Was that Richard Mourdock over there?” Obviously, they didn’t get the joke. But Richard and I are now friends and get along great.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: And, in fact, you were both competing for [Senator Richard] Lugar‘s office.

MD: Well, you’re talking about the United States Senate, this last go ‘round?

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Yes.

MD: Yeah, at the time I was finishing up my legal studies and kind of transitioning professionally. I was running my own home-based business called MA Advisory Group, which was based upon my grandfather’s name of his company, the MA Delph Company, which I mentioned before. And I had thought about that for a little bit. I had been approached by some folks out in Washington, D.C., specifically that I have known for years and that had an interest in me considering that. And it really wasn’t a good time for me professionally and in the life of my family. And so it wasn’t something that I ever formed a committee or raised money or, started campaigning or reaching out to people to build support. But it did get in the press.
That led to Richard Mourdock reaching out to me. We had lunch, we talked about the opportunity, and he candidly asked me what I thought the top issues were and I told him, and a lot of what I said he ended up using as part of his platform to run against Senator Lugar. And he ultimately was successful. While that whole thing was going on, my wife and I took a three-week home school trip out to the East Coast, to visit former Revolutionary War historical sites to learn more about the founding of the country.
It’s mistaken, in perception, that I have some type of disregard for Senator Lugar. I have very high regard for him and his leadership and specifically his public service. Anybody that serves that long sacrifices a great deal with their family and in their business financially to serve the public. So I have a tremendous regard for him personally and professionally. I just had strong reservations and disagreement with him in matters of public policy and in the direction of some of the issues he was campaigning out in the United States Senate. But there’s no question that he was a strong figure in Washington, D.C.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Let’s pause for a brief identification.

Interview (part II): Controversy over the proposed marriage amendment

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Chad Tew: This is Wikinews. It is March 27, 2014, and we are here in the radio studio of The Edge speaking to Indiana State Senator Mike Delph by telephone. Here with our next question is Justin Law.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Law: Senator Delph, your opposition to same-sex marriage and your public expression of love for your brother Stephen has us wondering about how you reconcile what seems to some as contradictory stances. Could you explain to us your philosophical stand on homosexuality and support of traditional marriage?

Mike Delph: Sure, I come to my support of all of the traditional family values from my Christian convictions and my belief in the authenticity and reliability of The Bible. My faith tradition teaches me that homosexuality is one in a number of sins that’s listed out in the Bible, and so that’s why I have an opposition to anything that institutionalizes, or legitimizes, a given sin.
The reconciliation of the contradiction that you point out is really “love the sinner, hate the sin” type deal. You know, my brother, Stephen, is my older brother. He’s had a very tough life, and we’ve been through a lot together. And you can’t go through life together and experience things as a family unit. We just experienced, for example, last year the death of my father and the death of my grandmother, both of whom were close to each one of us. That was something that we went through together. You can’t go through life, and go through experiences, with things like that without having love for one another, a love as brothers. And so I do love my brother. I support my brother. I support his right to be a human being, as well as I do all human beings and to live his life. And I don’t tell him how to live his life. And I don’t tell him what to do, or where to go, or who to be friends with. I feel like I respect my brother; but I don’t, as I’ve mentioned to the media before, I don’t support the lifestyle of homosexuality because it is contrary to my Christian convictions.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Senator, your brother said on the air that you had set him up on a date. And you denied that. Could you just briefly talk about this?

MD: Certainly, I’ve never set my brother up with anybody nor have I done anything ever to promote his gay lifestyle. I have friends that I went to college with that I have suggested could be friends with my brothers — several of my brothers quite candidly — and in this case, I had a friend from college, who at the time had recently told me that he was gay. And my brother, I think, mistakenly made the connection that by me introducing him to a friend of mine who is gay that somehow there was more to it than that. My brother Stephen is not used to talking to the media and knows that he misspoke when he made that characterization. I love my brother. And we have reconciled that misstatement. But never in my lifetime have I done anything to go contrary to that Christian conviction and that belief that I have on that lifestyle.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Bobby Shipman: Senator Delph, this is Bobby speaking now. HJR-3 — the proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex marriage and civil unions? You said it was the best environment right now. Why is this the right time for HJR-3?

MD: Well, in order for a constitutional amendment to be adopted you have it to go to a legislative body, pass the House and Senate. Then you have to have an election and you have to have the new legislative body take up the exact same language and pass the House and Senate. And so from a procedural standpoint if it didn’t pass in the same form this time the clock gets reset and the process starts over.
When I surveyed my constituents, and I do an annual legislative survey, over 60 percent of my survey responses suggested that people wanted the opportunity to vote on this issue via referendum this year November of 2014. They did not indicate which way they would vote. So they could have said, “we want to vote on it because we want to reject it and we want to be done with it this year,” or they could have said, “we want to adopt it into our constitution.” Either way, because of the actions of the leadership of the House and the Senate, my constituents were denied that opportunity to vote and resolve this issue once and for all in November 2014. And when I engaged in this issue the one thing I heard from people across the spectrum on HJR-3 is they wanted the legislature to be done with this once and for all.
And when I went through in my mind the different courses of action that could get us there I kept coming back to the referendum and I did not see another way that we could bring final closure and resolution to this issue, this very sensitive and difficult issue, without passing it to the people for an up or down vote. Because of the path that we chose, there is going to be pressure to bring this back next year and possibly years beyond that. So the state of Indiana is going to be forced to deal with this issue year in and year out. Which is my fear.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Shipman: With the polls in Indiana showing a change in public opinion over the past several years that is more favorable to the acceptance of same-sex marriage, do you think it’s going to be harder to support traditional marriage in the future?

MD: Well not for me because I am who I am and I support what I support, and I support traditional and Judeo-Christian values. I think if the polling data is accurate, as you expressed it, then the folks that were the opponents of HJR-3 — specifically the folks that were in leadership within Freedom Indiana — were working against their own self-interest. Why do I say that? Well if public opinion has truly changed then it was in their interest to pass this through the legislature and send it to the people themselves for an up or down vote were the referendum would be defeated and the issue would forever be gone and dealt with. And so I think there is some dispute where public opinion is. This is a very sensitive issue. It divides families. It divides political parties. It divides neighbors. Obviously you know about my family, and there is a difference of opinion just with me and brother on this issue. There’s a difference between me and my mother on this opinion. There’s even a difference of opinion in the Delph household — in the house where I live. And so these are all things that our state and society have to reconcile. But to me the ultimate issue was bringing this whole thing to closure and by denying people the right to vote this November we did not bring this to closure.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Shipman: Since the amendment would have had a long lasting consequences on Hoosiers, didn’t the process work this time?

MD: Well some could say that. If that brings the issue to final closure. But having sat in the legislature now for eight years, I think there’s going to be pressure to bring this back this next session — some sort of version. And it may be amended to make it tougher. They may put the civil union ban back in it, which then puts it on another two years. And so for me, I don’t think the information is going to be any clearer. I don’t think the issue are going to be any better understood. To me it didn’t make any sense to delay the final resolution of this once and for all. And for me again, the only way that I could see us bringing this to final closure was to have the referendum by the public. And if public opinion has changed, then those that support same-sex marriage worked against their own self-interest by denying the people the right to vote on this in November of 2014. Because if they would have allowed the vote and public opinion had changed, then they probably would have voted the referendum down and that would have been the debate once and for all.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: But there is also the Supreme Court that the legislature would have to deal with any kind of decision that’s made between now and when they act next.

MD: Certainly, there is a couple of things at play there. Recently, I think in Michigan, they stuck down and then stayed the decision — the Michigan constitutional amendment. So there is no question that the federal courts are getting involved. There is equal protection ground litigation that is being filed throughout the country. And specifically in Indiana, I think, there has been four law suits filed challenging the Indiana Statute, which has been on the books since 1986. And so this is a big battle that’s going on legally.
Traditionally, the widely held view is that the US Constitution trumps the State Constitution and that federal decisions in court trump state constitutional law. And so those are all things that have to be reconciled with the public opinion, and with the will of the people, and what they want, and how they view their government, and how they want society to react and deal with these types of issues.
But there is no question that even if we would have passed the constitutional amendment and even if the public would have adopted it, that that did not prevent a court challenge in federal court.
Let me just make one more comment… To me though we cannot as a legislative body at the state level of government, live in fear of litigation. We have an Article 6 oath of office that we take to the US Constitution that binds all elected officials to the same rule of law — except the President of the United States, who takes a separate oath of office. And that oath of office is to the written Constitution, as written in the Constitution. It has nothing to do with common law, has nothing to do with Supreme Court decisions and stare decisis [precedent]. It has to do with the written law, the written constitution. We also take an oath to uphold the Indiana state constitution.
And that oath of office is something I take very, very seriously. And that is what should drive us, our own understanding of the Constitution — not any fear of litigation in Federal Court.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Devyn Curry: Can you briefly give us your version of the chronology from the time you made the “tweet heard around the world” to the time when you were punished for the tweet.

MD: I will try to do the best that I can. You know the irony in all of this is that HJR-3 was really not my issue. I had found through interaction with the governor’s staff that the governor [Mike Pence] was pretty displeased with what was going on the legislature, particularly in the House of Representatives. He could not understand how a super majority House and a super majority Senate could not get this issue to the voters. He spoke in favor of HJR-3 and in a “State of the State” address and then in an additional follow-up interview with WISH-TV political reporter Jim Shella — WISH-TV is at channel 8, our CBS News affiliate in Indianapolis. And so I was trying to help them behind the scenes. I worked with Senator [Dennis] Kruse, who had told me that Senator [David] Long had wanted to control that process and have Senator Mike Young introduce the amendment on the floor that would restore the second sentence so that we could adopt the entire amendment and send it to the voters.
For me though, if you go back and look at my press conference, I pretty methodically laid out the chronology of why I thought that Senator Long and others had taken the issue into their own hands in order to really kill the issue for the session. And when I had met with them before learning the concerns of the governor, I had met with Senator Long and Senator [Brent] Steele, and we were asked — because we were members of the Judiciary Committee — to do a whip count on the Judiciary members to find out if there was support to reinsert the second sentence and if there was support to pass HJR-3 to pass out of the committee. At the time, we were told that the resolution was going to go to Judiciary Committee. And then when we did the whip count, we found support to restore the second sentence, and then pass it out of committee. After that, Senator Long made the decision to not send it to Judiciary but rather to his own Committee, Rules Committee, and then he made the further decision that he wasn’t going to allow any amendment. And then he was going to pass the resolution to the floor without amendment. Which if you look at the numbers, the mathematics — and again I go through all of this in my press conference, which is on YouTube in detail — If you take the thirteen Democrats and assume that they are all going to vote no, it only takes thirteen more Republicans to vote no with the Democrats. And so the mathematics works against conservative Republicans on the Senate floor. And I think all those things, in addition to other things, factored into Senator Long’s decision to do what he did.
Now in terms of the tweet when I was trying to help Senator Kruse. I had started my own whip count and I was stuck on fifteen solid Republican votes to agree on the floor to reinsert the second sentence. Well I needed twenty-six. If I didn’t have twenty-six, it wasn’t going to happen because of the math with the Democrats.
And so we had caucus, I can’t tell you what was discussed or said or done in caucus, but because I had filed my amendment — because at the time I wasn’t positive that an amendment was going to be filed. In checking with the legislative services agency, and with the Senate majority attorney’s office, I went ahead and filed an amendment to make sure that we would meet a deadline so an amendment could be filed. I did that knowing that I was stuck at fifteen votes. And so there was media interest as to whether or not I was going to call my amendment and what was going to happen. We were on the senate floor and this was after the caucus meeting. Within minutes of Dennis Kruse calling HJR-3 for second reading — and that’s when I put out the tweet saying there wasn’t support for me to call my amendment and that the second sentence was dead for the session of the General Assembly.
When I did that, I did that to satisfy inquiry from probably over half a dozen different media outlets that were going to ask me or had asked me what I was going to do. Rather than have the same discussion, six to ten different times, I just wanted to handle it at once during Twitter. But what I didn’t anticipate at the time was that everybody under the sun would retweet that tweet and I would start to trend nationally. At that point, this evolved into a whole other level of newsworthiness.
Senator Long came back on the floor and asked me about it and I explained what I did and why. At the time, I thought things were resolved between the two of us. It was only later that he had a media availability and he kind of blasted me and accused me of leaking a caucus confidence that we really started to get into it within the press.
And at that point in time, I made the decision to hold my news conference and to vote against HJR-3, if he would not allow the second sentence to be restored. I did that for a couple of reasons. One of which was I had passed out a legal memorandum from a very reputable source out of Washington D.C. that had told us that without the second sentence, our amendment had no legal consequences. So we were basically passing a statement that had no legal significance. And for me, given how divisive this was and how draining it was in terms of energy and what not, it didn’t make any sense to me to pass something for political purposes that wasn’t going to have any legal consequence.
And again, I talked about all of that in my press conference on YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, it will take thirty minutes of your life to watch it. It was carried live on ABC the Channel 6 news affiliate in Indianapolis and I walked through methodically the chronology of events at that press conference.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Curry: What were you trying to convey to the public through the media at the press conference?

MD: I was trying to bring to light what was going on with the process. And I was trying to bring to light my reasoning and thinking as to why I felt like this was a set up job from the beginning and that there was no intention to get this to the people. And how Senator Long had controlled the process. And how every step of the process the decisions that he made gave evidence to what I was saying that the people were never going to see this amendment at the ballot box in November of 2014. I also felt like it was newsworthy that one of the most conservative members of the Indiana State Senate was going to vote against the marriage amendment because it had no legal consequence. I wanted to explain to the public and to my constituents why a guy that is a strong supporter of traditional Judeo-Christian values, was not going to support the marriage amendment. Because I didn’t believe that the marriage amendment had legal consequence.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Curry: Senator, did you violate caucus rules of secrecy?

MD: I did not.
And the saying that I take great great umbrage with is … the only way I can fully defend myself would be to go violate caucus protocol and confidence.
Now I don’t accuse Senator Long of lying; that is a little strong. There are some — because what has been said to the media, particularly by Senator Long — that have had the wrong perception that I may have violated a confidence of the caucus. I certainly want to clear up any kind of misunderstanding with my caucus mates. But in no way did I violate a caucus confidence. The tweet that I put out was based upon my own information, from my own whip count that I kept on this project. Senator (Scott) Schneider knew about my whip count. Senator Dennis Kruse knew about my whip count. Senator Mike Young knew about my whip count. And so this idea that I violated a caucus confidence is unfortunate, it’s wrong, it’s untrue, it’s misleading, and, hopefully, this will help correct that record.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Senator, Chad Tew here. Who leaked the information about your punishment to the media?

MD: That is a great question because [laughs] — There is another issue over in the House of Representatives about caucus confidence being violated. I don’t know if you are following that with the whole nursing moratorium issue —
But it was interesting because the following Thursday I was called in to Senator Long and there were a couple of other senators, and they brought me in there to tell me what my consequence from this whole event was going to be. And they listed out four different things that were going to happen, and they then told me they were going to go to the caucus and privately tell them what was going to happen. Well, I get home Thursday night, that night, getting ready to have dinner, and I get a call from a Channel 13 WTHR NBC News affiliate. And they say “Senator Delph, we understand this, this, this and this are going to happen to you because of violating caucus protocol. Do you have a comment?”
And I just find it grossly hypocritical and somewhat ironic that there would be a violation of caucus protocol to leak out this punishment that I have while they’re accusing me of this. It’s really all very silly.
Since I have been in the legislature for eight years, I have been a champion of transparency and accountability. And I think the public has the right to know what their elected officials are doing on behalf of them and in some cases against them. And in this case, I did not violate a caucus confidence, and I was trying to advocate for my constituents, who wanted the right to vote on this issue as reflected in the surveys that they returned to my office. And so I felt like I was doing things to try to advocate on their behalf without necessarily taking a position from their perspective on whether they felt like this should be part of the constitution or not part of the constitution. I was trying to give them their opportunity, which they said they wanted, to vote on this one way or the other.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Concerning your punishment, you’ve had a number of disagreements over the years with Senate leader David Long. Does Senate leader David Long serve the Republicans in the state senate or do they serve him?

MD: Yeah, that is a great question. I like Senator Long. He and I every couple of years will have an issue. The legislative process is not one where conflict can be avoided. When you are in the arena, you are going to have issues, and I have enjoyed serving with Senator Long. But ultimately we the people elect elected officials to serve in the legislative branch of government. And as Thomas Jefferson said, “The consent of the governed are who give and what gives elected leadership and legislatures the legitimacy to make decisions on behalf of the people.” And so Senator Long has been elected by the Republican caucus to a position of great public trust — to manage the institutional integrity of the senate. And so he needs to, in my opinion — I have said this to him publicly and privately — to remember it is the people of Indiana that he represents and not just special interests or even the interest of the caucus itself — but it is the public at large. And he has also a responsibility to the institution of the senate.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Thank you, Senator. Let’s pause for identification.

Interview (part III): Issues in the fall 2014 election

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Chad Tew: Mike Delph, a Republican who represents parts of Indianapolis, Carmel and Zionsville is with us this morning for an exclusive interview. It is March 27, 2014, and this is Wikinews. Welcome back, Senator.

Mike Delph: Thanks for having me professor. One thing I just wanted to add from the last segment. There are a lot of YouTube videos and interviews that I’ve done and I’ve tried to be consistent in the story that I’ve been telling making sure that the truth gets communicated to the public. But when I did my press conference, I very methodically walked through my reasoning for why I believe that the marriage amendment was at least on the Senate side, set up for failure from the beginning. And I also addressed the whole tweet and where the information for that tweet came from. There’s been misinformation and misperception that it was tweeted from a caucus meeting. That is a falsehood. It was a tweet that I actually put out, again, directly from the senate floor within minutes of HJR-3 being called down for a second reading, and I did that, again, because there were a number of media requests to explain what I was going to do or not do with the amendment I had filed to restore the second sentence. I would encourage your listeners and your students if they’ve not done so to go listen to the press conference on YouTube.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Rachel Christian: Senator Delph, you have been labeled as a social conservative. Where do you believe you fall on the political spectrum?

MD: You know, that’s a good question. In my intro (Wikipedia: Voice Intro Project) that I read for Wikinews[sic] for the project that the professor and I worked on together, I reference myself as a fiscal and social conservative.
I kind of consider myself a constitutional conservative. I consider myself very independent-minded. If you look at my last election in 2010, I won my senate district 59 percent to 41 percent. Just two years prior to that, President Barack Obama won the same Senate district 56 percent to 44 percent over John McCain. So I think my history has shown an ability to have people who aren’t necessarily conservative Republican voters vote for me.
I try to listen to everybody, anybody in my district who has an issue or concern or wants to talk to me or tell me what they think about anything, always gets my ear. And you can’t do this job and be effective doing this job without being shaped by the views of your constituents, some of whom may disagree with your position on a given issue.
So I do consider myself a full-spectrum conservative, fiscal and social, but more importantly I consider myself a Constitutional conservative.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Bradie Gray: Recently, political commentator Brian Howey wrote about your senate district. Is it fair to say that your district is not socially conservative, that your stand on HJR-3 might not been aligned with your constituents, and that the Democrats see your seat as an opportunity.

MD: Well you will to talk to the Democrat[sic] Party about what they see as an opportunity. I can’t speak for them.
I will tell you again. I survey my constituents every year before we go in session. And I knew that the marriage amendment was going to be something that was going to be debated and considered. I asked them if they wanted a chance to vote on this through the constitutional amendment process via referendum in November 2014. I sent that survey to all registered voters in Senate District 29 and over 60 percent of the respondents said they wanted a chance to vote in November 2014. Again I didn’t ask which way they were going to vote — whether they were going to vote yes or no — but rather did they wanted the chance to vote. My position primarily was driven by that piece of information and my desire to try to advocate on behalf of my constituents to bring this whole issue to resolution.
From a personal standpoint, this issue is very divisive. The media is fixated on it. Very little else was covered because the media was so fixated on it. And to me whether you were for the amendment or against the amendment, there was pretty strong support to being done with it once and for all. And I couldn’t figure out a way to bring final closure to this without going to the referendum process to the public. And so I was hoping we could deal with this whole issue in 2014 but others felt differently that were in the leadership. And so we are going to be dealing with this issue on into the future.
In terms of the ideology of my constituents. I have some constituents who are socially conservative. I have some constituents who are socially moderate. I have some constituents who are socially liberal. The proof is going to be in the pudding when we run for reelection in November 2014 whether or not this is the driving issue to drive turnout and ultimately render judgement over the totality of my service in the senate.
Last year, I carried three bills into law. I’ve been known widely as somebody who is a leader on Veterans and military issues. Last year, we expanded contracting opportunities for veterans returning from Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. I wrote and carried into law a strong reform in the area of education for high performing schools. I have led efforts in reform for local government reform in Title 36 of Indiana Code. I have been named Legislator of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans. And I have been giving the Distinguished Public Service Award twice, once in 2006 and once in 2013 by the American Legion. I’ve been awarded the Mr. Clean Award by Common Cause for my efforts to promote lobbying reform, and ethics reform, and redistricting reform. I’ve led an effort to change the law in the area immigration reform. And again that was not a Republican or Democrat issue, it was an American patriotic issue. And a lot of my folks that were not a conservative or Republican because of my leadership on this issue supported me in 2010. We feel very good about where we were politically.
I just actually just had a grassroots campaign committee with my team on Saturday at my house. My 19-year-old daughter Abby, who is a freshman at IUPUI, is going to serve as my campaign manager, and I’m going to teach her how to do this. We have the leader of the College Republicans at Anderson University, as well as IUPUI and other leaders from Butler University that will all be involved in my grass roots effort.
Before Thanksgiving, there was some talk that somebody might try to challenge me in a primary. And our grassroots effort, we had home school moms and volunteers make over 7,000 phone calls to base, Republican voters. We shut that down pretty quick. We have the strongest, best grassroots team in the state senate. I welcome competition. We are going to go out and compete. And we are going to let the voters make their decisions. We feel very good where we are politically.
From a campaign finance standpoint. We have the most money that we have ever had. We have [US]$180,000 in cash in the bank. I have a business man, a Christian pastor, who has offered to write a check for $25,000 to support me. Another person is going to write a check for $2500. And I suspect if I really tried to raise more money, I could raise a lot more money.
So again I feel the grassroots, the financial support, the community support will be there for us. But ultimately I serve at the pleasure of the voters. And if they choose that they would rather have somebody else serve them and represent them in the Indiana State Senate, I certainly will respect that decision. But I will never shy away from my core convictions, or my Christian principles, or what I believe in, or what I think the right thing to do is, and I will always act on what I believe is the right thing to do.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Casie Mathies: Senator, this is Casie, how important are the business or establishment Republicans in your district and do you stand in danger of alienating them with your stands on HJR-3?

MD: You know there are some businesses that are in fear of litigation right now because of the whole environment around same-sex marriage. There are some churches that will be sued and possibly forced to ordain a relationship and a union that their God rejects. And so there are some businesses that will probably have some concerns but there will be other businesses that will support my position. I think most businesses though, aren’t really motivated by this issue in particular. They are just out trying to run a business to make payroll, to grow their business, and I’ve got a strong business-friendly record as delineated by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Manufacturers Association. A strong history for promoting economic growth, including our latest bill this year was Senate Bill 1. Where we’ve given the local government units the ability to phase out the business personal property tax if they so choose to do so, and a gradual further reduction of the corporate income tax.
One other additional point I want to make. I’ve also been a leader on corporate transparency reform. Last year, I also carried into law a bill that Governor Pence signed into law before a board of directors meeting of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation calling for and requiring more transparency and the economic incentives that we give out to companies that say that they are going to create “X” amount of jobs in exchange for those economic incentives. So bottom line, I think my record in the senate has been very pro-business and pro-job growth and pro-economic development and so I think businesses will look more at that than they will look at HJR-3.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Sean Kerchief: Your likely opponent in next fall’s election, JD Ford, says he stands for, quote, equality. Do you?

MD: I’ve not had a chance to meet Mr. Ford. I look forward to doing so. You know, we still have a primary to get through, and I’ll probably reserve my comments until after May. After the candidates have been officially nominated by the voters of each party. But I believe in equality. We do have equality of marriage. We just have not, ever, believed as a society that that translates to same-sex marriage. We have had over two hundred years of social norms and of standing up for traditional Judeo-Christian values and this idea of equating same-sex marriage with opposite sex or traditional marriage is a very new thing in the history and life of Indiana and our nation. And so, any man has the right to marry a woman who agrees to marry him, and any woman has the right to marry any man who agrees to marry her, and that is equal, you know, across all boundaries.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Keisha Wright: Senator Delph, What are the political stands that are going to provide the sharpest contrast between you and your likely political opponent, JD Ford this fall?

MD: Well again, I’ve not yet had the chance to meet Mr. Ford. I look forward to doing that, and I’ve not had the chance to be educated on what he stands for, and what his positions are, and I look forward to doing that. But what I’m told, the biographical backgrounds and positions are pretty black and white, night and day, and so I think the voters, for what I’ve been told without studying the issues on him, will get a sharp contrast.
You know I’ve served in the Indiana State Senate for 8 years. I spent four years in leadership as an assistant majority floor leader for communications revamping the whole communications process through two communications directors. I’ve carried a number of bills into law. I’ve served in business. I’ve run my own business out of my home. Now I serve for a privately-held company as a general counsel. I’ve served for a publicly traded company as an executive in their government affairs department, and so I have a lot of business experience, applied experience in the Indiana General Assembly. I’ve also had a lot of family experience raising five daughters as a home school educator.
I’ve been a leader in the military. I currently am a major in the United States Army Reserve serving in a number of leadership capacities during the course of my military experiences. So I’m very confident and proud of my history, of my record, and I look forward to further communicating that with my voters and Senate District 29. And I also look forward to meeting my opponent after we get through the May primary.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Just a short question. You started your military service in what year?

MD: June of 2001, I believe.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: And you were promoted to major when?

MD: I was promoted to major on March 23, 2012. And that was also after the whole brouhaha over the military uniform issue with [Lieutenant] Colonel Mejia. I was a company commander for the 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, at the time I was a captain, company commander. And notwithstanding that I was still promoted to major. I think the military almost on a weekly basis to take a leadership position in a unit.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Meredith Harris: You have been considered for higher offices. What qualities do you have to offer not only your district, but voters all over Indiana?

MD: Well, I’ve not actively sought higher office. I enjoy reading about my political future in the press routinely, oftentimes over coffee with my daughters. You know, I love my country, I love my state, I love my neighbors, I love my community, I love my fellow man. I’m very concerned about the direction that our nation’s going. In 2008, we crossed a barrier that was not widely reported. That was the first year that our nation started talking about operational deficits — the difference between revenue and expense on an annual basis — in terms of trillions of dollars. It is mind boggling to me that since 2008 the United States government has added a trillion dollars in national debt each and every year. We are spending our posterity into oblivion. At some point our debt will not be marketable. People won’t think it’s a good enough risk to invest in and at that point Judgement Day happens.
And I, you know, am concerned about that because I love my five daughters and I want them to grow up with opportunity. I want them to grow up in economic freedom and to be able to compete and do things and love and live and enjoy life and not have a country on the brink of collapse — of economic collapse. So I’m very outspoken on issues like that and on national security issues and also on Supreme Court nomination issues, and that sort of thing. And because of that, that’s led to speculation.
When the speculation took place regarding Senator Lugar and also Congressman Burton, we did have brief discussions with my family, with my daughters, around our kitchen table. Some of my daughters have been character actors, or youth interpreters I should say, at Conner Prairie, a live museum here in central Indiana, others have served as members of the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. They’re all very involved in the home school community and their friends are here. So I told them that if I ran and got elected to federal office, they would either have to move out to Washington D.C., or they wouldn’t get to see their dad three nights, at least three nights out of the week. And once I gave them that information, they were unanimous in their opposition to me running for Congress or the United States Senate. Until I get to a point where my family balance can be taken into consideration, I don’t anticipate seeking higher office. But I’m always humble and grateful that people consider my record and my views worthy of consideration for such purpose.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Just briefly, senator. Your passage of the local government initiative that would allow governments to merge was very successful in your district, but not successful elsewhere around Indiana. What was it about your district that made it unique in that it decided to merge?

MD: Well the reform that came from House Bill 1362, which at the time was the most dramatic reform in Title 36, in probably 25 years or more. It allowed for the creation of a government of the people, by the people, for the people subject to the imagination. Whatever the mind could come up with, you could do up to the county boundary. And so in the case of Eagle and Union Townships deciding to dissolve themselves and then enter into a pact with the town of Zionsville and create the new town of Zionsville, it took vision. It took selfless service because you had two township trustees that had to agree to dissolve their reason for being. Not many elected officials will do something like that. It was a very courageous move by the trustee of Eagle and the trustee of Union Townships to do that. I think part of the problem that we’ve had in other parts of the state, including Evansville and Fort Wayne, is that the process and the law has not been adequately marketed and explained to the public and to elected officials. But right now in Indiana Code, you could reform local government up to the county boundary in just about any way imaginable to the mind. The only thing that really is the constraint is the imagination.
I’m very proud of that. And I’m proud of the fact that the folks in Zionsville took the ball and ran with it. I was honored to work with then state representative Jim Buck, from Kokomo, who also represented Zionsville. And I represented … at the time, not Zionsville. It wasn’t until afterwards that Zionsville became part of my area.
Here is one other neat story. The Town Hall chambers in Zionsville is the former Methodist church where Beth and I got married in. When we had this ceremony of this dissolution of Eagle and Union Townships and the creation of the new town of Zionsville. It literally happened right where we got married. And I was asked to speak right in the same place where I exchanged my wedding vows with my wife. I got up to speak and I was nervous and stammering a little bit and they’re like “Senator is everything ok?” And I’m like, “For some reason, this specific location in the world, I’m in a vortex, and it makes me really nervous.”

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Thank you, senator. And, let’s pause for identification.

Interview (part IV): Conclusion

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png This is Wikinews, and we are back with Senator Mike Delph. I am Chad Tew, and we are here at The Edge radio studios with my journalism students and recording from the campus of the University of Southern Indiana, in Evansville. Our first question will come from Jordan.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Jordan Bayes: Hi, Senator Delph, Jordan Bayes speaking. What ever became of the military investigation of you and the soldier who appeared by you at a press conference?

Mike Delph: Well that was ultimately adjudicated by the military. Colonel Mejia ended up retiring in good standing with the military. At the time I was a captain in the United States Army Reserve, and I am now a major. So I think everybody has moved forward and moved on.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngTew: And you were never punished for that, for the record?

MD: There was a resolution that I had with my commanding general that is private, but there was never anything official other than on my officer evaluation report that denoted the issue.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.pngTew: Yes, and then you were successfully promoted.

MD: Successfully promoted for major and more importantly I get, I won’t say harassed, but a fair number of calls from recruitment and retention people asking me to take leadership of units and to be more involved in the military, as if I have all this extra time on my hands.
But let me just tell you, on that whole deal. I don’t go through life with regrets. I had no regrets for that press conference. The purpose of that press conference was to show Ray Mejia to the world, and how a guy who came from Mexico, not knowing the language, not being a citizen, used the path of the military to rise up through the ranks, get an education, learn the English language, and then ultimately become a successful executive with Eli Lilly. To me that was a story that needed to be told. Nobody was telling it. Ray Mejia is very proud of his military service, as am I, and he wanted to show off what he had done in the military that was part of his identity and part of his story.
So we were both supportive of that move, and, you know, as in life, you take positions just like when I did my press conference a couple weeks ago. I decided to do a press conference in the center of the rotunda of the Indiana State House, and I did that going into it knowing there would be consequences. That’s part of leadership.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Bayes: Tim Durham, who is now serving a 50-year sentence for running a Ponzi scheme in Indiana, was a major donator to Republicans, including your campaign. Former Governor Daniels for instance received almost $200,000 dollars. You were the first to give money back donated by Durham in 2011 after he was charged, which was $10,000 dollars. However you kept money donated by BP after the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010. What kind of money do you think should be given back, and what kinds do you think are alright to keep?

MD: You know, it’s interesting, because I got introduced to Tim Durham in, I want to say September or October — I want to say it was October of 2005. It was right before my special caucus or special election for my caucus for the replacement of Murray Clark. Governor Daniels was hosting a Republican Governors Association fundraising event at Obsidian headquarters, and that was my first introduction to Tim Durham. And then I have a dear friend of mine who went to high school with him down in Seymour in Jackson County. I did not know Tim well. I met him a couple times, but my friend Tim Motsinger — who I’d known through politics and Marion County used to be a deputy with Marion County Sheriff’s Department for Jack Cottey — encouraged me to reach out to him, and I did on a couple occasions, and he wrote me two checks for $5000 dollars.
When the whole fair finance deal was coming out, and I started learning about that, the bankruptcy trustee actually sent out a list, or made a list of people that Durham had made contributions to, asking for voluntary returns of that money. Making the argument that it wasn’t his money to donate, it was the retiree’s money. I was not on that list. I didn’t know about the list. When I found out about the news story, I reached out on my own to the bankruptcy trustee, and said, “Hey, Tim gave me $10,000 dollars, I’d like to return it, what do I need to do?” And they were shocked. They couldn’t believe it because they were trying so hard to get all this other money that you mentioned back and they were not getting much cooperation. So. Tor me I felt it was the right thing to do. You know, I pray for Tim Durham. I think that all men have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I also believe only one man walked this Earth without sin and his name was not Mike Delph. And so I felt it was the right thing to do to give the money back, and I did that.
In the terms of BP, BP is a great corporate citizen. They made a mistake and immediately went to rectify and restore the ecology of the mistake that they made. And so I’m very proud of BP and I’m very proud for the way that they handled that, and I thought this political scapegoatism of them was pretty shameful. This is a company that provides a lot of jobs, a lot of economic development, a lot of good things to the community. They had a tough time and they immediately used corporate assets and their ingenuity to aggressively address and correct what they had done negatively to the environment. And I felt like they should be applauded and lifted up and not condemned.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Dennis Marshall is here with our last question tonight, Dennis —

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Dennis: Senator you are well known for your support of the single class basketball here in Indiana, why is that such an important issue for you?

MD: Dennis you’re going to make me cry. I love this issue, love it. I grew up in a time that is not, obviously, today, and I just fell in love with Indiana high school basketball. I didn’t play basketball in high school myself. I was a football player and I was slow and bulky and that sort of thing.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: You were a wrestler, too?

MD: I actually was a cheerleader for the high school basketball team my senior year.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Senator, were you a wrestler?

MD: I love basketball, I always have. But when I was growing up I remember watching the state tournament with my grandmother. It was almost like a holiday. We’d play cards and have a cheeseball and you know salami and crackers. We’d bet a dollar a game on the games.
That was the time when guys like Scott Skiles were bringing Plymouth (High School) to the state championship tournament, and Steve Alford and New Castle [High School], and Mike and Chris Heineman over at Connersville [High School]. There was just a tremendous amount of great basketball stories. And then I got to learn about the story of the “Milan Miracle”, of the state championship run that led to the story of Hoosiers [a film]. Then, later on, right before I left and started growing up more after college and graduate school, the story of Damon Bailey and Bedford North Lawrence [High School] team. These are stories were high school basketball teams would captivate and grab the attention of the entire state. I remember when the Marion Giants with Jay Edwards and Lyndon Jones dominated for a couple years.
And so these are things that are very important and then when they went to this touchy feeling everybody has to have a trophy and a championship multi-class system, it took something away from our Hoosier identity. So it was something that I always felt pretty strongly about.
When I first got elected to the legislature, my pastor’s wife was the executive assistant to the commissioner of the ISHAA, Blake Ress, and she knew how I felt about class basketball. I didn’t like it and I wished we’d go back to single class [basketball in Indiana]. But out of unity to my church and not wanting to cause my pastor’s wife consternation, I decided I would not do anything or pursue anything. Then she left the IHSAA and then I had an opportunity to interject this multi-facet education proposal. And then I met Bobby Cox, the then commissioner of the IHSAA, and I told him, “I’ll table this proposal, but let’s see what the public has to say.” And he said, “that is a great idea. Let’s do some public meetings. Let’s go around the state together, let’s hold a press conference and tell the world what we are doing, and let’s take a vote at every public meeting. We’ll give the public a chance that they didn’t have at the time when we made this decision.
I think at the time the IHSAA and Commissioner Cox, in particular, thought that the public would be more allow the lines of multi-class basketball. We probably had 50 to 100 people turn out at every one of our meetings. We even went to former historical Gary Roosevelt up in Lake County we went down to several areas in Southern Indiana, we went to Pendleton. I don’t have the list in front of me, so I’m just kind of doing this from memory. I emailed it to Professor Tew. I think the turnout or vote was 68 percent for restoration towards single class basketball.
One of the real joys of that whole process for me was meeting Bobby Plump and going to Milan and meeting the [19]54 basketball team. They all turned out for that. That was kind of a turning point in our road show. Because up until that point, the turnout was mixed in terms of whether it was single-class or multi-class. But at Milan, it was blowout. Everyone there wants to go back to single class basketball. I toured the Milan high school, and the athletic director tells me to this day he still gets calls from people all over the world wanting to know about Milan and Hoosiers.
He actually had a guy call him once and say how do I get to the high school, I’m flying in to Cincinnati, and he gave him directions from the Cincinnati airport to the Milan high school so he could come see the trophies and learn more about the history because he had just seen the movie Hoosiers. To me this is something like, just like the Indianapolis Motor Speedway puts Indianapolis on the map, we’re known as the greatest racing spectacle in world, with the Indianapolis 500. We are also known internationally for our wonderful single class basketball tournament, which lifts up and extolls the virtues of the underdog and the little guy. When we went to multi-class basketball we lost some of that cultural identity that Indiana was known for. Not only nationally but throughout the world. And I want to try to bring that back.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Tew: Thank you Senator. This has been an exclusive interview with Mike Delph. Thank you very much Senator for being with us tonight and speaking to fifteen journalism students and myself…

MD: Professor, it’s been an honor. I really have enjoyed working with you and the University of Southern Indiana through this process. And I really enjoyed talking with your students and answering their questions. I look forward to an ongoing partnership into the future.


This has been an exclusive audio Wikinews interview with Indiana State Senator Mike Delph. To receive the latest news, please visit, presenting up-to-date, relevant, newsworthy and entertaining content without bias. Wikinews is a free service and it is funded by your generous donations. Click on the donate link on our homepage to learn how you can contribute. This recording has been released under the Creative Commons 2.5 License.

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.


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February 21, 2014

News briefs: February 20, 2014

News briefs: February 20, 2014 – Wikinews, the free news source

News briefs: February 20, 2014

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Wikinews Audio Briefs
Friday, February 21, 2014
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Today on Wikinews: We briefly recap some of the stories appearing on Wikinews last week and from around the world.

Today is Friday, February twenty first — twenty fourteen. I am Chad Tew and this is Wikinews.


Leak suggests John Kerry will recognise Israel as Jewish state (0:30)

This week we learned through a leak published in the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv that U-S Secretary of State John Kerry will describe Israel as a Jewish state in a peace agreement document despite the disapproval of the Palestinian Authority. It has also been reported that Kerry plans to present the document to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the US next month.

Piers Morgan interviewed by police investigating phone hacking (0:57)

We also learned this week that [pee-ears] Morgan was the sixth journalist to be interviewed in the UK investigation of phone hacking. Morgan, who is now a TV news journalist for CNN, was a former editor of the Daily Mirror. The actual interview in that case occurred in December. Police are trying to learn whether eavesdropping was a standard tool used in journalistic investigations at the newspaper.

Scottish Justice Secretary ‘acutely aware of unusual publicity’ in Kular case (1:29)

The Scottish Justice Secretary is paying attention to material published in the UK media about the Mikaeel Kular murder case. Upon review it could be considered prejudicial or contempt in hearings that involve the identification of a person of interest. Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill revealed his awareness of the publicity in a letter exchanged between him and Conservative justice spokesman John Lamont.

UK drugs policy petition reaches 100,000 signatures, may prompt Parliamentary debate (2:01)

Britain’s drug policy may be up for reform after a petition calling for independent review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 reached 100,000 signatures this week. The Backbench Business Committee of the House of Commons is set to discuss whether a debate will occur concerning UK’s drug laws. Skeptics say those laws are out of date and in need of a review.

Two dead in storms with no sign of floods letting up in Britain (2:32)

Relentless storms on the southern coast of England wreaked havoc on the delivery of electrical energy and train service. A woman was killed by falling masonry as a result of storms last week. And a man is dead after a massive wave struck a cruise ship in the English Channel from the same weather system.

Man in Glasgow, Scotland seriously injured after being hit by car (2:55)

Police in Glasgow are hoping that someone might have witnessed an auto accident that happened in the Scottish city early last Sunday morning. A man sustained severe head trauma after being hit by a car. He was then transferred to the Southern General Hospital where he remains in stable condition. The driver was described as shaken by the event.

Cyclist dies in crash with car in Edinburgh, Scotland (3:21)

And police in Edinburgh are also seeking witnesses in an auto accident that killed a 78 year-old man after a vehicle struck him while he was cycling on February 16. The driver of the black Mercedes-Benz B-Class was uninjured and has been cooperating with police.

New South Wales government starts trial of hunting in national parks (3:43)

The National Parks Wildlife Service of New South Wales, Australia, is set to launch a three-year trial to control the feral animal population in parks through hunting. The first meeting of hunters at Cocopara was to target feral goats. Supporters hope to test the effectiveness of the hunt for decreasing overpopulation with certain species. However, critics disliked the amateur approach where the feral animals are hunted for sport and they favor a government-controlled program.

Jade Rabbit lunar rover declared lost (4:19)

China’s first moon rover — The Jade Rabbit — was declared damaged beyond repair on February twelve after two weeks’ inactivity. It has been about two months since its initial launch in December. The rover was set to spend three months excavating the moon’s surface for natural resources but low temperatures caused the robot to malfunction on January 25.

Outro (4:45)

And those are the headlines from Wikinews.


This has been the Audio Wikinews brief. To receive the latest news, please visit, presenting up-to-date, relevant, newsworthy and entertaining content without bias.

Wikinews is a free service and it is funded by your generous donations. Click on the donate link on our homepage to learn how you can contribute.

This recording has been released under the Creative Commons 2.5 License.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 12, 2014

News briefs: February 12, 2014

News briefs: February 12, 2014 – Wikinews, the free news source

News briefs: February 12, 2014

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014
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Wikimedia-logo.svg This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.




Today on Wikinews: We briefly recap some of the stories appearing on Wikinews during the last two weeks and from around the world.

Today is Wednesday, February 12, 2014. I am Chad Tew and this is Wikinews.


Wiki loves the European Parliament in Strasbourg (0:30)

Volunteers from Wikipedia and other sister projects — including members of Wikinews — worked at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, to procure high-quality photographs, video and audio introductions of members of the European Parliament. The team of fifty were able to produce over a thousand photographs and two hundred video clips. The material — gathered over four days in early February — will all be stored permanently on Wikimedia Commons as freely-available and reusable, multimedia content. Wikinews provides more video and photographs of parliamentarians and volunteers, as well as the full story, on the Wikinews website.

Scottish Parliament approve same-sex marriage (1:20)

The Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill legalizing same-sex marriage. But religious groups — including the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of Scotland — opposed the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill. The bill allows humanist celebrations along with civil and religious ceremonies — and religious organizations have the option to participate. Alex Neil — Scottish Secretary for Health and Wellness — proposed the legislation.

Sandra Fluke declares candidacy for California State Senate (1:53)

Women’s rights advocate Sandra Fluke announced her candidacy to run as a Democrat for the California State Senate. Because US Congress member Henry Waxman announced his retirement, Fluke originally said she would run for Congress. She decided to run for California State Senate instead. Fluke said she could accomplish more for the people of California as a state senator. The seat is currently occupied by Democrat Ted Lieu, and he is beginning his campaign for Waxman’s seat.

Hamas returns rocket-prevention forces to action (2:30)

The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip has deployed security forces along the border to prevent rocket fire on Israel. Recent reports have said Hamas withdrew its rocket-prevention force to protest Israeli attacks. Recently, there has been an escalation in tension between Hamas and Israel, with Israeli attacks and rocket shooting from the Gaza strip.

Japan government panel urges reinterpretation of pacifist constitution (3:01)

A government panel in Japan is considering interpretations to the constitution. These would allow the Japanese military to come to the aid of its allies and strengthen ties with the United States. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been called the “Asian Hitler” by North Korea’s state news agency. The government panel looked for ways to reinterpret the constitution, because there was no public support to rewrite or revise it.

France issues pollution alert as ship splits off Basque coast (3:35)

France issued a pollution alert after a Spanish cargo ship collided with a barrier and split in two off of the French coast. The ship, named the Luno, had one hundred twenty to one hundred sixty cubic meters of fuel aboard when the high winds and waves from a storm caused the ship to hit the breakwater. That is about five percent of an olympic-sized swimming pool. The ship was on its way to pick up fertilizer cargo when it split. One part remained on the rocks and the other lay close to the beach.

Watchdog finds police could have prevented Tayside, Scotland road crash (4:15)

An organization that audits law enforcement criticized the Tayside division of police in Scotland for failing to act on reports of drunk drivers. After one report, the same drunk driver later crashed and wounded himself and three passengers. The incident happened on June thirty, twenty thirteen, when a nineteeen-year-old lost control of the car and collided with a wall. Before the crash a member of the public had reported the driver as drunk. A similar incident happened last year with a drunk driver injuring a pedestrian after police had been notified the driver was drunk.

NSW Parliament passes alcohol-fuelled violence bill hours after drafting (5:02)

The Parliament of New South Wales in Australia has passed new legislation for harsher penalties on violent behavior related to alcohol consumption. Among the provisions, an eight-year prison term for someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol who fatally punches another person. This addition came about after Shaun McNeil allegedly punched eighteen-year-old Daniel Christie on New Years Eve at Kings Cross, leading to his death on January eleven of this year.

Warhol’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits (5:40)

The Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program has donated works from Warhol’s collection to almost two hundred university art centers across the United States since two thousand seven, and those universities have been holding exhibits ever since. Wikinews was at the opening of the the University of Southern Indiana’s exhibit January twenty three. That Evansville, Indiana exhibit displays about one hundred Polaroids and some additional gelatin silver prints, as well as several colored screen prints from Warhol’s collection. The exhibit runs through March nine. Read more about the exhibit and about the program to spread Warhol’s photographic legacy at Wikinews dot org.

Outro (6:32)

And those are the headlines from Wikinews.


This has been the Audio Wikinews brief. To receive the latest news, please visit, presenting up-to-date, relevant, newsworthy and entertaining content without bias.

Wikinews is a free service and it is funded by your generous donations. Click on the donate link on our homepage to learn how you can contribute.

This recording has been released under the Creative Commons 2.5 License.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 28, 2014

Warhol\’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits

Warhol’s photo legacy spread by university exhibits

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Portrait shot of Dennis Hopper, famous for his role in the 1969 film Easy Rider, amongst the Warhol Polaroids donated to USI by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Image: Andy Warhol.

Opening night, January 23, 2014, of the Andy Warhol exhibit of Polaroids and screen prints at the University of Southern Indiana.
Video: Miharris & Acphillips.

Evansville, Indiana, United States — This past week marked the opening night of an Andy Warhol exhibit at the University of Southern Indiana. USI’s art gallery, like 189 other educational galleries and museums around the country, is a recipient of a major Warhol donor program, and this program is cultivating new interest in Warhol’s photographic legacy. Wikinews reporters attended the opening and spoke to donors, exhibit organizers and patrons.

The USI art gallery celebrated the Thursday opening with its display of Warhol’s Polaroids, gelatin silver prints and several colored screen prints. USI’s exhibit, which is located in Evansville, Indiana, is to run from January 23 through March 9.

Full interview with Kristin Wilkins, curator of the exhibition at the University of Southern Indiana.
Audio: Jkthom.

The McCutchan Art Center/Pace Galleries at USI bases its exhibit around roughly 100 Polaroids selected from its collection. The Polaroids were all donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, according to Kristen Wilkins, assistant professor of photography and curator of the exhibit. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts made two donations to USI Art Collections, in 2007 and a second recently.

Kathryn Waters, director of the gallery, expressed interest in further donations from the foundation in the future.

Since 2007 the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program has seeded university art galleries throughout the United States with over 28,000 Andy Warhol photographs and other artifacts. The program takes a decentralized approach to Warhol’s photography collection and encourages university art galleries to regularly disseminate and educate audiences about Warhol’s artistic vision, especially in the area of photography.

University exhibits

Kristen Wilkins, curator of “Andy Warhol: Photographs and Prints from the University Collection” at the University of Southern Indiana, January 23-March 9, 2014.
Image: Snbehnke.

Wikinews provides additional video, audio and photographs so our readers may learn more.

Wilkins observed that the 2007 starting date of the donation program, which is part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, coincided with the 20th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s death in 1987. USI was not alone in receiving a donation.

K.C. Maurer, chief financial officer and treasurer at the Andy Warhol Foundation, said 500 institutions received the initial invitation and currently 190 universities have accepted one or more donations. Institutional recipients, said Mauer, are required to exhibit their donated Warhol photographs every ten years as one stipulation.

While USI is holding its exhibit, there are also Warhol Polaroid exhibits at the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and an Edward Steichen and Andy Warhol exhibit at the Mary & Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. All have received Polaroids from the foundation.

University exhibits can reach out and attract large audiences. For example, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro saw attendance levels reach 11,000 visitors when it exhibited its Warhol collection in 2010, according to curator Elaine Gustafon. That exhibit was part of a collaboration combining the collections from Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which also were recipients of donated items from the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program.


Each collection donated by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program holds Polaroids of well-known celebrities. The successful UNC Greensboro exhibit included Polaroids of author Truman Capote and singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

“I think America’s obsession with celebrity culture is as strong today as it was when Warhol was living”, said Gustafon. “People are still intrigued by how stars live, dress and socialize, since it is so different from most people’s every day lives.”

Wilkins explained Warhol’s obsession with celebrities began when he first collected head shots as a kid and continued as a passion throughout his life. “He’s hanging out with the celebrities, and has kind of become the same sort of celebrity he was interested in documenting earlier in his career”, Wilkins said.

The exhibit at USI includes Polaroids of actor Dennis Hopper; musician Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran; publishers Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone Magazine and Carlo De Benedetti of Italy’s la Repubblica; disco club owner Steve Rubell of Studio 54; photographers Nat Finkelstein, Christopher Makos and Felice Quinto; and athletes Vitas Gerulaitis (tennis) and Jack Nicklaus (golf).

Wikinews observed the USI exhibit identifies and features Polaroids of fashion designer Halston, a former resident of Evansville.

University collections across the United States also include Polaroids of “unknowns” who have not yet had their fifteen minutes of fame. Cynthia Thompson, curator and director of exhibits at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said, “These images serve as documentation of people in his every day life and art — one which many of us enjoy a glimpse into.”

Warhol’s photographic legacy

Warhol was close to important touchstones of the 1960s, including art, music, consumer culture, fashion, and celebrity worship, which were all buzzwords and images Wikinews observed at USI’s opening exhibit.

He was also an influential figure in the pop art movement. “Pop art was about what popular American culture really thought was important”, Kathryn Waters said. “That’s why he did the Campbell Soup cans or the Marilyn pictures, these iconic products of American culture whether they be in film, video or actually products we consumed. So even back in the sixties, he was very aware of this part of our culture. Which as we all know in 2014, has only increased probably a thousand fold.”

“I think everybody knows Andy Warhol’s name, even non-art people, that’s a name they might know because he was such a personality”, Water said.

Hilary Braysmith, USI associate professor of art history, said, “I think his photography is equally influential as his graphic works, his more famous pictures of Marilyn. In terms of the evolution of photography and experimentation, like painting on them or the celebrity fascination, I think he was really ground-breaking in that regard.”

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The Polaroid format is not what made Warhol famous, however, he is in the company of other well-known photographers who used the camera, such as Ansel Adams, Chuck Close, Walker Evans, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Helmut Newton.

Wilkins said, “[Warhol] liked the way photo booths and the Polaroid’s front flash looked”. She explained how Warhol’s adoption of the Polaroid camera revealed his process. According to Wilkins, Warhol was able to reproduce the Polaroid photograph and create an enlargement of it, which he then could use to commit the image to the silk screen medium by applying paint or manipulating them further. One of the silk screens exhibited at USI this time was the Annie Oakley screen print called “Cowboys and Indians” from 1987.

Wilkins also said Warhol was both an artist and a businessperson. “As a way to commercialize his work, he would make a blue Marilyn and a pink Marilyn and a yellow Marilyn, and then you could pick your favorite color and buy that. It was a very practical salesman approach to his work. He was very prolific but very business minded about that.”

“He wanted to be rich and famous and he made lots of choices to go that way”, Wilkins said.

USI exhibit

Cquote1.svg It’s Warhol. He is a legend. Cquote2.svg

—Kiara Perkins, USI student

Kiara Perkins, a second year USI art major, admitted she was willing to skip class Thursday night to attend the opening exhibit but then circumstances allowed for her to attend the exhibit. Why did she so badly want to attend? “It’s Warhol. He is a legend.”

For Kevin Allton, a USI instructor in English, Warhol was also a legend. He said, “Andy Warhol was the center of the Zeitgeist for the 20th century and everything since. He is a post-modern diety.”

Allton said he had only seen the Silver Clouds installation before in film. The Silver Clouds installation were silver balloons blown up with helium, and those balloons filled one of the smaller rooms in the gallery. “I thought that in real life it was really kind of magical,” Allton said. “I smacked them around.”

Elements of the Zeitgeist were also playfully recreated on USI’s opening night. In her opening remarks for attendees, Waters pointed out those features to attendees, noting the touches of the Warhol Factory, or the studio where he worked, that were present around them. She pointed to the refreshment table with Campbell’s Soup served with “electric” Kool Aid and tables adorned with colorful gumball “pills”. The music in the background was from such bands as The Velvet Underground.

The big hit of the evening, Wikinews observed from the long line, was the Polaroid-room where attendees could wear a Warhol-like wig or don crazy glasses and have their own Polaroid taken. The Polaroids were ready in an instant and immediately displayed at the entry of the exhibit. Exhibit goers then became part of the very exhibit they had wanted to attend. In fact, many people Wikinews observed took out their mobiles as they left for the evening and used their own phone cameras to make one further record of the moment — a photo of a photo. Perhaps they had learned an important lesson from the Warhol exhibit that cultural events like these were ripe for use and reuse. We might even call these exit instant snap shots, the self selfie.


Children enjoy interacting with the “Silver Clouds” at the Andy Warhol exhibit.
Image: Snbehnke.


Kathryn Waters opens the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI.
Image: Snbehnke.


At the Andy Warhol exhibit, hosts document all the names of attendees who have a sitting at the Polaroid booth.
Image: Snbehnke.


Curator Kristin Wilkins shares with attendees the story behind his famous Polaroids.
Image: Snbehnke.


A table decoration at the exhibit where the “pills” were represented by bubble gum.
Image: Snbehnke.


Two women pose to get their picture taken with a Polaroid camera. Their instant pics will be hung on the wall.
Image: Snbehnke.


Even adults enjoyed the “Silver Clouds” installation at the Andy Warhol exhibit at USI.
Image: Snbehnke.

Many people from the area enjoyed Andy Warhol’s famous works at the exhibit at USI.
Image: Snbehnke.

Katie Waters talks with a couple in the Silver Clouds area.
Image: Snbehnke.


Many people showed up to the new Andy Warhol exhibit, which opened at USI.
Image: Snbehnke.


At the exhibit there was food and beverages inspired to look like the 1960s.
Image: Snbehnke.


A woman has the giggles while getting her Polaroid taken.
Image: Snbehnke.


A man poses to get his picture taken by a Polaroid camera, with a white wig and a pair of sunglasses.
Image: Snbehnke.


Finished product of the Polaroid camera film of many people wanting to dress up and celebrate Andy Warhol.
Image: Snbehnke.


This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 24, 2014

Study shows shopping cart injuries rise after US safety standards set

Study shows shopping cart injuries rise after US safety standards set

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Friday, January 24, 2014

This row of colorful carts awaits safe use.
Image: Jim.

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Over two decades, on average every 22 minutes a child in the United States experiences an injury from a shopping cart-related accident that requires emergency room attention and this type of injury has increased significantly, according to a new study released this month by the journal Clinical Pediatrics.

The number of shopping cart-related injuries to children increased over the course of the study period, which was between 1990 and 2011, and also increased since the United States first set safety standards in 2004. The study notes that an average of 66 children a day required emergency care as a result. According to the study, that is an estimated 24,000 children annually. The study looked at over a half a million cases over the two decades.

Researchers also found that 70.4 percent of those injuries were from falls from the shopping carts. The study also documents the other ways children are commonly injured including collisions, cart tip overs, and trapped limbs. The most likely type of injury is a head injury and accounts for 78.1 percent of emergency care cases involving shopping carts.

The study was carried out by Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and his colleagues. Smith said the current voluntary standards for shopping cart safety are not adequate. “Not only have the overall number of child injuries associated with shopping carts not decreased since implementation of the safety standards, but the number of concussions and closed head injuries is actually increasing,” he said. “It is time we take action to protect our children by strengthening shopping cart safety standards with requirements that will more effectively prevent tip-overs and falls from shopping carts.”

Shopping cart-related accidents happen to both young and old. Chris Strickland, 18, was working in a Home Depot in Anchorage, Alaska earlier this month when he saw a shopping cart falling over and in quick order stopped the cart with one hand and saved a baby with his other arm. And in Shanghai, China, a women died last year as a result of a runaway shopping cart.

According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, parents can follow several guidelines in order to reduce the danger of shopping cart-related accidents:

  • Whenever possible, choose alternatives to placing your child in a shopping cart.
  • Always use the shopping cart safety straps. Be sure your child is snugly secured in the straps and that the child’s legs are placed through the leg openings. If parts of the cart restraint system are missing or are not working, choose another cart.
  • Use a cart that has a child seat that is low to the ground, if one is available.
  • Make sure your child remains seated.
  • Stay with the cart and your child at all times.
  • Avoid placing infant carriers on top of shopping carts. If your child is not old enough to sit upright by himself in the shopping cart seat, consider other options such as leaving your child at home with another adult while you are at the store, using in-store child care areas, using a front- or back-pack carrier, or using a stroller.
    —Nationwide Children’s Hospital



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February 5, 2013

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore centers

UN adds to criticism of Australian offshore centers

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

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The UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and 1981.
(Image missing from commons: image; log)

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) echoed criticism from other human rights groups yesterday as its new report called on Australia to cease the practice of holding asylum seekers in an uncertain status in its offshore facilities.

The UNHCR spent three days in January at an Australian facility located on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. Following Australian mandatory policy, the more than two hundred detainees held there were detained upon requesting asylum. More than 30 children are being held at this Australian facility. The UNHCR report raised the crowded conditions at the camp as a cause for concern, as well as the impact isolation could have on the children. Australia has another facility for asylum seekers on the island of Nauru. The UNHCR report made clear Australia does not have a process for clearing the asylum seekers, which means their detention in the camps is indefinite and a violation of international human rights.

Caught in the middle of the debate is the new immigration minister Brendan O’Connor. O’Connor was named immigration minister this weekend. The following night, a boat load of 60 refugees who were approached near Christmas Island sought asylum. Monday, the UNHCR issued its report. Union leaders, amongst them Brendan’s brother Michael O’Connor who is national secretary of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, are calling for and end to current migration deals.

A report from Monash University found immigrants have taken 200,000 jobs created during the last two years, depressing employment of young, lower skilled Australians. Polls show a 70 percent majority of Australians stand opposed to the growth in population that will result from immigration.

Amnesty International points out that those migrants held in offshore processing facilities are not typical immigrants but rather asylum seekers. It says the latter category accounts for only three percent of Australia’s influx from immigration. Moreover, Amnesty International says the practice of offshore facilities for asylum seekers runs afoul of Australia’s own international agreements, such as the UN Refugee Convention, and laws, Australian Migration Act 1958.

In August, Prime Minister Julia Gillard indicated in talks with Nauru and Papua New Guinea that Australia was interested in quickly processing the asylum seekers.


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July 14, 2012

Wikimania 2012 tackles diversity issues

Wikimania 2012 tackles diversity issues – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikimania 2012 tackles diversity issues

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mary Gardiner gave the keynote speech at Wikimania 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Image: Andrew Bennetts.

Jimmy Wales addresses attendees of Wikimania 2012 at the Library of Congress.
Image: User:Deror Avi.

Chinese language contributor Shang Zhang meets Jimmy Wales at the Library of Congress.
Image: User:Shujenchang.

Community leaders at the Wikimania 2012 conference, which is largely attended by Wikipedians and volunteers from other Wikimedia Foundation projects, focused attention on diversity within the projects and specifically on the inclusion of women, people who come from developing countries, and those people who, while not tech geeks, are potential contributors.

Wikipedia is the fifth top web site visited on the internet, according to Wales.

Mary Gardiner, co-founder of the Ada Initiative, delivered the opening address, where she encouraged conference participants to think about how they could be more inclusive, especially toward women, in their work. She is the first woman ever to give an opening address at a Wikimania conference. The conferences have been held annually since 2005.

Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, echoed the theme of diversity in his remarks during his annual State of the Wiki address and expanded on Africa and including more people who are not technically savvy.

Participants from 87 countries gathered in Lisner Auditorium on the campus of George Washington University, Washington, D.C. for the opening session on Thursday morning.

Mary Gardiner focused on the lack of gender diversity within the Wikipedia community. She said reader and editor surveys have shown that while over one third of the readers of Wikipedia are women, the number of women who are editors is around 10 to 15 percent in the English Wikipedia and as low as 8.5 percent for all Wikipedias. “As a project of social change, even if it’s not an activist project, the Wikipedia community has a responsibility both to its mission and to the people out there in the world to always be on a journey toward diversity — to increase the size of the umbrella of the world”, Gardiner said.

The Ada Initiative, co-founded by Gardiner, encourages women’s involvement in open source projects like Wikipedia, open-source software, and open government. Prior to the conference, the Ada Initiative sponsored an AdaCamp where women shared their experiences across these projects. Gardiner, who is a graduate student in Computational Linguistics, delivered the keynote, entitled “Fostering diversity: not a boring chore, a critical opportunity.”

Gardiner said Wikipedia should not only increase diversity because it would be good for the community to have more voices, but also the community should reach out with sincerity and both engage and hear women’s voices and be open to change from their contributions.

Jimmy Wales recommended Wikipedians “reexamine [their] premises.” As an example, he asked them to consider article topics that other audiences who are not currently being served well could find meaningful. He became involved in a deletion debate about whether Kate Middleton’s wedding dress was worthy of an article. He contrasted this topic choice with the large number of obscure pages about Linux and asked the audience to consider why important fashion events could be of interest to a different audience with other interests. He said if Wikipedia is not providing content for this audience, they will go elsewhere to create and read that content.

Gardiner also said when women or another subculture focus on their identity it can actually create a stronger Wikipedian identity. “The more you encourage people retain parts of their identity that are important to them, in my case as a woman, the more you enhance their other identity as a Wikipedian… You can encourage both identities by allowing minorities to acknowledge and embrace that they are a member of a minority.” Wikipedia has encouraged the development of subcultures through the creation of chapters, portals, and even individualized user boxes.

Jimmy Wales, on a personal note, announced that he and his partner had named their daughter Ada after Ada Lovelace, who Gardiner had explained to the audience is considered the first software programmer and was an inspiration for the Ada Initiative. Gardiner credits her fellow Ada Initiative co-founder Valerie Aurora, executive director, for naming the organization after Lovelace.

Wales devoted a large portion of his speech to Wikipedia’s footprint in Africa. Wikipedia is currently offered in 285 languages and of African languages, Yorùbá, Swahili, and Afrikaans are the largest. Wales described how in a one month period in 2011 Yorùbá jumped to first in the number of articles. Yorùbá Wikipedia User:Demmy created a bot that added 15,000 articles to the language in one month and his activity doubled the number of active editors to about four. Wales presented the second annual “Jimbo Award” to User:Demmy for his contribution to the Yorùbá language version of Wikipedia.

Wales said the Wikimedia Foundation’s mobile initiative would be an important part of bringing people from developing countries to Wikipedia and would even offer new editing tools for the community worldwide.

New software is in development that could also expand the number of editors of Wikipedia. Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation, announced that Wikimedia Foundation is currently testing its Visual Editor Software that she says will make it as easy to edit Wikipedia as it is to update the status on a person’s Facebook account. “Editing is unnecessarily difficult,” Gardner said. “We’re using an older technology. And it’s an open-source environment and developers of that kind of software are not typically dedicated to design and usability issues” but to solving technical problems.

Wikimania is an international event and past conferences have been held in Frankfurt, Germany; Boston, USA; Taipei, Taiwan; Alexandria, Egypt; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Gdańsk, Poland; and Haifa, Israel. Next year’s Wikimania is to be held in Hong Kong, China.

The main conference has attracted over 1,000 participants and will be open through July 14.

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June 11, 2012

News briefs: June 11, 2012

News briefs: June 11, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

News briefs: June 11, 2012

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wikinews Audio Briefs
Monday, June 11, 2012
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Today on Wikinews: We briefly recap some of the stories appearing on Wikinews this week and from around the world.

Today is Monday, June 11, 2012. I am Chad Tew and this is Wikinews.


Explosion reported in Damascus, Syria (0:26)

Tanks have fired shots in the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday. Explosions were reported just before two A-M Syrian time in the Al-Mydan neighborhood. The battle between the Syrian military and Free Syrian Army broke out over districts in the north and south that lasted for about twelve hours. Fighting was reported in the southern Damascus districts of Kafarsouseh and Al-Mydan, while to the north it was reported that Al-Kaboun and Barzeh came under attack. This was the first time in the conflict that Damascus has come under fire.

Elsewhere in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported around twenty civilians were killed in the city of Daraa by Syrian tank shells. The cities of Homs, Qusair, Talbiseh and Rastan are also under Syrian army attack.

Additional sources:

Kenyan helicopter crash kills security minister (1:25)

The Kenyan internal security minister George Saitoti, who was a candidate in next year’s presidential election, has died in a helicopter crash outside of Nairobi. He was a key figure in the Kenyan decision to contribute soldiers to the African conflict in Somalia against al-Shabab. Five others died in the crash.

Libyan court jails 24 foreigners for helping Gaddafi (1:47)

A Libyan court sentenced twenty four foreigners to prison for their support of former leader Muamar Gaddafi. A Russian who was identified as the ringleader received a life sentence, while a second Russian, nineteen Ukranians, and three Belarussians were all given ten years of hard labor. Several ambassadors decried the ruling and Ukraine’s ambassador said the convicted had been forced to build and maintain Gaddafi’s anti-aircraft missiles.

Russian serial killer Irina Gaidamachuk jailed (2:21)

A Russian court sentenced a confessed serial killer of seventeen elderly women to twenty years in prison. Irina Gaidamachuk would pose as a social worker to enter the homes of her victims before killing them with an axe or hammer. Police had a difficult time identifying the killer because they did not consider that a woman might be the assailant. But that changed when one of her victims survived. The motive: money for vodka.

Putin signs law inceasing fines for illegal protestors (2:52)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law this week that increases the maximum fines available against those involved in unlawful protests. The legislation by the United Russia party follows the May seven protests after Putin’s third inauguration which saw clashes between protesters and police. Four hundred people were arrested in that encounter. All fines were increased significantly with the average offense moving from around three U-S dollars to three hundred dollars.

On the campaign trail, May 2012 (3:31)

We have a summary of the U.S. presidential election news for May 2012 at Wikinews dot org.

Study suggests successful depression treatment lowers youths’ risk of drug abuse (3:40)

A new U-S study suggests depressed adolescents who respond to treatment within twelve weeks are at a reduced risk of drug abuse later in their lives. Researchers at Duke University said only ten percent of youths between seventeen and twenty three who responded to depression treatment went on to abuse drugs, but twenty five percent of those who did not respond to treatment in the same period went on to abuse drugs. Researchers also said more education is needed to reduce alcohol abuse.

Winning horse I’ll Have Another loses shot at US Triple Crown (4:19)

Union Rags was the horse that ended up winning the 2012 Belmont Stakes in New York Saturday. The thoroughbred broke through an opening in the pack at the end of the race to add to the excitement. U-S horse racing fans had been paying close attention to I’ll Have Another who was heading into the race with a chance to win the U-S Triple crown. But the horse was retired one day before the Belmont Stakes on account of a swollen left tendon. This is the thirty fourth year without a Triple Crown victory. The last and eleventh horse to win was Affirmed in nineteen seventy eight.

Additional sources:

Kosmala’s 2012 Games inclusion highlights Australian Paralympians’ longevity (5:01)

When the twenty twelve Paralympics opens in London later this summer, it is likely that Australian Libby Kosmala — part of the shooting team — will be the oldest competitor in attendance. She will be seventy by the time the Paralympics games begin. She first competed in the nineteen-seventy-two games in Germany as a swimmer. But as a shooter she has won nine gold and three silver medals during her Paralympics career. Read more about Kosmala and the Paralympics at Wikinews dot org.

Science Fiction author Ray Bradbury dies (5:37)

And this week, Ray Bradbury who wrote science fiction classics like The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit Four-Fifty-One, as well as short stories, died in Los Angeles at the age of ninety one. When Bradbury started publishing, science fiction was primarily relegated to pulp magazines and books, but during his lifetime he saw his own work and others expand into movies and television. Bradbury contributed to television shows like The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents and he later hosted a similar show The Ray Bradbury Theater. French director François Truffaut adapted Fahrenheit Four-Fifty-One to film in nineteen-sixty-six. In an interview, Bradbury said science fiction books had during his lifetime become a staple of U.S. education, which included his own The Martian Chronicles.

Outro (5:00)

And those are the headlines for this week.


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  • “News briefs: June 4, 2012” — Wikinews, June 4, 2012

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June 9, 2012

Winning horse I\’ll Have Another loses shot at US Triple Crown

Winning horse I’ll Have Another loses shot at US Triple Crown

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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Wikinews Sports
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I’ll Have Another at the Pimlico Racetrack, Baltimore, Maryland, during the 2012 Preakness Stakes.
Image: Tom Nappi/Maryland GovPics.

I’ll Have Another, who won both the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, was removed from the field in this weekend’s Belmont Stakes — effectively ending the thoroughbred’s attempt to become the twelfth US Triple Crown winner in history.

At a Friday press conference, owner J. Paul Reddam announced that the thoroughbred was injured and he will not only be removed from the race Saturday but he will be retired from any further racing. The reason I’ll Have Another was scratched from the field was because of a swelling in his left front tendon, according to trainer Doug O’Neill.

I’ll Have Another was not the favorite in either the Kentucky Derby or the Preakness Stakes, but he was twice able to pass the leader Bodemeister, who was the pace setting horse in both those races, to take the victories. The last race was won in the final lengths. Bodemeister will also not race in the Belmont Stakes Saturday. Before the Kentucky Derby, I’ll Have Another won the Santa Anita Derby. All of these races were won with Mexican jockey Mario Gutierrez.

Dale Romans, who is Dullahan’s trainer, reacted to the news, “It’s devastating. I thought this was going to be one of the greatest races in history, and I wanted the opportunity to be part of it.” Dullahan raced in this year’s Kentucky Derby and took third place.

Only eleven horses have ever won the Triple Crown in the United States. In order to win the Triple Crown, a horse has to race and win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes. The first Triple Crown winner was Sir Barton in 1919 and the last was Affirmed in 1978. The dry spell will continue at least another year — the 34th year without a Triple Crown victory.

Related news

  • “I’ll Have Another wins 2012 Preakness Stakes” — Wikinews, May 21, 2012
  • “I’ll Have Another wins 2012 Kentucky Derby” — Wikinews, May 6, 2012

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  • Wikipedia-logo-v2.svg 2012 Belmont Stakes



This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.
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