The Washington Times-Herald

March 6, 2013

Area Briefs

From Staff Reports
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Area Briefs

Tickets nearly sold out

Tickets for "The Promise" are nearly sold out, but a few are still available for the Tuesday, March 12, and Wednesday, March 13, performances. Tickets must be picked up at Antioch Christian Church, 3007 East U.S. 50, before the night of the performance.

Compassionate Friends to meet

The Compassionate Friends of the Washington area will hold its next monthly meeting on Sunday at 3 p.m. The meeting is held at the Daviess Community Hospital, 1314 E. Walnut St., Washington, in Classroom 3.  The meeting is from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. This month's topic is "Meet my child."  We ask that you bring a picture of your child to share with the group.

The Compassionate Friends is an organization which offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings. The purpose of this group is to promote a positive resolution of grief by our willingness to listen and share through our chapter programs. The group provides someone to talk to, a listener who understands. We want to stress that everything that is discussed at the meeting and who attended the meeting is kept in strictest confidence. This allows our families to speak freely. All the people involved are parents who have experienced the death of a child.

For more information or directions, call 582-3920.

New office created to help protect, create DOD jobs INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - State officials have started an effort to attract more military spending to Indiana even though the Defense Department is facing billions of dollars in automatic federal budget cuts.

Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann on Monday announced Monday that Duane Embree, a longtime civilian executive at southern Indiana¹s Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, would lead the new Office of Defense Development. Gov. Mike Pence created the office using an executive order in January.

Ellspermann said companies do an estimated $4 billion in defense-related work a year in Indiana and that the state wants to better promote itself for that business.

"Our goal is to not only to preserve and protect the assets we have today but also to open our doors to other opportunities," Ellspermann said.

Embree retired last year after 35 years as a civilian Navy administrator, including 13 years as a top official at the Crane center. The facility southwest of Bloomington has some 6,000 employees, and its work ranges from defusing old bombs to developing jamming devices used to block the detonation of roadside bombs.

Ellspermann cited Crane's economic impact along with several other major defense-related employers around the state, such as Rolls-Royce, which builds engines for military planes and helicopters in Indianapolis; AM General's Humvee factory in Mishawaka; and Ameriqual, which makes military meals in Evansville.

Ellspermann said the defense development office will start out with Embree and two other staffers.

She said it would be based in Bloomington so that it's closer to Crane and two of the Indiana National Guard¹s largest facilities - Camp Atterbury near Edinburgh and the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near North Vernon.

Embree will work closely with state economic development agencies and the state government's office in Washington in dealing with military officials and defense contractors, Ellspermann said.

It could be a couple months before defense contractors know by how much their projects will be scaled back under the military spending cuts, Embree said.

"Industry will depend on programs - which programs they keep, which programs they decide to cut - and we'll have to make those adjustments as we go," he said. "... I don't think we're going to have a diminished need, but we are going to have to spend our money better.' Recently, figures released from Sen. Joe Donnelly estimates the impact the sequester will have on Crane will figure to be approximately $36 million.

Much of that impact would take place, if made, in furlough days that would cut employees to four working days a week.

The furloughs would take effect in April, if action is not taken by Congress or the Pentagon before then.

Embree joins other dignitaries in promoting economic development along Crane and the I-69 corridor, including former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman. Skillman is the CEO of Radius Indiana, a region-wide economic development group.

--- Nate Smith contributed to this story.