Some workers at NSWC Crane protested in front of the base on Friday against upcoming sequester cuts.
Members of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 1415 blocked off a corner of the town in front of the base’s visitors center to protest government cuts that will put many of the workers on furlough one day a week.
Meetings have been held at the base this week to discuss the cuts and official notices will be given to employees next week, base officials confirmed Friday. Crane is the hardest-hit area of the state in the sequester battle — about $36 million.
The sequester will cut the workers’ salaries 20 percent, according to Jimmy Colvin, president of the local union.
“That’s going to have a devastating effect on our employees in order to pay their mortgages, pay their car payments, electric, gas and put food on the table,” Colvin said. “This is going to have an effect on the local economy as well. We are going to have 20 percent less to spend.”
The cuts will start on the last week of April and last until the end of the current federal fiscal year in September for many at the 4,500-worker base. At the protest, workers said the sequester should not have happened.
“This sequestration and furlough could have been avoided,” Colvin said. “All they had to do was submit a budget, submit it to the president for signature and this would have been avoided.
Colvin, like many in the protest, believed their representatives betrayed them.
“We have been discriminated against and have been singled out, by the congressmen, to have the full impact of this on our backs,” Colvin said.
All the members had signs provided by the union saying “Stop Furloughs,” “Stop Sequester,” and “Stop Pay Freeze.” The group of about 30 walked next to the visitor’s center, chanting, “Hey hey, ho ho, sequester’s got to go.”
Passing vehicles honked in solidarity to the protest. Roy Pannell, a former national vice president of the union, said the soldier overseas suffers because of the sequester cuts.
“It’s unconscionable, it’s un-American yet they wrap themselves around the flag,” Pannell said. “These employees have made a decision to hold the defense of this country.”
Scott Arnold, the current national vice president for the union’s sixth district, said, “Sequestration was never supposed to happen.”
“These are federal workers and dedicated workers,” Arnold said. “They’ve given $122 billion towards deficit reduction when you talk about pay freezes. You talk about the decrease of pension contributions, no other group has given that much to deficit reduction.”
Lois Mitchell, Bedford, said she has a grandson going to Afghanistan. She wanted to make sure the items Crane makes in supporting soldiers got to him.
“The people who are over there now, we’re not going to be able to help them,” Mitchell said.
“If we’re not going to support the warfighter, who will?” Colvin said.
Colvin said he and local secretary/treasurer Mary Crow went to Washington D.C. in February to talk about the sequester at Crane with congressmen from Indiana. He said their requests were heard “on deaf ears” and representatives like 8th District Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Newburgh, and U.S. Sens. Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly should not be re-elected because of their inactions.
Bucshon, through a spokesman, disagreed with the notion he has not done anything and said the congressman has voted twice for a federal budget without the sequester cuts.
Tara DiJulio, spokesperson for Coats, said he also opposed the legislation.
“The men and women at Crane go to work every day supporting our warfighters and Coats believes Washington should cut the hundreds of duplicative and inefficient programs within our federal government rather than furlough hardworking Hoosiers at Crane and the uniformed military technicians of the Indiana National Guard,” DiJulio said.
Donnelly, through a spokesperson, said, “It is past time to for Democrats and Republicans to set politics aside.”
“Hoosier priorities are at risk because lawmakers were unable to focus on finding common ground and instead chose to draw political lines in the sand,” the statement read. “Discussions about sequestration should not be about assigning blame and winning political fights — they should be focused on finding alternatives both parties can agree to.”
The cuts that will go into effect in April could have far reaching consequences, Colvin and others said. The loss of funds will hurt the local economy, including the WestGate Crane Tech Park, and local schools.
Crow, who lives in Daviess County, said the cuts will hurt local charities. Federal employees are invited to donate to the charity of their choice through the Combined Federal Campaign.
“I don’t think people will be able to afford it,” Crow said. “This base has been well known for its people to be generous.”
Some workers at NSWC Crane protested in front of the base on Friday against upcoming sequester cuts.
- Local & Bistate
Lane restrictions next week on U.S. 41 at Shelburn
SHELBURN, Ind. – Motorists should expect minimal delays because of lane restrictions for U.S. 41 in Sullivan County next week as the railroad company makes repairs to the rail crossing 1.2 miles north of Shelburn.
Reputed Mafioso tip triggers new Hoffa body search
OAKLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. — The FBI saw enough merit in a reputed Mafia captain’s tip to once again break out the digging equipment to search for the remains of former Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa, last seen alive before a lunch meeting with two mobsters nearly 40 years ago.
UPDATE: Parke County homicide victim identified
ROSEDALE — The victim in a Parke County homicide that occurred last week has been identified as Kathryn A. Bays, 55, of Rosedale.
Court lets walk-out fines against House Democrats stand
INDIANAPOLIS — House Democrats who had to pay more than $100,000 in fines after they walked out of the Indiana Statehouse won’t get the help they sought from the Indiana Supreme Court.
Vigo County Jail Log: June 18, 2013
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.
Back home again: Items from vaudeville stage and Terre Haute native sent to Historical Society
The staff at the Vigo County Historical Museum are excited about the arrival of priceless items used by Terre Haute-native Rose Fehrenbach and her husband, Edward Pierce, to promote their Vaudeville acts in the early 20th century.
Husband charged in Archer homicide
Terre Haute Police have found local reports of domestic violence between a Terre Haute man and his wife, whose body was discovered wrapped in a tarp and dumped in an Ohio ditch.
National Road panels dedicated
Rewind to the mid-1800s, when the trotting of a horse and buggy on National Road could be heard alongside the voices of people heading west, searching for opportunities.
Pence sets agency priorities
Following a directive from Gov. Mike Pence, state agency heads are reorganizing some of their top priorities to better reflect the first-year governor’s “roadmap for Indiana” plan for improving the state’s economy, infrastructure and health.
Another I-70 traffic snarl: Three injured in two related crashes
Three people were injured Monday afternoon from a pair of crashes on Interstate 70 that temporarily closed the highway and diverted traffic into Terre Haute.
Terre Haute man still hospitalized after scooter/car crash
A Terre Haute man remained hospitalized Monday at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after his scooter struck a car early Saturday on Wabash Avenue at 25th Street.
Overpass repairs causing Interstate 70 lane restrictions
Repairs to the Frye Road overpass in southeastern Vigo County has caused a restriction to the left lane of Interstate 70 between the 13- and 14-mile markers, about two miles east of the Indiana 46 exit.
Indiana woman condemned for killing at 15 is freed
A woman who was sentenced to death at age 16 for taking part in the torture and murder of a 78-year-old Bible studies teacher was released from an Indiana prison Monday after growing to middle age behind bars.
Grant will let Vigo Library evaluate map collection
The Vigo County Public Library has received a $2,000 grant to evaluate its historic map collection, a library official announced Monday.
Four juveniles caught on elementary school roof; one injured jumping off
Police say a juvenile was lucky to have suffered only a broken leg after jumping from the roof of a Vigo County elementary school – dropping about 30 feet to the ground.
Farmersburg man sentenced after guilty plea in rape case
A Farmersburg man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to a rape that occurred at his parents’ residence in May 2012.
Still no information being released on Rosedale homicide
No new information was being released Monday afternoon concerning a Rosedale homicide.
Woman condemned for killing at age 15 freed from Rockville prison
INDIANAPOLIS — A woman who was sentenced to death at age 16 for taking part in the torture and murder of a 78-year-old bible studies teacher was released from an Indiana prison today after growing to middle age behind bars.
UPDATE: All lanes of I-70 now open
All lanes of Interstate 70 in Vigo County are now open — as of 4:15 p.m. — after multiple crashes shut down the eastbound lanes temporarily this afternoon.
Quinn signs into law tough fracking regulations
CHICAGO — Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation giving the state the nation’s strictest regulations for high-volume oil and gas drilling.
BREAKING: Arrest made in Archer homicide
A Terre Haute man has been arrested and charged with felony murder and altering the scene of a death in the homicide of his wife, Kayla Herchelroath Archer.
Frye Road Overpass work to restrict lanes on I-70
VIGO COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation announces the Frye Road Overpass construction will restrict the left lane on Interstate 70 between the 13- and 14-mile marker, beginning June 17. This lane restriction will be in effect for 24 hours a day for about two weeks.
Vigo County Jail Log: June 17, 2013
The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, based on jail records.
Fathers take time out to spend quality time with children, grandchildren
A big, circular white cloud rose up through the tall atrium as Mike Woods held his 4-year son, Nathan, Sunday at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.
On Friday, hit the park and raise funds for skateboarders
The On-board United Initiative — O.U.I. for short — has scheduled an all-ages fundraising event Friday in honor of national Go Skateboarding Day.
STATE OF THE STATEHOUSE: Sentencing law could benefit juveniles
Monica Foster is a longtime public defender who’s been pushing uphill in the legal system for a long time. So, when she says the General Assembly is making progress protecting the rights of the disenfranchised, it’s worth stopping to listen to her.
Mastering the art of Gardening
The Wabash Valley Master Gardeners group gathered over the weekend to marvel at each other’s gardens on its annual garden tour. The event was a chance for master gardeners to showcase their labor of love, meanwhile sharing stories about their plants.
RESTAURANT INSPECTIONS: June 17, 2013
The Vigo County Health Department inspected the following food establishments May 28-31:
Lawn mower fire destroys barn
A lawn mower that caught fire was cited as the cause of a fire that destroyed a single story barn Sunday in the 2000 block of North Chamberlain Street, said Harold Osborn, assistant fire chief of the Lost Creek Township Fire Department.
Wabash Valley residents vie for spot on Wheel of Fortune
Ellen Fujawa of Zionsville wants to be on the popular syndicated Wheel of Fortune game show.
- More Local & Bistate Headlines
- Lane restrictions next week on U.S. 41 at Shelburn