Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Sunday Paper Packed with Quality Work

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Sunday Paper Packed with Quality Work

Article excerpt

Spending most of last weekend at the United Leasing Championship's Tour event at Victoria National, serving as a host at the Courier & Press' Eagles Nest tent on the 18th green, I didn't have much time to enjoy Sunday's newspaper. But I'm proud to say that I was impressed.

For our centerpiece story on Page A1, reporter Thomas Langhorne had the first sit-down conversation with U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young, with the story publishing four days after his landmark decision to strike down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage and two days after an appeals court stayed the ruling.

Young came through as an honest, thoughtful man, detailing how an Iowa native wound up at the center of the marriage debate in Indiana. He rightfully didn't specifically address what went into his decision, other than to note that federal judges are insulated from political pressure and must make decisions strictly by law, and was forthright to the question on whether his decision amounted to "judicial activism."

What readers saw was a man who lives up to the headline, "Calm amid controversy."

We only had two other "starts" on A1 that day, both tied to our ongoing topic of coverage branded "Who Owns That?"

Again, these complicated tales gave insight into how the city and county deal with unoccupied properties that often are the bane of neighbors for attracting squatters, drug users, rodents and more.

In one, investigative editor Jay Young, who has spearheaded this now two-year project, discovered that an Evansville man has lived tax-free in his former residence for years thanks to a private "arrangement" with Vanderburgh County Commissioner Marsha Abell.

Abell's thoughts were that the resident on Parrett Street was at least taking care of the property, though it did make the building commissioner's "worst of the worst" vacant property lists.

As the story noted, the owner received special treatment that many in similar situations do not - and that the county actually now owns the property, and owes taxes to itself.

The second "Who Owns That?" special came from reporter Jessie Higgins, and was a follow-up to an earlier story she had written about two vacant homes on Westchester Drive with backyards that the owner claims are "wildlife habitats" but neighbors say are an unsightly and unsafe mess. …

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