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April 20, 2011

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Tornado Warning and Flooding

Powerful storms struck central Indiana Tuesday night, bringing heavy rain, lightning and power outages to the area. The line of storms brought at least two tornado warnings and several severe thunderstorm warnings late Tuesday night. Flood warnings are expected to remain in effect through Wednesday and up to three inches of rain could fall by the time the storms move through. The latest round of storms has left as many as 35,000 electricity customers in Indiana in the dark. Duke Energy says nearly 33,000 of its power customers had no service at noon EDT Wednesday, and Indiana Michigan Power had more than 1,000 customers without power, all in Grant County southwest of Fort Wayne.

The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department has not evacuated anybody, and no severe flooding damage has been reported. Several roads are closed, including parts of county 550 South off of Manhattan Street, as well as the area on Dunbar Covered Bridge off of 231.

Putnam County Council Supports Revamping County’s Website

Tuesday’s Putnam County Council Meeting took steps towards revamping the county’s website. Area 30 Career Center instructor, Jon Tesmer, presented his template of what the website could look like. His ideas include updating the bios of members on all of the boards in the county as well as posting all minutes from the boards’ meetings to the site. Tesmer says the site has not been updated in four years.

TESMER: "I think this county is recognizing the importance of social networking and how the media is all working now. You know they’re saying within the next five years, the paper press will be gone so really if we don’t do it now, we’re going to be forced into it later."

President of the County Council, Darrel Thomas, says the county supports the effort to revamp the site. He says that to start the project would take only $1500 to $1800. He believes the money to front the cost is available, but the Commissioners will have to decide whether taxpayer dollars go towards the project or not.

THOMAS: "The County Council was overwhelmingly in favor of the concept and the expense was such that could be absorbed, and we sent him back to the Commissioners because they’re going to be the ones that approve and sign the final contract."

Tesmer will next present his idea at the next Commissioners meeting to get approval on the project and have a final contract signed.

Course schedules issued to DePauw students create frustration on campus

DePauw’s registrar’s office issued course schedules Tuesday to all students enrolled next semester. Registrar Ken Kirkpatrick says a schedule’s success is based on the amount of credits requested and classes received. He reports about 80 percent of students only needed one course within their amount requested. Problems in the process occurred mainly when students did not provide alternate courses for high demand classes like Communications, Psychology, and Biology. Kirkpatrick says students with the most frustrations usually followed instructions incorrectly or misused SPAC codes.

KIRKPATRICK: "Here on in our job is to deal with students frustrations. We’re always going back and telling people after the fact that they really didn’t follow the instructions or pursue a very good strategy. I think the other thing is the whole wait list and SPAC thing. There’s so many different approaches to it that makes it a very involved process."

Freshman Allison Kirby is 1 of 3 students who received zero classes on their fall schedule. Kirby expresses concern about the cost of her education and lack of courses received.

KIRBY: “One of my frustrations is that a lot of people are paying a lot of money to go to an expensive school and you would think that they would meet some of your requirements of your classes—I’m not saying all of them—but at least one or two of your classes.”

Kirkpatrick says registrar has looked into restricted direct enrollment and revising SPAC usage for future semesters.

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