'Talk to a Lawyer Today' event a success

On Jan. 16, the La Porte County Bar Association conducted its annual "Talk to a Lawyer Today" program. This event is in its 15th year and celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King's vision of access to justice for all citizens, especially members of our low-income community who, quite often, cannot afford to pay for the services of an attorney. The program is co-sponsored with the Volunteer Lawyer Network in South Bend.

There was a substantial community response in La Porte County, with more than 100 people taking advantage of this opportunity. I want to give a special thank you to The News-Dispatch reporter Jessica O'Brien, who interviewed me and wrote an article prior to the event that appeared in both The News-Dispatch and La Porte County Herald-Argus, which aided in the substantial turnout for this event.

As a participating volunteer attorney and coordinator of the program for the La Porte County Bar Association, I would like to acknowledge the generous donation of time and expertise by the following volunteer attorneys: Andy Wolf, Christina Espar, Bill Herrbach, Mark Woodcox, Nelson Pichardo, Larry Arness, Joan Wiseman, Kathryn Tackett, John Wojcik, Joe Walsh, Chris Kimbrough, Bill Vlasek, Rebecca Berg, Dave Sirugo, Anthony Novak, Natalie Boocher, Mark Worthley, Amber Poff, Gary Schoof, Shane Watson, Mike Burns, Bill Hedge, Ed Janes and Brad Adamsky.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous donation of time from Marilyn Henderson at the Michigan City Public Library. This is the fifth year in a row that Marilyn, a local paralegal, has volunteered to spend the entire day greeting members of the public and orienting them to the program.

This event allows people to meet with an attorney, without charge, to discuss a legan problem they may be experiencing. Each attorney agrees to serve a two-hour shift and speak with as many people as they can. These meetings are designed to be short, one-on-one sessions, which provide basic information and determine if there is a need for further legal assistance through a private attorney or a local legal aid organization. The attorneys make appropriate referrals and other written resources are available for the participants.

Thanks are also due to Robin Kohn, of the Michigan City Public Library, and Mary Hedge, of the La Porte Public Library, for making space available and assisting in coordinating the event. Mary also volunteered to spend the entire day greeting members of the public and orienting them to the program.

Our volunteer attorneys found the experience to be personally and professionally rewarding and a fitting tribute to Dr. King's legacy.

Kevin McGrath

La Porte County Bar Association


Support MCHS marching band

I’d like to personally thank the Michigan City Band Booster parents who lend phenomenal support to the high school marching band.

As a parent of a Michigan City Marching Band student, I can attest to the dedication and fervor of each and every student. For anyone unfamiliar with the life of a high school marching band student, here it is: Summer band camp eight hours a day, Saturday competitions that take them away from home for up to 15 hours at a time, after-school practice; out the door at 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning to travel to Chicago and how about Friday night football? Did I mention that the Booster moms cook and feed them at every event and daily at camps? They do a whole lot more than this — it’s a full-time job these moms and dads pull off. It would be impossible here to detail all that they do for these great kids.

So here’s the challenge for our community to address old uniforms and broken instruments: Get behind Derek Meilander, the man who inspires and excites our kids and makes them want to work hard and be the best they can be. Thank you, Mr. Meilander, for cheering them on every day.

I call on every company in this community to step up and make a contribution. Maybe, “Our company will purchase five uniforms,” or, “Our company will replace an instrument and repair five others.”

I call on our local leaders to host a dinner event.

I’ve met these kids and they are kind, hard-working, joyful. They have each other’s backs and cheer each other on. We will not let them get discouraged and give up. But their smiles are fading and it’s heartbreaking. They need you now.

So let’s not give up. Help them. Today.

Joanne Beckman

Michigan City



MC full of helpful people

I would like to thank the men from the ambulance service and the fire department for coming to my apartment so quick to help me when I fell. They are lifesavers. I also wish to thank my neighbors Mark Newman and Kim Agemy for all of their help.

There are a lot of good people in Michigan City.

James Schwark

Michigan City



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