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TUESDAY, AUGUST 4, 2009
Jackson’s mom gets permanent custody
By Anthony McCartney
ALAN PETERSIME / The Star
AT WORK: Quality is a top priority as Red Gold ketchup bottles come around the tomato processor’s assembly line. The company has a network of 54 growers that plant 14,000 acres throughout Indiana and in parts of Ohio and southern Michigan.
» Red Gold to be featured in 37 tomato exhibits or events.
year’s choice. State Fair spokesman Andy Klotz said Red Gold paid $75,000 for sponsorship rights and has “really stepped it up” this year, with its name featured in 37 tomato-related exhibits or events. Red Gold food samples will be located at exhibits far and wide, and fairgoers can go to events such as the celebrity tomato toss. Red Gold already is the largest privately held tomato product manufacturer in the U.S., and Indiana ranks No. 2 in the U.S. in tomato processing. Red Gold also has about a 25 percent share of the ketchup market — when counting restaurants and supermarket chains, which use its products in their own private labels — as well as 37 percent of the retail canned tomato market in the U.S., said Theresa Warren, Red Gold’s assistant brand manager. “Most people in Central Indiana know us,” said Reichart. “But it’s a great honor to be featured in the Year of the Tomato.” As an example of the company’s presence, Reichart cited its sevenyear affiliation with the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. (The company donates canned tomatoes to Indianapolis-area food pantries each time quarterback Peyton Manning leads the offense to a touchdown from inside the 20-yard line — known as the “red zone” in football parlance.) Privately held, Red Gold doesn’t disclose financial figures. However, Philip E. Nelson, a Purdue University professor and tomato industry expert, said it’s clear that Red Gold is doing well, as it has the wherewithal to routinely reinvest in upgrades, both in its factories and fields. “Their product line is a specialty line — it’s fresh-packed and a totally
» Red Gold tomatoes are processed from vine to can within 24 hours. » A single Red Gold plant produces about 90 tomatoes. » Red Gold produces tomato products in more than 230 combinations of product types, flavors and sizes. » An average tomato has only 35 calories and less than half a gram of fat. Eating three tomatoes a day provides the daily recommended dietary amount of vitamin C. » On average, every man, woman and child in America consumes 80 pounds of tomatoes each year. — Tom Spalding
+ ONLINE: Go to Indy Star.com/multimedia to see photos from the Red Gold plant.
different market, but they are the leaders,” Nelson said. Red Gold said it is committed to growth in its market share as it continues to perfect custom hybrids to make the red orbs ripen faster, have more-durable skin and be more frost-resistant. If the company has been hurt by the recession, it doesn’t show. Red Gold has a network of 54 growers that plant 14,000 acres throughout Indiana and in parts of Ohio and southern Michigan. Last week, from 150 to 200 of its contracted growers and their employees gathered in a tomato field in the middle of Madison County. Farmers snacked on Red Gold salsa while learning about tomato varieties, automated transplanters and other matters. “Everybody is tickled to death. It’s a terrific company to work with,” said Chris McDonnall, of McDonnall Farms in northwest Ohio. “Not very many people would turn down an opportunity to have a contract with them. If there is interest in raising a tomato crop, they’d certainly be the first call you want to make. They are in it for the long run,” he said. Reichart said his goal at the fair is to show the public that his thirdgeneration company is focused continually on quality, from seed to supermarket shelf. For instance, Red Gold’s tomatoes
at (317) 444-6202.
are processed from vine to can within 24 hours, and its canned tomatoes are cooked quickly at high temperatures and sealed in sterile containers, eliminating the need for preservatives. Even the ketchup gets a weekly workout. Technicians taste bottles’ worth of the condiment each week before it’s shipped in everything from 14-ounce bottles to 3-gallon bags or the 9-gram foil ketchup packets found in restaurants. “It’s high-tech,” said Selita Reichart, vice president of employee and consumer relations, who gave a tour of one of Red Gold’s processing plants last week. She is the wife of the company president. Ray Moistner, executive director of the Indianapolis-based Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association, said his organization received a big boost from helping sponsor the fair in 2008. That role helped publicize the fact that hardwoods are the largest agricultural industry in the state in terms of jobs, wages and impact on the economy — bigger even than corn and soybeans. But Moistner said most Hoosiers already know of the tomato’s longtime presence and role in Indiana. “You’d be hard-pressed to find Hoosiers that know that (regarding the lumber industry’s impact), whereas tomatoes are an institution here,” Moistner said. “It’s not going to enhance their overall profile like it gave us the opportunity to do. . . . But if there’s a desire to get a message out, the fair will give them that opportunity,” he said. Even so, as in most industries, any publicity is good publicity. Added Klotz, the State Fair’s spokesman, “I’d be extremely surprised if any of our visitors aren’t aware of what products Red Gold produces after coming to the fair.” ✭ Call Star reporter Tom Spalding
LOS ANGELES — Michael Jackson’s mother gained permanent custody of her late son’s children during a hearing Monday that included a surprise objection from the pop icon’s former dermatologist. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mitchell Beckloff made a series of rulings during the morning portion of the Monday hearing. In addition to approving Katherine Jackson’s guardianship petition, he granted monthly stipends to the 79year-old and the three grandchildren she is now charged with raising. The ruling came after a few tense moments in which an attorney for Dr. Arnold Klein, Michael Jackson’s longK. Jackson time Beverly Hills dermatologist, raised nonspecific objections to the custody arrangements. The attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, said they were based on the doctor’s long-term relationship with the singer and his children. He said Klein had concerns about the children’s education and other day-to-day parenting issues. Beckloff determined Klein didn’t have legal standing to object but said he could raise objections later. Klein has denied reports that he is the biological father of Jackson’s children, saying on “Larry King Live” that “to the best of my knowledge,” he is not.
WHACK! » Julianna Margulies stars in CBS’ new fall drama “The Good Wife” as the wife of a politician in a sex and corruption scandal. Chris Noth of “Sex and the City” plays her spouse. In the pilot, she stands by her husband’s side at a news conference about his transgressions — and later, when they’re alone, slaps him, leaving a red welt. Margulies said Monday it took several times to deliver the blow properly.
game show “Let’s Make a Deal” is coming back to daytime television. CBS says an updated version of the show will debut Oct. 5, with Wayne Brady as host. The network says the premise of audience members trying to win cash and prizes by making “wacky deals” will be intact. Monty Hall, longtime host of the original “Let’s Make a Deal,” is a consultant.
DEAL MAKERS » The
Billy Bob Thornton is 54. President Barack Obama is 48. Race car driver Jeff Gordon is 38.
— Compiled from Star news services
TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS: Actor-screenwriter
Michael Franti, Tesla among October shows
Michael Franti & Spearhead will perform Oct. 1 at the Murat Egyptian Room, 502 N. New Jersey St. The band is on tour to promote its 2008 album “All Rebel Rockers.” Tickets, $26, or $23.50 if purchased in advance, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. In other concert news: » Sound Tribe Sector 9 will perform Oct. 10 at the Murat Egyptian Room. Tickets, $25, or $20 if purchased in advance, go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. » Tesla will perform Oct. 28 at the Michael Murat Egyptian Room. Reserved Franti tickets, $35 and $25, go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Tickets for these events will be available at www.livenation.com or by calling call (877) 598-8703.
» USGA officials pleased with site during Senior Open.
Crooked Stick Golf Club has hosted many premier events, including men’s and women’s, professional and amateur:
Year 1982 1983 1989 1991 1993 2005 2007 2009 2012 Tournament U.S. Junior Amateur U.S. Senior Amateur U.S. Mid-Amateur PGA Championship U.S. Women’s Open Solheim Cup U.S. Women’s Amateur U.S. Senior Open BMW Championship Champion Rick Marik William Hyndman III James Taylor John Daly Lauri Merten United States Maria Uribe Fred Funk TBD
Open. Corporate support was strong. The weeklong gallery count was an impressive 146,915, including 30,565 for the final round Sunday. The players were happy. Even the weather was perfect. Nor was Fred Funk the only winner; an economic impact of $30 million was projected for Central Indiana. With the exception of a Thursday traffic snarl, few complaints were heard. “We exceeded our expectations, and our expectations were fairly high,” said Steve Baker, tournament general co-chairman with Tom Buck. While putting on a first-rate Senior Open was the priority, there were other issues. The championship was a test of corporate and community support, and infrastructure concerns such as parking and gallery flow. It was also a test for the golf course itself. The U.S. Golf Association was watching. “We need to talk about what they saw, what they like, and ask them what our chances are of hosting the Super Bowl of golf, the U.S. Open,” said Kent Frandsen, chairman of Crooked Stick’s championship committee. Crooked Stick has been the site of six USGA national championships, and it is the club’s long-standing dream to get the big one. “The Open is a much bigger deal,” said Tim Flaherty, the USGA’s director of the Senior Open and the man responsible for everything outside the gallery ropes. “But I think what happened this week demonstrated that this facility, if run properly, can work for a major event.” The golf course was the surprise. It yielded records for winning score (20under par), sub-par rounds (116) and sub-par 72-hole totals (31). It raised the question: Is Crooked Stick tough
» Notes: An international media panel, with representatives such as Johnny Miller and Ken Venturi, voted Daly’s victory the top moment in PGA Championship history. . . . Judy Bell, the first female U.S. Golf Association president, said the 1993 U.S. Women’s Open “brought the championship into the modern era.” . . . The 2005 Solheim Cup set an event record with attendance of 103,000. . . . Attendance at the 2009 Senior Open was 146,915. “I think since 1996, I’d put Crooked Stick’s crowds ahead of any except Des Moines (1999),” said Tim Flaherty, the USGA’s director of the Senior Open since 1996. — Phil Richards
Cathy Kightlinger’s Talk of Our Town column will return soon.
NO COLUMN TODAY
MATT DETRICH / The Star
HELPING HAND: Volunteers like Terry Clayton, who changed stats on the leader board, helped make last weekend’s Senior Open a success.
enough for an Open? “I don’t think we’ve ever played a U.S. Open on a course this wide,” said Jeff Hall, the USGA’s director for rules and competitions who is responsible
for everything inside the ropes at the Senior Open. “But I can’t think of a place we’ve been to that we didn’t make some tweaks to the golf course.” “Too wide” was a reference to Crooked Stick’s fairways, which averaged 35 yards wide, generous by U.S. Open standards. Discussions between Crooked Stick and the USGA will begin at some point, but the 2012 BMW Championship is next. U.S. Open courses have been selected through 2016. Buck will serve as general co-chairman with R.E. “Buffy” Mayerstein, past president of the WGA, which operates the tournament with the PGA Tour. He and Mayerstein will visit the tournament in Chicago from Sept. 10 to 13, then get to work. Crooked Stick designer Pete Dye has ideas, too. He wants to drain the lake between the 10th and 18th fairways and build a 200-foot-wide strip that would be cloaked with grandstands and help create an amphitheater that would accommodate 20,000 for the BMW Championship. “For a private club, that would make this as good a spectator course as there is anywhere in the world,” Dye said. The Senior Open is over. Next on the tee . . . ✭ Call Star reporter Phil Richards at (317)
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