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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2010 ✭ “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty” II COR. 3:17 ✭ $1.75 ✭ CITY EDITION
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IN TODAY’S STAR
New chief of research and development says he has a plan to restock pipeline with blockbuster drugs. Business, A14
LILLY EXEC: READY FOR A CHALLENGE
Having a dad in prison forced North Central’s Terone Johnson to grow up fast. Now he’s a leader on the basketball court. C1
LIFE LESSONS, LEARNED EARLY
The Tour of Affordable Homes spotlights properties for $150,000 or less. This week’s @Home feature looks at a Carmel residence with a cool in-law suite.
IN TODAY’S HOMEFINDER
After the shaking, a state of catastrophe
MASSIVE EARTHQUAKE IN CHILE
No one takes on Coats’ D.C. past, spending most of the time touting themselves
NEW CASTLE, Ind. — A Moose Lodge in this small eastern Indiana city is about as far from the marble halls of the U.S. Capitol as you can get, a perfect setting to take shots at a former Washington lobbyist and politician. But for all the heat former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats has taken in the initial days of his campaign to reclaim Sen. Evan Bayh’s seat for Republicans, none of the other four GOP candidates took Coats to task Saturday in their first debate leading up to the May 4 primary. No one uttered the word lobbyist, mentioned North Carolina retirements or invoked the cliche “Washington insider.” Instead, with a little more than two months to leap-frog the favored, betterknown and likely better-funded Coats, his foes focused on railing against President Barack Obama and introducing themselves to the 200 Republicans
» See Debate, Page A19
Senate debate for the GOP is quite polite
By Bill Ruthhart
IN RUINS: A collapsed building drew a crowd Saturday in Concepcion, Chile’s second-largest city, which is 70 miles from the epicenter.
AT LEAST 300 DEAD; EXTENT OF DAMAGE NOT YET CLEAR
By Roberto Candia and Eva Vergara
TALCA, Chile — A deafening roar rose from the earth. The sound of screams was confused with the crash of plates and windows. Then the earth stilled, silence returned and a smell of damp dust filled the air as stunned survivors ran from their homes. A journalist emerging onto a darkened street in Talca found a man, some of his own bones apparently broken, weeping and caressing the hand of a woman who had died in the collapse of a cafe. Two other victims lay dead a few feet away.
+ THE WORST QUAKES: Chile’s earthquake was of a type called a “megathrust.” Learn more about those and the most severe quakes to strike the planet. A13
A magntitude-8.8 earthquake had just shuddered across a huge swath of central Chile at 3:34 a.m. Talca was 65 miles from the epicenter. One of the largest earthquakes ever recorded, the tremor tore apart houses, bridges and highways and sent a tsunami racing halfway around the world. Authorities said at least 300 people were dead, a toll that seemed sure to rise.
The quake was felt as far away as Sao Paulo in Brazil, 1,800 miles to the east. The full extent of damage remained unclear as scores of aftershocks — one nearly as powerful as Haiti’s devastating Jan. 12 earthquake — shuddered across the country. President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of catastrophe in central Chile but said the government had not asked for assistance from other countries. If it does, President Barack Obama said, the United States “will be there.” Around the world,
» See Chile, Page A13
KELLY WILKINSON / The Star
He does his homework. He comes to class. He plans to go to college. An unusual success story, in more ways than one.
ANOTHER GOOD JOB: “I like to solve problems,” says Raymond Rutland, a Manual senior who has a 3.7 GPA and autism. Math is easier for him than social interaction, and he often affirms his good work with a thumbs up.
walk up to teacher aymond RutRoxy Watson’s desk land sat at a for help with probdesk in the lems. Although few middle of his students in the class chaotic geometry class stopped to listen when one morning last week. Matthew Tully Watson spoke, RayMost of his Manual THE MANUAL mond did. Although High School classmates PROJECT many students didn’t were talking, laughing, turn in their homesleeping or sending text work that day, he did. messages. But not Raymond. As In a school with profound usual, the 18-year-old senior was academic failures and a graduworking. ation rate of only 44 percent, His textbook was open as he Raymond is one of Manual’s best scribbled notes about theorems students. It’s a success story and equations, stopping twice to
OUR CHILDREN OUR CITY
many might consider unlikely because of Raymond’s disability. He has autism. But to meet Raymond is to understand why he has excelled
» See Tully, Page A12
INDEX » Lottery A2 » Obituaries B4-6 » Editorials B8 » Scoreboard C13 » Movies IndySunday, 18-19 » Puzzles IndySunday, 35-36 » TV IndySunday, 23-34
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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2010
THE INDIANAPOLIS STAR
More than 220 teachers in Indianapolis have posted requests on DonorsChoose.org for community help to pay for projects. Donate as much or as little as you want — the project stays up until enough people contribute. To help, go to the site and click “You give.” Use the location list in the upper-right corner to find a project to help fund. Follow the instructions and specify how much to donate with your credit card. DonorsChoose will deliver the supplies to the teacher. If a project already has been funded, browse for others. Here are three projects that could use your help: $505 needed toward the $555 cost to buy two digital cameras so art students in Kimberly Dax’s class at Northwest High School can learn photography. They will be working on portraiture. $137 needed toward the $275 cost of purchasing 20 classroom stopwatches for students in Kathy Slaven’s science classes at Beech Grove Middle School. The classroom clock can’t be seen from the lab area, and stopwatches are needed to time experiments. $98 needed toward the $255 cost of bean bag chairs for the tutoring center at George Washington Community High School. Tutoring Coordinator Kelly Hannon said she is trying to make the room a comfortable, inspiring place for students to come. (Second week listed.) After The Star highlighted three projects Feb. 21, more than $870 was donated to pay for two projects: art smocks at School 63 and math games at School 39. More than $2,000 has been donated in recent weeks to pay for projects highlighted here.
LOG ON. DONATE. IT’S EASY.
» As with many who have autism, Raymond likes a structured life.
Photography art classes
Science class stopwatches
Tutoring room lounge chairs
How you helped last week
75% of kids who have a mentor in their life graduate from high school
6 STEPS YOU NEED TO TAKE TO BECOME A VOLUNTEER
1. Assess your skills and resources to determine what you might have to offer a student. 2. Contact a local organization or a school in your area. 3. Agree to a criminal background check. (It’s for the safety of the children.) 4. Attend training. 5. Set aside at least one hour a week to volunteer. 6. Stay committed; the most fruitful relationships are built over time.
TAKE ACTION NOW
LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT NEED YOUR HELP
Many local schools and organizations are working to make a difference in the lives of children. Here are a few that are especially effective. More will be featured in the weeks ahead. Girls Inc. matches volunteers with girls ages 6 to 18. The program involves hands-on activities with structured follow-up sessions to maximize learning. The organization works with 150 volunteer instructors and can add 200 new volunteers this year. Volunteers must complete six hours of training and pass a criminal background check. Contact Girls Inc. at (317) 283-0086 or online at www.girlsincindy.org. Peace Learning Center helps students and parents find healthy ways to resolve differences and communicate more effectively. The center, which has 75 volunteers, can accommodate 125 more this year. Volunteers must attend a threehour training session and pass a background check. Contact Peace Learning Center at (317) 3277144 or online at www.peacelearningcenter.org. Trusted Mentors helps adults overcome poverty, underemployment, social alienation and incarceration. Last year, Trusted Mentors worked with 65 at-risk adults, many of whom had children. The organization has 40 volunteers and can use 75 more by the end of the year. It generally takes two weeks to match a mentor with a program participant. Contact Trusted Mentors at (317) 985-5041 or online at www.trustedmentors.org.
Help teach girls
Help mentor parents
while so many of his fellow students have faltered. Because of his autism, Raymond’s socialization skills are on par with those of a young child. Autism limits his ability to hold a conversation, grasp directions or comprehend the meaning behind much of what he reads and studies. As Sylvia Davis, a school assistant assigned full time to Raymond for the past six years, told me, he can memorize the amendments to the U.S. Constitution, but he’s not able to explain why they were needed. Yet Raymond’s strengths and his spirit are so much bigger than any weaknesses. Teachers at Manual repeatedly mention the same traits in describing him: hard-working, driven, dedicated, intelligent and friendly. He obeys every rule and always turns in his homework, often doing more than assigned. He likes a very structured life, as do many people who have autism. So, in a school with severe attendance problems, he never misses a class. “I tried to keep him home when he had a cold earlier this winter,” his mother, Carrie Houston, said one night as we sat in the living room of the family’s Habitat for Humanity house, “and he just looked at me like I was crazy. Raymond just loves school. I think he likes to be around people there. He just doesn’t know how to express what’s in him.” It’s his love of school that explains why, one recent afternoon, a letter arrived at Raymond’s house. Its arrival left him smiling. His mom and sister erupted with loud cheers. It’s an occasion too seldom experienced by Manual students. “After a careful evaluation of your academic records,” the letter read, “we are pleased to inform you that you are eligible for full-time admission to the University of Indianapolis.” Raymond showed me the letter during my first visit to his house. He also hopes to gain admission into a program at the university for students with special needs, and he wants to pursue a career in graphic arts, a path that interests him because of his love for his favorite show, “SpongeBob SquarePants.” He’s clearly satisfied with the letter. But as was the case in most of our conversations, and in his interactions with others, he struggled to express his feelings when I asked how he reacted after receiving the news. “It was great,” he said. “How did you feel?” He reached for the right word, knowing it should be related to college. “Transcript,” he said. Were you excited? He paused, looked nervous and then gave a thumbs up. “OK,” he said. “It was fine.” As I wrote this column, I had a photo of Raymond taped above my desk. He’s sitting in his bedroom, flashing one of his frequent smiles and, as he often does, giving a thumbs-up signal. A few minutes after the picture was snapped, he asked his mother if he could take a shower. That’s part of his rigid structure — a nightly 7 p.m. shower — one that can’t be disrupted. The rigidity is a part of him; it keeps him calm and has helped him succeed. Every morning, Raymond waits by his front door for the school bus, which is supposed to arrive at 6:41. If it’s late, even by a few minutes, he gets nervous and asks his mom to call the district. He arrives at school carefully in compliance with the school’s dress code. His shirts are always tucked deep inside his pants. His ID always hangs from his collar. He rushes from class to class, worried about being late. Last week, as he stood outside his geometry class waiting for his teacher to arrive, I asked him to name his favorite subject. He picked math, and when I asked why, he said, “I like to solve problems.” As with many people with autism, Raymond understands the black-andwhite nature of math, as opposed to the gray areas of essay questions or writing assignments. His standardized test scores in math matched the state average, but he’ll need a graduation waiver because he has struggled with the language arts portion of the tests. Still, he does well in all of his classes. In biology last week, he spent one morning taking a quiz about the nervous system. Before starting, he scoured a study sheet until the last possible moment. After finishing, he self-graded the quiz as his teacher looked on. He got every question right, leading to a big smile and another thumbs up. Then, as other students continued working, he walked to the classroom’s second-floor window and stared out intently. I asked what he was looking at. “The flurries,” he said as light snow fell. A few minutes later, I noticed Raymond was looking at me and holding a piece of paper. Davis, the assistant who attends each class with Raymond and
KELLY WILKINSON / The Star
PREPARED: Raymond Rutland was ready and waiting for geometry class Wednesday. His standardized test scores in math are at the state average. To see more photos, go to IndyStar.com/multimedia.
‘Our Children, Our City’
The Indianapolis Star is joining our readers and the community to improve the lives of children and education in our city. The Star has set three goals for the project, including increasing the number of volunteers in the community by 10,000. If you would like more information or want to arrange for someone from The Star to speak to your organization about this effort, call (317) 444KIDS — (317) 444-5437 — or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. + ONLINE: For more about this series, please visit Indy Star.com/ourchildren.
The Manual Project: About the series
This is the 24th in an occasional series of columns Matthew Tully is writing about Manual High School. Follow Tully’s reports throughout the school year as he explores Manual through the eyes of teachers, administrators, students and parents at IndyStar.com/Manual.
serves as his primary in-school support system, told him he couldn’t just hand the paper to me. As she often does, she urged him to “use your words” to communicate. The main concern she and others have about Raymond is his struggle to communicate with others. His biggest challenge is expressing what he is feeling and thinking. This time, he walked over to me and asked a question. “Can I present you with this midterm?” he asked, and then proudly handed over an early semester progress report showing four A’s and three B’s. His grades throughout high school — all traditional, and not special education, classes — have been just as good; his 3.7 grade-point average is a result of his hard work, and puts him in the top five of his graduating class.
“Raymond just loves school. I think he likes to be around people there. He just doesn’t know how to express what’s in him.”
Carrie Houston, the mother of Raymond Rutland
“He has this exuberance, this enthusiasm,” teacher Brent Freeman said. “He doesn’t talk a lot, but his nonverbal communication is so positive and so uplifting.” Freeman teaches Raymond in a class designed to prepare students for the basics of life after high school. In one recent session, Freeman asked the students if they remembered any of the keys to setting goals they’d talked about in a previous class. Raymond raised his hand; he remembered being taught to make his goals specific. “Why is that important?” Freeman said. “Because it will help you to your future,” Raymond said. “Exactly,” Freeman said, as Raymond gave the class a thumbs up. For Raymond, the future includes college and, his mother hopes, eventually the ability to live independently. He’ll likely always need support — rides to appointments or someone to check on him — just as he needs extra time for tests at Manual and assignments occasionally tailored to him. But his teachers are certain he’ll be a dedicated worker, one eager to finish the tasks assigned and helped by his intelligence. For now, though, Raymond has a more specific goal in mind. It’s one that surprised Davis, his assistant, because Raymond rarely shows interest in making friends with classmates. He likes to eat alone, smiling and looking around the lunchroom, and doesn’t like to be
touched. “But one day I was talking to him about his senior year and I could tell something was bothering him,” Davis said. “Then he asked me, ‘Will I be able to go to the prom?’ ” Davis told him not to worry; she’d take care of it. Since then, she’s collected donations to pay for his tuxedo, tickets and limo. “Now I just need to find him a date,” she said. “I will.” Houston, Raymond’s mom, is excited about her son’s upcoming adventure. As we talked at her home last week, she said she hopes he’ll someday have a family. But she knows he isn’t ready for independence and for now wants him to continue living at home. It’s a home filled with pieces of ceramic art Raymond has made over the years. Raymond frequently listens to Michael Jackson music and watches cartoons on television with, for reasons that puzzle his mom, the closed-captioning on. Lately, he’s taken to watching the movie “Mr. Holland’s Opus.” Houston believes that’s because of the soaring soundtrack and scenes at the end of the film in which Richard Dreyfuss bonds with his deaf son. Raymond hasn’t seen his dad in three years. “It’s too bad that he’s not around,” Houston said. “But it’s his loss.” Houston told me about the days when, at 18 months old, Raymond stopped talking. He’d been saying “mommy” and “daddy,” and then it all stopped. Doctors at first diagnosed him with a debilitating learning disability but a year later realized he had autism. On the spectrum of mild to severe autism, Raymond fits somewhere in the middle. For a time he did things Houston didn’t understand — zip up strangers’ jackets or pinch people. He didn’t start talking again until he was 6 years old. “I would just hope and pray that one day my baby would grow out of it,” said Houston, who works in the county’s child support division. “But that’s not how this is. It’s just something we have to live with — him and me. But it’s fine. I would never doubt him. Never. I mean, look at him.” At the end of a recent school day, Raymond sat in College Summit, a class that helps students prepare for higher education. His teacher, Cheryl McManama, seemed frustrated with other students who showed little interest in talking about the financial aid applications they would need to fill out. “August is going to roll around, and some of your friends are going to go off to college, and you’re going to have nothing to do,” she said to one student. “This is important.” Raymond got nervous and raised his hand. “I’m all caught up?” he asked. “Yes, you’re all caught up,” McManama said, smiling. “Good job, Raymond,” Davis said, pleased he’d taken the initiative to ask the question. Tremendous resources have been dedicated to help Raymond during his years in Indianapolis Public Schools. Special education teachers and staff, and Davis, his helper, have made it possible for Raymond to spend his days in traditional classes. Speech therapists have worked with him extensively. It’s been a great investment, one that has helped give an inspiring student more opportunities. Wednesday afternoon, I stopped in Jacqueline Sababu’s office. She is Manual’s special education compliance monitor and has spent a lot of time with Raymond during his high school years. She talked about the need to understand that students with autism have a wide range of strengths and challenges and shouldn’t be lumped together. She then talked about Raymond’s biggest strength — the effort he puts in every day. “I just wish there were more Raymonds here at Manual,” she said. ✭ Reach Matthew Tully at (317) 444-6033 or via
e-mail at email@example.com.
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