2014-11-04 / Front Page

Annual OCCC/EDC Banquet Celebrates ‘One Spirit, One Team, One Goal’ Theme

Staff Report


OCCC/EDC Board of Directors President Dan Dalton (left) and OCCC/EDC Executive Director Gwen Tucker (right) are pictured with award recipients, left to right: Spencer Evening World Editor Travis Curry, Tivoli Theatre volunteer Bonnie Frye, Tivoli Theatre Executive Director Dana Beth Evans, former SOCS and current Cloverdale Community Schools Superintendent Greg Linton, Indiana State Police Sergeant Doug Hutchinson, and ISP Trooper William Brown. (Staff Photo) OCCC/EDC Board of Directors President Dan Dalton (left) and OCCC/EDC Executive Director Gwen Tucker (right) are pictured with award recipients, left to right: Spencer Evening World Editor Travis Curry, Tivoli Theatre volunteer Bonnie Frye, Tivoli Theatre Executive Director Dana Beth Evans, former SOCS and current Cloverdale Community Schools Superintendent Greg Linton, Indiana State Police Sergeant Doug Hutchinson, and ISP Trooper William Brown. (Staff Photo) On a night chock-full of sports-themed fun, food, and fellowship, the Owen County Chamber of Commerce & Economic Development Corporation’s (OCCC/EDC) annual awards banquet also paid tribute October 28th to several deserving community members.

Held inside the Christian Life Center of the Spencer First Christian Church, this year’s banquet found many in attendance dressed in accordance with the theme, “One Spirit, One Team, One Goal!”

Volunteer of the Year

Bonnie Frye is a dedicated and faithful volunteer at the Tivoli Theatre. She has put in over 1,400 hours since the Tivoli opened in April 2011. When needed, she is there to help. She helps with special events and serves on the events committee. On rare occasions when Bonnie is absent, she is missed and everyone wants to know why she isn’t in her ticket booth. The Tivoli has caused Bonnie to get out and see people and when she goes away on vacation she is quick to remind the executive director Dana Beth Evans not to give her ticket booth job away.

Educator of the Year

Greg Linton began his career in 1989 as a third grade teacher at Gosport Elementary School. After teaching at GES for two years, he transferred to Spencer Elementary School where he taught fourth grade for four years. In August of 1996, he was promoted to the position of principal at SES where he worked for six years. In August of 2006, he was hired as the principal of North Clay Middle School in Clay County. In September of 2006, he returned to Spencer-Owen Community Schools as assistant superintendent and later served as superintendent from late 2009 until September of this year. Greg is currently the superintendent at Cloverdale Community Schools.

Over the years Greg has served on various community committees including; Owen County Child Protection Team, Owen County Domestic Violence Task Force, Owen County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation, and the Owen County Comprehensive Strategic Plan Committee. In addition, he currently serves as the Indiana Association of Public Schools Superintendents Association District IV Chair, and is vice president of the West Central Indiana Service Center.

Greg resides in Brazil with his wife, Heather, and the couple’s three children, Jaclyn, Nicole and Ethan.

Hometown Hero of the Year

Indiana State Police Sergeant Doug Hutchinson and ISP Trooper William Brown conducted a water rescue on August 20th for a 49-yearold international male near the White River. They found the man holding onto tree debris in the river. He had a life vest on but it wasn’t secured. Trooper Brown and Sgt. Hutchinson entered the water in an available kayak. They coordinated with OCSD Reserve Deputy Kevin Wampler who arrived on shore and threw a flotation device attached to a rope. The man was then pulled away from the tree debris but the current then took him away and the rope slid up and around his neck. A language barrier made it difficult for the troopers to give instruction. Sgt. Hutchinson was able to lie on the river bank and reach out to grab the man’s hand. Trooper Brown hung on to Sgt. Hutchinson to prevent him from getting pulled or falling into the water. Finally, Sgt. Hutchinson had a firm grasp on the man and he was able to move the rope down from around his neck and pull him to safety.

Sgt. Hutchinson is the son of Kevin and Teresa Hutchinson of Lawrence County. He graduated from Bedford North Lawrence High School in 1998 and later attended Indiana University in Bloomington. Wanting to pursue a career in law enforcement, he accepted a job with the Indiana University Police Department in Bloomington where he worked for 11 months before being accepted into the Indiana State Police Academy.

Sgt. Hutchinson was appointed as a state trooper in April of 2003 in northwest Indiana where he spent the next four and a half years. Once having the opportunity to return home, he transferred back to the Bloomington district. Since that time he has worked several counties in the Bloomington District as a road officer and spent some time working in the Criminal Investigative Division. In October of 2010 he was promoted to the rank of Corporal. In October of 2013, Doug was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and assigned as a squad leader overseeing Greene and Owen counties.

Trooper Brown was born a Hoosier to Mr. Austin and Linda Brown of Brown County. He was raised in Brown County as a dedicated member of the Boy Scouts and the Fruitdale Volunteer Fire Department. He later attended Vincennes University and went on to join the United States Army.

In 2003 he moved to Owen County after completing six years in the Army where he served the rank of Sergeant as a K-9 Handler in the Army’s Military Police Corp.

In 2007 he graduated the 27-week Indiana State Police training academy. Upon completing the academy Trooper Brown was assigned to the Indiana State Police Post in Bloomington with Owen County as his primary patrol area.

His lifelong volunteer fire service continues with the Franklin Township Community Fire Department in Freedom.

Trooper Brown is dedicated to serving the community and helping others. He is very proud to call Owen County his home.

Small Business of the Year

The Tivoli Theatre was the creation of Spencer native E.M. Viquesney (1876- 1946) and held its grand opening on New Year’s Eve 1928, with the world premiere of the motion picture “Shopworn Angel,” starring Gary Cooper and Nancy Carroll. The Tivoli received congratulatory letters and telegrams from Hollywood stars of the day including Gary Cooper, Norma Shearer, Lon Chaney, Joan Crawford, and Clara Bow. More than 1,200 people visited the Tivoli during its opening weekend. The entire theatre was built at a cost of $45,000. National theatre publications described the Tivoli as “one of the finest small town movie theatres in the country.”

The exterior is a Mission Revival Style with the atmospheric auditorium elegantly designed to resemble an enclosed Spanish garden, and featuring a midnight blue ceiling with twinkling stars. During the Tivoli’s early years, it showed movies and hosted live stage performances, including vaudeville and concerts. The Tivoli was damaged by two fires in the 1980s, but remained opened until 1999, when it finally closed its doors.

In April of 2012, Cook Group Inc. announced it would sponsor the restoration project, on behalf of the Cook Medical employees in Spencer. Thanks to their generosity, the Tivoli Theatre is alive and well today. The heart of the Tivoli is its movie programming. Current movies are shown on the weekends, and Throwback Thursday classics and special documentaries during the week. Weddings, class reunions, and business meetings are hosted upstairs in the Viquesney meeting space. Local businesses, schools, and non-profits rent the auditorium for special showings for their students, employees, etc.

Large Business of the Year

Agriculture industry of Owen County: While made up of many small farms, the agribusiness in general is the county’s largest industry. The agriculture industry in Owen County is made up of approximately 570 farms and 87,000 acres; total income in 2009 for the farming industry was over $25 million.

The OCCC/EDC chose the Owen County 4-H Fishing Team to accept the 2014 Large Business of the Year Award on behalf of the local agriculture industry.

The 4-H fishing tlub is a club that meets to further the benefit of its members in completing their own personal goals, yet has undertaken multiple events that benefit our community, such as “The Moving Wall” visit and annual community Easter egg hunt, to name just a few. The team has given each member a responsible role to promote the community in which we live. Their actions as youth, with adult guidance, show what a true community is and what is needed to grow in the years to come. It is important that we focus on what will benefit the community and recognize the youth that are going far beyond the expectations laid out for them and contributing much more than is being asked of them.

T. Perry Wesley Community Leader of the Year

Travis Curry has been employed by the Spencer Evening World for over 12 years, serving as editor since January 2008. He goes above and beyond to keep our community informed of the happenings in and around Owen County. Whether through the newspaper, its website or Facebook page, he is always trying to find new ways to keep the people of our community both informed and connected. He was named to Editor & Publisher Magazine’s “Top 25 Under 35” list in 2013 and was selected as an Honorary Chapter Member of the Indiana FFA Association in April 2014, presented by the Owen Valley FFA chapter.

Travis has always strived to model himself on the namesake of this award, as well as past recipient and former Spencer Evening World editor, Tom Douglas.

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