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  1. Karlock slashed and burned much of the oak in the late 1970's. His fires burned literally for years but I don't recall him getting blamed for any fatalities. Word was that he was willing to pay $1K an acre for anything that would connect to him. When land prices reached their pinnacle in about '79 or so he recruited the help of a local land/farm broker/realtor (whose name I won't mention but shouldn't be too hard to figure out) to spin it off Prudential's direction. The terms of the deal were concluded over drinks inside Dean's Admiral Lounge Merrillville Holiday Inn which is now Radison Hotel Star Plaza. Karlock laughed all the way to the bank of which he happens to be chairman. Prudential had high hopes of this place becoming the 3rd airport as 7 of the last 8 recently developed airports at that time were built on Prudential land. However it never got off the ground and after much unsuccess at trying to farm it coupled with flak from locals including both a 9 figure lawsuit and a"60 Minutes" story by Harry Reasoner on water overusage they gave up on it and also put their flagship corporate headquarters up for grabs just for good measure. I don't know how many 10,000 or 100,000 square feet the monstrosity encompasses at the southwest corner of 30 and I-65 but it's huge. Ni Source formerly NIPSCO occupies it now. Prudential brass might have got tired of looking across the highway at that bar where they took the thumping on the land deal. Anyway the whole mess is a lot like Afghanistan the junkyard of empires.
    August 19, 2012 11:17 am on Smoke, fog lead to multiple collisions, one fatality on I-65
  2. The Fair Oaks farms (small f) territory is a 20,000 acre spread of scrub oak and sand dunes mostly in Newton county that was created by the same glacier that carved out Lake Michigan a zillion years ago. Think of a boat wake of sand only permanent. Tall rugged hilltops and loose sandy soil made it unattractive for purposes of agriculture. No self supporting farmer wanted any part of it. Instead it was more of a no man's land of fugitives, cattle rustlers, horse thieves, and counterfeiters in bygone days. Google "Bogus Island, History of Fair Oaks Farms, Merlin Karlock." But every generation or so a new cohort of charlatans, sham artists and shenanigans come along. The latest carriers of the torch happen to be the dairy farms. With them it's all about the government handout. It's fast becoming the agritourism-industrial complex. Dairies were paid a ton of money by the state of California to leave their state because of environmental impact and water overusage issues. With pockets full of cash they arrived here in Indiana and purchased land so poor much of it should have been left to lie in its natural undisturbed state. But with enough government subsidies anything os possible. When Pres. Obama says "you didn't build that" he is talking about outfits like Fair Oaks Farms. Award winning cheese? What cheese do they even make there? Much of it is imported from California and Wisconsin. The fleet of trucks running on clean burning CNG? At least 40 new Kenworths and about $150K each. The government funded them too. The ugly truth of corporate dairies is the stench, the flies, aggressive center pivot irrigation, overuse and depletion of water resources which means dried up wells of neighboring residents. And now their first fatality. Congratulations. Will the state of Indiana have to step up and pay them to move on like California did?
    August 19, 2012 10:19 am on Smoke, fog lead to multiple collisions, one fatality on I-65
  3. Got on 65 Friday night at 8 pm central time at mile marker 220 heading north and smelled the smoke then. So this fire burned all night long. It's a miracle the body count wasn't higher. The Fair Oaks dairies have deep pockets not so much because they are great dairy farmers but because they were paid BIG MONEY by the state of California to leave the state. They consume a tremendous amount of water often in a wasteful manner squandering about a bathtub of water every time a cow poops on itself. Their reckless usage has lowered the aquifer and dried up wells many miles away. This is one very big wrongful death lawsuit looking for a courthouse in which to file. And to the injured and deceased parties a word to the wise... Retain an attorney from out of town for two reasons: Firstly Rensselaer lawyers are mostly in bed with the dairies. They have become a cottage industry helping facilitate government handouts. It will be hard to tell whose side they are on. Secondly you will likely also need to hire a translator because many of them sound like they just rode up here from southern Alabama on the back of a Jed Clampett flatbed. P.S. What does the A stand for in 37A? Alabama?
    August 18, 2012 9:40 pm on Smoke, fog lead to multiple collisions, one fatality on I-65
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