Kokomo Perspective 04 13 2016 E Edition Page A1

Unlike synthetic mari- juanas namesake, which possesses a reputation for being fairly harmless in comparison to many other illegal substances, spice use is purported to be rising in Howard County. And as people take to the drug, which has been described as highly addictive by some, the negative side effects are felt by users and seen by the probation depart- ment and local medical professionals. At the age of 24, Ko- komo resident Elizabeth Miller knows the effects synthetic marijuana can have. For six years, Miller said she used the drug every day. Consisting of either tea leaves or pot- pourri sprayed with any myriad of chemicals, ranging from acetone to formaldehyde, the leafy substance is then smoked. From there, because of the inconsis- tencies in what can be sprayed on the leafy sub- stance, a lot can happen. Including long-term im- plications for a user. Before I started do- ing spice I didnt have a stuttering problem, said Miller. Now when Im trying to talk about something that I really want to get offmy mind, its hard to think about what I want to say. I fell into seizures off of it. Ive been hospitalized off of it. I've felt like I was going to die off of it. You never know what kind of high youre go- ing to get. Now 79 days clean, Miller warns other against the drugs use. Basically, it has last- ing effects, said Miller. Ive gone to doctors and all that, and Ive not recovered. Ever since I started doing it my eye will start twitching real bad, and it wont stop. It has lasting effects. Peo- ple need to think about it before they do it. Its not just like youre just going to go hit a joint of weed and come back from it. Youre going to have 765-452-0055 kokomoperspective.com e-edition For Local Weather Call 457-9211 Sponsored by: City of Kokomo, Coca-Cola, White's Meat Market, Brad Howell, Miller's Variety Store Over 3.85 Million Callers April 13, 2016 Perspective Photo / Provided VIETNAM - Phil Thurston sits atop a bunker during his tour of Vietnam. by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com About 75 percent of Vietnam vets claims associated with exposure to the herbicide (Editors note: this is part of an ongoing series concerning How- ard Countys Veterans Service ice and veteran population.) By the time the use of Agent Orange ceased in South Viet- nam in 1971, the U.S. military spread an estimated 12.1 mil- lion gallons of the herbicide across about 10 percent of the countrys land. Its effect, according to those that witnessed it, was nearly immediate. It killed all plant life it made contact with almost over- night. However, long after the Vietnam War ended, Agent Orange's effects lin- ger within the veteran pop- ulation. For Howard County vet- eran Phil Thurston, the ef- fect came by the way of non- Hodgkins lymphoma and ischemic heart disease de- cades after his service during the Vietnam War ended. From July 1966 to August 1967, Thurston served in the Marine Corps with M Compa- ny of the third battalion, ninth marines, third marine division during the Vietnam conflict. His service took him to areas such as Da Nang and Dang Ha, as well as Cam Lo. On the ground, he found himself fre- quently in areas Agent Orange previously had been spread. It has been hard to locate the Vietcong because it was jungle warfare, and they cre- ated things like pungy traps and spider traps and things like that. So, they would wipe out all the foliage (with Agent Orange), said Thurston. Also, they were killing crops. I was in a combat unit. I was on the receiving end of it, and they never sprayed it when we were in the area, but they had sprayed it before we were in the area. We knew that they had sprayed it because everything was dead. It was just dead, just dead. Even though he wasnt around the dispersal of the herbicide, meant to clear foli- age and kill crops, being in areas where the chemical had been sprayed was enough. Long after the conflict ended, Congress has continually add- ed to the list of diseases associ- ated with Agent Orange. More or less, if someone served on the ground in Vietnam and is diagnosed with one of the 14 separate diseases listed,they qualify for medical and dis- ability benefits through the VA. For example, in March 2010, Congress added three diseases to its list of maladies associat- ed with exposure to the herbicide. One of the three they added was isch- emic heart disease, said Thurston. Well the interesting thing is, I went to get screened for Agent Orange ex- posure in 2003. One of the things that the VA found was that I had ischemic heart dis- ease. Ischemic heart disease is blocked arteries. They found that I had that. Well, in December of 2009 I had a heart attack, and I had blocked arteries. Matter of fact, I had my main LAD was 100 percent blocked. Anyway, so in March they changed the law, and in July I applied for benefits. I was awarded benefits. And Thurston's story isn't rare. Last week the Kokomo Per- spective highlighted the explo- S.R. 931 SOUTH DAYS INN & SUITES 453-0061 RESTAURANT $ 3 OFF Expires 5/7/16. One coupon per person per visit. Not good with any other offer. Taxes & gratuity not included. Must present coupon for discount. Southern Fried Catfish S.R. 931 SOUTH DAYS INN & SUITES 453-0061 A $15 FOOD PURCHASE RESTAURANT Open 7 Days A Week! Straight-ticket votes no longer apply to at-large races Recently-implemented changes to voting could result in votes not being cast during Novembers general election. While the new law doesnt affect the upcoming primary, prospective voters should know that when voting straight ticket during the general elec- tion, votes will no longer auto- matically be added to positions with multiple candidates, such as at-large races. Instead, voters will still need to go back and individually mark their ballots for at-large races even after voting straight ticket. According to Indiana Elec- tion Division co-director Angie Nussmeyer, the voting change came about supposedly as a correction for a loophole in old- er legislation. There was a mistake in the wording of the law as to whether or not an individual mark would count should a person also vote straight par- ty, said Nussmeyer. The way the law read is if I went in and voted straight ticket democrat and went into an at-large race, for instance, and bubbled in a democrat, my straight party wouldnt apply and neither would that democrat individ- ual mark apply because it was of the same political party. It would be thrown out. But if I voted straight party democrat and bubbled in a republican in the at-large race the democrat would still get the vote because it was the straight party option, but the republican would as well because there was an indi- vidual mark. As a result, Nussmeyer said voters should be aware of the new change in the law because several facets of at-large races could potentially be affected. We looked at some data Ticket A8 The legacy of Agent Orange Orange A2 Perspective Photo / Provided Vet - Thurston and Cpl. Jesus Vasquez end their tours in Vietnam together. Brett Michaels returns for Haynes-Apperson Familiar faces will be re- turning to this years Haynes- Apperson Festival. Last year concert-goers illed Foster Park to see Brett Michaels play, and hes set to return for a second go on July 2. Brett was here last year, and he packed the park. Dur- ing his concert he mentioned he wanted to come back again because he loved Kokomo so much, said festival chairman Paul Wyman. He was hav- ing such a good time, and the crowd went crazy. Weve had discussions with him, and were pleased to announce he wants to come back and head- line our festival this year. Leading up to the July 2 con- cert will be two other nights of festivities. On June 30, Haynes-Apper- son will take on a 50s theme with a DJ playing music from the era, along with a car show and a sock-hop dance contest. At dark, festival-goers will be treated to a showing of Ameri- can Griti on a 32-foot movie screen, which will be set up in the park. On July 1, Smash Mouth takes the stage in Foster Park. Wyman said the band will play a number of hits, includ- ing numbers made popular through the Shrek film series, such as Im a Believer and All Star. Rounding out the weekend on July 2, a Saturday night, will be Michaels performance. His show leads up to the year- by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com by Devin Zimmerman News Reporter dzimmerman@kokomoperspective.com Synthetic marijuana use on the rise in Howard County Spice A7 Arrests related to drugs use climb in 2016 Michaels A7

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