INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Governor Mitch Daniels hosted a reception in his office this afternoon. That by itself is not unusual, but today's guest list was out of the ordinary. Most of the people on it were prison inmates.
One by one they filed into the governor's office, residents of a work release center dressed in their Sunday best. One of them, Thomas Brandy, presented the governor with a Mitch Daniels caricature he drew.
"You know we're greatly thankful for him even trusting us to come down and partake in a situation like this," said Brandy.
They earned the invitation by stripping and resurfacing all of the woodwork in the historic office; a job completed over a two week period while the governor was on his book tour.
"You did the taxpayers of Indiana an incredible favor," the governor told them. Oak trim that had been antiqued decades ago was restored to its original beauty. "What you guys did was amazing," said Daniels. "The difference was just stunning."
For that they got the opportunity to visit for more than a half hour hour, sitting at a table made by other state prison inmates, talking everything from the Colts to music (the governor said he likes country western) in a relaxed setting. One of them, Craig Moore, addressed the governor as Mitch. "Oh yeah, Mitch," he said when asked about it. "Yeah, yeah, you know, my main man Mitch? Remember how they used to say that? My main man Mitch."
There was a picture to pose for and everyone got a commemorative coin, along with encouragement to keep their lives headed in the right direction. "That's a good chance that I got to spend time with the governor," said Courtney Brown, and repay my debt to society."
Of course the labor provided by those inmates is free. Materials for that refinishing job cost only about $800 dollars and that's why you hear the governor saying that they did the taxpayers a favor.
A winter weather advisory is in effect for Central Indiana through Friday night. Southern counties will be under a winter storm warning beginning Thursday night through Friday night.
Crews in Indianapolis and around Central Indiana are gearing up for this upcoming winter weather event.
Nelson Mandela, who became one of the world's most beloved statesmen when he emerged from 27 years in prison to negotiate an end to white minority rule in South Africa, has died.