A Hoosier statesman is set to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor. Former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar is among 16 Presidential Medal of Freedom honorees announced by the White House. President Barack Obama will present the awards during a ceremony at the White House later this year. They are given to those who have made significant contributions to national security, world peace or cultural developments. Lugar was chosen because of his “decades long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons,” according to a statement. Other honorees include former President Bill Clinton, talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks and country music legend Loretta Lynn. Lugar represented Indiana in the U.S. Senate from 1977 until 2013. He lost to Richard Mourdock in last year’s Republican Primary. Mourdock was defeated by Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.