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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2017 4:00 AM
    It was 3 a.m. in Berlin. She stood on the deserted bridge and stared down into the dark waters of the Spree River. It wasn’t the first time she had found herself in this spot, nor the first time she had entertained thoughts that both frightened and comforted her. She was becoming attuned to the idea of falling through the darkness and disappearing under the cold water, but the cords of motherhood bound her firmly in place. 
    She wouldn’t have been afraid of the dark, colorless river, for it matched the rest of her world. She vaguely remembered a time when colors were vivid; when she was a young girl with a purple bedroom, a yellow car, and parrot-shaped earrings in hot pink and turquoise. But for 20 years or more, she had been seeing the world in gray scale. Even her memories flickered through her mind like an old black and white film. 
    Over time her wardrobe had become neutral and non-descript. Her home was decorated in 50 shades of taupe with an occasional “pop” of sage. She needed her outward surroundings to be calm in order to keep the frenzy in her mind from becoming unbearable. 
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  • Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    One minute I was singing at the top of my lungs about wild, wicked women of the west with the Wright Brothers Overland Stage Company. Next thing I knew I was hyperventilating and hoping the heavy pounding in my ears was from the bass in the speakers and not my heart.
    John Hammer, the behemoth of a man, had once more managed to find his way into our closed office on a Saturday morning without making a sound. You don’t suppose Sen. Phil Boots gave him a key, do you? That Sen. Boots has some sense of humor.
    “For the love of God, John, can you please try to give me a warning or something?”
    “Glad you mentioned God, Timmons. Do you believe in the 10 Commandments?”
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  • Monday, March 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Snoring can certainly be annoying, but it doesn't always indicate a serious medical problem. This week, however, I do want to focus on a harmful condition that can be associated with snoring – sleep apnea.
    Sleep apnea is a condition where people have pauses in their breathing while sleeping. Most people have pauses to some degree, but people with sleep apnea have much longer pauses, sometimes lasting up to 30 seconds. These long pauses cause the level of oxygen in the blood to drop and carbon dioxide to rise. These changes can be very hard on the body, especially the heart and lungs.
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  • Monday, March 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    As a registered dietitian and farmer’s daughter, nothing excites me more than National Agriculture week falling during National Nutrition Month. Learning about nutrition and healthy foods is not complete without having a good understanding of the agriculture practices that are used to provide us with a safe and affordable food supply. This week I wanted to take some time to shed light on some of the “health” claims that you may find on the grocery store shelves. I am sure everyone is trying to make the right decisions at the grocery store; but the “health” claims can sometimes have us confused and possibly spending more money than intended. 
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  • Saturday, March 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    According to the most recent data, Indiana’s unemployment rate remains lower than our neighboring states and the national average, and our private sector employment numbers are continuing to grow.
    While these numbers show a positive economic climate, it is important to prepare Indiana students for the jobs of the future to keep our economy strong.
    This session, the Indiana Senate has passed legislation to help ensure our future workforce is prepared for 21st century jobs.
    Senate Bill 198 would increase funding for high school Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses in high-wage, high-demand job fields. This bill would also send state CTE grants directly to the institutions that provide CTE instruction – whether they be schools, cooperatives or apprenticeship programs.
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  • Friday, March 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Mary Ellen is planning our 2017 summer vacation. She wants to go to the Canadian Rockies. I get nervous about trips like this. Sometimes we get on each other’s nerves when we travel together and it looks like this time we’re going to have a particularly rocky start . . . and finish. 
    Back in 2007, we took a trip to the Grand Canyon, the only place in America where you’re allowed to drag your kid to the precipice of one of the world’s deepest chasms, but they put you in the slammer if you feed a squirrel.
    In the gift shop on the South Rim, the clerk recommended a book called—hold on to your hat (actually, hold on to anything you can): Over the Edge: Death in the Grand Canyon. What a charming choice for fans of light summer reading.
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  • Friday, March 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    During National Nutrition Month it is important to not only help the adults eat healthy but also our children. We spend many hours worrying about what we eat, and we exhaust ourselves thinking about how our kids won’t eat their vegetables, and we just give up. Well don’t give up and better yet, spend less time thinking about it. I recently read a book about Intuitive Eating. It is all about how to eat without feeling guilt. If we listen to our bodies and only eat when we are hungry and stop when we are satisfied we would all consume a lot less food. Just think about when your children were babies and nursing, they would scream out and tell you they are hungry, and when they push away they are finished. We have no idea how much the baby has eaten but yet we trusted them that they knew what they were doing. And that’s because they did, children are natural intuitive eaters.
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  •   Mama's Angel boy wouldn't shoot pool, would he?
    Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:00 AM
    Met this fellow fairly recently on Facebook when I asked a diabetes question. He helped me a great deal and we discuss history, too. Also, I used to know his older brother fairly well and absolutely adore his sister.
    A New Market graduate, he said, “I was never good at sports. Played Little League once, and that was enough for me!”
    He won golf clubs though and took to that. At age 26, he bought his little brother (more than 3 x 5 years younger) some basic bargain basement clubs and they played. He said, “I taught little bro all about the game,” ending with, “Joking!” Really, the Williamsons did. Both still enjoy golfing, though.
    Another sport our fella’ enjoyed was shooting pool. “Mom made my dad choose between her and pool. He loved playing at Bank Cigar Store, sometimes leaving her sitting in the car.” Choice must have worked. They were married 64 years. 
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  • Thursday, March 23, 2017 4:00 AM
    In its “Summary of Public Policy Positions,” the League of Women Voters states the importance of providing essential support services for all. At the March “Lunch With the League” presentation, we learned about an extraordinary program right here in Montgomery County that clearly supports this goal. It is known as the Montgomery Adult Guardianship Services (MAGS) program and is an innovative volunteer limited guardian initiative designed to address the critical health care, social service and legal representation needs of the growing population of ill and at-risk incapacitated adults in Montgomery County.
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  • Tuesday, March 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a Hubert H. Humphrey for President campaign sticker . . . 
    Like a lot of things that happen at your favorite Montgomery County daily, this was a collaboration. It appears that the new feature we added, Hot off the presses of Crawfordsville’s newspaper history, is a hit.
    It started when noted historian, author, genealogist and all-around good gal Karen Zach sent us some pretty nifty writing she came across in the old Crawfordsville Sunday Star. (For those who don’t remember that particular paper, don’t feel too bad. It began in 1872 and ran its last paper in 1904.) Anywho, Karen was telling us that she came across all sorts of interesting tidbits from back in the old days. Well, that led to one idea and that led to a couple more and the next thing you know, you guys are telling us you really enjoy this look back at newspaper writing the way it used to be! Thanks, but we’re just here to serve.
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  • Monday, March 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    Last week I tried to explain the very complex non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NHL). This week I want to cover Hodgkin’s lymphoma, more commonly known as Hodgkin’s Disease (HD). It gets its eponymous name from Dr. Thomas Hodgkin, who first described it in 1832.
    Hodgkin’s is a potentially curable malignant lymphoma and carries a much better prognosis than non-Hodgkin lymphomas. It is a very specific type of lymphoma that is defined by its microscopic appearance and by specific proteins that are found on the cell membranes of the tumor cells.
    The estimate for 2015 was that there would be 9,050 new cases of Hodgkin’s Disease (5,100 men and 3,950 women) and 1,150 deaths (660 men and 490 women). It is more common in whites and slightly more common in men, except in childhood where 85 percent of the cases are found in boys. The disease has what is called a bimodal age distribution, with occurrences between the ages of 15 and 34 or over age 55.
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  • Sunday, March 19, 2017 11:46 PM
    The Indiana Senate is now considering House Bill 1002, which would provide a long-term road funding plan for the state.
    The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) estimates a $1 billion-per-year shortfall in road funding over the next 20 years. INDOT’s projections show that if the problem is not addressed, drivers will face severe deterioration of our state highways and bridges.
    Discussion on how to address this funding gap is focused on a user-pays approach. Under this system, those who use our roads the most pay the most, and will also get the most benefit.
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  • Friday, March 17, 2017 4:00 AM
    I gave my wife a Fitbit this past Christmas. In her attempt to reach that 10,000-step goal, she is continually checking the wristband and monitoring her progress. The other day I walked into the living room and she was shaking her arms wildly back and forth while watching TV. “What are you doing?” I asked.
    “Very unfair . . . bad,” she said, which sounded just like a Trump tweet. “It only registers steps when your arms are moving. When I pushed the cart around Costco for an hour, I didn’t get any credit for my effort. So now I am trying to fool the Fitbit.”
    I was shocked by this. Mary Ellen is the most honest person in America, having nudged an entire convent of nuns out of first place. Trying to put something over on your Fitbit is about as low as a human being can go.
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  • He loves to brag that he married an older woman
    Thursday, March 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    These two 1987 Southmont graduates certainly did not date in high school. Different crowds, wouldn’t have been done, but a few months afterwards, he called her up and they went out. It certainly has worked since they will be married 25 years Sept. 5. As they said, “It was destiny!” 
    Quite a tease, he also said, that she hit him in the head and when he woke up, he was married. She added, “No, I kept after him, wore him down and he finally asked me on his birthday with family there.” Also, he wanted to make sure I knew that he married an older woman (six months so). Plus, I wondered about their lengthy four year dating process – why so long? His answer was, “Why be in a hurry?” We laughed and she said, “That’s his philosophy of life and our daughter is just like him!” My gal guest is a let’s get it done and their son is like her. More on the younguns later!
    Anyway, in high school, he mainly played golf, as it didn’t hit hunting season like football. She managed tennis and baseball. His family had a golf scramble every year, so he kept that sport up until he broke his wrist.
    He had owned 34 acres with a trailer on Highway 41. He sold it then they purchased a home in Browns Valley where they still live. First day in it, he had it about ½ gutted before she even got there. They lived upstairs while working down. It’s an awesome place!
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  • Thursday, March 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    Sunshine Week from March 12 to March 18 marks an annual nationwide discussion about access to public information and the important role that we – the public – have in keeping our communities healthy, vibrant and strong. The League of Women Voters joins other organizations in observing Sunshine Week and encouraging open government.
    A delegation from LWV of Montgomery County attended a panel discussion Tuesday in Greencastle “Keeping the Door Open—Fighting for Public Transparency” co-sponsored by the LWV of Greencastle and the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media. Panelists included: Miranda Spivack-Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw, Luke Britt-Indiana’s Public Access counselor, Jaren Jernagan-Assistant Editor of the Banner Graphic and Tony Gargo-Director of The Media School at Indiana University and board member of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government.
    The United States system of government is based on the premise that government is a creature of the people and is accountable to them. An open and accountable government is the cornerstone of a healthy, vibrant democracy. Since its founding, members of the League of Women Voters have been on the frontlines to promote governmental transparency at the local, state and national levels.
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