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Saturday, December 10, 2016
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  • Friday, December 09, 2016 4:00 AM
    Once again, in celebration of our 200th year as a state, I am sharing the names of some Hoosiers who no longer receive the attention they deserve. As you will see, the first one is not just long forgotten, but also short and forgotten.
    It’s no small wonder that Che Mah lived in Knox, a tiny town in Starke County. Che Mah was a small wonder himself, once reported to be the shortest man who ever lived. He towered under Tom Thumb, who reached 32 inches. Born in China in 1838, Che Mah was only 28 inches tall and tipped the scales (he was a very small tipper) at 40 pounds. Before he died in 1928 at the age of 90, he had traveled the world with Annie Oakley, Chief Sitting Bull, and other notables in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
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  • From a crazy honeymoon to 23 years of bliss
    Thursday, December 08, 2016 4:00 AM
    New Hope Christian Church brought these two together and they just celebrated their 23rd anniversary. Had such a great time with them, lots of laughs.
    In fact, the giggles began when they told the hubs and me about their “romantic” Lobster Sea Cruise in Cancun, Mexico. They had enjoyed a lovely wedding at her parents’ large country home and were looking forward to their time together on their honeymoon. 
    Well, the boat had hit a bridge the day before so no one was allowed on the top. Everyone was squashed together on the bottom deck. The “cruise” was just up and down a short piece of the Gulf of Mexico. The lobster was fixed on a gas grill and by the time a drunk, obnoxious guy was corralled and they finally got their lobster, it was cold! What a honeymoon as next was a bull fight as they were told not to miss the national sport. Since it is Mexico’s sport, they were used to it but most tourists are not. Kids were crying and many, including our newlyweds left. Just the luck, they dragged the first kill right beside them. 
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  • Thursday, December 08, 2016 4:00 AM
    “How Much Partisan Gerrymandering is Unconstitutional?” was the topic of a luncheon seminar sponsored by Indiana Common Cause and the League of Women Voters of Indiana Dec. 2 at the Indiana State House. The House of Representatives Chamber was packed with citizens and attorneys from throughout Indiana.
    Every 10 years, the United States Constitution requires states to redraw their congressional and state legislative district lines. This is called redistricting, and every district that elects a representative to Congress or to a state legislature must be roughly equal in its total population.
    State legislators have been able to draw the boundaries for the districts in which they will then run for office for the next 10 years. The Campaign Legal Center states that “partisan gerrymandering has never been worse in modern American history than it is today.”
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  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 4:00 AM
    This past month I attended the Veteran Mentor Corps Boot Camp Program. It is the Mentor program for veterans that want to help with the Veterans Treatment Court. It was very interesting and enlightening. We covered: What is a Veterans Treatment Court? Who is the Justice Involved Veteran Participant? The Role of the Veteran Mentor, Standards, Boundaries and Communications. All of this was to bring the veteran mentor up to standard so that he or she would do what is needed. 
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  • Wednesday, December 07, 2016 4:00 AM
    Indiana 4-H enrollment is now open in Montgomery County through Jan 15, 2017. 4-H is a premier source of enjoyable, educational programs to help young people reach their full potential. Enrollment is easier than ever with the 4-H Online system,
    Indiana 4-H is the state’s largest youth development program for grades 3-12, reaching more than 200,000 youth in all 92 counties. 4-H is open to all youth in grades 3-12 and Mini 4-H is offered to grades K-2. So don’t wait and miss the opportunity to join the Club. 4-H prepares young people to be leaders in their community and around the world through hands-on experiences alongside their peers and caring adults.
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  • Tuesday, December 06, 2016 6:28 PM
    This is my news column and not my millennial column. But as a millennial, why didn’t anyone talk to me about death? I had a grandma die as a young teen and a grandpa die when I was a kid. I have memories of sadness. I was truly sad. This week one of my best friends died. They didn’t cover this in Adulting 101. 
    I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m regretful. And I’m not alone.
    My friend – my brother – Nick Kirsch died Saturday. 
    Before I get to anything I can offer, I have to speak of others. Others who knew Nick far longer than I did. I wrote a column a couple of years ago about how two folks in the business world have really gone out on a limb for me. The first one was obviously The Paper’s CEO Tim Timmons. The other I didn’t name, but it was Nick’s wife, Amanda. She was willing to move me across the country and into their home to go to work at the company she ran. Why? Because Nick thought I was a good guy and could help business. Everyone involved knew that the friendship Nick and I had was a big factor, and I am happy that he thought of me during that time. I took that risk to move from a cozy apartment in downtown Crawfordsville out to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
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  • Tuesday, December 06, 2016 4:00 AM
    Hard to believe that we are gearing up for our third year of The Challenge. Harder to believe than that is the fact that I haven’t regained all those pounds I’ve lost.
    Some people say that’s a good thing. (“Some people” being defined as my wife, my daughters, my heart doc, my regular doc, people who know me well and generally anyone I have much contact with.)
    For those not familiar with The Challenge, here’s the scoop and why it might be important to you. First off, it’s a local version of The Biggest Loser television show – or a group of people who go through a workout program and compete to see who can lose the most weight. Our twist is that we raise money while we do it with the proceeds going to a good cause – this year our community’s youth through an expanded Newspapers in Education program and a swimming program to teach potentially life-saving skills to deserving youth. The Challenge ’17 winner, or the person who loses the largest percentage of their body weight, walks away with $500 cash money!
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  • Tuesday, December 06, 2016 4:00 AM
    When we think of youth drug use, heroin is probably the last drug that comes to our thoughts. In the state of Indiana, only 0.7 percent of 12th graders report any monthly usage of heroin. As the grade levels get lower, so does the percentage of use. Indiana is statistically on par with the US when it comes to youth heroin use. Not many kids choose to use this drug or try this drug. We can all breathe a sigh of relief, right?
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  • Young job seekers should consider government work
    Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    The greying of the federal-government workforce could soon create a hiring crisis as a large swath of older workers retires in the coming years and a new generation declines to fill the breach.
    Simply put, most young people who are in job-search mode tend to look elsewhere, finding no motivation to vie for federal government positions that may strike them as more dreary than dazzling.
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  • Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    The ideals of the holidays – sharing special faith traditions and spending time with family and friends – can easily be overshadowed by the barrage of advertisements, sales and the pressure to deliver the perfect gifts for our kids. 
    The National Retail Federation estimates Americans will spend an average of $935 this year for the holidays. But many experts say we should refocus our holiday efforts on giving to others in order to raise happy, empathetic and resilient kids. 
    Try asking the children in your life to name their favorite gifts from last year. Chances are they may only remember a couple. Overindulgence, even when well-intentioned, can have serious consequences for children. 
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  • Monday, December 05, 2016 4:00 AM
    A patient who’s mother is having hearing difficulties asked me to write about the best way to choose someone to fit hearing aids. I’d like to begin with some background on hearing.
    It goes without saying that hearing is one of our most important senses. It is critical for our quality of life as well as for safety and social interaction. There are an estimated 30 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss, 65 percent of whom are younger than 65 years of age. It’s very concerning that one in 14 younger adults and one in 20 adolescents have measurable hearing loss. Since 1971, the number of Americans over age three with hearing disorders has doubled.
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  • Friday, December 02, 2016 4:00 AM
    Did you know that 700 million pounds of turkey is purchased for the Thanksgiving holiday and 235 million pounds of that turkey will end up in the trash? Yearly this equates to 1.3 billion tons of food being thrown in our landfills, about a third of the food produced for consumption, costing about $1 trillion. To bring this down to a household level, a family of four throws away an average of $1600 of food annually. That is two months’ worth of grocery bills in my house. So what can we do about the food waste?
    Plan meals before shopping. If you know what and how much you are going to eat for the week, that prevents food from rotting in the fridge. Also take inventory of what you already have. Lots of times you don’t need to buy every ingredient for a dish because you already have it on hand or you can adjust the recipe to accommodate for ingredients you’ve already bought.
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  • Friday, December 02, 2016 4:00 AM
    I don’t have a lot of friends. I know lots of people, but that’s not the same. The people I do call friends sometimes disappoint me. Bob won’t take me to the airport at night (something about cataracts. Oh, please.) Pat won’t feed our cat when we go away for the weekend (yes, Angel has bitten her, but no stitches were required . . . either time) and Cathy won’t water our plants. (Sure, philodendron makes her windpipe contract, but what are friends for?) 
    The need for dependable friends was made clear when I was down in the basement recently and found an old box filled with expired coupons, unused gift cards and a few compositions from the class I taught at IUPUI in 1986 and never got around to grading. At the very bottom of the pile, I found this:
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  •  After a brief stint down on the farm, he eventually bought a business
    Thursday, December 01, 2016 4:00 AM
    Just met this week’s man, but my gal guest and I go way back! She not only worked at the A&W for us, she babysat our young’uns, as well. It was fun for us to interview an early employee when we owned only part of the business back then. When I asked her what she liked about working there, she smiled and noted, “Everything! I simply loved everything about working there.” Explaining further, “The food was amazing, customers awesome (even if they didn’t tip or tipped poorly, it didn’t matter because we loved ‘em so), the fun we had, friends I made.” Then my hubby beamed, “The bosses were so nice,” and she wrapped-up by announcing, “There is simply nothing like that nowadays!” Working at Aryway when they changed to Target, she also was employed by Giles Ford when she found herself pregnant with her first child. Afterwards, she stayed home with her own three and babysat some. 
    One day, an employee of his asked him to go to the city bowling tourney. This was at the old bowling alley out by the Holiday Inn and she was in the tourney. The friend introduced them. Two weeks later, they went out and it was love thereafter. They complement each other nicely.
    My guests have been married 15 years and I asked them what they liked best about their spouse. Her answer was that he had the ability to see what’s needed and makes it work; threw in that he loved her on a personal basis, as well, and that’s very important. He noted that he loved her sincerity and that with a blended family, she loves everyone equally. 
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  • Thursday, December 01, 2016 4:00 AM
    The League of Women Voters believes that government CAN work when citizens are INFORMED and INVOLVED. The League’s Mission is to encourage informed and active participation in government, to work to increase public understanding of major policy issues, and to influence public policy through education and advocacy.
    In addition to the League’s many Voter Service activities, League members study and advocate on local, state, and national issues. State issues on the League’s agenda are voted on at the State Convention held in odd numbered years so Leaguers throughout Indiana are considering now issues which will be discussed at the State Convention in April.
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