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Saturday, October 21, 2017

  • Monday, October 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany – places that some of our Indiana veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty to preserve freedom over 75 years ago.
    The Ardennes region in southeast Belgium is rich with rugged charm and beauty. Cool, meandering streams carve their way across undulating forested terrain. 
    The hilly and wooded area reminded me of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. 
    From December 16th, 1944 – January 25th, 1945 this region was inundated by German soldiers attempting to break through the Allied-controlled lines in the surprise offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge.
    Tanks bullied their way across the dense forest while mortars and other explosive ammunition shattered trees and pierced the silence of a bitter cold winter that exacted its own death on those who dared to endure it in tiny foxholes. 
    Seventy-two years later, on a warm and delightful summer day, our tour group drove through stunning scenery of lush green hills and dense forest, stopping frequently to see the many monuments and commemorative markers of battles that had taken place here. 
    Unlike the monuments in the more urban areas, these simple markers in woods and fields were less spectacular in size but no less impressive. The natural scenery all around them seemed to offer a more authentic testimony to the battles once fought there. 
    One of our stops was outside of Wereth, Belgium where there was a monument to the Wereth 11. At this location German SS troops cruelly massacred 11 U.S. African American Soldiers from the 333rd Field Artillery Battery after they had surrendered on the 2nd day of the battle. It is one of the only monuments in Belgium dedicated to African Americans who fought in World War 2.
    Another stop was in Honsfeld, Belgium where we saw some concrete troughs that were in use during the Battle of the Bulge. A photograph from that time shows German SS troops standing by the troughs putting on some uniform items looted from the corpses of dead American soldiers. 
    A monument was erected above the troughs. Our guide, Henri explained that this more recent monument paid tribute to All who had fought in the Battle of the Bulge, including the Germans. 
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  • Meet the Polley’s and their Mentee Dakota
    Saturday, October 14, 2017 4:00 AM
    Instead of doing the usual profile on a child who is on the waiting list for a mentor, this time we would like to share a story about an existing match we have of a married couple who are mentoring a young boy. Dave and Deb Polley have lived in Crawfordsville for 40 years and both are retired from Wabash College. They have one grown son so they felt that mentoring a young boy was something that was familiar to them. Dave and Deb were matched with Dakota when he was only 6 years old and he is now 8. Deb was reading a profile on Dakota in the newspaper when she told Dave it sounded like a perfect match for them. They had been thinking about mentoring for a while but when they read this article they decided to follow through and see how it would go. In the article it said Dakota liked hiking, sporting events and wanted to learn how to swim. Since their now grown son was on the swim team, they knew that teaching Dakota to swim was something they could definitely do. Dakota can now do the back stroke and swim free style thanks to the Polley’s!
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  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    Dear friends of Montgomery County and others,
    First of all, I want to thank every person who donated to the clock tower project throughout the years. Our committee of David Bix, Janice Clauser, Ken Brown, Steve and Judy House, Barbara Foster, Steve Frees, Jean and Delmas Chadwick, Andy Metzman, Sherrie Harris, and John Van Nuys, have worked diligently with me on this clocktower project. Jean Chadwick, Hubert Danzebrink, and myself have been with the project from the day it started in 1996.
    My thanks go to my husband, Ken, who has been my best friend and helper. Enormous thanks go to Phil Bane and the county commissions who have been of a great help to us. Phil Bane has gone above and beyond expectations in order to help us see this project through. Rev. John Van Nuys, who has built the replica of our magnificent courthouse with the clocktower out of Legos has spent countless hours helping with the project. I would like to thank the Journal-Review and The Paper of Montgomery County for their help also.
    I do want to clarify something many people do not know. We have had the money to actually build the clocktower for several years. The large amounts of additional money we had to have for the project, came from a structural study of the courthouse and repairs to the courthouse, where the tower will stand. 
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  • Wednesday, October 04, 2017 4:00 AM
    Many factors affect the success of a community. I believe that one of the most important factors is the willingness of citizens to become involved in the process of good government. Our community is certainly no different. We depend heavily on citizens who care about their community to staff the many boards and commissions that comprise city government. These working groups allow our local government to function in a manner that adequately represents the views of the greater community. 
    Everyone recognizes the role played by citizens who run for public office. Our city council, for example, is comprised of those who are willing to give their time and talent to help guide local government in a sound manner. Each member wants the same thing, a better community. Although it is certainly true that individual members might envision a different path on which to create that better community the common goal unites everyone in a collective wisdom that reflects very well on our community. 
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  • Monday, October 02, 2017 4:00 AM
    Recently, 24 communities in and around Senate District 23 received over $7.5 million in local road-funding grants.
    The Community Crossings Matching Grant program was created in 2016 by the Indiana General Assembly. As part of Indiana’s long-term road funding plan, the legislature increased funding for the program in 2017.
    Through the program, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) matches up to $1 million when localities invest in road and bridge repairs. Counties with populations below 50,000 and cities and towns with populations below 10,000 are matched 75 percent, while larger counties, cities and towns are matched 50 percent. INDOT selects these communities based on economic impact. 
    Grant recipients in Senate District 23 are as follows:
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  • Monday, September 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Indiana Senate Republican Caucus is offering paid, spring-semester internships to college students, recent graduates and graduate students during the 2018 legislative session.
    Full-time positions are available in many departments, including legislative, legal, policy, communications, multimedia and information technology. Qualified candidates must be at least a college sophomore.
    Benefits include a $750 bi-weekly stipend, scholarship and academic credit opportunities, professional development, community involvement and networking.
    Chosen applicants will work at the Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis beginning with a mandatory orientation in late December and concluding at the end of the legislative session in March 2018.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes: Part 5 American and German Cemeteries in Normandy
    Monday, September 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany – places that some of our Morgan County veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty to preserve freedom over 75 years ago.
    Of the many fascinating World War 2 related places to see in Normandy, the one that moved me the most, was the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. 
    Located on the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, this sacred burial ground is the final resting spot for 9,387 American service members (which includes 4 women); most of whom were killed during the invasion at Normandy and the combat operations that followed.
    On June 8th, 1944 the U.S. First Army had established a temporary burial ground for the dead just west of the cemetery’s current location. It was the first American cemetery in Europe. 
    France later granted the U.S. a special concession to the land occupied by the present cemetery, free of charge or tax.
    After a stop at the Normandy Visitors Center to see the exhibits and watch a film, our tour group walked along a paved path underneath a grove of trees to the beautiful 172-acre ground covered with lush green grass, tall well-pruned shrubbery and towering stately trees.
    Myriad rows of bleach white marble crosses and stars of David marking the graves of the fallen heroes dominated the landscape. Each marker was aligned with the others in its row with exact precision. 
    Our group was quiet and reflective as we walked among the countless graves under heavy grey clouds and a falling drizzle that felt like tears from heaven. 
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  • Presidential Tax Relief and Reform: Vital for Economic Growth, American Jobs
    Friday, September 22, 2017 9:56 PM
    Thirty-one years after President Ronald Reagan signed into law an historic and comprehensive tax reform package – groundbreaking legislation credited with revitalizing our nation’s economy and empowering American businesses to compete globally with unprecedented strength – President Donald Trump is poised to affirm his leadership as the nation’s Chief Executive to deliver the single-largest individual and business tax cut in history.
    First and foremost, the President’s plan reaches far beyond the fundamental goal of growing our economy and creating jobs. To achieve realistic results, tax reform and tax relief relies on a dynamic process that, not unlike dominoes, begins by creating a tax code that is simple, fair, and just as President Reagan achieved before him – eliminates again dozens of special tax breaks , decreases the number of tax brackets (from seven to three – at a taxable rate of 10, 25 and 35 percent, respectively) and provides for a lower top tax rate on individual income; a rate that was cut nearly in half from 50 percent to 28 percent in 1986, before increasing again to above 40 percent – when tax hikes created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA)are taken into account.
    In continuing with the momentum that is expected with tax reform is establishing a territorial tax system to level the playing field for American companies. This ‘protection’ is in response to a dramatic shift, in which developing countries have moved from worldwide tax system to territorial systems. With this change, countries impose taxes only on profits earned inside that country’s borders as opposed to taxes on profits earned by businesses anywhere in the world. The United States is one of just seven Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries with a worldwide tax system, whereas 28 other countries now have territorial systems in place.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes: Part 4: Airborne Drops & Two Historic Churches
    Monday, September 18, 2017 4:00 AM
    In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany – places that some of our Indiana veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty over 75 years ago.
    When many people think of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day the first images that come to their minds are those of ships, landing crafts and allied forces storming the beaches.
    The actual invasion, however, began 6-7 hours earlier when shortly before midnight on June 5th more than 1,000 C-47 transport planes lifted from runways in England and traveled across the English Channel. They carried in their bellies the 13,100 paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions which were headed toward Utah Beach on the far west side of the invasion beach heads. 
    At the same time, the British 6th Airborne Division headed into the skies toward drop zones south and east of Sword Beach on the far east side of the invasion beach heads. 
    Closely behind the paratroopers were another almost 4,000 troops that were carried by wooden gliders pulled behind transport planes which, after the towing cord was released, attempted safe landings under the cover of darkness and with no engines to guide them in their descent.
    The designated drop zones for these aerial troops were not the beaches that would soon be invaded at morning’s light but strategic points slightly inland from Utah and Sword Beaches. These were ground locations, villages and towns that were determined to be critical in protecting and facilitating the inland movements of the forces that would soon be approaching from the shore and securing their respective flanks. 
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  • Saturday, September 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    Education is a top priority for lawmakers each year, with over half of our state's General Fund dedicated to K-12 education. With students back in class for the 2017-2018 school year, here is an overview of a few new education laws passed during the most recent legislative session.
    House Enrolled Act 1001, Indiana’s state budget, increases K-12 tuition support by $345 million over the next two years, totaling $14.2 billion appropriated to K-12 funding over the biennium.
    House Enrolled Act 1003 replaces Indiana’s ISTEP exam with a new test called ILEARN (Indiana's Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network) starting in 2019. ILEARN will be administered once at the end of the school year and the total testing time will be shorter.
    Senate Enrolled Act 198 increases funding for high school Career and Technical Education courses in high-wage, high-demand job fields.
    Each of these bills is designed to improve Indiana’s education system to ensure Hoosiers receive the best schooling possible. I look forward to the positive impact these laws will have on our students, teachers and schools in the coming year.
    Sen. Phil Boots represents Indiana District 23 which includes Montgomery, Boone, Fountain, Parke, Warren and Vermillion counties. In addition, Sen. Boots is one of the owners of Sagamore News Media and The Paper of Montgomery County. You can reach him at senator.boots@iga.in.gov.
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  • Ramblings of a Shannondale girl . . . Part 2
    Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    Life in Shannondale was slow paced. Lazy summer days, playing outside, jumping over mom’s piney bush, of course one of us always landed in it and smashed the beautiful flowers. 
    We ran around without shoes in the warm weather. We took cardboard boxes and flattened them to slide down our hill. Played king of the mountain on that hill, I was the smallest so I never was the king. We didn’t have running water or a bathroom, so there was no reason for us to be inside. You could use the old enamel pot but you have to take it out and dump it the next morning and that wasn’t fun either.
    One day, three of us sisters were in the outhouse using all the bad words little girls can think of, (which we learned from our dad) when we heard a knock on the door. When we opened the door there was dad down on one knee with the other one bent so we could lay over it to get our spanking for our bad language. We were pushing and shoving to try not to go out the door. Those older sisters sure got me into a lot of trouble.
    Saturday night was bath night, so we would be clean for church on Sunday. Mom heated water on the stove and put it in an old galvanized tub by the coal stove, which set in a corner of what we called the living room at that time. Andy and I being the youngest got to go first. My older sister Jeannine says we all peed in it before she got to get her bath. That old coal stove heated our entire house and with those old ten foot ceilings, it was always cold, in the winter, so we didn’t stay in the tub to long.
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  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Clocktower Committee with the Montgomery County Historical Society, has been diligently raising money to restore the clocktower, to the courthouse, and as of today, we only lack $86,000! The project cost was $540,600 and we have raised almost one –half of a million dollars!
    We are in the final stage of raising the funding to restore the tower to our magnificent courthouse. The drawings have been completed and as soon as we finish the fund raising, the tower builds can start the fabrication of the tower. The Indianapolis Bicentennial commission has listed our project as a project which will leave a “lasting legacy” to our community and the entire state! 
    If you have thought about wanting to be a part of this project, but were waiting to see if we were going to be able to finish raising the funds, the time is now! We ARE going to be finishing this project! You can see how far we have come! Your donations at this time would be greatly appreciated. We need to finish our fundraising soon, so do not delay in sending your contributions. This project is a tax free credit and receipts will be sent to donors. To donate to the project, make check payable to the Montgomery County Historical Society, Tower Project, and mail to: Montgomery County Historical Society, Sandy Lofland-Brown, 1449 West U S Highway 136, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.
    We have been teaching classes in some of the county schools about Indiana History and Montgomery County History. The student’s have loved the lessons about who founded our town, learning who the streets were named after, and how important the courthouse in to the community. If these school children want to be a part of our project, I feel sure you will want to also.
    Many school children have donated to the project because they know every time they go past the courthouse, THEY had a part of making History, right here in our county. Every time they come back to Crawfordsville, after they have been away for years, they will remember helping to replace the awesome tower, which will be the focal point to our town and state. People will come to see if and realize they too can go back to their communities and improve them.
    Here are some letters from school students. We are printing these letters with the parents’ permission.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes Part 2: Omaha Beach and D-Day
    Monday, August 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    This 11-part column from Ronald P. May, USN (Ret.), will run on Mondays in The Paper. May is author of the book, “Our Service, Our Stories”. He helps veterans share and preserve the stories of their military service. For more information or to tell your story, contact May at (317) 435-7636 or by email at yourlifestory@live.com. You can also follow him on Facebook at Our Service, Our Stories.
    In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany – places that some of our Morgan County veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty over 75 years ago.
    Normandy is one of the 13 mainland regions in France. It is located in the far north of the country directly across the English Channel from England. 
    This coastline was the chosen location for the massive Allied invasion of German occupied France on D-Day. 
    The planners for Operation Overlord (code name for the Normandy invasion) focused their amphibious landings on 5 beaches that stretch across Normandy’s coastline. 
    The beaches were divided into 5 sectors. Each sector was assigned a code name: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. 
    U.S. forces were assigned to land at Utah and Omaha. The other three beaches were divided up between British, Canadian and Free French Forces. 
    In the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, a vast array of 1,028 Naval vessels consisting of minesweepers, transport ships, bombardment ships, anti-submarine ships and patrol craft approached the beaches along Normandy.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes Part 1: From Pearl Harbor to Europe
    Monday, August 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    This 11-part column from Ronald P. May, USN (Ret.), will run on Mondays in The Paper. May is author of the book, “Our Service, Our Stories”. He helps veterans share and preserve the stories of their military service. For more information or to tell your story, contact May at (317) 435-7636 or by email at yourlifestory@live.com. You can also follow him on Facebook at Our Service, Our Stories.
    In July of 2016 I joined a tour group and took an 11-day trip to Europe to tour World War 2 battle sites in France, Belgium and Germany – places that some of our Morgan County veterans once walked on or flew over. This series of articles is a summary of what I saw and learned there as I followed the path of American heroes who answered the call of duty over 75 years ago.
    The road to combat in Europe began in a U.S. territory almost 2,500 miles west of the western coast of the United States. And it began with an aggressor other than the Germans. 
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is a beautiful natural harbor on the southwest corner of the island of Oahu. It is the gateway to the immense Pacific Ocean beyond it. And, on December 7th, 1941, it became a gateway to war in Europe as well.
    At 7:48 am (Hawaiian time) on a quiet Sunday morning the tranquility of the island paradise was suddenly interrupted with the sound of plane engines overhead. 353 of them, to be exact.
    Japanese fighter planes, torpedo planes and bombers, which had been launched earlier that morning from six aircraft carriers, broke the peaceful surrounding with a deadly surprise attack on U.S. naval vessels and airplanes parked at Pearl Harbor. 
    The vicious attack damaged 8 battleships, 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, 1 training ship and 1 minelayer. In addition, 188 airplanes were destroyed. The most significant carnage was the human toll: 2,403 Americans died in the attack and close to 1,200 were wounded.
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  • Ramblings of a Shannondale girl . . .
    Monday, August 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    I was born on March 30, 1946. As a newborn, I really don’t know what went on but I imagine it is very frightening to be coming into this world from a place that was warm and secure. My mom didn’t know there were two of us, I came first and a few minutes later my sister arrived. Andy was born with spina bifida and club feet. Back then there was not much they could do for someone like my sister. My dad and my aunt had to take Andy to Riley Hospital. I guess back then either we couldn’t afford an ambulance or one wasn’t available. No one expected her to live, but she did for almost seven years.
    There were already three other girls at my home. Jeannine Claire, 7, Betheline 5 (also known as Biney) and Cora Sue (Cory) 2. Needless to say, my mom had her hands full. My sister Jeannine had to help take care of me and some aunts helped when they could. My mom’s sister had her hands full as she had a set of twins that were six months old. I am sure my mammaw helped, too, as they lived only a few miles away. My mom had to drive back and forth to the hospital to see how Andy was doing.
    When Andy and I came into this world, WWII was over and people were beginning to get their lives back together. It was a great time to be a kid, as you could play outside without being scared of things that might happen. Mom was a stay-at-home mom and was always a shout away. Almost all the women in Shannondale did not work outside the home and everyone kept an eye out on each other’s kids.
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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
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