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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017 11:26 PM
    It’s back to school time, and the Crawfordsville Police Department would like to remind everyone to drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 16-20 year olds in the United States. The primary causes of crashes for drivers in this age group are speeding and distracted driving. Distracted driving alone led to 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in 2015. Talking on the phone, texting, using social media, talking with passengers, and eating in the car are all examples of distracted driving.
    Cell phone use is one of the most common distractions for drivers of all ages. Drivers are encouraged to safely pull over if they need to use a phone for any reason, including talking on the phone. Indiana Code states the following in regards to cell phone use while driving:
    IC 9-21-8-59 Use of telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle
    Sec. 59. (a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to:
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  • Monday, August 14, 2017 8:00 AM
    Last year, the City of Crawfordsville began the process of updating the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. For the last 12 months a team of City staff, volunteer steering committee members, key stakeholders, consultants, and the public have been refining the vision for Crawfordsville over the next 20 years. This plan, based on community input, will serve as the City’s roadmap for issues such as land use, redevelopment, housing, economic development, infrastructure, transportation, parks and recreation, and more. The goals and objectives of this plan are an extension of the City’s quality of place efforts through the Stellar Communities designation. Those goals are focused on the following: creative place-making focused on community gathering points, promoting wellbeing through trails, parks, and bike/pedestrian friendly improvements, promoting economic growth, engaging residents by tapping into their human capital and energy, harnessing the tremendous power of Crawfordsville’s community of volunteers, and building community pride through aggressive blight elimination and public improvements. 
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  • Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:00 AM
    Indiana Auditor of State Tera Klutz recently closed the books on Fiscal Year 2017.
    Indiana ended the year with a $42 million surplus and $1.777 billion in reserves, which help protect Hoosier taxpayers in the case of an economic downturn.
    These numbers are a testament to Indiana’s fiscal discipline. Every two years, the General Assembly works to pass a balanced budget, and if revenues and expenditures do not go according to plan, we adjust our spending to ensure we live within our means.
    Indiana's financial stability allows us to provide for Hoosiers without cutting vital government services or raising taxes.
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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:34 PM
    During the legislative session, members of the Indiana General Assembly often discover that certain topics require further consideration and study before further legislative action can be taken.
    Indiana’s bipartisan Legislative Council, which is made up of eight state senators and eight state representatives, determines topics that need to be studied and assigns them to interim study committees. These committees, made up of state senators and representatives as well as lay members, meet during the summer and fall months when the General Assembly is not in session.
    I will serve on the following study committees, commission and council this year:
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  • Monday, July 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    Many of the 272 bills passed by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session went into effect July 1. Some of these new laws are listed below.
    House Enrolled Act 1002 creates a 20-year road funding plan for Indiana, providing $1.2 billion per year to take care of our current infrastructure, finish the projects we have started and plan for the future. 
    Senate Enrolled Act 226 limits the amount of opioids that may be prescribed to a patient receiving his or her first opioid prescription from a provider. 
    Senate Enrolled Act 239 requires the Department of Correction to give a victim at least 48 hours of notice if an offender’s release or discharge date is changed during the 40-day discharge notification period. 
    Senate Enrolled Act 307 requires the Department of Workforce Development to give veterans and their spouses priority when filling federal or state positions or training programs if they are eligible and were honorably discharged from the military.
    Senate Enrolled Act 323 allows victims of domestic violence to petition a court to divide a wireless service contract that is shared with their abuser. 
    For a full list of new laws passed this year, visit http://www.indianasenaterepublicans.com/clientuploads/2017%20Summary%20of%20New%20Laws/Boots%20Book.pdf.
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  • Monday, July 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    The debate over county planning and zoning has been ongoing for many years and has been at the forefront of the last several county elections. Property rights have been touted as the premier issue on many occasions and often proposed as the true measure of one’s political ideology. 
    Regardless of how you feel about the issue, whether you are for or against county-wide planning and zoning, you are now being given the opportunity to witness the debate move beyond words and rhetoric into the world of reality. 
    With private property owners in northern Montgomery County poised to lease their land for use in wind turbine power generation pitted against nearby residents who staunchly oppose the concept, the matter, and political ideology, will be put to the test.
    I want to begin by making it perfectly clear that the proposed windmills are not in Crawfordsville and we are not directly impacted. Nor am I advocating for, or against them. However, I do believe it is well worth pointing out that a true test of this core political ideology espoused for many years in Montgomery County is about to take place. It is my hope that those on both sides of this issue watch and listen closely. 
    Area residents are understandably concerned about the effects of these proposed windmills. However, the county does not regulate land use and any ordinance singling out a specific use or industry without the backing of overall zoning regulation, and the system of due process it provides, can only go so far. 
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  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    It is with great anticipation and excitement that I write to the readers of The Paper of Montgomery County. The Clocktower Project for the Montgomery County Courthouse is coming closer to becoming a reality. The bid has been accepted by the County Commissioners, and the final fundraising is continuing. Dr. Kirtley and his committee started this project in 1996, and even though he passed away in 2000, the work has continued. Yes, in honor of Dr. Kirtley, as what was his dream during the last years of his life; however, this project has also been a dream and passion for many of the people in Montgomery County.
    The committee has forged ahead every day for the last twenty-one years, yes, I said, the last twenty-one years, because we feel the restoration of the clocktower will be a historical addition to our county. The courthouse was built in 1876, and the beautiful tower stood guard over Crawfordsville and Montgomery County for 65 years.
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  • Monday, June 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    This legislative session, lawmakers passed another balanced budget – House Enrolled Act 1001 – that funds our state’s top priorities while staying within our means.
    Indiana’s long-standing dedication to keeping our budget balanced has contributed to U.S. News and World Report recently naming our state government the best in America. Click here to view their report.
    Some of the highlights of the state’s new two-year budget include:
    Keeps our budget balanced;
    Maintains strong “rainy day” reserves;
    Dedicates over half of general fund spending to K-12 education;
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  • Sunday, May 14, 2017 11:19 PM
    This legislative session, lawmakers worked to replace Indiana’s ISTEP test with a better standardized exam to measure student growth.
    The ISTEP exam has been plagued with problems in recent years, including excessive time requirements and delays in getting results.
    To address these issues, the Indiana General Assembly passed House Enrolled Act 1003, which replaces ISTEP with ILEARN (Indiana's Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network).
    ILEARN will be administered once at the end of the school year, the total testing time will be shorter, and students will receive results from multiple choice questions more quickly.
    Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCuabInxa2s&feature=youtu.be to watch State Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn), chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, discuss the new exam.
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  • Monday, April 24, 2017 4:00 AM
    Passage of Indiana’s next two-year budget highlighted this week’s conclusion of the 2017 legislative session. The new state budget is balanced, has $1
    The new state budget is balanced, has $1.9 billion in reserves, and provides significant funding increases for education, public safety and fighting drug abuse.
    For the past decade, Indiana has been a national leader in responsible budgeting. In recent years, lawmakers have cut taxes for both workers and employers, reduced state debt and built up our reserves. An important part of our economic climate is creating policies that benefit tax payers and job creators.
    This budget reflects these principles that have made Indiana the fiscal envy of the nation while continuing our strong track record of pro-growth economic policies.
    Highlights of the state budget (House Enrolled Act 1001) include: 
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  • Monday, April 17, 2017 4:00 AM
    The 2017 legislative session will be drawing to a close by the end of the month.
    Several key issues are being worked out in Conference Committees, which are comprised of members from both the House of Representatives and Senate. Conference Committees find agreement on a final bill, which must then be approved by both chambers. If the bill is passed, it moves to the governor for final consideration.
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  • Monday, April 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    Last week, the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy approved an amended version of House Bill 1002, which would establish a long-term, sustainable road funding plan for Indiana.
    The Indiana Department of Transportation estimates a $1 billion annual road-funding gap over the next 20 years. Addressing this gap will have many direct and indirect benefits for Hoosiers. These include:
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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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  • 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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  • Saturday, March 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    The second half of the 2017 legislative session is officially underway.
    The Indiana Senate will now be considering bills that passed the House of Representatives in the first half of session.
    Here are some of the major topics we will address:
    House Bill 1001 (Indiana’s two-year budget): As we take up this bill, we are dedicated to keeping our budget balanced, investing in K-12 education and finding a long-term solution to fund Indiana’s infrastructure.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
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