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Friday, July 29, 2016

  • Monday, July 11, 2016 10:53 PM

    Clearly, I love newspapers. I love almost every single thing about them. I love the idea that we give you the news of the day. I love that we tell you who came into this world as well as respectfully share who left. I love the smell of ink and paper dust – even as that fades away through outsourced printing and readers migrating online. I love the fact that while lots of folks like to say newspapers are dying, the fact of the matter is that we have more people reading us than ever before.

    Think about that for a second, if you would. If this were a Broadway play the critics would be predicting the curtain falling on the show while the theater was packed with a waiting line out the door.

    Ah, but I digress.

    Here at your little Newspaper Company That Could, we’ve turned July into what we call Founders Month – a month-long celebration of our 12th anniversary. As such, I’ve had my nose buried in Montgomery County newspaper history books and it’s been a joy for a geek like me. For example, did you know that the first newspaper in Montgomery County was the Crawfordsville Record? It rolled off a press – brought all the way from Cincinnati by freight wagons – on Oct. 18, 1831. The subscription cost a whopping $2 per year if paid in advance.

    Next came the Examiner, a weekly Democratic newspaper that began in 1837. Two more papers opened and closed their doors – the Record and the Western Reporter – before the cousin to the current version of the Journal-Review, entitled simply the Review, opened in 1841. A competitor, the Journal, came along seven years later and fought tooth and nail (sound familiar) until 1929 when the two came together to form a new newspaper.

    However, as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story.

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  • Tuesday, July 05, 2016 12:00 AM

    A few months ago, Abilities Services – better known as ASI – lost its leader. Executive Director Bob Cook, a leader who had been there for quite some time, passed away. That left a big void at the top and started a long and careful search for a worthy predecessor.

    As reported a little more than a week ago, the search may have been exhaustive but ultimately it did not have to venture far from home. Michelle Leonard-Smith, the director of administration and human resources at ASI, was promoted to the top position.

    Recently, Michelle was kind enough to answer some questions. It’s obvious that ASI not only got a qualified individual, but a quality one as well.

    Q: ASI covers multiple counties. Talk a little about the impact it has in Montgomery County please.

    A: Montgomery County is our corporate headquarters.  We have been serving Crawfordsville for 45 years.  Over the years we have witnessed many changes. I believe that we are currently in an exciting time as we are rapidly growing and changing our service delivery model to better reflect what families right here in Crawfordsville are looking for. In June we added music therapy which has turned out to be so popular that we are already looking to hire an additional music therapist. In July, we are investing $25,000 to bring a completely new and exciting platform to our day program called Creative Abundance. Creative Abundance is all about taking items that would normally be considered either trash or recyclable items and turning them in to local art.  It also focuses on things such as horticulture and bee keeping that has been outside of our norm in the past. We have a vibrant Vocational Rehabilitation department that works diligently with local industries to find job placement for those with a disability. You would be amazed to know how many people you encounter during your normal day that are currently working as a direct result of ASI. Respite care has really taken off over the past few years. We are able to offer caregivers a break from the day-to-day routine, which for most of them could be their only disruption from 24/7 care. We are now offering this service for children as young as 4 years old as long as they have a qualifying Indiana Medicaid Waiver.

    Q: ASI gets financial support from MUFFY. Many non-profits are facing financial challenges now. How is ASI doing?

    A: I feel that we are very fortunate for the support of our community. Montgomery County always seems to step up when we are in need and we cannot be more grateful. Over the last few months we have really began to enhance our programs and add even more services so that families have options to be able to meet the needs of their loved one. We are looking at even more changing occurring over the next 12 months and we eager to bring on new families who in the past we have not been able to assist.

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  • Tuesday, June 28, 2016 12:00 AM

    Sometimes in the hustle and bustle we overlook the good. Call it a sad part of human nature if you like. We just get caught up in the negative.

    Last week I got a nice glimpse of the opposite side, the positive. Two impressive and professional young ladies stopped by the worldwide HQ of your favorite little media company and gave a presentation. They are interns for the Community Foundation and are in charge of the contest to name Crawfordsville’s pocket park – a downtown addition that is supposed to break ground in the spring at the corner of Pike and Washington streets.

    But the park isn’t the focus of today’s ramblings. Brooke Monts and Morgan Kinkead are.

    These 2014 Southmont graduates – who have been friends since grade school – are the epitome of polished and professional. Both are juniors-to-be in college, Monts at IU and Kinkead at Indiana Wesleyan. Foundation director Kelly Taylor tasked the two young women to be in charge of creating a contest to find a name for the park and follow it through from start to finish. Taylor couldn’t have found two better representatives.

    The project has the tagline “your mark, our park” and there’s no doubt Morgan and Brooke are leaving their own mark. Some of the ideas they have for the contest include placing about 50 boxes to collect entry forms around the city. They also want to work with a local artist, or artists, to incorporate the various entries into some sort of artwork that will be on display in the new park. In addition, they have come up with an entire strategy that runs the gamut from a social media outreach plan to utilizing local newspapers and businesses.

    For young people who are still in school and don’t have a few decades of experience yet, their work is both attentive to detail and impressive.

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  • Tuesday, June 21, 2016 12:00 AM

    In a few weeks, your little Newspaper Company That Could will turn 12. I know. One year away from those precocious teen-age years when rebellion and attitude really take hold – something I’m sure local politicians just can’t wait for!

    What will that year bring? No idea, but let me tell you a little bit about the birthday party we’re planning next month.

    Montgomery County has a long and very proud history of locally owned newspapers. Our crack research team at the Worldwide HQ has found that some of those magnificent publications date back to the early 1800s and – except for a period from 1979 to 2004 – shows that Montgomery County has always had at least one or more newspaper that was owned by folks who live here.

    So, inquiring minds may ask, why the heck does it matter who owns the durn thing I’m reading? Ultimately, friends and neighbors, only you can answer that question.

    Is it important to you to have the money stay here in our community? If so, then out-of-state ownership is a big deal. If no, then not so much. What about jobs? Again, if that’s important to you then it’s a no brainer. What about reinvesting in the community? Out-of-state companies tend to invest elsewhere. That matter to you? To paraphrase ol’ Smokey the Bear, only you can prevent out-of-state hires.

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  • Tuesday, June 14, 2016 1:04 AM
    It used to be that bad news came in the form of a phone call or knock on the door. In today’s world, it’s just as likely to be an e-mail, a Facebook post or some other electronic harbinger of news. 
    Progress, I guess.
    The e-mail tagline on my computer screen simply said “A Hoosier legend has died.” Who knew an e-mail could feel like a phone ringing at 3 o’clock in the morning?
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  • Tuesday, June 07, 2016 1:11 AM

    Almost everywhere I go people have said something on my weight loss. One of the common themes has been the strength it took. Strength? Hardly. I watched my mom and my mom-in-law battle debilitating diseases that eventually robbed them of their lives. The mettle and courage they displayed over years of fighting was remarkable to watch.

    That’s the true measure of strength, not pushing back a second helping.

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  • Tuesday, May 31, 2016 3:30 AM

    Notes scribbled on the back of a Henry S. Lane for Governor poster . . .

    * * *

    DID YOU know that our Henry was the first Republican governor Indiana had, albeit a short-lived one. And for those keeping score at home, including Gov. Lane, the last Hoosier 43 governors have consisted of 22 Republicans and 21 Democrats. John Gregg is probably smiling at that.

    * * *

    IT WAS A big week for politics. The now-former county GOP Chair John Pickerill told The Paper he was stepping down from his leadership post immediately. Not only that, but he said he was leaving the Grand Old Party altogether to sign up with the Libertarians.

    Whether you love him or hate him, Pickerill is a man of convictions.

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  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016 1:30 AM
    The older I get, the more easily I find myself becoming distracted. I’ll start on one task, switch to another, get interrupted and then go on to something else entirely different. A while later – might be an hour, might be a week – I’ll wonder what happened to that first task I was working on.
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  • Tuesday, May 17, 2016 1:00 AM

    Coming soon to a political backroom near you soon, the Empire Strikes Pick, or if you prefer westerns to sci-fi, Pickerill’s Last Stand.

    Call it whatever you like, what it’s going to be is a Republican caucus designed to fire current GOP County Chair John Pickerill. After the recent primary, it would appear that the “real GOP” has the two-thirds votes to accomplish it and, judging from Pickerill’s quotes in The Paper, he seems resigned to the fate.
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  • Monday, May 09, 2016 11:31 PM

    Every year around this time I sit by the phone . . . waiting. I figure some school somewhere will call and ask me to share this nearly four decades worth of journalism knowledge with the young folks they are getting ready to unleash on the world through a graduation ceremony. After all, I spoke at my high school graduation more than 40 years ago. It’s something everyone ought to do every half-century or so.

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  • Monday, May 02, 2016 11:57 PM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a Ross Perot for President sticker . . .
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  • Monday, April 25, 2016 11:49 PM
    For the eight or nine of you who regularly follow these weekly dribblings, that headline should come as no surprise.
    When people cast their ballots – and I sincerely hope everyone does – don’t vote for those who have attacked their opponent.
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  • Monday, April 18, 2016 11:22 PM
    The news that Cline Grain closed sent ripples through Montgomery County that may quietly fade away as ripples sometimes do . . . or might simply be the first sign of a pending tsunami.
    Perhaps it’s easy for some to ignore the story that broke more than a week ago now. To review, The Paper obtained documents from the Indiana Grain Buyers Warehouse Licensing Agency stating that Cline Grain has closed multiple locations. In short, that meant Cline could no longer receive grain for storage, grain bank, warehouse receipts, deferred pricing or any other grain merchandising.
    Some in the farm community – and let’s not forget that Montgomery County IS a farming community – have had angry words for the Clines. 
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  • Tuesday, April 12, 2016 1:05 AM

    Notes scribbled on the back of a Cheech and Chong album cover . . .

    This week’s subject is politics, class. Class. CLASS! (If you’re old enough to remember Cheech and Chong you won’t have to google that.)

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  • Monday, April 04, 2016 11:53 PM
    Before my dad passed away we were talking about the future. I told him I wasn’t sure how I’d do without him in my life. He looked at me, smiled and said, “sons bury fathers, Bud. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.”
    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way in more than one out of every 10 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 11 percent of teen-age deaths are the result of suicide. It is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. for teens, the fourth for people 35 to 44 years of age and the eighth for the 55-64 age group. Overall, the CDC says suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
    The problem, or at least part of the problem is that we tend not to talk about it.
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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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