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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

  • Paper debuts new column
    Tuesday, August 23, 2016 4:00 AM

    Millennials. Entrepreneurs.

    It seems like every meeting I go to that involves anything to do with economic development – which is a two-dollar word for ‘bidness’ – those two words come up.

    I’ve never claimed to be the smartest guy in the room, so no one will be surprised when I confess that the first time I heard someone mention millennials I thought it was something Hans Solo flew in a Star Wars movie. Then I found out it really meant someone who was born between the early 1980s and late 1990s.

    Smack me in the forehead and give me a V8 – low-cal, of course.

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  • Charlie Herron lived life right way
    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 4:00 AM

    Charles A. Herron wouldn’t agree, or like, much of what follows . . . starting with the first three words, Charles A. Herron.

    I found that out the first time I met him at Boots Bros. Oil Co. Phil Boots introduced me to “Charles Herron” and I made the mistake of shaking his hand and addressing him as Mr. Herron.

    He frowned.

    Charles?

    “Just call me Charlie,” he said. “That’s what most people do.”

    It was the first time he told me what to do. Wasn’t the last. Not by a long shot.

    2 comment(s)
  • Monday, August 08, 2016 9:53 PM

    Dale Petrie has had a bunch of titles, past and present.

    When he was in high school he was student body president. At Wabash College he continued his involvement in student government. Elder at his church, elected member of the school board, board member of more organizations than you can shake a stick at . . . he’s been there, done that and sweated through a lot of T-shirts.

    The true measure of the man though is when he talks about the titles that clearly matter the most to him, husband, father and grandfather.

    “I’m going to get choked up,” he said during a recent interview when the subject turned to family. “I’m so proud of my son and who’s decided to live here.”

    Over the next few minutes, Dale talked about son Daniel and his wife Emily and their two children Graham and Fletcher. He was just as quick to tell about daughter Erin who lives on the east coast and manages an HH Gregg store. Not to be left out is wife of 41 years, Linda.

    No matter the subject, Dale Petrie has enthusiasm, but passion comes out for family.

    That tells you a lot about the man.

    Two of his current titles, Deputy Mayor of Crawfordsville and Director of Operations are just that, titles. What he really does is manage efforts that are under way with Crawfordsville’s Stellar designation.

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  • Tuesday, August 02, 2016 12:00 AM

    Listen.

    Do you hear it?

    Listen close.

    It’s a buzzing.

    Listen again.

    Hear it now?

    I attended a Chamber Breakfast Before Business event yesterday. If you’ve never been, you’re missing a chance to feed body and mind. First off, the food is always excellent and second, the chance to hear from a lot of business-minded people from around Montgomery County is highly educational. For example, there were a couple different mentions about a buzz going on with several businesses.

    Don’t know about you, but a “buzz” – when you run a business – is almost always a good thing.

    The big question for me was why.

    The answer? Stellar.

    From ribbon cuttings to people looking to do business, things are picking up in Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. And while I believe that we as a community need to be very smart in how we allocate resources and invest money in stellar programs, there’s no doubt that things are happening because of it.

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  • Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:00 AM

    We’ve had a lot of fun celebrating what we’ve called Founders’ Month. Just in case there are more than the regular eight or nine of regulars reading this week, the little newspaper company that could is celebrating its 12th anniversary.

    Throughout the month we’ve shared a little news about the folks who have invested a significant amount of money to give Crawfordsville and Montgomery County a true locally owned newspaper.

    Today, let me share with you those who have invested their talents.

    These are the people who work here, or in Ol’ Roughrider’s words, the people who are “in the arena; whose face(s) are marred by dust and sweat and blood . . .” These are the people who make The Paper and The Weekly a reality.

    It begins with Kim VanMatre. Kim has done a little bit of everything here. She started almost 10 years ago selling ads. She quickly was promoted to retail director. Later she became advertising director and is now our corporate vice president of sales with The Paper, The Weekly, The Noblesville Times, Sheridan News and Hamilton County Sports Daily. Truth to tell, I’ve worked with some awfully talented sales people over almost 40 years but I’m not sure I’ve ever worked with anyone who can sell better than Kim. What sets her apart is how much she cares about both her customer and her company. She has that rare combination of brains and talent that makes her an unstoppable force.

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  • 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?
    1 comment(s)
  • 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.

    0 comment(s)
  • 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.
    0 comment(s)
  • 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.
    1 comment(s)
  • 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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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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P.O. Box 272
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
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