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Friday, December 6, 2019
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  • Friday, December 6, 2019 12:52 AM
    I’d like to celebrate some of the special people I interviewed while doing my weekend segments on WISH-TV in 2019.
    Gregg Bell is 90 and still practices dentistry and is director of that department at Logansport State Hospital. But wait, there’s more! In 1953 Bell won the Olympic gold medal in long jumping, in Melbourne, Australia. When I interviewed him, I asked to him to show me the 26-feet, 5.2-inch distance that won him first place. Greg eyeballed the floor and walked it off within a quarter of an inch.
    Gary Varvel is one of the few remaining nationally syndicated political cartoonists in the country. He is now retired from the Indianapolis Star but offers his work from his website. Gary invited me to his home to see how, with the help of a high-tech software program, he creates his award-winning drawings. I seldom agreed with Gary politically, but there is no arguing with his creativity. He also did a caricature of me. I love caricatures. I don’t seem to get any older in them.
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  • Friday, December 6, 2019 12:48 AM
    Although it may not seem like it, winter is a great time to spend birdwatching – from the comfort of your own home. One of the easiest ways to get a good look at your neighborhood’s bird population is to install a bird feeder in the backyard. More than 40 species are known to visit Indiana feeders in the winter, including cardinals, goldfinches, juncos, and woodpeckers.
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  • Friday, December 6, 2019 12:47 AM
    I was 8 years old in 1956. Although I lived on a small farm 2 1/2 miles southeast of Darlington, I was in town just about every day. I would tag along with my dad, who could always find some excuse to drive to town, either to take grain to the elevator, have a cup of coffee at the restaurant, stop in at the drug store for a pack of cigarettes, visit Warren's Hardware, get a haircut at Slim's barber shop, play a game or two of pool at the cigar store, check in at Cox's gas station to hear the latest gossip and jokes, go to the bank, visit the American legion hall for a game of cards . . . well, you get the idea. It was a needed break from the daily grind of working on the farm. I can't even imagine how many miles Dad put on that old Dodge pickup traveling back and forth to Darlington. Sometimes he let me sit on his lap and steer and shift the gears as he pushed in on the clutch. Most of time I rode in the back, and many times I laid on top of the cab as he drove down County Road 400 North at his usual pace of 30 mph.
    It seemed like Main Street was always packed with cars and trucks. Many times Dad had to park on North Franklin as there were no parking spaces on Main. The many businesses were bustling with activity, and there were always people sitting on the numerous benches out front. In the evening, the town was often more crowded than the daytime, as the townsfolk and farm families would head to town for some ice cream, a soft drink, an evening snack . . . or just to shop as several businesses stayed open until 8 or 9 p.m. Many kids would also be downtown after sports or other school functions, often congregating at the drug store or restaurant. Of course, Friday and Saturday nights were always busy. The Sunshine Theater was usually jam-packed for the movie crowd.
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  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:57 PM
    Notes scribbled on the back of 1967 Pittsburgh Pirates program . . . 
    For those keeping score at home, this is the 69th day of fall – there are 91 total, so we’re almost done with days of autumn. Spring begins on March 19 . . . so, there we go. Only 106 days until spring (and yes, I swiped that from Bits’n’Pieces). Welcome to looking at winter through rose-colored glasses – or hopefully looking past it.
    * * *
    THERE’S BEEN a lot of buzz about the incident involving County Councilman Mark Davidson being on Nucor property while hunting. Councilman Davidson, owner of Davidson Greenhouse, was kind enough to tell The Paper that he made a mistake by going on that property. He said he had shot a deer the day before and was just trying to be a good sportsman and retrieve it the next day.
    Makes sense. 
    The Paper filed a public records request with the Department of Natural Resources because, according to several people in law enforcement, that’s the agency that dealt with the incident. It’s not that we doubt Davidson. But anytime an elected official runs into something like this it’s better to get the facts and not innuendo or rumor. So we’re waiting on a report, and specifically want to know if the DNR confiscated Davidson’s gun and if they gave him a ticket for not wearing an orange vest. 
    4 comment(s)
  • Tuesday, December 3, 2019 10:56 PM
    The Legend of the Legendary League” program Nov. 25, presented by Nick Hedrick and Shelbi Hoover, addressed the struggle for women to gain support in the national suffrage movement of the right to vote. When the US Constitution was ratified in 1788, no women had voting rights. Four decades later, the early suffrage movement gained steam when hundreds of people gathered at a church in to hold the well-attended convention in Seneca Falls, New York. Activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented a document calling for women to be allowed into the voting booth. The document was signed by 68 women and 32 men.
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  • It's time for Christmas decorating!
    Monday, December 2, 2019 4:00 AM
    Now that the turkey is picked clean to the bone and the store shelves are bare. . . it's time to put up the Christmas tree and hang those stockings! There is no shortage of festivities when it comes to Montgomery County. Not only is there a new event, bazaar or parade around every corner, most events are free for the family. I will try my best to keep everyone updated on upcoming Holiday activities for the family that won't break the bank. I am guessing that the Baschwit household is not much different than other families in saying, every year we resign to cutting back the financial hit to the old wallet and try to make more of an effort to remember the “reason for the season”. Spending time with one another and enjoying each others company, recalling the year that has gone by. Toasting to our loved ones that we have lost and appreciating those who are with us. I'm sure we're not the only ones who want to give our children and grandchildren a grand gesture and shower them with gifts in abundance that darn near put us in debt yearly. So this year, I hope we can all take a breath and enjoy the season. That we can be grateful for time together and the birth of our Lord and Savior. That maybe this will be the year of awakening and gratitude and not a season of stress.
    “Christmas, my child, is love in action. Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas”, Dale Evans
    Can you sing? Are you comfortable singing in front of a huge crowd??
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  • Saturday, November 30, 2019 1:23 AM
    MAC actually got several e-mails (all unsigned, tsk-tsk) that asked about an incident involving county councilman Mark Davidson. Here’s the best and most complete of the e-mails.
    Dear MAC,
    Word is that County Council Mark Davidson was arrested at Nucor. Is that true and if it is, what he arrested for and does he have to quit the Council?
    Unsigned
    MAC reached out to the Sheriff’s Department and found that no arrest had taken place involving the MCSD. MAC also reached out to the Department of Natural Resources and they confirmed that there was an incident but asked MAC to fill out a public records request form – which we did. The good folks at the state of Indiana said MAC would hear back . . . at some point. So far, MAC hasn’t.
    What MAC has learned (other than bureaucracy is slow) is that there was indeed an incident, however, it did not result in an arrest. So MAC contacted Mark Davidson and here’s what he said:
    2 comment(s)
  • Saturday, November 30, 2019 1:22 AM
    Dear Rusty: I’m 67 and have been collecting Social Security for a couple of years now but I want to increase my benefit. Will you please explain what Social Security’s Form SSA-521 is for? Would it benefit me as a retiree to be able to gain more on my monthly benefits? Where and how could I request or access this form? Signed: Seeking Answers 
    Dear Seeking: Social Security’s Form SSA-521, Request for Withdrawal of Application, is used when someone has applied for Social Security benefits and later decides they do not want to collect their benefits after all. The form can be submitted within 12 months of the start-date of your benefits, and if approved will require that all benefits which have been paid to you, or on your behalf by Social Security - including Medicare premiums, withheld taxes and any benefits (including those paid to your spouse or any other dependents on your record) - are fully reimbursed to the Social Security Administration. It might be used, for example, by those who claim prior to their full retirement age, perhaps because they become unemployed and need the money, and then later become employed again. Or it might be used by someone who applies for benefits early but later simply change their mind and now wants to delay claiming to increase their benefit amount. This form is how someone can initiate the “do over option” that you sometimes hear Social Security pundits speak of. It essentially “wipes the slate clean” with Social Security, but it cannot be used by someone who has been collecting benefits for more than one year and it cannot be used more than once in your lifetime.
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  • A life passing in the middle of the curve . . .
    Friday, November 29, 2019 4:00 AM
    It was a warm September afternoon in 1985 when I awoke after having worked the night before as a Deputy Sheriff for the Montgomery County Police department. As I poured a cup of coffee, my wife arrived back home from a trip to Darlington.
    "How was your night?" she asked . . . always worried that I would be involved in some dangerous situation.
    "Nothing too exciting last night, thank God," I responded.
    "Well, I just had something happen that was rather strange . . . When I was coming back from town, I came around the curve by Garry's house, and one of our neighbors and his wife were turning their car around right in the middle of the curve! It's a good thing I was going slow, or I might have struck them. Why would anyone try to turn around like that . . . where other cars can't see them until it is too late?"
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  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 12:14 AM
    First, I noticed the owl. 
    “Peter! Did you see the owl?!” 
    Our last Airbnb in Spain had a ceramic owl. So, when I found a similar owl—in a similarly inconvenient location—I took it as a good omen.
    “What owl?” my husband, Peter, said.
    Then I found four more owls, bringing our tally up to five. 
    “Five owls! Now I know this is going to be a good trip!”
    “Huh,” Peter agreed. (Sometimes Peter’s not as effusive as I am.)
    We are staying in Frigiliana, a small town in the south of Spain. The rent was suspiciously cheap, but the reviews were all good except to say that the house was on a road with stairs. There is a good reason for this: the town predates wheels. Roads with stairs work perfectly fine if you don’t drive on them. 
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  • Wednesday, November 27, 2019 12:09 AM
    It’s hard to believe, but the little paper that could is now going on our 16th year. So on the eve of Thanksgiving, please bear with a vagabond newspaperman as I offer a few thank yous that are much needed. I’ll also apologize because there isn’t enough space in this edition, or any other, to list everyone I should. There’s simply no way we’ve gotten to this point in life without owing a ton of gratitude to a ginormous crowd.
    But no matter how big, this list has to begin with you, dear reader. Whether you’re a reader or an advertiser, there’s no way on God’s good earth we could have survived 15 years without you. You have been more patient than we deserved and more supportive than I could imagine.
    For many of you, the idea of having a truly local newspaper was important and you have supported us from day one. For others, you seem to like at least some of the work we do and you have been great to us. But for everyone, regardless of the reason, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We simply would not be here without you.
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  • LWV was at rally
    Wednesday, November 27, 2019 12:08 AM
    Montgomery County residents were among the hundreds gathered for a noon Redistricting Rally held on the east entrance steps of the Indiana State Capital in Indianapolis on Legislative Organization Day November 19. This was the same day as the RED for ED Rally, and many people participated in both. Julia Vaughn, Common Cause, welcomed the men, women and children assembled and called for the Indiana House and Senate to pass reformed redistricting laws for the state of Indiana.
    The bipartisan Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting with twenty-five organizations including educational organizations, environmental organizations, consumer groups, and many others has been work for fair and bipartisan redistricting urging a process that ends the conflict of interest that exist when legislators draw the maps. Thousands of teachers support the need for redistricting!
    The 2020 legislative session will be the last opportunity to reform redistricting process before this occurs in 2021. Republican Senator Greg Walker (Columbus) created a reform bill which passed the Senate in both 2018 and 2019, but it died when the chairman of the House Elections committee refused to give it a hearing.
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  • Tuesday, November 26, 2019 12:14 AM
    While all the rage in education, my hackles rise when an educator declares, “We learn from our students” or “Students should construct their own knowledge.” Granted, the 55 years since I was a freshman may explain my antediluvian notion that professors should teach because students need to learn.
    At 8:00 AM on a Monday morning in 1964, I was in a large auditorium at the University of Alabama filled with other freshmen when a young professor strode in with his graduate student assistant in tow. At the podium, wearing a three-piece suit, the professor introduced himself: “Welcome to History 101, Western Civilization. This is not high school. You will be here on time and in your seats before I begin lecturing which will be promptly at eight o’clock. Unendurable pain and distress are the only acceptable reasons for leaving class during my lectures. My hours are on my office door located on the second floor. If you have any problems, see my graduate assistant first. If phoning me at home will save your physical life, then, please call. Otherwise don’t.” After a pause he turned to his notes. “We begin our discussion with the fall of the Roman Empire.”
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  • Stacey shares sentiment behind the writing
    Monday, November 25, 2019 4:00 AM
    Although I believe most of us try and make a daily effort to, this is a time to reflect on our lives and just how blessed we are with what we have. Remembering what we're thankful for and remind our friends and loved ones just how much they are appreciated and how much they mean to us.
    I myself have so very much to be grateful for, including you. I appreciate each and every one who take the time out of their busy week to read the ramblings of my “Wits End.” I love when I am out and someone introduces themselves and I have the pleasure of meeting you in person. 
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  • Monday, November 25, 2019 4:00 AM
    My goal in this article is to explain why the commissioner’s office believes a community outreach program is critical to success. Communication is defined in part as the imparting or exchanging of information with news and / or the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings. The Montgomery County Commissioner’s Office is committed to communicating as effectively, efficiently and as clearly as possible. The most important role in communication is listening and if we take the time to listen to each other and have open and honest conversation, great things will happen.
    I have learned a lot about communication in my years serving the public.
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media 
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