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Thursday, November 23, 2017

  • Wednesday, November 22, 2017 4:00 AM
    Have you been to the doctor lately and they mentioned your cholesterol and/or blood pressure is ticking to high. They start telling you the foods you need to avoid, so you throw in the towel and say why bother. Heart Disease is the leading cause of death for all Americans, and claims 600,000 lives annually. It’s understandably frustrating and frightening to be at risk for heart disease. But Purdue Extension’s Be Heart Smart program can help you fight this disease by better understanding it and gaining the necessary knowledge to make heart-smart choices. 
    Be Heart Smart can bring some clarity and help you identify and understand risk factors for heart disease. I will provide guidelines for healthy cholesterol and blood pressure. Demonstrate how to cook heart healthy and provide an eating plan. Discuss stress reduction techniques, because stress can play a big role in your heart health. Lastly, learn how to talk to your healthcare providers about your concerns. 
    Join Registered Dietitian Monica Nagele Purdue Extension Montgomery County Health & Human Sciences Educator, for the Be Heart Smart program on two Tuesdays for lunch in December: December 5th and 19th from 11:00 to 1:00 p.m. at the Crawfordsville Public Library.
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  • Tuesday, November 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    A man much older and wiser than me once told me I had the most diverse taste in music of anyone he knew. From the Oak Ridge Boys to the Archies, from Bobby Darrin to Jerry Reed, from Janis Joplin to Donna Summer, from the Andrews Sisters to ZZ Top . . . truth to tell, there aren’t many types of music I don’t like – at least a little. Shucks, I even told my better half that it’d be kind of cool to have bagpipes at my funeral – a response which went over about as well as, uh, well, bagpipes playing.
    At any rate, we had just seen the new Marvel movie, Thor: Ragnarok and I had Led Zeppelin’s classic Immigrant Song playing at a level the good folks at Beltone wouldn’t have been happy with. It was just me, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and –
    “HOLY CRAP!”
    John Hammer, a ginormous man with hands the size of ham hocks, was suddenly standing in my doorframe – the entire doorframe. I hadn’t heard him come in. Then again, I never hear him come in. I can’t prove this, but I think he takes great delight in somehow coming into our offices when they are closed and waiting until I least expect it and – BAM! It’s like Emeril on steroids.
    “People don’t deserve to be happy,” the big man growled in a voice that made 10 miles of gravel road sound smooth. 
    “Well Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, John,” I managed while still trying to catch my breath. “But dang, even for you that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think?”
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  • Monday, November 20, 2017 4:00 AM
    Winter cold & flu season is starting to gear up. This week, I’d like to talk about a different kid of flu, “stomach flu.” I have to start by dispelling a common misconception that all flu is the same. “Stomach flu” is not caused by the same viruses as “respiratory flu.” Flu shots, given to prevent respiratory influenza, will not protect you against viruses affecting the gastrointestinal tract that causes an infection known as viral gastroenteritis.
    Noroviruses are the number one cause of acute viral gastroenteritis in America, with an estimated 21 million cases per year with about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. The name norovirus is derived from a virus that was first identified as the cause of an outbreak of illness in a school in Norwalk, Ohio in 1968. They are a very sturdy group of viruses, able to withstand freezing and temperatures as high as 140 degrees. They can survive steaming when cooking shellfish and are even resistant to the levels of chlorine found in our municipal drinking water.
    Typical symptoms of norovirus infection include the sudden onset of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain/cramping. Diarrhea is particularly common in children. These symptoms can lead to dehydration, especially in the young and elderly. 
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  • Saturday, November 18, 2017 4:00 AM
    On Tuesday, Nov. 21, the Indiana General Assembly will convene for the ceremonial start of the 2018 legislative session. Organization Day, as it is commonly called, provides legislators with an opportunity to meet with other lawmakers and staff to discuss legislative topics.
    The 2018 legislative session will reconvene Jan. 3 and, by law, must end no later than March 14.
    To stay informed as the legislature considers new laws, visit iga.in.gov. On this website, you can stream committee hearings and session meetings and view legislative calendars, agendas, vote tallies and proposed legislation.
    As your State Senator, I value your input as I participate in policy discussions at the Statehouse. Contact my office with any questions, concerns or comments you may have by email at Senator.Boots@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.
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  • This week's guest dodged death three times and is now 99
    Thursday, November 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    My gal this week is 99 and sharp as can be, attributing a good night’s sleep, keeping busy and pure dumb luck for that amazing tally. Speaking of amazing, her life has been just that, including dodging death three times over: whooping cough as a baby, diphtheria at age 11 and a ruptured appendix at age 52. We’re lucky she’s here to tell us her intriguing story.
    A world traveler, she was all smiles when I queried which of the 118 countries she’d visited was her favorite? “It depends on the topic!” For culture, it was all-hands down France. Friendliness was certainly enjoyed in both Australia and New Zealand. Scenery was extremely special in South America, Maderia Island and Switzerland. African animals, of course, cannot be duplicated while she loved England for history. She’s seen most of the U.S. as well, she and her husband taking their four sons to 44 of the states before the boys graduated from high school even. Purpose? To photo biomes around the globe, as well as just plain fun!
    What an unusual childhood! Her parents were divorced when she was quite young and her mother raised my little lady, her sister and brother. Mother taught school, sold eggs and gave piano lessons, while the children pitched-in by selling cookies door to door, as well as mowing yards. All three were valedictorians and received scholarships. In fact, she tallied seven. 
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  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    For 29 years, Heritage Products Inc. has contributed to the economic vitality of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County. This auto parts manufacturing facility is owned by the Japanese firm Hiruta Kogyo Co., LTD, headquartered in Okayama, Japan. Over those years, executives from the corporate office have visited their facility here several times. Until recently, we have never returned the favor. This all changed when Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton paid them a visit during a trip to Japan last September. 
    In a recent presentation given at the “Lunch With the League”, the Mayor showed how important building relationships is in maintaining our economic vitality. The trip was organized under the auspices of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb led a group of Indiana business and government leaders in order to advance Indiana's economic and cultural partnership with the state's largest foreign investor. Among all U.S. states, Indiana is home to the largest amount of Japanese investment per capita with 280 Japan-based companies that employ more than 58,000 Hoosiers. Japan also supports many locations of Indiana-based firms, including Eli Lilly, Cook Medical, Urschel Laboratories and Zimmer Biomet.
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  • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:00 AM
    Lately I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time looking in the mirror, concerned that the years have taken a toll on me and that I have aged quite a bit. My wife says I'm crazy, and to be that obsessed with my own looks makes me appear very elfish. (I hope she meant selfish. My ears were the only part of my face that I thought hadn’t aged.)
    Now when I shave, I tilt my head down to look at my receding hairline. For a long time, people asked me if I was losing my hair, but I knew exactly where it was. It wasn’t lost; it was in the sink drain. About 25 years ago, I had a hair transplant, which is sort of like what happens when someone dies. "He's gone to a better place," friends will say. That's the same with my hair. I don't have more hair, but what I had, the doctor put in a better place. 
    While examining my new signs of aging, I noticed a chin I had not been aware of before. Even though I’ve lost weight, those extra chins are very stubborn. I was pretty happy with the two I already had. 
    This reminded me of a story I wrote many years ago about an item I saw advertised, called “The Miracle Neck Slimmer.” Was it a scam? The manufacturer guarantees a 68 percent reduction in neck wrinkles. I have achieved similar results by simply slinging my head back and looking straight up at the ceiling. Unfortunately, the results are only temporary, and I have slammed into several doors while practicing the technique, but it does work. Well, I think it works. It’s hard to look in the mirror in that position.
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  • Wednesday, November 15, 2017 4:00 AM
    For many, November is the time of year to reflect on those people, things, opportunities, etc. that they are most thankful for. As a 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator, I am no different. I am thankful for the 4-H Youth Development program and all of the many opportunities that it offers our young people to learn, develop, and enhance the life skills that they will need for years to come. 
    The mission of the Indiana 4-H Youth Development program is to provide real-life educational opportunities that develop young people who will have a positive impact in their communities and the world. Each year the Montgomery County 4-H program strives to provide youth with the opportunities to fulfill this mission statement. With the new initiative of 4-H SPARK Clubs, the 4-H program is reaching new audiences in unique ways to continue to provide all youth the opportunity to learn and enhance life skills. 
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  • Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a David Henry Thomsett album . . . 
    Last week, we sent out an e-mail notice that many of you got and that prompted a lot of good questions – and surprisingly – a lot of understanding and agreement. So, to share all the answers . . . 
    • Yes, we are raising our subscription rates Jan. 1. 
    • Yes, this includes a small charge for our daily Online Edition.
    • Yes, the price will include our new and immensely popular Sunday Edition.
    In addition, let me add a little more.
    • Yes, this is our first across-the-board circulation rate increase since we started in 2004.
    • Yes, we have grown dramatically and are nearing 10,000 customers for the first time in our company’s history.
    • Yes, we hope that after more than 13 years you will forgive us this one small price increase.
    • And yes, if you sign up now for a year you can get 15 months for the price of 12 AT THE OLD RATE!
    Just for the record, annual home delivery rates are going from $88 to $99 – still far cheaper than any other newspaper in these parts. Our six-month rate is going from $48 to $59 and we are going to charge $3.99 per month (or $42 a year) for the Online Edition, which comes out seven days a week, 365 days a year – including every Sunday and holiday!
    Yeah, yeah, I know I sound like a pitchman, but think about this. It’s still the cheapest price around and The Paper is the fastest growing newspaper for miles and miles! Oh, and did I mention our Sunday Edition? It averages 33 pages a week (isn’t that great how online can be an odd number – try doing that in print!) and includes all kinds of cool reading on travel, books, Montgomery County’s most popular columns from the sports and news worlds, a respectful and complete collection of the week’s obituaries, a calendar of local events, a super-colorful and useful page for the younger members of our audience and more and more and more! One reader told us that he sat there with a cup of coffee and his tablet and finished the whole pot before he got done reading!
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  • Along the Path of Heroes Towering Alps and the Fall of Hitler and Nazi Germany (Final Article in 11-part Series)
    Monday, November 13, 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.
    Adolph Hitler loved Obersalzberg, a mountain retreat nestled in the Alps just above the village of Berchtesgaden, about 75 miles southeast of Munich in Bavaria, Germany.
    After coming to power in the Nazi Party, Hitler purchased a chalet in the mountains and turned Obersalzberg into his own private residence - a secured Fuhrer’s ‘off-limits’ area that included buying out or pushing out previous inhabitants to make way for his new domain. 
    He later renovated and expanded the chalet, making it his beloved Berghof, a vacation residence that he would use extensively for 10 years. 
    Today there is almost no visible remnant of Hitler’s prized home.
    Its absence symbolizes the end of the once mighty Nazi Party and the final demise of its powerful and maniacal dictator, Adolph Hitler. 
    Our tour group traveled to the sight of Hitler’s former residence at Obersalzberg. We gazed upon its faint ruins and tried to imagine its former splendor.
    Hitler especially loved the mountain area around the bucolic village of Berchtesgaden. He felt the Bavarian mountain region produced the ideal Germans – rural, industrious, with ties to the earth through farming and outdoor living. 
    Beginning in 1923, as he was flexing his political aspirations, Hitler began coming to the area of Berchtesgaden regularly for rest, relaxation and contemplation. 
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  • My head is spinning – what’s wrong, Doc?
    Monday, November 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    This week I want to address a specific variant of a condition that I’ve been seeing a fair amount of lately – dizziness. Primary Care doctors in the U.S. see about six million patients a year with dizziness.
    Dizziness means different things to different people and can be a symptom of many different medical conditions. People usually describe being dizzy when they either feel faint or lightheaded or when they feel like their environment is spinning. This latter sensation is called vertigo, from the Latin vertere meaning, “to turn.” 
    I want to touch on the most common cause of vertigo, known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV. Benign means the condition is not dangerous, paroxysmal indicates it occurs in a recurring pattern for short periods of time, and positional refers to the vertigo being brought on by changes in position.
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  • Her mom told her, “You’re out of your mind!” about babysitting
    Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:00 AM
    My guest this week attended her 50th high school reunion a couple of years ago and amazingly had 35 out of their graduating 42 there. Larry Steele, a professional ball player and Jeff Blue of the Boston Celtics who now professionally sings are among her classmates, along with a lady lawyer in Las Vegas and one in Chicago, a doctor in Indy, farmers, an auctioneer and a lot of everyday Joes and Janes, my kind of folks. She sees some of them occasionally but says she’d love to get together once a month.
    Speaking of high school, a good friend, Gary Rossick, was a buddy of a big-city (Greencastle) basketball and record-setting cross-country star. Gary fixed my gal up on a blind date with the 17-year-old young stud. She was a mere sweet 16, in high school choir, in Job’s Daughters and served as their soloist (although she said she really couldn’t sing). Since her maiden name was O’Hair, it was quite appropriate for she and Mr. Greencastle to go to the St. Patrick’s Day Dance and Patty Boy worked some awesome magic as they were married 46 years. Their wedding was in January 1966 in a major blizzard. They were married in the Brick Chapel Methodist Church where her father was treasurer and mother a Sunday School teacher. Both were church active in several other ways. Living just three miles from there, she enjoyed Methodist Youth Fellowship, 4-H (sewing and dress review) and loved having fun, especially with her dad on is 90-mile paper route. Her two brothers and sister wouldn’t go, but her Dad could count on her, saying, “She’ll go anywhere!” Truthfully, she still loves going . . . anywhere, anytime. 
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  • Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:00 AM
    Redistricting Reform is one of the key issues facing the upcoming 2018 General Assembly. Why is this important? The Indiana Bicentennial Visioning Project listed redistricting as one of Indiana’s top policy priorities to increase possibility for competitive elections in our state.
    Unfair redistricting creates “safe districts” which result in uncontested or uncompetitive elections, leading to reduced voter interest and turnout. In 2014, 44 of 100 seats in the Indiana House of Representatives were uncontested in the general election. That year Indiana had the lowest voter turnout in the country!
    The League of Women Voters of Indiana partnered with Common Cause Indiana to create a state wide coalition calling for real redistricting reform in Indiana. Coalition partners include: Hoosier Environmental Council, Citizens Action Coalition, Indiana Farmers Union, Center for Aging and Community, Jobs for Justice, NAACP, Moral Mondays, ACLU, Moms Demand Action, Sierra Club, Lafayette Urban Ministry, Indiana Coalition for Human Services, AAUW, and others.
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  • Wednesday, November 8, 2017 4:00 AM
    Mary Ellen was kind enough to pass along a comment she had heard about me at her book club. “Kathy says your newspaper column makes her laugh.”
    “Gee, thanks for sharing that, Mary Ellen.”
    “Yes, and, Cara, the organizer of the group, told me she thinks you’re quite amusing on TV.”
    “Wow, I sure appreciate the compliments.”
    “But Dick, I have to ask you this: How come you’re not so funny at home?”
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  • Tuesday, November 7, 2017 4:00 AM
    Shootings in America seem to bring out all sorts of debates except the important one – what can we do to stop this?
    No offense all you on the far right and far left, but don’t send me the worn-out debates about gun control, personal rights and the rest. I won’t get baited into the argument that defines guns as the problem . . . or the solution. Some of you folks can cuss and discuss that to your heart’s content.
    Isn’t it time we focused on what’s wrong with our society today? Isn’t it time we focused on us?
    I read a James Dobson Focus on Family column a few years back where he talked about music lyrics. I don’t remember the exact words, but the gist was pretty simple. In the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, lyrics tended to focus on golly-gee-willikers-everything-is-swell scenarios. Little by little over the decades, things changed. We went from I love my dad to I want to kill my parents to I want to kill myself to . . . well, you get the idea.
    And no, no, no, I am not laying the blame of mass shootings on rock’n’roll. Bear with me.
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