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Monday, July 23, 2018
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  • Monday, July 23, 2018 4:00 AM
    I continue to be amazed when I ask women what the number one killer of women is, the majority respond, “breast cancer.” While breast cancer is the number one cancer killer of women, and is estimated to have claimed about 40,000 women last year, it is not the biggest threat women face. It’s estimated that ten times that many died of heart disease last year.
    Cardiovascular disease is arguably the most important women’s health issue, and is largely preventable. How can women be so unaware that they have a one in 31 chance of dying from breast cancer but a much higher one in three chance of dying from heart disease? Could it be that breast cancer gets so much more coverage in mainstream and social media? Is breast cancer generally more frightening & potentially disfiguring? Is heart disease just plain boring to talk about?
    Whatever the reason(s), women need to become educated about their risk of developing heart disease. The American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women™” campaign ( has helped raise awareness.
    It is well documented that doctors tend to give less attention to heart problems in women and that they receive inferior treatment compared to men. Much of this has stemmed from scientific studies on heart disease that have not included women. More recent information is shedding light on the diagnosis and management of heart disease in females.
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  • Monday, July 23, 2018 4:00 AM
    The Montgomery County Master Gardener Basic Training program is slated to begin in less than 3 weeks. We are looking forward to hosting a great class for those of you already planning to attend! There is still time left to sign up for this course if you want to sharpen your skills as a gardener.
    There’s a little something for everyone in the Master Garden Basic Training course. Our topics are scheduled as follows:
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One – Hendricks Family
    Monday, July 23, 2018 4:00 AM
    This week is a family affair, featuring Civil War soldier, Allen Hendricks (born in Putnam County Sept 5, 1836) and his two Spanish American War sons, Charles Allen (born June 13, 1872) and Jacob (born Feb 9, 1877), both born in Montgomery County.
    Allen worked his whole life as a Wagon Maker and went to the Danville, Illinois Veterans’ Home some time before death there on May 5, 1925. In the census previous to his demise, he was retired and living on his own income, thus the wagon business which was evidently lucrative in its time.
    He was one of the last survivors of Lew Wallace’s 11th Indiana Volunteers and went “to his reward, joining the ranks of his comrades long since bivouacked,” on “fame’s eternal campground.” Getting his stone was a bit different than others Kim Hancock and Suzi Petrey have sent in as he died after 1917. The government requires a signature of a living relative from this date to present, so Kim did some sleuthing and discovered a great, great, great niece, Kathy Phelps from Texas to sign so thanks KP.
    Originally joining the group for the short (3-months) service on October 21, in 1862, upon its end, he reenlisted and actually went well beyond completing his Civil War active duty August 4, 1865. Donaldson, Shiloh, Vicksburg, Raymond, Winchester and Ceder Creek are some of the raucous battles in which he participated, although he was a firm believer to never boast about the experience, the trials and hardships of war. This I’m sure also reflects his quiet demeanor.
    As with others in his regiment, he was forced to borrow from his commanding officer, Lew Wallace. As was Lew’s norm, he insisted the word of one of his men was all he needed, yet Al was bothered with that and worked furiously to clear the debt. The general remarked that, “I’ve seen your metal tested in hundreds of ways on the march and battle where I depended on you as I know you are also a good, honest Crawfordsville neighbor and you can depend on me.” 
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  • Friday, July 20, 2018 4:00 AM
    When our new washer and dryer arrived last week, I watched as the two behemoths were installed by two other behemoths. “Don’t I get instructions?” I asked, as they were packing their tools to leave. Expecting a simple tutorial, I was instead handed a 94-page manual. In four languages.
    I stared at the two appliances for several minutes. Our laundry room now looks like the cockpit of a 747. Between the two machines, there are more than three dozen buttons. Each lights up when it’s touched and emits a series of short annoying beeps as if it is trying to communicate with me like the aliens in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
    Our old washer had two settings. Going from a normal cycle to a gentle cycle is not something a man does lightly, so I never messed with that. My wife sometimes ventured there, but for the most part, the Wolfsies put a normal spin on things.
    These machines looked so imposing, we were both afraid to go into the room. We walked back and forth in front of the door for several days, avoiding the inevitable. Things were piling up outside and I knew that we couldn’t hold out indefinitely. But I didn’t want to be first—nor did Mary Ellen.
    I don’t have a lot of confidence with machines, in general. My wife won’t let me load the dishwasher because she says I don’t respect the slots. Somehow I end up deforming all the Tupperware. I’m okay with cups and glasses, although Mary Ellen claims it matters which end is up, which I think is just a compulsive affectation on her part. She also has this thing about my rinsing the dishes before I put them in the dishwasher, but no one runs socks and underwear under hot water before throwing them in the clothes washer. I’m right, aren’t I? I can see you nodding your head.
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  • Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:00 AM
    The United States Constitution mandates that redistricting of the United States House of Representatives and state legislative districts occur following the Census taken every 10 years. The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting was created by the AARP, Common Cause, the League of Women Voters of Indiana and others to encourage a redistricting process that is fair and open and results in compact districts which protect communities of interest, and upholds the Voting Rights Act.
    Tuesday was the anniversary of the birthday (July 17, 1744) of Eldridge Gerry, noted as the “Father of Gerrymandering.” Gerry had run unsuccessfully for Massachusetts Governor several times before winning the office in 1810. In 1812, he encouraged the legislature to approve a district which looked much like a salamander to assure a positive outcome. The term “gerrymandering” has been used ever since to identify the process by which electoral districts are drawn with the aim of aiding the party in power.
    The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting declared July 17—Gerry’s birthday the Day of Action for Redistricting Reform to remind state legislators that time is running out for redistricting reform and to put this at the top of legislative agenda next year.
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  • He was a basketball freak; she in a Moped gang
    Thursday, July 19, 2018 4:00 AM
    Although our gal this week was born in Connecticut where her father was stationed in the Navy, she is a North Montgomery graduate. Her hubs is a C’villian through and through, a grad of CHS where he played basketball and track. 
    However, he told me he never “ran in track,” but instead was only a high jumper and he loved it! He was class president his junior and senior years and was in Spanish Club and Student government. 
    The wrap-up to her high school career was a normal one, whereas his turned in to an insane whirlwind. The last few weeks before and after graduation presented a baby, prom, an 18th birthday, graduation, working for us at Zach’s, detassling, delivering papers, then a new job at Heritage Products and flying to Florida with a baby. The family portrait featured the little one all dressed-up in a Tuxedo Onsie! There would be four more to follow the dressed-up ‘lil fellow, totaling five for him. 
    Her life was a bit more laid back with only one daughter. It was in fact his oldest daughter and her daughter who pushed them together. They had known each other slightly as the girls were both in basketball and thus they officially met at a parent meeting. Another connection is that she was his mailman and knew he must be a good person (no bill collections). Although his children weren’t little when she was asked to be his wife, still she was taking on a great deal of responsibility. “It was scary, especially the laundry part!” But, he was a good guy and so funny, that she decided to take the plunge.
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  • Wednesday, July 18, 2018 4:00 AM
    It is that time of year again when the garden is putting out plenty of produce. We want to make sure we can eat that produce year-round. So, we dust off the canners and pull them out for a summer full of food preservation. But I have to stop and ask myself, “What methods are safe for which foods?” 
    If you’re looking to “can” produce from your garden, there are only two safe methods: boiling water bath canning and pressure canning. Boiling water bath canning is safe to use when canning high–acid foods, which are the majority of your fruits and pickled foods. Pressure canning is required when canning low-acid foods, which includes most vegetables and meats. 
    Low acid home canned foods are associated with Clostridium Botulinum. It has an 8% fatality rate and patients require hospitalization. Botulism toxin is a neurotoxin; it attacks nerve cells and paralyzes them. Symptoms appear 4 to 8 hours after eating contaminated food and begin at the head and work slowly downward. The danger of Clostridium Botulinum is the number one risk to our home canned foods, and why we must ensure proper canning techniques are being used. 
    One of the biggest mistakes people make when canning foods, is placing hot food in a jar and letting it cool. The jar appears to have sealed but it does not have a vacuum seal that has removed all the oxygen from the jar. In order to create a vacuum seal you must submerge jars in a boiling water bath or pressure canner. Canned foods should also only be made using USDA approved recipes. These include recipes in the Ball Blue Book and all should be from 1994 or more recent. 
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  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on the back of a Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In poster . . . 
    * * *
    IF ANYONE has a workable answer on how our country can get off the divisive, destructive and intolerant path we’re on, please share. Since we just celebrated the 4th of July it seems a good time for someone to raise their hand and say, hey, why don’t we just do this . . . 
    * * *
    JUST GOT a mailing about a newspaper industry conference coming up and wanted to share a piece of it:
    “Truth is the antidote for fake news . . . The truth is newspapers have never been under greater threat of attack. Never has your nation needed your leadership more. Never has there been a greater need for a rational voice to pull your community together. Never has your work been more important to the cause of freedom, democracy and independence.”
    You bet I’m biased, but if not for newspapers, who keeps an honest eye on our elected officials?
    * * *
    MY PAL John Hammer paid a visit last week and his message shared in this space generated several phone calls. Seems that a lot of you agree that Congress needs to stop voting party lines and start voting for answers that make sense, regardless of which side of the aisle they come from. Of course, you, Mr. Hammer and I can all see that pretty clearly. Not sure what it takes to convince the hired hands. After all, if the American people electing Donald Trump didn’t tell them a change is clamored for, not sure what will.
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  • Monday, July 16, 2018 4:00 AM
    I saw a young athlete two weeks ago who complained of shin pain. He had been upping his running mileage; the pain was due to a stress fracture. It is estimated that between five and 30 percent of athletes and military recruits develop a stress fracture each year. Briefhaupt first described the condition in 1855 when examining military recruits.
    Everyone is familiar with bone fractures, especially those that result from acute trauma. These fractures are usually easy for an untrained person to see on an X-ray – the bone looks like a broken stick. Stress fractures, however, can be much more difficult to diagnose. 
    Stress fractures result from repeated stress on the bone. This repetitive microtrauma causes disruption of the microscopic structure of the bone over time that eventually exceeds the bone’s ability to heal itself. A tiny crack subsequently develops in the bone that may or may not be obvious on an X-ray. Think of bending a piece of metal over and over; eventually it weakens and breaks.
    Stress fractures typically occur in bones that are prone to repetitive stress based on particular sports. The fractures can involve any bone, but the most common locations and their associated sports include the leg, hip and foot (runners & jumpers), the spine (gymnasts, divers & volleyball players), arms (throwers), and ribs (rowers). The forces experienced by bones in the feet and legs can be up to twelve times a person’s weight. Stress fractures are one of the five most common injuries in runners and account for up to half of injuries in soldiers.
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  • ETCHED IN STONE: One by One - James W. Bennett,
    Monday, July 16, 2018 4:00 AM
    Born in Fayette County, Kentucky, this soldier could easily have been on the Confederate side in the Civil War, but instead fought with Co C 40th Indiana, where he mustered in with many of our county on December 6, 1861. Although he lost an eye in the service and, because of it, was mustered out in May 1864, he returned to Montgomery County where his parents, John and Sarah Poynts Bennett, had brought their five children (our soldier, James William, being their oldest), doubling that number after arriving here. Only four total of the Bennett children would grow to adulthood and few of them had any or many children. Names associated with this family are: Galey; Armentrout; Davis and Gilliland. 
    Evidently, James W. Bennett, had been home for a furlough as he married Lydia M. Britton in March (10th), 1864 shortly before he was wounded in May. They had one child, Minnie born in February 1870, but it is unknown what happened to Minnie. I find no marriages, deaths, or anything relating to her but I am assuming she died young. Lydia died but no tombstone could be found, but he is listed as “widowed.” In the next census, he is remarried to Amanda Gardner (22 Oct 1877 Fountain County) and they have a son, James William Bennett. The younger never married so there were no children to carry on the Bennett name on his side, and only one brother, Rice who died at age 23 had one son, Edgar. Not sure if there are Bennetts descending from him today in our area, or not. James and Amanda divorced and she raised their young son, James William, who became a stage manager for many years at the Central Theater Company in Danville. He lived with and took care of his mother. 
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  • Friday, July 13, 2018 4:00 AM
    As Mary Ellen and I prepare to move into our new home, she keeps saying we have to “downsize! downsize! downsize!” We are both very stressed from doing this, which is why my wife is down a size and I’ve gone up a few.
    As I described in a previous column, I discarded more than 300 VHS tapes of my past TV segments, but there were a handful I just couldn’t part with. I wrote about a few of those. Here’s the rest of the list:
    A local animal behavior specialist took my beagle Barney (my TV co-host for 13 years) for a few days and claimed he had cured him of his destructive chewing and digging habits. In the middle of the interview with this expert on my front porch step the following week, Barney dug up the landscape bed and gnawed the microphone cable in half while the vet looked on in horror.
    I’m keeping the tape of Eloise Overdorf who at 93 wanted to go 200 miles per hour in a car. Bob Haverstick, founder of Never Too Late, an organization that granted final wishes to seniors, made it happen. The nonagenarian jumped into a two-seat dragster driven by Davey Hamilton and off she went. “You looked disappointed,” I said when she exited the car less than 20 seconds later. “I am,” said Eloise. “I thought I was going to drive.”
    In one interview, I asked the dumbest question of my career. A pet shop owner had a 6-foot alligator named Huey in a giant tub. I was amused to see that the gator was wearing a T-shirt that said AM Indiana, the name of my show. During the interview, I asked: “Has anyone ever gotten in the tank with Huey?” “No, Dick,” said the owner, “the reptile put the T-shirt on himself.” On second thought, I may destroy that tape.
    I kept my interview with the KKK. After the entire audience listened to 20 minutes of hate being spewed about the inferiority of the “negro,” the granddaughter of Sam Jones (then-president of the Indianapolis Urban League) rose to say that although she was black, she had ancestors who were white. “Maybe you and I are related,” she said to the Grand Wizard. Oh, the expression on his face!
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  • Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:00 AM
    Eighty-one percent of assessed stream miles in Indiana are polluted with unsafe concentrations of pathogens. Added to that is the fact that Indiana has more of these coal ash lagoons (84 in total) than any other state. More than West Virginia or Kentucky! These are just two of the topics that were part of a recent Lunch with the League presentation by Liz Solberg, League of Women Voters of Indiana State Natural Resources Advocate. 
    Solberg has spent almost five decades studying and monitoring the Wabash River Watershed. This is one of the three Mississippi River sub-basins that have the dubious distinction of delivering the highest nutrient loads (large quantities of nitrogen, phosphates and other chemicals) into the Gulf of Mexico. This has resulted in the creation of a huge "dead zone" (a more common term for hypoxia, which refers to areas in the ocean of such low oxygen concentration that animal life suffocates and dies) in the Gulf. Think about it--pollution in not only the Wabash River but Sugar Creek, Big Raccoon Creek and all the other streams and tributaries in our area affect habitats thousands of miles away. There is a lot of work to be done.
    Nationally, the League has a very clear position on water quality: Support measures to reduce pollution in order to protect surface water, groundwater and drinking water. The League of Greater Lafayette has taken it one step farther by promoting environmentally sustainable corridor development along the Wabash.
    Four decades ago, as many might remember, there were open garbage dumps along the banks of the Wabash. The League worked hard and secured an EPA grant for solid waste management education. Events were held for local officials to raise awareness of the deadly implications of ongoing disposal practices. Thanks to another EPA grant, the League was able to show the effects of non-point water pollution (Nonpoint source pollution generally results from land runoff, precipitation, atmospheric deposition, drainage, seepage).
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  • Five times he mentioned that conies used to be 17 cents
    Thursday, July 12, 2018 4:00 AM
    Been chasing my guest this week for quite some time. Finally nabbed him. Known him for years - great customers at Zach’s Family Restaurant and he reminded me four or five times that conies used to be 17 cents. 
    A 1966 graduate of New Market High School, my guest told me he was more a “farm boy,” than a school boy, meaning that although his grades were fine, he wasn’t in sports and such, because he would much rather be home on the farm. Since his parents owned 600 acres, a pretty big farm at the time, as well as having cattle, sheep and hogs, he was needed to help.
    After graduation, he worked awhile at Montgomery Wards, then joined the Army, spending a year in Viet Nam as an MP doing compound security. He finished his service years in Arlington, Virginia, after getting married when he not only accumulated a wife, but a 1969 Mustang Mach One as well. He still has both, and their 50th anniversary is coming up in about a year. Working with the Army Security Agency they spent a couple of years in Virginia. In October of 1971, he had surgery and finally was mustered out of the service the first day of the year in 1972. 
    Being that farm boy, he wanted to go home, although he noted that he had good experiences in the service, saw many places, met great people and learned so much, especially to carry him on to his career. Home became a small farm house that he and wife Meg rented from a family friend. They loved it, and he asked every month when he paid the rent to purchase the land and home. Then, about the time they had decided they were never going to get that house, the gal said, “Okay.” Guess what! They’re still there! 
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  • Tuesday, July 10, 2018 4:00 AM
    “Hey, Timmons?”
    Two words. Neither one spoken loudly or in anger. The decibel level wasn’t out of the ordinary. Just two words . . . that shattered the peace and quiet of a solitary Saturday morning in the office. Two words that meant I wasn’t alone when I thought I was. Two words that nearly gave me a heart attack.
    Two words that could only mean one thing – John Hammer.
    How this giant of a man manages to sneak into a locked office during off hours has always been a mystery to me. Still, the man with the red neck and blue collar stops by when he has something on his mind. I’ve found his message over the years to be worthwhile.
    So rather than fixate on the heart palpitations, I greeted the man known as Hammer with a smile.
    “Where’s this all going, Timmons?”
    “Sorry, John? Maybe it’s the light-headedness from almost having a heart attack, but you’re going to have to be a little more specific.”
    “All I hear anymore is that we’ve got a giant line right down the middle of this country,” he explained. “You’re either a conservative or a liberal, you either like Trump or hate him, you’re either a Republican or Democrat . . . and while I suppose it’s always been that way to some degree, now if you ain’t on the same side I’m on then the hell with you.”
    “Come on, John. Don’t you think you might be exaggerating a little?”
    “EXAGGERATING?” he exploded. “Have you been paying attention? How many D.C. lawmakers vote straight party all the time? Are you telling me that good ideas are limited to one party or another? If a Democrat has a good idea, why can’t Republicans support it? Tell me that, Timmons.”
    I had nothing.
    “I’ll tell you why, because it’s all about power. It’s all about who has power and who wants to keep power. If the Democrats acknowledge anything good about Trump then they think it weakens their position for the next election. If the Republicans think the Democrats are doing something right, they won’t say it because that might give the Democrats an edge.”
    His gravelly voice was getting louder.
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  • Monday, July 9, 2018 4:00 AM
    Kidney stones are a topic near and dear to my heart as I’ve had the distinct pleasure of passing four of them. Stones are also known as calculi, from the Latin for pebble. They can form and stay in the kidneys (renal calculi or nephrolithiasis) or move down the ureters, the tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder (ureteral calculi or urolithiasis). Stones may also be found in the bladder.
    The ureters are very small tubes that contain smooth muscle cells. These cells contract involuntarily to help move the urine from the kidneys to the bladder. When a stone is too large to pass down the ureter, it can partially or completely block the flow of urine, causing pressure to build up. This pressure, along with contractions of the muscles in the ureter, causes deep, severe, unrelenting pain known as ureteral colic. Stones may also cause blood in the urine.
    The peak onset of kidney stones is in the third and fourth decades. It is rare after age 60. Men have about a 12 percent lifetime chance of developing a kidney stone while women have a seven percent chance. Interestingly, stones are more common in the Southeast United States. The chance of developing a recurrence of stones is 14 percent at one year, 35 percent at five years, and 52 percent at ten years.
    Stones form when the urine becomes supersaturated. This means that minerals and molecules in the urine become so concentrated that they start to form crystals. These eventually grow to form stones. Maintaining adequate fluid intake to keep the urine diluted is therefore very important in reducing the risk of stone formation. Other types of stones may be formed by infection in the kidneys.
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