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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    Notes scribbled on an Alfred E. Neuman for President bumper sticker . . . 
    I’ve never rooted against an American in the Olympics, but skier Lindsey Vonn sure is making it tempting.
    Vonn was being interviewed by CNN – more on that in a moment – and said that she would not accept an invitation to the White House . . . because, wait for it, of President Donald Trump.
    Listen, I don’t care if Trump, Obama, Harry Truman or Minnie Mouse is the president. If an athlete is invited to the peoples’ house in Washington, D.C., put your personal feelings aside, throw on those big boy or big girl pants and go!
    Vonn can like or dislike anything she wants – she certainly has that privilege. But a whole lot of athletes (and others) in this country seem to forget that they can and should respect the office.
    I’m sick and tired of petty politics that get in the way of everything else, so if Vonn wants to make it personal that’s fine with me. When it comes to Olympic skiing, I’ll be rooting for her teammates, her opponents, the officials and anyone except her.
    And before I hop off the soapbox, hey CNN – what the hell kind of question were you asking? I heard the interview and the questions were all about Donald Trump. I don’t seem to recall you asking any of the Olympic athletes on their way to Vancouver, London, Sochi or Rio de Janeiro if they would accept invites from President Barack Obama. Of course I’m getting up there in age because surely a splendid news organization like CNN wouldn’t slant their questions . . . 
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  • Monday, December 11, 2017 4:00 AM
    An adult patient has asked me to write about night terrors. While night terrors can be seen in adults, they are much more common in children. It’s hypothesized that this is due to brain development in these children. 
    Night terrors are a subclass of sleep disorders called “parasomnias.” Rather than focus specifically on adults, I’d also like to talk a bit about kids. People who exhibit parasomnias often have family members who suffer from them as well. Virtually all of these conditions go away with time.
    Parasomnias are a category of sleep disorders defined by abnormal and unnatural movements, behaviors, emotions, perception, and dreams. They occur while falling asleep, sleeping, between sleep stages, or arousal from sleep. They are further classified by when they occur in the sleep cycle – during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep or during non-REM sleep.
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  • Friday, December 8, 2017 4:00 AM
    Wow November has come and gone, where did it go? The Veteran Newsletter is back. I am very well from my Surgery on October 4th and I will be working now thru Jan 2018 Tuesday and Thursday in the am. Please call me on my phone 765-361-4133 and I will return a call to you.
    Now here is what happened in November while I was gone. I had 45 Veterans call in to the office and Vicki Emmert and Karen Arnold helped in my absence. We had 4 veterans go to Indianapolis using the DAV Vans. I also had 1 veteran take the DAV Van to Danville, IL.
    Now here is a real important thing to note. The VA announces rollout and Application Process for the New Veterans I D card. This was mandated through legesilation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise.
    Only those Veterans with Honorable service will be able to apply for the I D card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of Standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.
    The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of Service. With this Card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around there paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran Discounts and other services.
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  • This week's guest lives by adages
    Thursday, December 7, 2017 4:00 AM
    At the tender age of five, our fellow this week, lost his mother. He was then raised by various aunts and uncles. Thus, he was as close or even more so, to his cousins than his own siblings. Particularly, he was buddies with one first cousin and shared service letters from Robert with the Crawfordsville District Public Library for their collection, as well as me for the Montgomery County INGenWeb page.
    Because of this sad happening, he attended several schools: Ladoga, for the first two years; Waynetown for grades 3-4; Roachdale, 5-6; with the 7th and 8th in Crawfordsville, then on to Pike Township in the Indianapolis area for his freshman year, and finally the last three years here where he received his high school diploma at CHS and joined the Navy immediately afterward. He spent most of his time in the Pacific and earned the rank of 2nd Class Petty Officer.
    During high school, he was a paper boy, worked on a farm (Manford Pitts, where he stayed some of the time), for Francis & Mounts, Dreyer’s Drug Store and Cunningham’s Groceries. Also, he (along with his aunt) worked for Prof. Clarence Leavenworth and his wife, Annie. Their son, Billy, had been killed during WWI and the Leavenworth’s let our guest borrow Billy’s clarinet. Thus, he played in the dance band in the USO -- clarinet and sax. Loves music. 
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  • Thursday, December 7, 2017 4:00 AM
    The 226th anniversary of the signing of the “Bill of Rights” is celebrated this December. Ratified on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights guarantees fundamental civil and human rights of all citizens, residents, and visitors on United States territory.
    The first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution include the freedoms of speech, press and religion, the people’s right to keep and bear arms, the freedom of assembly, the freedom to petition, the right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure and compelled self-incrimination.
    Further, the Bill of Rights guarantees due process, trial by jury, prohibition of excessive bail as well as cruel and unusual punishment. Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
    The League of Women Voters calls for continued protection of civil liberties, improved political discourse and greater civic participation. Since our founding in 1920, the League has worked to defend civil liberties and promote citizen engagement in democracy, and we continue this emphasis today. The League’s mission seeks to help individuals recognize the critical importance of protecting and honoring our most cherished constitutional rights and how they impact our everyday lives.
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  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 4:10 AM
    The Jon Sparks era has come to an end for Southmont boys’ basketball. Problem is, no one seems to be willing to explain why.
    A press release from Southmont athletic director Aaron Charles came out just before 3 p.m. Tuesday saying that Sparks resigned as head coach and that Jake Turner will serve as the interim head coach.
    I asked Aaron, “Did Jon give a reason for his resignation? If so what was it?”
    His response: “Our focus is on this team and moving forward as they continue to work to reach their goals for the season. We will not comment any further than what was released.”
    Our staff called Charles several times Tuesday, called Southmont Principal Mike Tricker multiple times and even called the corporation office trying to speak with Superintendent Dr. Shawn Greiner. Not one call was returned. I’m not a hard guy to get hold of. I’ve printed my cell phone number in this very paper multiple times.
    When we tracked down Sparks, he was only willing to confirm that “a change has been made.” I talked with him later and he sent a statement that started with “The administration at Southmont has determined my coaching to be finished. And so I have resigned effectively immediately.” The full statement can be read at the bottom of this page. 
    So was he fired or did he resign? 
    Did the fact that Sparks made a decision to bench his best player Saturday as Southmont lost a lead and the game at Cloverdale factor in?
    I asked Aaron that, too, in an email. No response yet.
    It’s time that we start acting like adults, don’t you think? Someone made an adult decision that has us in this situation. This situation where a 4-2 Southmont team had a head coaching change part way through the season.
    That’s the situation and fans, supporters, taxpayers and students want to know why. They deserve to know why and what really happened.
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  • Wednesday, December 6, 2017 4:00 AM
    Over the past several years, I have saved my Hammacher Schlemmer catalogs. These frequent mailings are from a company that offers unique gift items, many of which you cannot purchase anywhere else. I have poked fun at their products in my columns, and now to celebrate their 2017 Christmas edition, here are a few of my favorites. Most of these items are still available. And I threw in a few new ones. Of course, the question is: Are they still for sale because they were so popular, or does the company just want to finally unload this stuff?
    World’s Largest Gummy Bear: Still in the catalog from four years ago when I first reported on it, this gummy bear is 1,000 times larger than your average fruit bear. (Say that in Yogi Bear’s voice and it’s a lot funnier.) HS advises that it tastes best when kept in the fridge and then sliced into cutlets, which is a term that should really be left for veal. The giant gummy bear is cherry-flavored and serves 12 kids. Or 106 adults.
    Fish-Catching RC Boat: The perfect gift for the absolute laziest person in your life. It’s a pint-sized boat that fishes for you. Yes, it trolls the lake, sets the hook when the fish strikes and then brings the fish back to shore. It’s $69.95, and for an extra six bucks you can get a sign to put on your front door: Home fishing.
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  • Tuesday, December 5, 2017 4:00 AM
    By now you know the drill. It’s Saturday morning. The office is closed, doors locked. The place is dark. And quiet. It’s my favorite time of the week because I tend to get a lot done. 
    That was exactly the scenario and I was deep in paperwork when- 
    “Boo!”
    There are specific moments in life when things become crystal clear. It was in that moment that I was certain I was in the beginning stages of a massive heart attack. My vision clouded. I lost my breath. My chest pounded. I was afraid to check my pants.
    “FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, JOHN!”
    He was giggling. Actually giggling. John the incredible hulk Hammer giggling? 
    Sigh.
    “You need to learn how to relax, Timmons,” he said. “You remind me of that cartoon cat that ended up on the ceiling when the dog came up behind him and barked.”
    “Yeah, well, I’m glad I can give you some entertainment,” I grumbled as I let go of the ceiling . . . but Hammer wasn’t giggling anymore. Not even smiling.
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  • Monday, December 4, 2017 4:00 AM
    The cold weather is finally arriving and it’s time to prepare for the flu. Most people us the term “flu” in a very generic sense, meaning anything from cold symptoms to having a case of vomiting and diarrhea. The “flu” in this column refers to respiratory influenza that kills 36,000 Americans each year and puts another 200,000 in the hospital.
    Influenza is caused by a virus and Type A and Type B cause the majority of infections. Type B typically does not cause severe disease whereas Type A can be lethal, particularly in the young, elderly, and those who have compromised immune systems. 
    Type A virus can be broken down further into different subtypes or “serotypes” based on which proteins are found on the surface of the virus. When you read about influenza virus with a name like “H3N2,” the “H” and “N” refer to the different proteins on the surface and the numbers refer to the serotype. The serotypes are also often given common names, usually from their region of origin, such as Influenza A “Hong Kong.” 
    Influenza viruses are constantly changing or mutating slightly so that each flu season brings new serotypes. Scientists make an educated guess each year on what serotypes of virus might occur the following year and formulate that year’s vaccine accordingly.
    It appears that the predominant serotype of influenza A this year will be H3N2. This type has a history of causing more severe illness. Unfortunately, this serotype is not in the vaccine this year. That means we can expect a more severe flu season.
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  • Friday, December 1, 2017 4:00 AM
    We were watching TV one evening last week when my wife asked, “Don’t you think it’s about time we moved?”
    “Sure,” I said. “I’ll stretch out on the floor with a pillow; you take the couch.”
    Apparently that is not what she meant. After 30 years in our house, Mary Ellen now thinks we should be living in a condo, a place where the owners don’t have to mow or water the lawn or shovel snow. My son will be disappointed if we move. He was making good money doing all that.
    My wife is certain we have many good years in front of us, but she doesn’t believe in having anything above us. Like rooms. Mary Ellen wants everything on one floor. I like going upstairs to go to bed. That’s my 12-step program from Exercisers Anonymous. If we buy a home all on one level, that’s the end of my 30-second evening workout. 
    So last weekend, despite my misgivings, we started looking for a new place to live. We have this great real estate agent who is the most effusive and energetic person I have ever met. He’s excited about everything. The first condo we looked at, Brad got very emotional about the baseboards that accented the tall walls and high ceilings, the inch-thick granite countertops, and the stamped concrete patio (whatever that is). He was quick to point out that there was an electrical outlet on the kitchen island where we could make frozen margaritas. And those slow-closing drawers and cabinets? He was ecstatic.
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  • Karen felt blessed with her royal wish granted this week
    Thursday, November 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    My gal this week was suggested by my granddaughter, Reilley Baldwin, seconded by her brother, Dane and I got a third from the oldest, AJ. They all three agreed on what a fabulous person and teacher this lady is, so read on and I think you will agree!
    First of all, I just met her as when I taught a semester (after retiring from Turkey Run) at CHS, I knew several and met others, but really didn’t meet everyone unless they were in the English Department or I had lunch with them. I did have the same prep hour as this gal, though, but every time I took my little walk around for exercise, and thought I’d talk to her, she’d be helping a student. Each morning and every evening after school, she was working with someone. “I love working with the students. It’s so exciting when they finally get it. Working one on one is so wonderful!” She does indeed love the kids.
    In fact, when she first went to CHS in 1996, she began as a TA, working in the resource room, helping students with studying, remediation and when an opening was available, she became one fabulous Math teacher, guaranteed by the Baldwin trio above!
    Not a native Montgomery Countian, neither is her husband, Wes. She was from Farmersburg, Indiana and graduated from ISU in Special Education. She landed in his hometown, Washington, where he was a photographer on the local newspaper. He was a good friend of one of the other instructors. A group (four single gals, four single guys) went out one evening and my guest and Wes ended-up together. What a whirlwind match it was, started dating in March, proposed in May and married in October on her grandparents’ 55th wedding anniversary. Her father was killed in Vietnam when she was just four-months old. A bunk buddy returned, met her mother and they wed. Although she’s the only child of her parents, she has three half-brothers from that marriage. Her husband is the only child and so marrying on her grandparents’ special day was touching.
    Wes has had some fascinating experiences and enjoyed almost all of them, except his one year of teaching. The second day one of the teachers at the high school quit so Wes was recruited. One year was enough! 
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  • Thursday, November 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    Support for reform of Indiana redistricting is growing with many events having been held all fall and several in November sponsored by a number of civic minded organizations.
    Debbie Asberry-LWV of Indiana and JuliaVaughn-Common Cause Indiana were speakers at a November 6 meeting in Columbus/Bartholomew County at which Republican Senator Greg Walker participated. Another well attended gathering occurred November 11 in Noblesville.
    Montgomery County Leaguers participated in a Redistricting Forum held November 16 at the Julia M. Carson Government Center in Indianapolis. This was sponsored by Women4Change Indiana. Like the League of Women Voters, Women4Change believes in “civil discourse.” In fact, they have created a Civility Pledge which all in attendance recite before meetings begin.
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  • Tuesday, November 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    Like any business, we’ve had a few hits and misses along the way. While I won’t say I enjoy the misses, there are a couple of hits that have worked out pretty well. The Sunday Edition has certainly been a huge hit – perhaps our biggest. Creating Readers’ Choice back in 2005 has been a pretty big deal, too. But truth to tell, the Challenge has been one of our hits that has become my favorite.
    That’s because of the people involved.
    If you are not familiar with the Challenge, it is roughly based on the television show The Biggest Loser. What we do is bring together a group of community-minded individuals who want to lose some weight. We partner with the great folks at Athena Sport & Fitness and Franciscan Health and run a 10-week program. 
    We raise money that has gone to local non-profits in the past and now to fitness and literacy programs for young people. 
    And we work with great people. 
    That’s been the fun part for me. I won’t name names because out of the nearly 70 participants we’ve had over the last few years I would be sure to miss someone. However, I’ve got to share one story about one person who’s going through the Challenge a second time.
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  • Monday, November 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    Welcome to the first in a series of articles on economic and community development in Montgomery County. This column is a joint effort between the City of Crawfordsville, County Commissioners, and County Redevelopment Commission and represents the collaboration underway to position Montgomery County as a strong competitor for talent and business attraction and retention. Given some of the recent monumental activities and decisions, the focus of this article is on the importance of Planning. 
    As with anything today—going on vacation, buying a home, saving for your kids’ college, kids sports schedules, or running a business—at the foundation of nearly all facets of our life today is a plan. Making a substantial long-term investment like buying a home is not done haphazardly or without discipline. It generally means setting goals for saving, establishing a timeline, and monitoring the budget to make sure when the time comes for the down payment, the money is there. Planning for a community’s future is no different and can take on various forms.
    The Mayor’s Stellar initiative is one of the more important planning efforts the City has ever undertaken. Like changes in fashion, music, and technology, communities evolve too and those who do not adapt to the changing needs and desires of its residents will become stagnant or worse, die out. Stellar represents the community’s vision for the future and is the result of months-long collaborative planning. It is not the single vision of any one person, but rather the projects represent the compilation of input from residents, business owners, community leaders, and other stakeholders who want a thriving city for themselves, their children and grandchildren, as well as for those who may look at Crawfordsville as a place to live and do business.
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  • Monday, November 27, 2017 4:00 AM
    A patient whose mother is having hearing difficulties asked me to write about the best way to choose someone to fit hearing aids. I’d like to begin with some background on hearing.
    It goes without saying that hearing is one of our most important senses. It is critical for our quality of life as well as for safety and social interaction. There are an estimated 30 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss, 65 percent of whom are younger than 65 years of age. It’s very concerning that one in 14 younger adults and one in 20 adolescents have measurable hearing loss. Since 1971, the number of Americans with hearing disorders over three years old has doubled.
    The primary cause of hearing loss is environmental noise. The louder the volume (measured in decibels or dB) and/or the longer the exposure, the more likely it is for damage to occur. Repeated exposure to noise over 85 dB like lawn mowers, truck traffic and shop tools can lead to gradual hearing loss.
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