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Friday, November 24, 2017

  • 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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  • 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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  • Along the Path of Heroes Part 10 Dachau Concentration Camp: Dark Days of Imprisonment, Mistreatment and Death
    Monday, November 6, 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.
    Munich, Germany gave birth to the Nazi party in January of 1933.
    Two months later, the first Nazi concentration camp was born in the nearby medieval town of Dachau, Germany.
    One of more than 40,000 concentration camps in German-controlled Europe, Dachau was the first to be used as a work camp and the last to be shut down before the war’s end.
    It opened in 1933, taking over the grounds and buildings of a former munitions factory.
    Dachau became a model for the establishment of other work camps. 
    Initially the Dachau concentration camp was created to hold political prisoners. Early on, some prisoners were Germans who opposed or were viewed as a threat to the Nazi party. 
    Anyone who opposed Nazi rule could end up confined to such a camp, including clergy. Over 2,700 priests and pastors were imprisoned for speaking out against or not speaking strongly enough in support of the Nazi party. 
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  • Monday, November 6, 2017 4:00 AM
    Last month, Gov. Eric Holcomb launched Indiana’s Next Level Recovery website, which serves as an online resource for Hoosiers that addresses the opioid crisis in our state.
    Next Level Recovery offers ever-evolving information on Indiana’s opioid battle to emergency personnel, community leaders, law enforcement officials and healthcare professionals, as well as those struggling with substance abuse disorders and their families. The website includes data on opioid abuse prevention, treatment and enforcement; information on state initiatives; and ways for Hoosiers and employers to get involved.
    Indiana lawmakers are working hard to combat the drug epidemic in our state, and I hope to see this resource have a positive impact on our efforts.
    Sen. Phil Boots represents Indiana District 23 which includes Montgomery, Boone, Fountain, Parke, Warren and Vermillion counties. In addition, Sen. Boots is one of the owners of Sagamore News Media and The Paper of Montgomery County. You can reach him at senator.boots@iga.in.gov
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  • Fire sprinklers needed for home safety
    Monday, October 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    When asked to do an article on home fire sprinklers one would think it would be an easy topic to cover but to the contrary it is a difficult topic to separate myth from facts and also consider everyone’s opinion. One could understand from a fire code official that we view sprinklers as a useful tool to help reduce fire related deaths and property damage. I hope this article will get people thinking and talking about home fire safety. I will list some facts and myths to start the conversation.
    Information provided by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
    Fires in the U.S.
    In 2016, there were 1,342,000 fires reported, these fires caused 3,390 civilian deaths, 14,650 civilian injuries, and $10.6 billion in property damage. One structure fire was reported every 66 seconds. Included in the report as follows:
    • A Fire Department responded to a home fire every 90 seconds, 
    • There was one civilian injury every 34 minutes 
    • There was one civilian death every 2 hrs. 35 minute
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  • Monday, October 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau, JUMP program has many wonderful volunteers and youth who are matched up in its program. The JUMP program is very similar to the Big Brother/Big Sister program providing one-on-one time for a youth with an adult volunteer. One such match is Brian Evans and Sawyer.
    Brian Evans is a volunteer who has been mentoring for the past 3 years! He is married with 3 grown children and is a lifelong Montgomery County resident. When asked what made him decide to become a mentor he stated, “All of my kids are grown, two are currently in college. I didn’t just want to sit around and watch TV, I wanted to stay active. I felt that getting involved with kids would be something I would like to do and so I signed up to be a mentor.” Brian says in order to become a mentor, you need to have patience and understanding of what kids are going through. The best thing is just to enjoy the things you used to do when you were younger and have fun!
    Brian said he had no idea what to expect when he became a mentor. What surprised him the most was that Sawyer is so smart and kind. “Sawyer is very easy going. We can both just be ourselves when we are together and that makes things simple,” Brian stated.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes The American Cemetery at Luxembourg Part 8
    Monday, October 23, 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.
    Following our visit to Belgium our tour group headed toward Germany. Along the way, we crossed into the country of Luxembourg and stopped at the American Cemetery in Luxembourg City to pay tribute to the 5,076 U.S. forces buried there. 
    Luxembourg is a very small country, no larger than the size of Rhode Island. It was invaded by German forces in May of 1940 and, after only a day of resistance, surrendered. It remained under German occupation until the Allies liberated it near the end of the war in early 1945.
    Although no famous battles took place on her land, Luxembourg bears clear evidence to the war’s cost in hosting an American Cemetery.
    One of 25 National Cemeteries outside of the United States, the American Cemetery in Luxembourg City is best known for being the burial place of General George Patton who tragically died in December of 1945, twelve days after breaking his neck in an automobile accident. 
    Patton was sitting in the back seat of a car on his way to a hunting ground when an Army two and-a-half ton truck coming the opposite direction hit the car he was riding in. 
    Patton was the only one in the car who was injured.
    Knowing he was dying, he made two requests. The first was to make sure that his driver was not held accountable for his injuries. 
    His second request was to be buried alongside of the other men from his 3rd Army who were already laid to rest at the Cemetery in Luxembourg City, not far from the former 3rd Army Headquarters that Patton commanded. 
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  • Meet Louisa and Elizabeth
    Monday, October 23, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau has many programs that are designed to help children to grow up healthy, confident and to become productive members of our community. The JUMP program is one such program that helps a child to navigate through the challenges of youth. Every child needs more the one positive role model in their life because it truly does take a village to raise a child. The JUMP program matches an adult volunteer with a child who is on the waiting list so they can spend time together and do fun things! A mentor, just by showing up, listening and caring has the opportunity to change the course of a child’s life for the better. 
    One of those positive role models is Louisa Blaich. Louisa has lived in Crawfordsville for 25 years, is married and the mother of three grown children. Louisa has been mentoring Elizabeth for almost six years. When Louisa was asked what it takes to be a good mentor, she replied “I think basically you just need to like children and enjoy spending time with them.” When asked what surprised her most about becoming a mentor, Louisa said, “I expected to do fun things with Elizabeth and help her in any way I could but I was surprised to find out how much I enjoy it. Spending time with Elizabeth has really helped me too!”
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  • Monday, October 16, 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.
    The Ardennes region in southeast Belgium is rich with rugged charm and beauty. Cool, meandering streams carve their way across undulating forested terrain. 
    The hilly and wooded area reminded me of the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. 
    From December 16th, 1944 – January 25th, 1945 this region was inundated by German soldiers attempting to break through the Allied-controlled lines in the surprise offensive known as the Battle of the Bulge.
    Tanks bullied their way across the dense forest while mortars and other explosive ammunition shattered trees and pierced the silence of a bitter cold winter that exacted its own death on those who dared to endure it in tiny foxholes. 
    Seventy-two years later, on a warm and delightful summer day, our tour group drove through stunning scenery of lush green hills and dense forest, stopping frequently to see the many monuments and commemorative markers of battles that had taken place here. 
    Unlike the monuments in the more urban areas, these simple markers in woods and fields were less spectacular in size but no less impressive. The natural scenery all around them seemed to offer a more authentic testimony to the battles once fought there. 
    One of our stops was outside of Wereth, Belgium where there was a monument to the Wereth 11. At this location German SS troops cruelly massacred 11 U.S. African American Soldiers from the 333rd Field Artillery Battery after they had surrendered on the 2nd day of the battle. It is one of the only monuments in Belgium dedicated to African Americans who fought in World War 2.
    Another stop was in Honsfeld, Belgium where we saw some concrete troughs that were in use during the Battle of the Bulge. A photograph from that time shows German SS troops standing by the troughs putting on some uniform items looted from the corpses of dead American soldiers. 
    A monument was erected above the troughs. Our guide, Henri explained that this more recent monument paid tribute to All who had fought in the Battle of the Bulge, including the Germans. 
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  • Meet the Polley’s and their Mentee Dakota
    Saturday, October 14, 2017 4:00 AM
    Instead of doing the usual profile on a child who is on the waiting list for a mentor, this time we would like to share a story about an existing match we have of a married couple who are mentoring a young boy. Dave and Deb Polley have lived in Crawfordsville for 40 years and both are retired from Wabash College. They have one grown son so they felt that mentoring a young boy was something that was familiar to them. Dave and Deb were matched with Dakota when he was only 6 years old and he is now 8. Deb was reading a profile on Dakota in the newspaper when she told Dave it sounded like a perfect match for them. They had been thinking about mentoring for a while but when they read this article they decided to follow through and see how it would go. In the article it said Dakota liked hiking, sporting events and wanted to learn how to swim. Since their now grown son was on the swim team, they knew that teaching Dakota to swim was something they could definitely do. Dakota can now do the back stroke and swim free style thanks to the Polley’s!
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  • Thursday, October 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    Dear friends of Montgomery County and others,
    First of all, I want to thank every person who donated to the clock tower project throughout the years. Our committee of David Bix, Janice Clauser, Ken Brown, Steve and Judy House, Barbara Foster, Steve Frees, Jean and Delmas Chadwick, Andy Metzman, Sherrie Harris, and John Van Nuys, have worked diligently with me on this clocktower project. Jean Chadwick, Hubert Danzebrink, and myself have been with the project from the day it started in 1996.
    My thanks go to my husband, Ken, who has been my best friend and helper. Enormous thanks go to Phil Bane and the county commissions who have been of a great help to us. Phil Bane has gone above and beyond expectations in order to help us see this project through. Rev. John Van Nuys, who has built the replica of our magnificent courthouse with the clocktower out of Legos has spent countless hours helping with the project. I would like to thank the Journal-Review and The Paper of Montgomery County for their help also.
    I do want to clarify something many people do not know. We have had the money to actually build the clocktower for several years. The large amounts of additional money we had to have for the project, came from a structural study of the courthouse and repairs to the courthouse, where the tower will stand. 
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  • Wednesday, October 4, 2017 4:00 AM
    Many factors affect the success of a community. I believe that one of the most important factors is the willingness of citizens to become involved in the process of good government. Our community is certainly no different. We depend heavily on citizens who care about their community to staff the many boards and commissions that comprise city government. These working groups allow our local government to function in a manner that adequately represents the views of the greater community. 
    Everyone recognizes the role played by citizens who run for public office. Our city council, for example, is comprised of those who are willing to give their time and talent to help guide local government in a sound manner. Each member wants the same thing, a better community. Although it is certainly true that individual members might envision a different path on which to create that better community the common goal unites everyone in a collective wisdom that reflects very well on our community. 
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  • Monday, October 2, 2017 4:00 AM
    Recently, 24 communities in and around Senate District 23 received over $7.5 million in local road-funding grants.
    The Community Crossings Matching Grant program was created in 2016 by the Indiana General Assembly. As part of Indiana’s long-term road funding plan, the legislature increased funding for the program in 2017.
    Through the program, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) matches up to $1 million when localities invest in road and bridge repairs. Counties with populations below 50,000 and cities and towns with populations below 10,000 are matched 75 percent, while larger counties, cities and towns are matched 50 percent. INDOT selects these communities based on economic impact. 
    Grant recipients in Senate District 23 are as follows:
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  • Monday, September 25, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Indiana Senate Republican Caucus is offering paid, spring-semester internships to college students, recent graduates and graduate students during the 2018 legislative session.
    Full-time positions are available in many departments, including legislative, legal, policy, communications, multimedia and information technology. Qualified candidates must be at least a college sophomore.
    Benefits include a $750 bi-weekly stipend, scholarship and academic credit opportunities, professional development, community involvement and networking.
    Chosen applicants will work at the Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis beginning with a mandatory orientation in late December and concluding at the end of the legislative session in March 2018.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes: Part 5 American and German Cemeteries in Normandy
    Monday, September 25, 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 Morgan County 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.
    Of the many fascinating World War 2 related places to see in Normandy, the one that moved me the most, was the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. 
    Located on the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, this sacred burial ground is the final resting spot for 9,387 American service members (which includes 4 women); most of whom were killed during the invasion at Normandy and the combat operations that followed.
    On June 8th, 1944 the U.S. First Army had established a temporary burial ground for the dead just west of the cemetery’s current location. It was the first American cemetery in Europe. 
    France later granted the U.S. a special concession to the land occupied by the present cemetery, free of charge or tax.
    After a stop at the Normandy Visitors Center to see the exhibits and watch a film, our tour group walked along a paved path underneath a grove of trees to the beautiful 172-acre ground covered with lush green grass, tall well-pruned shrubbery and towering stately trees.
    Myriad rows of bleach white marble crosses and stars of David marking the graves of the fallen heroes dominated the landscape. Each marker was aligned with the others in its row with exact precision. 
    Our group was quiet and reflective as we walked among the countless graves under heavy grey clouds and a falling drizzle that felt like tears from heaven. 
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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