The Paper photos by Jessica Leahy
A crowd laid down in protest of the violence and injustice this last Saturday at Pike Place in downtown Crawfordsville.
The Paper photos by Jessica Leahy A crowd laid down in protest of the violence and injustice this last Saturday at Pike Place in downtown Crawfordsville.
Crawfordsville joined in the rest of the country as peaceful protesters have gathered a few times. One of the organizers that The Paper talked to was 29-year-old Shanna Turpin, a Darlington resident. Turpin said that "We are not going to stop until the murder of innocent lives stops. We will march until we see true reform!"
About 80 to 100 people gathered late Saturday morning at Pike Place while the Farmers Market was going on.
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The City of Crawfordsville has closed out the small business loan program. We were able to assist 42 small businesses in Crawfordsville with loans to help them navigate the loss of business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The total amount of assistance issued to these businesses was $250,200. I have included a more detailed breakdown below.
At the end of one year, the loans will be reviewed by the Board of Public Works and Safety to determine the status of repayment or forgiveness.
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We now have had the popular Farmers Market back in beautiful downtown Crawfordsville for a couple of weeks now. Canopies are back in season in front of Pike Place Saturday mornings. Vendors and shoppers appear to be enjoying being back and even social distancing.
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Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power recently received an American Public Power Association Community Service Award. The award recognizes “good neighbor” activities that demonstrate the commitment of the utility and its employees to the community.
CEL&P said it prides itself as not just powering its community but also serving as a true community partner. The utility shows every day that it is dedicated to serving its customers beyond power supply. CEL&P makes it a point to begin educating children early on electric safety. The utility has its own electric demonstration kit and travels to local schools to provide demonstrations to children. CEL&P sponsors and attends several community events to support Crawfordsville's business community and its residents.
This year is CEL&P's 130 year anniversary, and the utility is planning several events each month through 2020 to bring awareness to public power and celebrate with its customers. Events planned include a coloring contest, a "Fill the Bucket (Truck)" food drive, LED bulb giveaways for Earth Day, movies in the park, open houses, solar park tours, and a school supply drive. CEL&P doesn’t just provide a service to the community; they are part of the community, integrally woven throughout the places, events, and memories.
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Driving on State Road 234 is going to be a pain. Beginning today and running through at least part of the summer . . . and then the fun shifts south of 234 onto U.S. 231 all the way down to U.S. 36.
But first is the Indiana Department of Transportation’s resurfacing project on SR 234 that is scheduled to begin Wednesday. Contractors will complete a cold in-place recycle under five separate road closures of three days:
Today closed from S.R. 47 to C.R. 125 West
Sunday closed from C.R. 125 West to U.S. 231
June 25 closed from U.S. 231 to C.R. 250 East
June 29 closed from C.R. 250 East to the west town limits of Ladoga
July 6 closed from the east town limits of Ladoga to the Big Raccoon Creek Bridge
Access will be maintained for homes and businesses, as well as for trash collection and mail delivery. The official detour utilizes S.R. 47 to U.S. 231 to U.S. 136 and back to S.R. 234.
This contract is finishing up on State Road 234 from Kingman east to the Fountain / Montgomery County line. This includes U.S. 231 from State Road 32 in Crawfordsville to S.R. 234 and work is scheduled to last through Aug. 6. 
The contractor will then begin on or after Aug. (and running through Oct. 6) on U.S. 231 from S.R. 234 to U.S. 36.
Milestone Contractors L.P. was awarded the $11.9 million contract. The Paper joins INDOT in reminding motorists to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone.
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Wabash College has announced that it not only is bringing students back to campus for the fall semester, it is doing so early. In an e-mail to the Wabash community, outgoing president Greg Hess said that based on recommendations of on-campus teams, as well as conversations with other colleges and universities, school officials decided that Wabash will start two weeks earlier than scheduled. That means that new students will begin moving in Aug. 7-8. The Ringing-In Ceremony will be Aug. 9. Upperclassmen return Aug. 10-11 and classes begin Aug. 12.
Hess said that fall break will be eliminated so that final exams can take place before Thanksgiving break. Classes will end on Nov. 17 and final semester exams will take place Nov. 18 to Nov. 24.
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Gardening at the Nicholson Grade school has taken on a different look for this season. The gardeners attending the space are not the usual 2nd and 3rd graders with all of their questions and enthusiasm; but a crew of Master Gardeners. The Montgomery County Master Gardeners have taken on the responsibility of planting, weeding and maintaining the garden in place of the students, who have not been in school since late March. The lively and excitable students have been greatly missed.
The gardening project was restarted and took shape in the 2017-18 school year and has shown continued success. With the addition of a greenhouse for growing plant starts, raised beds for easy planting and tending and an on sight watering source . . . the garden is thriving.
Last season some of the produce from the garden like onions, tomatoes and lettuce were harvested by the students and used in school lunches. This year however, it’s a different story. The grade school has not been in session since late March and with no student involvement, the garden is being grown specifically for the local Fish Food Pantry. There will be onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, green beans, squash, peppers and potatoes and a variety of flowers to be picked.
The Master Gardeners of Montgomery County are dedicated to the garden as caregivers this season and look forward to a bountiful harvest.
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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Thursday that all 92 counties in Indiana could advance to Stage 4 last Friday – two days ahead of schedule.
For local bars like Backstep Brewing Company, that meant they could open at 50 percent capacity as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Pat Pennington, co-owner of Backstep Brewing Co., told The Paper that they’ve been working on a test menu since May and he hopes to have a new menu ready by July 4.
Holcomb, meanwhile, said that the decision to go to Stage 4 two days early came about because the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients statewide has decreased for 14 days, the state retains its surge capacity for critical care beds and ventilators, the state retains its ability to test all Hoosiers who are COVID-19 symptomatic as well as health care workers, first responders and frontline employees and health officials have systems in place to contact all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 and expand contact tracing.
In this Stage, Hoosiers 65 and over and those with high-risk health conditions – who are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus – should remain at home as much as possible. In other areas, here are the guidelines:
Face coverings in public places are recommended.
Social gatherings of up to 250 people will be permitted following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines.
Outdoor visitation may take place at assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Hospital visitations with precautions are encouraged.
Retail, commercial businesses and malls may open at full capacity.
Dining room food service may open at up to 75 percent capacity as long as social distancing is observed.
Bar seating in restaurants may open at 50 percent capacity.
Bars and nightclubs may open at 50 percent capacity as long as they adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Cultural, entertainment and tourism sites may open at 50 percent capacity.
Movie theaters, bowling alleys and similar facilities may open at 50 percent capacity.
Amusement parks, water parks and similar facilities may open at 50 percent capacity. Reservations are encouraged to limit the number of customers at any one time.
Playgrounds may reopen.
Community recreational non-contact sports practices, games and tournaments may resume. Contact sports, such as football, basketball, rugby or wrestling, can conduct conditioning and non-contact drills. Contact sports may resume games or tournaments beginning Friday, June 19. Before any games or tournaments, the host must make publicly available a COVID response plan outlining the steps being taken to ensure social distancing, increased sanitation and overall protection of competitors, coaches, staff and spectators.
Raceways may open at 50 percent grandstand capacity.
Pari-mutuel horse racing may begin with no spectators at Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand facilities. Charity gaming and casinos may open Monday with the approval of the Indiana Gaming Commission.
Conventions, fairs, festivals, parades and similar events remain closed.
If health indicators remain positive, the state will move to Stage 5 in early July.
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Helen Hudson, President of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, recently conducted the 2020 LWVMC Annual Meeting via Zoom. Myra Dunn Abbott was elected 2nd Vice President and Joyce Burnette Treasurer. Elected Directors for 2020-22 were Mark Frank and Gail Pebworth. Continuing Board members for 2020-21 are: Tina Osborn, 1st Vice President, Secretary Karen Gunther and Director Vicke-Hudson Swisher. Dave Long organizes Candidates Forums. Nominating Committee for 2021 will be Nick Hedrick-Chair, Nancy Bennett and Shelbi Hoover.
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More people have died over the last week as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate the news.
According to the Montgomery County Health Department the number of confirmed cases here totals 267. And the fatalities have grown to 19.
Also last week, the health department updated numbers gathered from Montgomery County long-term care facilities.
The health department said that Ben Hur Health & Rehabilitation is the only nursing home with reported numbers. County records indicate that Bickford Cottage, Hickory Creek, Lane House, Wellbrooke and Whitlock Place have not had any cases as of yet.
The county’s public health emergency order will remain in place until at least June 15. That means:
• Local disaster emergency plans are activated?• Certain procedures and formalities otherwise required by law are suspended?• The President of the Board is authorized to approve claims, certain types of contracts with the State of Indiana and can issue emergency orders?• All meetings of the Montgomery County government are canceled until further notice?• All county employees are deemed to be essential employees?• Limitations regarding access to county facilities are extended?In addition, there are several other provisions that go into effect, that include details on who can submit claims, enter into contracts, etc.
Local, state and national health experts remind us that we can control to a great extent our own safety by observing social distancing guidelines, washing our hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant and wearing a mask while out in public.