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Thursday, September 21, 2017

  • Along the Path of Heroes: Part 4: Airborne Drops & Two Historic Churches
    Monday, September 18, 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 over 75 years ago.
    When many people think of the invasion of Normandy on D-Day the first images that come to their minds are those of ships, landing crafts and allied forces storming the beaches.
    The actual invasion, however, began 6-7 hours earlier when shortly before midnight on June 5th more than 1,000 C-47 transport planes lifted from runways in England and traveled across the English Channel. They carried in their bellies the 13,100 paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions which were headed toward Utah Beach on the far west side of the invasion beach heads. 
    At the same time, the British 6th Airborne Division headed into the skies toward drop zones south and east of Sword Beach on the far east side of the invasion beach heads. 
    Closely behind the paratroopers were another almost 4,000 troops that were carried by wooden gliders pulled behind transport planes which, after the towing cord was released, attempted safe landings under the cover of darkness and with no engines to guide them in their descent.
    The designated drop zones for these aerial troops were not the beaches that would soon be invaded at morning’s light but strategic points slightly inland from Utah and Sword Beaches. These were ground locations, villages and towns that were determined to be critical in protecting and facilitating the inland movements of the forces that would soon be approaching from the shore and securing their respective flanks. 
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  • Saturday, September 16, 2017 4:00 AM
    Education is a top priority for lawmakers each year, with over half of our state's General Fund dedicated to K-12 education. With students back in class for the 2017-2018 school year, here is an overview of a few new education laws passed during the most recent legislative session.
    House Enrolled Act 1001, Indiana’s state budget, increases K-12 tuition support by $345 million over the next two years, totaling $14.2 billion appropriated to K-12 funding over the biennium.
    House Enrolled Act 1003 replaces Indiana’s ISTEP exam with a new test called ILEARN (Indiana's Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network) starting in 2019. ILEARN will be administered once at the end of the school year and the total testing time will be shorter.
    Senate Enrolled Act 198 increases funding for high school Career and Technical Education courses in high-wage, high-demand job fields.
    Each of these bills is designed to improve Indiana’s education system to ensure Hoosiers receive the best schooling possible. I look forward to the positive impact these laws will have on our students, teachers and schools in the coming year.
    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
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  • Ramblings of a Shannondale girl . . . Part 2
    Wednesday, September 13, 2017 4:00 AM
    Life in Shannondale was slow paced. Lazy summer days, playing outside, jumping over mom’s piney bush, of course one of us always landed in it and smashed the beautiful flowers. 
    We ran around without shoes in the warm weather. We took cardboard boxes and flattened them to slide down our hill. Played king of the mountain on that hill, I was the smallest so I never was the king. We didn’t have running water or a bathroom, so there was no reason for us to be inside. You could use the old enamel pot but you have to take it out and dump it the next morning and that wasn’t fun either.
    One day, three of us sisters were in the outhouse using all the bad words little girls can think of, (which we learned from our dad) when we heard a knock on the door. When we opened the door there was dad down on one knee with the other one bent so we could lay over it to get our spanking for our bad language. We were pushing and shoving to try not to go out the door. Those older sisters sure got me into a lot of trouble.
    Saturday night was bath night, so we would be clean for church on Sunday. Mom heated water on the stove and put it in an old galvanized tub by the coal stove, which set in a corner of what we called the living room at that time. Andy and I being the youngest got to go first. My older sister Jeannine says we all peed in it before she got to get her bath. That old coal stove heated our entire house and with those old ten foot ceilings, it was always cold, in the winter, so we didn’t stay in the tub to long.
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  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 4:00 AM
    The Clocktower Committee with the Montgomery County Historical Society, has been diligently raising money to restore the clocktower, to the courthouse, and as of today, we only lack $86,000! The project cost was $540,600 and we have raised almost one –half of a million dollars!
    We are in the final stage of raising the funding to restore the tower to our magnificent courthouse. The drawings have been completed and as soon as we finish the fund raising, the tower builds can start the fabrication of the tower. The Indianapolis Bicentennial commission has listed our project as a project which will leave a “lasting legacy” to our community and the entire state! 
    If you have thought about wanting to be a part of this project, but were waiting to see if we were going to be able to finish raising the funds, the time is now! We ARE going to be finishing this project! You can see how far we have come! Your donations at this time would be greatly appreciated. We need to finish our fundraising soon, so do not delay in sending your contributions. This project is a tax free credit and receipts will be sent to donors. To donate to the project, make check payable to the Montgomery County Historical Society, Tower Project, and mail to: Montgomery County Historical Society, Sandy Lofland-Brown, 1449 West U S Highway 136, Crawfordsville, IN 47933.
    We have been teaching classes in some of the county schools about Indiana History and Montgomery County History. The student’s have loved the lessons about who founded our town, learning who the streets were named after, and how important the courthouse in to the community. If these school children want to be a part of our project, I feel sure you will want to also.
    Many school children have donated to the project because they know every time they go past the courthouse, THEY had a part of making History, right here in our county. Every time they come back to Crawfordsville, after they have been away for years, they will remember helping to replace the awesome tower, which will be the focal point to our town and state. People will come to see if and realize they too can go back to their communities and improve them.
    Here are some letters from school students. We are printing these letters with the parents’ permission.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes Part 2: Omaha Beach and D-Day
    Monday, August 28, 2017 4:00 AM
    This 11-part column from Ronald P. May, USN (Ret.), will run on Mondays in The Paper. May is author of the book, “Our Service, Our Stories”. He helps veterans share and preserve the stories of their military service. For more information or to tell your story, contact May at (317) 435-7636 or by email at You can also follow him on Facebook at Our Service, Our Stories.
    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 over 75 years ago.
    Normandy is one of the 13 mainland regions in France. It is located in the far north of the country directly across the English Channel from England. 
    This coastline was the chosen location for the massive Allied invasion of German occupied France on D-Day. 
    The planners for Operation Overlord (code name for the Normandy invasion) focused their amphibious landings on 5 beaches that stretch across Normandy’s coastline. 
    The beaches were divided into 5 sectors. Each sector was assigned a code name: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. 
    U.S. forces were assigned to land at Utah and Omaha. The other three beaches were divided up between British, Canadian and Free French Forces. 
    In the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 6th, 1944, a vast array of 1,028 Naval vessels consisting of minesweepers, transport ships, bombardment ships, anti-submarine ships and patrol craft approached the beaches along Normandy.
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  • Ramblings of a Shannondale girl . . .
    Monday, August 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    I was born on March 30, 1946. As a newborn, I really don’t know what went on but I imagine it is very frightening to be coming into this world from a place that was warm and secure. My mom didn’t know there were two of us, I came first and a few minutes later my sister arrived. Andy was born with spina bifida and club feet. Back then there was not much they could do for someone like my sister. My dad and my aunt had to take Andy to Riley Hospital. I guess back then either we couldn’t afford an ambulance or one wasn’t available. No one expected her to live, but she did for almost seven years.
    There were already three other girls at my home. Jeannine Claire, 7, Betheline 5 (also known as Biney) and Cora Sue (Cory) 2. Needless to say, my mom had her hands full. My sister Jeannine had to help take care of me and some aunts helped when they could. My mom’s sister had her hands full as she had a set of twins that were six months old. I am sure my mammaw helped, too, as they lived only a few miles away. My mom had to drive back and forth to the hospital to see how Andy was doing.
    When Andy and I came into this world, WWII was over and people were beginning to get their lives back together. It was a great time to be a kid, as you could play outside without being scared of things that might happen. Mom was a stay-at-home mom and was always a shout away. Almost all the women in Shannondale did not work outside the home and everyone kept an eye out on each other’s kids.
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  • Along the Path of Heroes Part 1: From Pearl Harbor to Europe
    Monday, August 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    This 11-part column from Ronald P. May, USN (Ret.), will run on Mondays in The Paper. May is author of the book, “Our Service, Our Stories”. He helps veterans share and preserve the stories of their military service. For more information or to tell your story, contact May at (317) 435-7636 or by email at You can also follow him on Facebook at Our Service, Our Stories.
    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 over 75 years ago.
    The road to combat in Europe began in a U.S. territory almost 2,500 miles west of the western coast of the United States. And it began with an aggressor other than the Germans. 
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii is a beautiful natural harbor on the southwest corner of the island of Oahu. It is the gateway to the immense Pacific Ocean beyond it. And, on December 7th, 1941, it became a gateway to war in Europe as well.
    At 7:48 am (Hawaiian time) on a quiet Sunday morning the tranquility of the island paradise was suddenly interrupted with the sound of plane engines overhead. 353 of them, to be exact.
    Japanese fighter planes, torpedo planes and bombers, which had been launched earlier that morning from six aircraft carriers, broke the peaceful surrounding with a deadly surprise attack on U.S. naval vessels and airplanes parked at Pearl Harbor. 
    The vicious attack damaged 8 battleships, 3 cruisers, 3 destroyers, 1 training ship and 1 minelayer. In addition, 188 airplanes were destroyed. The most significant carnage was the human toll: 2,403 Americans died in the attack and close to 1,200 were wounded.
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  • Tuesday, August 15, 2017 11:26 PM
    It’s back to school time, and the Crawfordsville Police Department would like to remind everyone to drive safely. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 16-20 year olds in the United States. The primary causes of crashes for drivers in this age group are speeding and distracted driving. Distracted driving alone led to 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in 2015. Talking on the phone, texting, using social media, talking with passengers, and eating in the car are all examples of distracted driving.
    Cell phone use is one of the most common distractions for drivers of all ages. Drivers are encouraged to safely pull over if they need to use a phone for any reason, including talking on the phone. Indiana Code states the following in regards to cell phone use while driving:
    IC 9-21-8-59 Use of telecommunications device while operating a moving motor vehicle
    Sec. 59. (a) A person may not use a telecommunications device to:
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  • Monday, August 14, 2017 8:00 AM
    Last year, the City of Crawfordsville began the process of updating the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. For the last 12 months a team of City staff, volunteer steering committee members, key stakeholders, consultants, and the public have been refining the vision for Crawfordsville over the next 20 years. This plan, based on community input, will serve as the City’s roadmap for issues such as land use, redevelopment, housing, economic development, infrastructure, transportation, parks and recreation, and more. The goals and objectives of this plan are an extension of the City’s quality of place efforts through the Stellar Communities designation. Those goals are focused on the following: creative place-making focused on community gathering points, promoting wellbeing through trails, parks, and bike/pedestrian friendly improvements, promoting economic growth, engaging residents by tapping into their human capital and energy, harnessing the tremendous power of Crawfordsville’s community of volunteers, and building community pride through aggressive blight elimination and public improvements. 
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  • Saturday, July 29, 2017 4:00 AM
    Indiana Auditor of State Tera Klutz recently closed the books on Fiscal Year 2017.
    Indiana ended the year with a $42 million surplus and $1.777 billion in reserves, which help protect Hoosier taxpayers in the case of an economic downturn.
    These numbers are a testament to Indiana’s fiscal discipline. Every two years, the General Assembly works to pass a balanced budget, and if revenues and expenditures do not go according to plan, we adjust our spending to ensure we live within our means.
    Indiana's financial stability allows us to provide for Hoosiers without cutting vital government services or raising taxes.
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  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017 6:34 PM
    During the legislative session, members of the Indiana General Assembly often discover that certain topics require further consideration and study before further legislative action can be taken.
    Indiana’s bipartisan Legislative Council, which is made up of eight state senators and eight state representatives, determines topics that need to be studied and assigns them to interim study committees. These committees, made up of state senators and representatives as well as lay members, meet during the summer and fall months when the General Assembly is not in session.
    I will serve on the following study committees, commission and council this year:
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  • Monday, July 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    Many of the 272 bills passed by the Indiana General Assembly during the 2017 legislative session went into effect July 1. Some of these new laws are listed below.
    House Enrolled Act 1002 creates a 20-year road funding plan for Indiana, providing $1.2 billion per year to take care of our current infrastructure, finish the projects we have started and plan for the future. 
    Senate Enrolled Act 226 limits the amount of opioids that may be prescribed to a patient receiving his or her first opioid prescription from a provider. 
    Senate Enrolled Act 239 requires the Department of Correction to give a victim at least 48 hours of notice if an offender’s release or discharge date is changed during the 40-day discharge notification period. 
    Senate Enrolled Act 307 requires the Department of Workforce Development to give veterans and their spouses priority when filling federal or state positions or training programs if they are eligible and were honorably discharged from the military.
    Senate Enrolled Act 323 allows victims of domestic violence to petition a court to divide a wireless service contract that is shared with their abuser. 
    For a full list of new laws passed this year, visit
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  • Monday, July 03, 2017 4:00 AM
    The debate over county planning and zoning has been ongoing for many years and has been at the forefront of the last several county elections. Property rights have been touted as the premier issue on many occasions and often proposed as the true measure of one’s political ideology. 
    Regardless of how you feel about the issue, whether you are for or against county-wide planning and zoning, you are now being given the opportunity to witness the debate move beyond words and rhetoric into the world of reality. 
    With private property owners in northern Montgomery County poised to lease their land for use in wind turbine power generation pitted against nearby residents who staunchly oppose the concept, the matter, and political ideology, will be put to the test.
    I want to begin by making it perfectly clear that the proposed windmills are not in Crawfordsville and we are not directly impacted. Nor am I advocating for, or against them. However, I do believe it is well worth pointing out that a true test of this core political ideology espoused for many years in Montgomery County is about to take place. It is my hope that those on both sides of this issue watch and listen closely. 
    Area residents are understandably concerned about the effects of these proposed windmills. However, the county does not regulate land use and any ordinance singling out a specific use or industry without the backing of overall zoning regulation, and the system of due process it provides, can only go so far. 
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  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017 4:00 AM
    It is with great anticipation and excitement that I write to the readers of The Paper of Montgomery County. The Clocktower Project for the Montgomery County Courthouse is coming closer to becoming a reality. The bid has been accepted by the County Commissioners, and the final fundraising is continuing. Dr. Kirtley and his committee started this project in 1996, and even though he passed away in 2000, the work has continued. Yes, in honor of Dr. Kirtley, as what was his dream during the last years of his life; however, this project has also been a dream and passion for many of the people in Montgomery County.
    The committee has forged ahead every day for the last twenty-one years, yes, I said, the last twenty-one years, because we feel the restoration of the clocktower will be a historical addition to our county. The courthouse was built in 1876, and the beautiful tower stood guard over Crawfordsville and Montgomery County for 65 years.
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  • Monday, June 12, 2017 4:00 AM
    This legislative session, lawmakers passed another balanced budget – House Enrolled Act 1001 – that funds our state’s top priorities while staying within our means.
    Indiana’s long-standing dedication to keeping our budget balanced has contributed to U.S. News and World Report recently naming our state government the best in America. Click here to view their report.
    Some of the highlights of the state’s new two-year budget include:
    Keeps our budget balanced;
    Maintains strong “rainy day” reserves;
    Dedicates over half of general fund spending to K-12 education;
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The Paper of Montgomery County,
a division of Sagamore News Media

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P.O. Box 272
Crawfordsville, Indiana 47933
(765) 361-0100
(765) 361-8888
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