Bridge to be named after Earl Luzader

When it’s time to work in the garden, Earl Luzader crosses a concrete bridge over Sugar Creek Branch, which runs alongside the cabin where he’s lived since the depression.

The bridge will be dedicated in Luzader’s honor during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday on Fall Creek Road in Ripley Township.

Luzader’s property sits in the unincorporated community of Hibernia, a four-minute drive from Yountsville. His neighbor, Justin Miller, set sights on the bridge after reading local author Dick Munro’s book, “Paddling Sugar Creek.”

In the book, Munro writes about his frustration over nearly all the county’s bridges and roads being numbered instead of named according to local character. Miller began thinking about names for the bridges crossing the branch.

Montgomery County Commissioners have already renamed the bridge on Luzader’s property as the “Earl Luzader Bridge.”

At the dedication ceremony, local artist Larry Ward will unveil a wooden sign designating the bridge. An official proclamation will be read and Father Alexis Miller of the nearby Holy Transfiguration Church will offer a prayer of blessing.

Following the event is the Fall Creek Road Spring Clean-Up, where residents pick up trash along the road.

A pitch-in picnic will be held at the church at noon.

Discovering Our Past

When Kathy Shigeta welcomes visitors into Henry and Joanna Lane’s home, she likes to show the piano in the guest parlor.

The Lanes purchased the 172-year-old instrument on their honeymoon in New York, paying more to ship it home than it cost. It sailed first to Florida, then on to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River and across the Ohio  before arriving in Madison, Indiana, to finish the journey on land.

If visitors aren’t aware of the story, it was something Shigeta herself only recently discovered as the new curator and collections manager for the Montgomery County Historical Society.

A San Francisco-area native, Shigeta said the role is a perfect introduction to this history-rich community.

“To tell the honest truth, Montgomery County is new to me,” she said, “so, as you can imagine, I was interested in finding ways to learn more.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in English from Santa Clarita University, Shigeta taught English in Japan, where she met her husband, Tatsu.

The couple later settled in the Champaign-Urbana area, where she worked as a records clerk for the University of Illinois. She earned her master’s degree in Asian studies from U of I.

They came to Crawfordsville in September after Tatsu became general manager of Heritage Products.

It wasn’t long before the curator job came open. Shigeta answered the listing, looking for a part-time gig to learn about the area.

“She’s working hard, she’s going through the collection and finding some things we weren’t aware of,” executive director Steve Frees said.

The curator and collections manager oversees a database of the roughly 5,000 items in MCHS’s possession, updating the organization’s Facebook page and giving tours of the Lane Place, which Joanna’s niece, Helen Elston Smith, gave to MCHS after her death in 1939.

A church group was visiting Thursday morning as Shigeta pointed out her favorite artifacts. She picked up a delicate china that a woman gave to Joanna’s sister, Susan Wallace.

With visitors interested in different aspects of the past, she and the other tour guides have their favorite parts of the Lanes’ story.

Shigeta was drawn to Henry’s connections with Abraham Lincoln, whom he helped get to the White House.

She’s also tapped in to her love of art, stumbling upon a piece by Henry’s first wife, Pamela.

“I was looking for a wall decoration, and I came across a sampling that she apparently had done in the early 19th century, when she was quite young,” Shigeta said.

“That’s one of the things that fascinates me about this job, you keep discovering things. I mean, not only things that you can hold in your hand, but facts about the families.”

Drain work on Main continues

Crawfordsville Street Superintendent Scott Hesler reported Wednesday at the Crawfordsville Board of Public Works and Safety meeting  that work is progressing on East Main Street. Hesler said the replacement of drains is close to completion on the westbound lane. Beginning Thursday, the drain replacement work will continue in the eastbound lane.

In other business, Hesler reported the contract with Milestone Construction for summer street paving is ready to be signed.

Get rid of tires, fight mosquitos

Local residents can join the Montgomery County Health Department in some spring cleaning. The health department will host the fourth annual Tire Amnesty Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in their parking lot at 110 W. South Blvd. While this event provides the community with a cost effective way to dispose of old tires, the purpose of the event is for mosquito control. 

Last year, the health department collected more than 2,000 tires, more than twice the amount of the previous two years combined. Not only do piles of tires serve as an eyesore, they also are the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

In order to lay eggs, mosquitoes require only a capful of standing water. As a result, virtually anywhere that can collect water and create a warm, moist environment is a potential breeding site. 

Waste tires collect rainwater easily, and it is difficult to completely drain any water that collects inside them. Each tire brought in to be properly disposed of is estimated to remove thousands of offspring from entering the mosquito population over the course of the summer. 

In addition to disposing of tires, there are other measures can be taken to limit the population of mosquitoes around homes. These include cleaning out gutters, changing the water in bird bathes weekly and emptying out any other outside containers that may collect rainwater and provide mosquitoes with a breeding site. 

Mosquito populations are monitored and tested by health departments all over the country, because mosquitoes are part of a group of organisms called vectors. A vector is any organism than can transmit infectious diseases to other creatures, including humans. While severe diseases such as meningitis and encephalitis can be transmitted, these instances are rare. 

The Montgomery County Health Department is primarily concerned with monitoring mosquito populations for the presence of West Nile Virus, which, unlike the Zika virus, is present in the mosquito species in Indiana. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 to 80 percent of individuals exposed to West Nile will exhibit no symptoms, but some individuals may be more susceptible to developing severe symptoms.  

The first 10 tires brought to the event are free. Each additional tire will cost $1 to help offset disposal costs. There is no limit to the amount of tires each person may drop off, but no tractor tires will be accepted. Health department workers ask you report the total number of tires you are disposing of when entering the parking lot.

Man on a Mission

For local resident Michael Barclay, his mission is personal. Barclay spoke of his vision at Wednesday’s Crawfordsville Rotary Club meeting. Simply, he wants the public to understand all aspects of mental illness. 

Barclay is a caseworker for Greencastle based ResCare. He helps his clients deal with a variety of mental illnesses. He understands many of the issues and stigmas of someone having mental illness and how the public percieves mental illness patients, because he too has a mental illness he lives with every day. He is diagnosed of having a bipolar disorder.

“I want to be as transparent as I can be,” Barclay said. “I suffer from being bipolar. But, I am succeeding at what I do as a bipolar patient. I want to give hope to those who have a mental disorder and. I want to help others gain the hope I have.”

Barclay said those who suffer from mental disorders are often misunderstood and that society percieves the patients in a way that keeps some, who are suffering from a mental disease, from seeking help. He said since so many people believe patients with a mental disorder all act irresponsibly or in a crazed manner, they will not seek help to keep their condition a secret. Barclay said Hollywood characterizations of mental patients does not represent the majority. He said many who suffer from mental illness do not seek professional help because they do not want to be “labeled as crazy.”

“There is a stigman, or negative perception, of people experiencing mental illness,” Barclay said. “There is a huge misconception about the symptons and consequences of many mental disorders.”

Barclay said that until recently, professional caretakers and the general public, are learning the consequences of surving a trauma. Anyone who has experienced a major trauma in their life can have intense physical and pshychological stress reactions. The mental condition can mirror some one who is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders. The trauma can be multiple events or one single event such as witnessing a loved one die in a tragic accident.

Those suffering from trauma are often inattentive, disorganized, depressed or have other mental disorders. Barclay said he sees frequent trauma disorders in children who live in homes where poor parenting skills are present, or when substance abuse is present in the home.

North Montgomery Community School Superintendent Dr. Coleen Moran agreed with Barclay concerning trauma disorders being on the increase in the class room. She said there is an acknowledgement of the problem and local school officials have added the condition to school policies.

“I can tell you we see exactly what you are describing,” Moran said. “I can also tell you that all three county school superintendents are working together to incorporate trauma stress awareness into our counseling procedures.”

Barclays said the public needs to learn to not point fingers at the mental illness patient. He said instead of saying “What is wrong with you?” the question should be “What has happened to you?” as a way to recognize there very well could be circumstances in a person’s life that is causing trauma stress disorders.

As Barclay works to spread his message to the community, he is planning on holding regular meetings for anyone interested in learning more about mental disorders and how to help those who have them. He said the meetings will be good for law enforcement, educators, religious leaders and anyone else who deals with the public. The purpose of the meeting will be to help the community learn how to reach out to and help those suffering from mental disorders.

Barclay expects to announce the starting date for the meetings he is planning.