Reality Check

received a dose of reality Monday.

The annual Reality Store, which is hosted by the Boys & Girls Club and sponsored by the International Federation of Business and Professional Women, allows students to see what adult life is like, complete with a job, bills and responsibilities.

Students don’t get to pick any job they want though. Crawfordsville Middle School teacher Tommy Coy said that job options are dependent on the students’ academic success.

“After the first nine weeks, they accumulate their grade point average throughout middle school so far,” Coy said. “They choose a job based on what their GPA is. That job then determines how much they make. So it kind of shows them that their grades are important. A lot of them look at it and say, ‘If I really want to do this, I’ve got to get my grades up.’”

The first stop at the Reality Store is the tax booth, where tax is taken out of their salary.

“They have lots of money left — they think,” said Debbie Woodrum, who was manning the booth. “But they don’t understand it’s not going to last.”

Other stations include banking, housing, utilities, groceries, furniture, transportation, clothing, childcare and medical and dental care.

“I think it’s such a great idea to have this,” CMS eighth grader Reagan Minnette said. “It’s really eye opening, and it shows you that life hits you hard and things cost a lot more than you would expect.”

Minnette’s father, Crawfordsville City Attorney Kent Minnette, said it was satisfying to watch his daughter and see her reactions. He was at the legal booth, which helped students with estate planning and helped them with the tickets Corporal Jack Taylor was handing out during the event.

“They always say, ‘I don’t have any money! Don’t give me a ticket!’” Taylor said. “And I say, ‘Sorry! That’s reality! You don’t always get things at opportune times.’

Coy said most of the students’ budget gets pretty tight as they go around the stations. Depending on their job and if their spouse is employed, the student may need to go get a second job.

Even though CMS student Ethan Fry had a job as an electrical engineer, he found himself standing in line at a booth to get a second job because of the high price of childcare.

Jean Jarvis has been working stations at the Reality Store for 15 years. On Monday, she sat at a booth and walked students like Fry through what getting a second job would look like.

“I love to see the kids realize what their parents have to do to make ends meet,” Jarvis said.

That’s another lesson the students take away from the Reality Store, Coy said. They get a glimpse of their parents’ expenses and begin to realize the difference between necessity and luxury items.

“I’m really overwhelmed,” said CMS student Abby Bannon. “I didn’t realize how much money my parents are spending. I’m a pediatrician (at the Reality Store), and I didn’t realize how much money I’d have to pay for all of these different things. It’s crazy how much they have to go through.”

If the students have money left after all of the essentials are bought, they have the option of buying a vacation, eating out, going to the movies or donating to charities.

Even though growing up may seem like fun now, Pat Knauer, a 30-year member of Business and Professional Women, said that it’s important for students to understand that there is more to being an adult.

“Hopefully, it is a dose of reality and makes them aware that it isn’t always easy,” Knauer said.

Home News Loose sledgehammer pierces car windshield

DARLINGTON — A drive home Sunday afternoon for one Darlington family turned out to be far from ordinary.

Lydia Taylor, 23, was northbound in the 3600 block of State Road 47 at 12:32 p.m. when a three-pound sledgehammer flew off a southbound truck and pierced her windshield.

“She saw leaves flying off the approaching truck, and for a moment thought the sledgehammer was a stick,” said her mother, Chris Taylor. “Then she heard her brother screaming.”

Lydia pulled her 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis to the side of the road and called for help. 

When the sledgehammer broke through the windshield, it took out the rear view mirror and struck her brother, Johnathan Taylor, 18, in the left shoulder. He suffered a contusion. 

“There’s a rectangular imprint on his shoulder from the sledgehammer,” Chris said. “He’s in a lot of pain and can’t really lift his arm right now, but he’s going to be OK.”

Lydia has a small bruise on her arm.

“My children were shook up, of course, and we know it was the by the grace of God that it wasn’t worse,” she said. 

The driver of the white construction truck did not stop. It is possible the driver did not even realize what had happened.

“Everyone, the medics and the police, have all said they’ve seen deer go through windshields, even bullets, but never a sledgehammer,” Chris said.

The Taylors say they appreciate and admire construction workers.

“The long hours and hard work they put in day after day does not go unnoticed,” Chris said. 

However, the family hopes this incident will serve as a reminder.

“Please, construction workers, make sure your tools are tied down before traveling,” Chris said.

Cross country season ends at semi-state

The North Montgomery girls cross country team finished 18th out of 20 teams with a score of 445 in the semi-state race at New Prairie on Saturday. 

In the boys race, Fountain Central finished in 18th place with a score of 440.


The Chargers and Mustangs both made appearances at semi-state for the first time as a team.

West Lafayette won the boys semi-state with a score of 77. Lake Central was second (96) and Crown Point was third (116).

Lake Central won the girls semi-state race with a score of 55. West Lafayette finished second (114) and Valparaiso was third (126).

Katlynn McClerkin was the top finisher for North Montgomery in the girls race. She finished 74th overall in a time of 21:04. India De La Cruz was 76th in a time of 21:06, Hana Heide was 83rd in a time of 21:15, Haley Heide was 92nd in a time of 21:40, and Logan Harper was 130th overall in a time of 24:03.

“They once again competed extremely well,” North Montgomery coach Mike Myers said. “They were extremely competitive and wanted to do really well, and they did that. They went out and they battled. They had a great time and ran really hard.”

Junior Ben Payton was the top finisher for Fountain Central in the boys race. He was 68th overall in a time of 17:14.

Freshman Logan Pietrzak was 77th overall in a time of 17:29, Colin Mellady was 80th overall in a time of 17:31, Caleb Phillps was 99th in a time of 17:58, and Xander Carson finished 116th overall in a time of 18:30.

“I think it was a good experience for the guys,” Fountain Central coach Michael Allio said. “They’re a young group and it was their first experience in a race that magnitude with that many good runners. I think it’s going to pay huge dividends for us in the future.” 


Southmont sophomore Kelsey Dugger finished 63rd overall in a time of 20:34 as an individual in her first trip to semi-state.

“With all of the good competition, I think that was really good for her to have,” Southmont coach Bailey Davis said. “She did really well for being a first-timer at semi-state. I was very impressed with her.” 

Southmont junior Brooks Long finished 32nd overall in a time of 16:36 as an individual in his second semi-state appearance.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him that ready for a race,” Davis said. “I think he did a really great job.”


Crawfordsville’s Davis Thompson was 62nd overall and finished in a time of 16:56 as an individual. In the girls race, sophomore Maddy Hurt finished 100th overall in a time of 21:07.

Both made their second semi-state appearance as individuals.

“It was a better run than last year when they were there,” Crawfordsville coach Megan Craig said. “They knew a little bit more of what to expect. Both of them ran better times this year on the course.”

Mentoring can lead to long life

Why should you mentor? Becoming a mentor to a child in need could be one of the most rewarding things you have ever done. Being a mentor at the Youth Service Bureau means being a caring adult who devotes time to a young person, with the goal in mind of helping that young person discover their strengths and achieve their potential. 

There are hundreds of benefits to mentoring — for the child and for the mentor. Several mentors in the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau’s Juvenile Mentoring Program have reported that not only do they believe they are making a difference, but they believe their lives are being positively impacted from the mentor-mentee relationship. 

JUMP Program Manager Jill Hampton receives many comments from mentors who say their lives have been changed for the better after becoming a mentor. 

According to a research study performed by the University of Exeter Medical School in England, volunteering for a positive cause leads to lower levels of depression, increased life-satisfaction and enhance well-being. The researchers also found evidence of a 20 percent reduction in mortality among volunteers compared to those who don’t volunteer, essentially proving that those who chose to volunteer could be lengthening their lives. 

Mentoring not only helps the volunteer personally, but it helps the child being mentored. The need in our community for mentors is great, with 21 children currently on a waiting list for a mentor. 

Mentoring is simple, too. 

“One thing I always say about mentoring is that it doesn’t take a lot of money,” Hampton said. “In fact, we encourage mentors to focus on no or low-cost activities. It’s about the time and attention and letting a child know that someone cares and is there for them.” 

One such child is six-year-old Beth. She lives with her biological parents, with a one parent working full-time and one parent dealing with some learning disabilities. They find it difficult to spend one-on-one time with each of their children and keep up with their needs. 

Beth makes very good grades and has great behavior at school, but she needs someone who can help her with reading and writing. 

“Beth struggles a lot in areas, but her mom says she tries really hard at everything that comes her way,” Hampton said. 

She likes many activities, such as going to the park, craft projects, cooking, baking, walking, swimming, camping, watching television and movies. 

“Beth is one of those kids who would love to just do everyday things with her mentor,” Hampton said.

The important thing for Beth is just getting that one-on-one time. 

“She is a sweet girl and has a great imagination and could really benefit from a positive female role model,” Hampton said. 

If you believe you would make a good mentor to Beth, contact Hampton at 765-362-0694, ext. 12 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“It only takes two hours a week -— doing things you would normally do — and you can change the life of a child,” Hampton said. “And, remember that you are not alone. The YSB provides one free monthly group activity a month, and we provide you with activity ideas throughout the month.” The YSB also provides extensive training and support.

“Please call and help deplete our growing waiting list of children who need mentors,” Hampton said. “It will be one of the best decisions you will ever make.” 

To learn more about YSB, visit www.mcysb.org or visit them on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/mcysb 

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau is a MUFFY Partner Agency.

Local musician provides songs for film

The premiere showing of the Montgomery County Movie has one local man excited to hear the background music. 

Montgomery County native Ryan Kline created 15 original songs for the project. He not only wrote all of the songs in the movie, he also is the main musician for the tracks. There are a few scenes in the movie that uses music featuring Kline’s whole band.

“Most of the music is keyboard, synthesizer and bass guitar,” Kline said. “I play all the music on my 15 songs and the band has a few scenes where we all are playing.”

Kline did recruit Mike Riley, who plays in a band with the composer, to help record the musical tracks.

Kline had never taken on anything like composing music for a movie, but when he learned Crawfordsville residents, Dick Munro and Phillip Demoret, were producing the film, he contacted them.

“I saw the article in the Journal Review last spring,” Kline said. “So, I contacted Dick Munro and volunteered to write the music for the movie.”

Kline did not hear from Munro or Demoret for some time, so he thought his offer had been rejected. However, an answer finally arrived in an email from Munro.

“It had been a while but out of the blue I heard from Dick,” Kline said. “He said they wanted to accept my offer.”

It was not long and the 37-year-old musician had a rough copy of the movie in his hand. He watched the scenes and started composing music to fit the action on the screen.

Kline said his band, Burdens Within, plays music he classifies as “hard-edged alternative rock.” After writing four songs, he started wondering if the music would be appropriate for a movie set in 1982. So, he got a sample of his work to the movie makers.

“I wrote the first four songs and decided I better make sure I was composing what they wanted,” Kline said. “Dick and Phillip came over to my house and listened to what I had written. They gave me the OK.”

Kline finished the 15 songs in September. He has not yet seen the finished product.

“I am a excited to see a movie with my music in it,” Kline said. 

Kline and his wife, Michelle, have a daughter, Violet, and the family lives in Crawfordsville.

Kline also said his band has recently made its first CD and can be purchased by contacting him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. One of the songs on the new CD is used at the end of the movie while the credits are rolling.

The movie premiere is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. today at the Vanity Theater. The movie will run through Friday. Tickets are available in the lobby of the PNC Bank, 101 W. Main St.