LOCAL NEWS

City Offices Closed for Good Friday

All City of Crawfordsville offices will be closed on Friday (April 14) to observe Good Friday.

 

this means there will be no trash or recycling pick up on Friday. Friday’s normal routes will be picked up on Monday along with Monday's normal routes.

 

The Yard Waste Site will be closed on Friday and Sunday. It will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CERT team seeking volunteers

If a disaster strikes the county and rescue crews cannot quickly respond, a team of civilian volunteers may be the first on the scene.

Volunteers are being sought for a Community Emergency Response Team, which trains and coordinates non-professionals to aid victims of mass incidents until emergency workers can take over.

The program is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Montgomery Fund For You has partnered with the county EMA to oversee the local team.

“Montgomery County did not have a CERT team prior to this year,” said MUFFY executive director David Johnson, who heads the team.

Johnson said 20 to 30 volunteers are needed to build the ranks. Nine people have signed up so far.

They include a volunteer firefighter and his family, nurses, American Red Cross volunteers, a Wabash College employee and representatives from large businesses and industries.

Volunteers undergo 21 hours of initial basic training in fire safety, light search and rescue and first aid.

The team grew out of the response to August’s tornadoes in Mace and Linnsburg, when numerous residents turned out to assist first responders and help clean up the damage. Montgomery County had lost a network of trained contacts when the local Red Cross chapter merged with a regional center.

“There were just a variety of changes in local volunteer services across the community,” Johnson said.

Hours after the twister struck, EMA asked MUFFY to help organize and coordinate the volunteers at the scene.

Johnson and MUFFY board members spent the next three days staffing incident command in Mace. They recruited additional volunteers to help victims recover personal property, secure homes and clear debris.

MUFFY formally agreed to oversee a response team during a debriefing in the tornado’s aftermath.

Volunteers will also be asked to set up at community events helping residents sign up for the county’s mass notification system.

EMA director Shari Harrington said the team is designed to help give Good Samaritans proper training to be more efficient in disaster situations.

Montgomery County is one of 15 CERT programs in the area, including Lafayette and Greencastle. The concept was first implemented in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.

Since the training went national in 1993, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have started teams.

Stoup helps VU win national title

When Vincennes University cheerleader Allison Stoup walked onto the stage to compete in the Collegiate National Cheerleading Championship she felt numb.

“I couldn’t feel my legs,” she said.

However, once the music started, six months of practice began to pay off. With the VU Cheer team’s March 27 performance, they captured the National Small Co-ed Show Cheer Division of the USA Collegiate Champions title at the National Junior College Association Division.

Stoup, who has been involved with cheerleading since her elementary school days, said the competition was a two-day affair. After the team’s first competition performance on March 26, she said they were not feeling optimistic.

“We really had a rough first day,” Stoup said. “We had a couple of falls and when we walked off our heads were down.”

Those feelings did not last long. When the cheer coach showed the team the standings after the first day, they were surprised to be leading the four other teams by four points.

The team used its new-found enthusiasm to put together a better performance the next day.

“The second day, we really hit it and put on a great performance,” Stoup said. “We had a lot of confidence that we were going to win the championship.”

As the 15-member team gathered for the awards presentations, the confidence proved to be spot on. The team was named the champions which set up a celebration that carried on into the night.

“It was awesome to hear our names called as the champions,” Stoup said. “We went out to eat and went back to our hotel and continued our celebration in the hallways. We found out that some of the guests did not appreciate the noise we were making.”

The championship drive started in Octoboer 2016 when the cheer team found they were going to participate in the event. The squad started a regime that included three and four practices every week.

Stoup, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree in ag business, said cheerleading has been good for her. She said all the friendships made, plus the fact cheerleading keeps her active and motivated, has made it worthwhile. Now the squad, which performs at VU men’s and women’s baskeball games, has gained new respect on campus.

“People on campus are more aware of the cheer team now and the school is even planning a special celebration for us,” Stoup said. “Maybe this year we won’t be pushed under the table at the athletic banquet like in past years.”

Stoup, who is the daughter of Kristy Crews, will cheer again next school year, her final year to cheer.

“I have always considered cheerleading as a sport,” Stoup said. “I am an outgoing person, so cheerleading fits me perfectly. I am going to miss it after next year, but who knows, maybe I will be a school cheer coach someday.”

Coverlet Comes Home

The coverlet was woven by a German immigrant in a two-story building on South Washington Street in 1851.

For whom August Vogel made the intricately-woven, antique bedspread has been lost to history. But almost a century later, it ended up in the hands of Peter Murphy, who was teaching physics at Wabash College.

“It was at an auction in town and I recall giving $95 for it,” said Murphy, now retired in California, “and that must have seemed like a high price because I got a round of applause when I closed the deal.”

After following its owner to California and Kentucky, the coverlet has returned home to Crawfordsville. Murphy recently donated it to the Montgomery County Historical Society.

The society will add the covering to its collection, which includes tapestries that belonged to Henry and Joanna Lane.

“They’d hang them up to the door to keep the heat in the winter and take them down in the summer,” said Steve Frees, the historical society’s executive director.

Staff assumed

Murphy’s coverlet was woven at the Yountsville mill. Murphy has traced its history back to Vogel, who was known for keeping pigeons in the loft above his loom.

Vogel came to Crawfordsville in the 1840s by the way of Baltimore and Kentucky. By the 1850s, he’d sold his properties on South Washington after marrying his wife, Nancy.

Profiling Vogel for the Journal Review in the 1970s, Murphy said he likely competed against other weavers in

Greencastle and Fountain County.

Like most weavers of the day, Vogel often made his coverlets in two pieces that could be combined to make a bed-sized covering. 

Their large size made them difficult to hang as decoration.

“I don’t think that was ever sewn together,” Murphy said of his tapestry.

As he moved from the University of California-Berkeley to a Kentucky campus and back to California, the coverlet got tucked away somewhere on a shelf. Murphy came across it while downsizing the house after retiring from a laboratory.

The Crawfordsville District Public Library pointed him to the Lane Place, where the historical society is based. Lane Place also gets coverlets donated to the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County.

Murphy can only guess how much his coverlet is worth. He once saw an eBay listing asking $999 for one – and there were no takers.

County Council OKs joining economic group

After 45 minutes of debate, which occasionally grew loud, the Montgomery County Council approved an inter-local agreement with the City of Crawfordsville to join the Montgomery County Economic Development Authority. 

The favorable vote did not come county commissioners amended the document one more time for the council.

Commissioners worked with Crawfordsville Mayor Todd Barton to change wording in the agreement at the request of the county council. It was reported at Monday’s commissioner meeting, that the mayor agreed to four out of five changes. Barton did not want to prohibit the new authority from entering into regional economic organizations. Commissioners passed the agreement without the change which caused concern with a few council members.

Councilmen Mark Davidson and Gary Booth said they did not want the new authority to have permission to join a Regional Development Authority. The two men shared examples of how some counties experienced fiscal problems due to decisions by an R.D.A. Davidson and Booth both said they were uncomfortable with the authority joining an R.D.A., and did not believe it would be in the best interest of county taxpayers.

Commissioners present at the meeting, Jim Fulwider and John Frey, felt the mayor was being fair by agreeing to four of the five council

requests to change the original agreement. Frey mentioned that Indiana West Advantage was in a few regional economic development organizations, that promoted neighboring counties working together for the betterment of the whole region.

Davidson accused commissioners of passing the agreement without understanding what an R.D.A. is and what it could cost the county.

The irony of the discussion finally was addressed by County Council Attorney Rob Reimondo after he read the state statute regarding R.D.A. organization while the debate continued around him. He addressed the council and said according to state statute, no county can join an R.D.A. without the approval of both the city and county fiscal bodies. He proposed adding one line to the agreement that stated the authority will follow the state statute in regards to joining an R.D.A.

The discovery appeased the council, and Davidson made the motion to approve the agreement. The motion passed on a 6-1 tally with Richard Chastain casting the dissenting vote.

Chastain said he did not like the fact that the new authority was comprised of only “politicians” and he believed economic development should be in the hands of local business leaders.

The amended agreement will be delivered to Barton for the city to approve the amended agreement.

In other business, the council:

• Approved the position of county engineer with a salary range from $50,000 to $120,000 at the request of the commissioners. The formation of the position and salary range allows commissioners to start the search for an engineer that will provide engineering services to county projects.

• Received annual reports from the County Drainage Board and Wabash Valley Alliance Inc.

• Received a quarterly report from the Montgomery County Purdue Extension Office.

• Was invited to joint meeting of the commissioners, council, Redevelopment Commission and the Plan Commission. The meeting will be at

6 p.m. May 10 at the Crawfordsville District Public Library, 205 S. Washington St.