Reading program aims to build better world

LINDEN — Readers of all ages will explore all things “community” this summer as Linden Carnegie Public Library presents “Build a Better World” during their summer library reading program.

Activities will include recycling, art projects, community service, science, growing a greener community and more. The Summer Reading Program is open to young people ages 0-14 with programs, prize drawings, storytimes and a pizza party for the final day.

Participants must visit the library and sign up for the program to receive a registration packet and prize. Registration is limited this year. Be sure and like the library’s Facebook page: Linden Carnegie Public Library.

Activities for the summer are as follows:

• May 25 at 2:30 p.m. Recycling

• June 1 at 2:30 p.m. Grow a Greener Community

• June 8 at 2:30 p.m. Community Care

• June 15 t 2:30 p.m. Build Our Community

• June 22 at 2:30 p.m. My Home

• June 29 at 2:30 p.m. Community Block Party

Academic teams place in top 3 at state

Crawfordsville Middle School’s Academic Super Bowl team and coaches are celebrating after their recent success in the state competition.

The school was notified of its impressive state results after all of its teams finished in the top three at Lafayette Tecumseh Middle School’s Area competition on April 29. Those scores were sent to the state, and after the results were tallied, CMS had four of its five teams finish in the state’s top 10 of Class 2 schools.

Leading the impressive Athenian showing was the Social Studies academic squad which garnered first place in the state competition. The English and interdisciplinary teams finished fourth and seventh in the state, respectively. The interdisciplinary squad was made up of individual members from the Math, Science, English and Social Studies teams. The Science contingent also had a top 10 performance, while the Math team finished barely out of that elite group.

CMS was also honored for being in the Top 10 Overall Schools, Class 2, of the Junior Division, based on its cumulative score from all five rounds of area competition.

Members of the CMS Academic Super Bowl team are Noelle Baer, Emily Bost, Elizabeth Bowling, Jacob Burke, Ben Casica-Patton, Landon Hurt, Vidushi Kiran, Aidan Mason, Adelyn Morgan, Evie Redding, Gwyn Redding, Cooper Reed, Lorelei Schmitzer-Torbert and Gabrien Smith.

Sandy Dickerson, sixth grade science teacher at CMS, is the Academic Super Bowl Coordinator. Coaches are Bobby Thompson, Social Studies; Kelli Bowling, English; Cami Lain, Science; and Cindy Turner, Math.

As coordinator, Dickerson expressed satisfaction with the team’s state showing.

“This team of students are a great bunch of kids,” she said. “They worked hard this season to learn as much as they could about this year’s topic, the French Revolution. They are excited and happy about doing as well as they did at the area and state levels. Some of the students have even told me that they are planning strategy for next year’s topic, World War I, so they can repeat this year’s success.”

Dickerson was quick to point out, however, next year’s team will be without the services of this year’s talented and dedicated eighth graders who will be moving on to the high school.

“We’ll have our work cut out for us,” she said. “The younger members of our team, though, are ready, willing and able to step up and take on the challenge for next year.”

CMS Principal Brent Bokhart said that all team members will be recognized at an already-scheduled, school-wide pep session on Friday. And the social studies team members will receive their state championship medals at that time.

“All of our teams have been working hard leading up to competition,” Bokhart said. “We are certainly proud of their accomplishments, and all of our academic teams did an excellent job this year representing CMS.”

County values increase

Montgomery County Assessor Sherri Bentley reported Tuesday to the Montgomery County Council that farmland values had dropped $30 million in the county. The assessor said the decrease was because state legislators had overhauled the method for calculating farmland valuations.

By Thursday, Bentley had better news for county officials.

Bentley has had time to further analyze the county real estate valuations and the net result is good news. Montgomery County has a net gain of $25.9 million when all real estate values are considered.

An improving housing market combined with new construction in both house and industry markets has resulted in a healthy gain in valuations.

“Our improvements, which includes new manufacturing and housing projects and an upward trend of rising real estate prices, went up $54.6 million,” Bentley said. “Even with the agriculture values decreasing by $29.7 million we still have a net gain of $25.9 million. That is good news for the county.”

The new valuations will be used to calculate 2017 real estate taxes payable in 2018.

Montgomery County Commissioner John Frey found encouragement when he got the news from Bentley. Frey, who is actively trying to organize a growth plan for the county within several levels of county government, said the end result was good to hear.

“I was a bit surprised that we had a gain in valuations despite the change in how the state calculates the ag values,” Frey said. “This is a good indication that our housing market and new construction is growing along with an improving economy.”

Frey, who is a farmer, recently started to believe the way to grow an industrial base is through new housing starts. The commissioner said as homes are built, more people will live in the county. As more people live in the county, additional retail will follow to serve the growing population. Finally, with more people, industry will become more apt to locate in an area with a growing population.

Frey said the theory is starting to prove itself. He pointed to a new 48-home subdivision progressing near Smartsburg. Its creation is a result of the new Nucor Corridor sewage project that is bringing sewage services along S.R. 32 East. He said there is another developer in the beginning stages of planning an additional 70-acre housing subdivision along the state highway.

Frey also pointed to the new housing subdivision being planned at the intersection of Schenck Road and C.R. 50W.

“We are seeing things start to happen in the county and that proves we can grow,” Frey said. “Now we need to have a solid plan that will help us distribute our resources for the best return and get everybody on the same page. It is starting to happen.”

New real estate tax valuation statements will be mailed soon.

Wabash prepares for commencement

The academic finish line arrives with a turn of the tassel as Wabash College celebrates its 179th Commencement exercises at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the College Mall. The ceremony will be streamed live at www.wabash.edu/live.

President Gregory D. Hess will lead the procession and will ring out the Class of 2017. One hundred eighty-nine men are scheduled to receive their sheepskin diplomas in the ceremony.

Two graduating seniors, Adam Burtner and Bilal Jawed, will be the only featured speakers at the commencement in keeping with a long-standing Wabash tradition.

Burtner majored in rhetoric and minored in religion and political science. The Phi Gamma Delta member was a senior fellow with the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse initiative, and was involved in Student Senate, Pre-Law Society, College Republicans and Parliamentary Union Debate Team. In addition, Burtner was a student orientation mentor, an opinion columnist for The Bachelor, president and founder of the Wabash ONE Campaign, president of Lambda Pi Eta Communications Honor Society and vice president of Sons of Wabash. Following graduation, he will serve as the executive director of HATCH for Hunger, an Indianapolis non-profit fighting hunger through community and corporate partnerships. He is the son of Laurie and Don Farris of Brownsburg.

Jawed double majored in biology and Spanish and minored in chemistry. The Global Health Fellow is a founding member of Delta Tau Delta, Phi Beta Kappa, Ultimate Frisbee Club and served on the audit and finance committee as a member of student government. He was president of the Muslim Student Association and the Public Health Organization and was integral in the establishment of the campus-wide Mental Health Concerns Committee. Jawed served on a global health campaign in Peru, as an environmental specialist at the Montgomery County Health Department, as an infection preventionist at IU Health, and an HIV/AIDS research assistant in Uganda. The winner of the Lewis Salter Memorial Award and the Eliot Churchill Williams Undergraduate Prize of Biology was a biology QSC tutor and campus photographer. Following graduation, he will attend medical school with the hopes of one day conducting health research in developing countries. Jawed is the son of Syed and Naheed Jawed of Indianapolis.

The college will award honorary degrees to Stephen S. Bowen ’68, retired senior partner at Latham & Watkins and the chairman of the Wabash Board of Trustees; John L. Myers ’74, professor of Surgery & Pediatrics at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; and David N. Shane ’70, retired CEO of LDI, Ltd., and member of the Wabash Board of Trustees.

On Saturday, 22 students will be inducted into the Wabash chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest honorary society. To be inducted this year are seniors Cameron Brown (Chandler), Beidou Cheng (Nanjing, China), Anthony Douglas II (South Bend), Austin Dukes (Kokomo), Maxwell Earp-Thomas (Eugene, Oregon), Isaac Empson (Peoria, Illinios), Bilal Jawed (Indianapolis), Da Woon Kim (Seoul, South Korea), Noah Levi (Charlotte, North Carolina), Xinyu Ma (Ankang, China), Zachary Maciejewski, (St. John), Justin Miller (St. Joe), Kyle Morgan (Philo, Illinois), Tu Anh Nguyen (Hanoi, Vietnam), Harrison Schafer (Mooresville), Kyle Stucker (Franklin), Daniel Thompson (Jeffersonville), Ngoc Ngo Quang Tran (Hanoi, Vietman), Aaron Wirthwein (Louisville, Tennessee), Yang Yang (Chongqing, China), Zhipu Ye (Jiangsu, China) and Seine Yumnam (Imphal, India).

In addition, the Senior Art Exhibition will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Eric Dean Gallery. The exhibition features the work of senior art majors Emilio Arroyo, Abel Becker, Zach Boren, Corey Hoffman and Kolby Lopp.

Commencement Day at Wabash begins at 11 a.m. with Baccalaureate, which will be held in Pioneer Chapel. Reverend Elizabeth (Libby) Davis Manning. will give the Baccalaureate sermon. Manning is Pastor of Ministry and Maturity at Christ the Savior Lutheran Church in Fishers, and the associate director of the Wabash Pastoral Leadership Program.

At the conclusion of the commencement ceremony, Hess will guide the graduates through the Senior Arch and proceed to the steps of the Allen Center, where the Class of 2017 will sing “Old Wabash” for the first time as alumni.

Following the ceremony, there will be a reception for the Class of 2017 near the Frank Hugh Sparks Center west portico (between Morris and Wolcott Halls).

In the event of inclement weather, Sunday’s commencement exercises will be held in Chadwick Court of the Allen Athletics and Recreation Center.

Zaylie McFarland

Zaylie McFarland, 2, completed the Crawfordsville District Public Library program "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" for the second time. She is the daughter of Joe and Kylie McFarland. Zaylie's favorite book is stories from the Bible. Mom said, "Zaylie loves to go to the library! She loves story time and Wiggle and Giggle. She shouts with excitement when she knows we are going there. She also loves to do the picture hunt and play with the puppets!"