LOCAL NEWS

Farmers’ Market vendors to distribute treats

October 22, 2014

The Crawfordsville Farmers’ Market is celebrating another successful year with Halloween treats for youth. 

Saturday is the market’s last day and vendors will distribute treats from 8 a.m. to noon.

“We wanted to give something to the kids, and so we are hoping kids will come trick or treating this Saturday at the Farmers’ Market,” organizer Nancy Seaman said. “Our vendors will have things like candy, pumpkins and gourds to give away to the kids.”

Seaman said, even though the growing season has slowed down, there are still fresh items available.

“We will have pumpkins and gourds and apples,” Seaman said. “Winter squash is also a popular item being brought in by vendors.”

Seaman said the Farmers’ Market Committee is pleased with its first full year at the Pike Street location.

“We have had record crowds and vendors,” she said. “The community has really supported us and we want to thank everyone who has worked to make Saturday mornings an event. The entertainment was well received and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.”

Plans for next year’s Farmers’ Market will get under way after the first of the year. Seaman said the committee will consider new vendors for next year. The first meeting for the committee will be in early April and the market will re-open the third Saturday in April.

Candidates square off at forum

October 22, 2014

Candidates for the U.S. Representative in District 4 and Indiana Senator District 23 took part in Tuesday’s Candidates’ Forum at Crawfordsville High School. Over 70 attendees heard the candidates voice their opinions on many topics.

Republican incumbent Phil Boots and democrat challenger Bob Burkett started the evening on the auditorium stage. Both are business owners and admitted they agreed on many of the issues and how the State should address problems.

Burkett, who has never held a political office, said he decided to run because he did not believe it was good for Indiana to have a Republican super-majority running the State government.

“I am not happy with the Republican super-majority that gives them total control,” Burkett said. “A super-majority makes decisions about education, taxing schemes and the right-to-work law is unbalanced. I would have voted differently than Mr. Boots on a lot of these issues.”

Boots, who held Montgomery County offices before being elected to the State Senate, said his fundamental beliefs fire his desire to stay in politics.

“I believe in less government in people’s lives,” Boots said. “Government does not create jobs, it can only create an environment that will attract business and we have done that in Indiana.”

State finances and education dominated most the state senator candidates session. Both candidates agreed education expenses are a major part of the state budget but did not agree on other aspects of education.

“In Indiana, 72 percent of the state’s budget goes toward education. I do not agree with vouchers and I do not see how we can continue to fund education the way the super-majority is leading,” Burkett said.

Boots said Republicans have a different idea on school vouchers, especially when considering the schools that are struggling.

“We feel school choice is a key. Some school systems are not functioning properly. We feel parents are the best qualified to choose where their children go to school,” Boots said.

Burkett said he would rather make sure more funding goes to public education and not private schools or charter schools.

Incumbent U.S. Representative Todd Rokita and democrat challenger John Dale took center stage for the second session of the evening. Rokita and Dale showed more differences in opinions than the two state representative candidates did.

“I am tired of the gridlock in Washington and I would like to help change that,” Dale said. 

Rokita said he is willing to compromise, as proven by two recent bills he helped author that had bi-partisan support.

The candidates were asked to grade the job President Barack Obama is doing on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being poor. As expected, the candidates disagreed on the grade.

“I would give President Obama a 6 or 7,” Dale said. “The President has had a hard time because of the gridlock in Washington.”

Rokita graded President Obama somewhere between a 1 or 2 and criticized the president’s lack of leadership.

“We are leaderless in America today,” Rokita said. “Also, today if you do not believe in what the President and his people believe, they turn the IRS on you. The problem with ISIS is because  the president is not leading.”

Other topics the U.S. Representative candidates disagreed on were global warming, the use of fossil fuels and alternative energy, and unions. Rokita generally took the stand of a conservative while Dale stood with moderate democrat ideology.

City man faces 5 drug charges

October 21, 2014

An investigative traffic stop led to the arrest of a Crawfordsville man Sunday night.

Joshua S. Jones, 36, was stopped in the 800 block of Grant Avenue on warrants for failure to appear in court.

While searching Jones’ vehicle, Crawfordsville police officers located several illegal substances. Field tests indicated the confiscated substances were methamphetamine, suboxone, marijuana, paraphernalia and a controlled substance.

The substances were sent to the Indiana State Police Lab in Indianapolis for further testing.

Jones has been charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of paraphernalia.

He is being held at the Montgomery County Jail on $1,350 of cash-only bonds.

“A traffic stop turned into a drug arrest,” Crawfordsville Police Chief Mike Norman said. “The officers were very observant to their surroundings, showed diligence and found several illegal substances.”

Green flag out for weekend Ironman races

October 21, 2014

Local residents will see an increase in traffic this week as Ironman GNCC participants and fans start arriving in Crawfordsville for Saturday and Sunday’s national racing event.

Local hotels and restaurants are expecting to be full this weekend as Montgomery County pulls out the welcome mat to the estimated crowd of over 10,000 fans for the 20th running of the event.

Nikki Copeland, general manager of both the Hampton Inn Suites and Comfort Inn, said her staff has already brought in guests.

“We have people already in the hotels who are here for the Ironman,” Copeland said. “We will be full once again for the weekend with racers and race fans.”

Copeland said she and her staff look forward to Ironman weekend each year and will even be working at the event.

“I encourage my staff to go out and work the gates for Ironman, and we have had good participation for several years,” Copeland said. “We want our visitors to feel welcome to Crawfordsville and we are willing to spend time at the track making sure it is a success. We believe the events at Tom Shaver’s farm are important to our community.”

The Montgomery County Visitor’s Bureau is gearing up for a busy week. The bureau will be open to help race fans with questions about the area and will promote area dining facilities, museums and other events. 

“We will help direct people to area events that are happening and to local places to eat,” MCCVB director Sharon Kenny said. “It seems we have a large amount of Fall events happening from the Kiwanis Bazaar at the Fairgrounds to several Halloween themed events. We hope to move some of the race fans to our local events while they are here.”

Race Director Tim Cotter said he is excited for another Ironman Race and is always confident Crawfordsville will impress weekend visitors.

“I have come to know Crawfordsville first-hand and have all the confidence in the world that our fans will be well taken care of,” Cotter said. “I am confident everyone associated with the race will have nice things to say about Crawfordsville as always.”

Local police are preparing for the additional people and will supply security on the Ironman Raceway grounds. Unlike the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Race, when there was very little problems with fans, Montgomery County Chief Deputy Sheriff Ryan Needham said the Ironman GNCC race usually demands a little more attention.

“After 19 years of this race we have a pretty good idea what to expect,” Needham said. “There are a lot more fans that camp on the grounds and that can cause a few more issues, but really, considering all the people, it is not bad. The pro motocross racers and fans are a different crowd than the one we will have this weekend, but we do not expect anything major or anything we have not seen before.”

Tom Shaver, who owns Ironman Raceway located on C.R. 1389 W. 200 S., said the national ATV giant Polaris is adding a new featured race. The company is unveiling 18 Ace ATV’s and will sponsor a race just for their new product. Cotter said this is a big plus for the Crawfordsville race.

“Polaris is going to be at the track in force this year and they have provided 18 models of their new Ace all-terrain machines,” Cotter said. “This is a big deal for Crawfordsville because all the eyes from across the world is interested in this new Polaris product. The race is going to bring even more excitement to the weekend’s festivities.”

Local vendors will be on hand to offer food and drinks to the race crowd. 

Race teams will be allowed on the grounds Thursday and the scheduled races, which features four different classes, will commence Saturday and run through Sunday.

Car-semi crash injures 2

October 21, 2014

Two men were hospitalized Monday morning after a vehicle-semi crash at the intersection of U.S. 231 and County Road 300 South.

A semi driven by Billie R. Eller was northbound on U.S. 231 from a construction site when it collided with the driver’s side of a Ford Taurus driven by Douglas J. Chieppo of Crawfordsville, police said.

The crash occurred at approximately 8:25 a.m.

Chieppo was westbound on C.R. 300 South and failed to stop at a stop sign. Crawfordsville firefighters extricated Chieppo from his vehicle.

Crawfordsville firefighters transported the men to Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville for medical treatment.

“Both drivers were responsive when I arrived,” said Chief Deputy Ryan Needham of the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Paul Davis of the Sheriff’s Office said StatFlight helicopter service later transported Chieppo to an Indianapolis hospital. Eller was released Monday morning with minor injuries.

After the collision, the semi owned by Jack Ison Construction Co. left the roadway and struck a residence at 34 West County Road 300 South before coming to rest. It damaged the roof of the house. The home’s occupants, Bertha and Kyle Fry, were uninjured.

Eller was able to leave his vehicle and check the condition of the home’s occupants before he was transported to the local hospital for examination.

The Crawfordsville Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office redirected traffic until the vehicles were removed from the scene.

“Both drivers were responsive when I arrived on scene,” said Chief Deputy Ryan Needham of the Montgomery Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Paul Davis of the Sheriff’s Office said StatFlight helicopter service later transported Chieppo to an Indianapolis hospital. Eller was released Monday morning with minor injuries.

After the collision, the semi owned by Jack Ison Construction Co. left the roadway and struck a residence at 34 W. County Road 300 South before coming to rest. It damaged the roof of the house. The home’s occupants, Bertha and Kyle Fry, were uninjured.

Eller was able to leave his vehicle and check the condition of the home’s occupants before he was taken to the local hospital for examination.

The Crawfordsville Police Department and Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office redirected traffic until the vehicles were removed from the scene.