Start Your Engines

The biggest spectacle in racing came to New Hope Preschool in a small way on Friday, when students and staff held their annual running of the Mini 500 in the church’s parking lot.

Each student was allowed to bring their own wheeled “vehicle” to race on a track marked with safety cones. The mix of transportation types included bicycles, tricycles, Big Wheels and even a scooter.

Preschool director Stacey Murphy said the kids always get excited for the big race.

“This is always a big deal for the kids,” Murphy said. “They each get to bring their favorite bike or other toy and ride with their classmates.”

The students have been learning about the Indianapolis 500 recently, including the meaning behind each differently colored race flag.

Once the race started, the little drivers flew down the straight away. The first turn, however, proved to be troublesome. When the leader of the pack got to the point where she was to turn right, she mistakenly turned left. Every driver followed her until Murphy could run down the racers and get them headed in the correct direction.

“In all the years I have done this, I think that was a first,” Murphy said with a laugh.

The race also proved to be like the big Indy race, with a few of the drivers having accidents and receiving a few bumps and bruises. After a couple of tears were dried up with the hugs from parents and preschool staff, the drivers got back on their bikes to finish the race.

After about 15 minutes, the checkered flag came out and Murphy exclaimed each racer the winner when they crossed the finish line.

An awards ceremony followed, with each participant receiving a championship medal and an ice cream sandwich. The ice cream was a preschoolers’ equivalent to the quart of milk handed to the Indianapolis 500 winner in the Winner’s Circle.

After receiving her award and eating ice cream, one energetic student exclaimed she was ready to race again. But as one parent said, she will have to wait until next year’s running of the New Hope Mini 500.

New Queen is Crowned

Lauren McClaskey was crowned the 2016 Strawberry Festival Queen Saturday night at Crawfordsville High School.

Tiffany Ellington was named first runner-up. Kitty Daron is the second runner-up. This year’s prince is Jackson Miles and the princess is Emma Scobee. Miss Congeniality is Hadyn Allen. This year’s photogenic award went to Kennedy Weliever, while the Mental Attitude Award was given to Kaleigh Sharp.

‘I can’t stand back anymore’

Brooke Lowe of Crawfordsville woke up to her children making tons of noise on Friday, fighting with each other as they got ready for school.

Normally, Lowe would break in and tell them to get moving or they would be late. But on Friday, she sat on the edge of her bed and thanked God for the voices of her children. There are mothers in the community who don’t have that privilege anymore.


“They wake up to silence and an empty bedroom,” Lowe said. “I don’t think there’s anything that could fill that void.”

After North Montgomery lost its third student to suicide this school year last week, Lowe and Tom Ward of the Crawfordsville School of Karate are teaming up to provide an opportunity for people to come together and talk about what the community can do to change things.

“I can pray, I can hope or I can do something,” said Ward, who knew two of the three students. “Because I can’t stand back anymore.”

“We just don’t want to see something happen again without trying,” Lowe said.

The two will host a community meeting to discuss suicide prevention, and everyone in the community is invited to attend the discussion. It doesn’t matter your age or your school district. As Lowe said, “There’s no division.”

The pair admits they have no qualifications except for being concerned community members. But Lowe fears that nothing will change in the community if the

community itself doesn’t step up.

So if other concerned citizens out there want to share thoughts, ideas or possible plans, maybe everyone together can make a difference or at least start a community conversation.

“My biggest hope,” Lowe said, “is someone is going to walk out and say, ‘I’m going to be a friend,’ or ‘I’m going to make a difference somehow.’”

There is one caveat to the meeting, and that is this:

“The blame stops when they walk in that door,” Lowe said. “We will not play the blame game.”

The community discussion will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Crawfordsville School of Karate, 132 W. Main St.

All classes at the Crawfordsville School of Karate are canceled for Wednesday.

Rolling out the red carpet

LINDEN — Northridge Middle School is going to the movies on Sunday. Two classes of mass media students from the middle school will travel to Lafayette’s Long Center for the Performing Arts to see their own short films on the big screen at the 15 Movie Festival sponsored by The Film and Video Studio at Purdue University. They will also be competing against other schools for Best Picture.

This is the first year Purdue has offered the contest and over 70 schools participated. Northridge was chosen as a top-15 finalist, not once but for four movies produced by students.

Northridge Mass Media Instructor Kevin Brooks said after seeing his students make their short films, he thought one or two of the school’s entries might advance. When the results came, Brooks was surprised and pleased to see four  of his students’ short films advancing.

“It was exciting to see the students reaction when I handed them the results,” Brooks said. “I thought we had two pretty good entries, but to get 25 percent of the 16 finalist is pretty outstanding.”

The students had to create every aspect of their short films. They wrote, acted, filmed and edited their creations. They also composed original music and had to make the special effects in each short film.

According to the rules, the short films could be no longer than 10 minutes. The Northridge films were all from one to 5 minutes.

Sixth-grade student Allison Guard, who had multiple parts in her class’ short film titled “Nightmare”, said to go to the finals is exciting and will encourage her to participate in the contest again.

“I was so excited to find out our film was selected for the finals,” Guard said. “Making the film was a lot of fun and I definitely will do it again.”

Guard said the movie she helped produce is about a student having a nightmare experience in the halls of her school.

Another sixth-grade short film titled “Valentines Talk” is about students talking about what nice things they wanted to do for their special valentine.

The eighth grade short films are “Showdown at North Ridge” and “Little Wing Man”.

The first film has a western theme with a twist ending involving the town’s sheriff played by Adam Coon. 

“My character is like both a good and bad guy,” Coon said. “The film’s ending we find the sheriff kind of changing who he is. It was a fun part to play.”

Coon and classmate Ben Lovold also star in “Little Wing Man”. Lovold plays the part of Coon’s conscience as he is sitting and whispering into Coons’ ear trying to convince him what to do. The students had to use special affects to shrink the 5-foot 9-inch Lovold to four inches.

Lovold also takes credit for coming up with one of the main props in the western short film — bananas. It was Lovold who thought of the idea to use bananas as guns in the film since no type of gun is allowed in the

middle school.

All the actors and actresses say they learned making a film is not easy and it takes a lot of time and work to create a final product.

Keifer Carmean, who is a card dealer in the western, said he enjoyed the fact that the students had the final say in every thing about the movies.

“I like the flexibility we had in making our movies,” Carmean said. “We got to do everything that we wanted to do in our own movies.”

Whether it was writing, filming, acting or editing, each student is excited to get to see their films on a big screen along with all 16 finalists. The students are taking advantage of their first-ever world premier as they stroll along a red carpet.

“We are going together to Lafayette on Sunday and we are going to play it up,” Coon said. “All the guys are even going to wear bow ties.”

The following is a list of all the students who produced the four short films: Adam Coon, Ben Lovold, Mikala Voorhees, Allison Guard, Kortney Powers, Catharine Campbell, Kade Kobel, Brent Barfel, Keifer Carmean, Jack Thompson, Audry Blazys and Joel Waddell.

The festival is for film makers who are 15 years old or younger. The Northridge sixth grade students involved are part of the S.M.A.R.T Class and the eighth grade students are enrolled in the school’s mass media class. Both classes are taught by Brooks.

‘More of a Movement’

COVINGTON — Wearing a plaid button down shirt and jeans, Donald Trump Jr. spoke to a small gathering of media and supporters of his father at the Covington Beef House on Thursday. The event was thrown together in less than 24 hours because the Trump campaign wasn’t quite sure when the real estate mogul’s son he was going to finish turkey hunting in the area. But Trump Jr. made it a point to pause his hunting trip to campaign for his father.

“It’s exciting to be here in Indiana,” Trump Jr. said, “and it’s nice to be able to combine a little bit of work with a little bit of fun with a little bit of campaigning.”

Indiana’s primary election is right around the corner, and presidential candidates and their families have been making their way through all areas of the state. For the first time in several years, Indiana’s primary matters in the presidential election — especially among the Republican candidates. In fact, if Trump wins Indiana on Tuesday, there may be no contested convention at all.

“This is actually an incredible opportunity for Indiana to decide which way we go,” Trump Jr. said. “Do we sort of drag this on? Or do we go with the guy who has won the majority of the states, who has won millions more actual votes from voters and say, ‘Let’s actually focus on the real prize,’ which happens in November, and not have in-fighting that happens for months and months?”

According to recent polls, Donald Trump is currently ahead in Indiana. And even though he’s a multi-million dollar businessman who creates huge buildings in big cities like New York, he is finding common ground even among the Midwestern farmers.

“There’s a reason he’s appealed to such a broad spectrum of the country. He wants to bring jobs back to this country. He wants to stop other countries from taking advantage of us. A robost economy, whether that’s the farm sector or whether that’s the manufacturing sector, everyone talks about it, yet they sign these trade deals, do these things and they send everyone away. And then they wonder what happened.”

Trump Jr. said his father has been talking about running for president for many years, and even though he got angrier and angrier with the state of the country, he never felt like it was the right time. When he considered running in the 2008 election, Trump felt his son didn’t have enough experience to take over the empire he had created. And rightly so, Trump Jr. said. There were too many employees who relied on Trump for their livelihood to hand such a large business to someone with little experience. Now Trump Jr. has 15 years of business and deal-making experience under his belt.

So the decision for Trump to run was easy. The process, Trump Jr. said, has not been.

“He doesn’t need this. This is a brutal, disingenuous, fake process. He could sit back and play golf for the rest of his life. But he loves this country. He loves what it’s done for him. He loves what it’s done for his family, for a business, the opportunities it’s created for him. And he wants to make sure those opportunities are there for everyone else in this country. Because they’re not anymore. Each year, it’s getting eroded further and further away. So he needs this like he needs a hole in the head, but he wants to do it to give back to the country that he loves.”

Though he joked he has only been in politics for three weeks, Trump Jr. said it’s that outsider mentality that his family brings that has made Donald Trump’s campaign what it has come to be.

“What he’s trying to do is give a voice to the people,” Trump Jr. said. “The people who built this country, the people who made this country special. They haven’t had a voice in a long time.

“I’ve been going around the country doing this, and I’ve seen the other guys, and I’ve seen the rooms that they fill. But when he can fill a stadium in 24 hours with 13,000-15,000 people, and they’re there on their feet with people in tears. It’s not a campaign anymore; it’s really a movement.”