Home News Blues and Ribs Fest slated for Saturday

October 1, 2014

Ribs and blues will be on the menu at Saturday’s first-ever Ribs and Blues Fest in Roachdale. 

The event, scheduled from noon to 11 p.m., will be on Railroad Street and is a part of the Roachdale Music Series. The festival is sponsored by the Roachdale Revitalization Cooperative Alliance.

A total of 10 Roachdale area residents where chosen to compete in the rib cooking contest. Seven local “celebrity” judges will award a cash prize and trophy to the winner. 

Joe Buser, RRCA board member, said the response for the new idea has been tremendous.

“We had a lot of interest in the rib cook-off,” he said. “So much so that we had to set a limit of the number of contestants. People seem very excited about the new festival. At first our board was hoping to get maybe 100 people. This thing has taken a life of its own and people are showing interest from all over.”

The musical talent will be world-class. Two of the blues bands, Tad Robinson and Blue Side Up, have performed all over the world. The Crawfordsville band, Wingnuts, and Greencastle’s Joel and Tosh of War Radio also will perform.

Attendees will be able to purchase food from Hog’n It All BBQ. The food vendor participates in regional barbecue competitions. Food can be purchased with tickets sold during the event.

A cash beer and wine garden also will be available. The wine will be furnished by Traders Point Winery.

Buser said RRCA board members hope the festival will become an annual event as a way to promote the Putnam County town. The RRCA purpose is to promote economic growth and historic preservation in Roachdale.

“An influx of people attending the festival will give Roachdale a chance to show off and eventually we hope it grows to help the whole county,” Buser said.

There will be seating for up to 300 attendees, however, Buser suggests people bring their own lawn chairs to ensure themselves of a seat.

For more information, including a complete list of events, visit www.RoachdaleRCA.org.

Walker ‘honored to serve’ county

October 1, 2014

Joe Walker was sitting in a D.A.R.E. class when he decided he wanted to become a police officer.

After several years of being a jail officer, the 35-year-old accomplished his childhood dream. He became a sheriff’s deputy at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m honored to serve here,” Walker said. “Being able to help the community I grew up in is very rewarding.”

The late Sgt. Ron Newlin inspired Walker to become a police officer. Newlin was a D.A.R.E. officer when Walker attended Southmont schools.

Walker was a correctional officer at the Montgomery County Jail and Tippecanoe County Jail before he joined the sheriff’s office.

He likes to solve battery and drug cases, and aspires to become a D.A.R.E. officer or a canine officer.

“You don’t like to see people being battered or using drugs,” Walker said. “Any case you can resolve is a good case. I enjoy helping citizens, whether it means comforting them or more.”

Walker has already attended the Police Academy and currently serves on the day shift. The sheriff’s office sees his life experience as beneficial to the department.

“Joe has a lot of street smarts as far as dealing with people,” Chief Deputy Ryan Needham said. “He has been around law enforcement for a while and has done a great job for us so far.”

Walker also has enjoyed his time with the sheriff’s office. He believes the comradery amongst his fellow officers is second to none.

As he continues his law enforcement career, Walker wants to make sure he has a positive impact on the people around him.

“I want to be a good role model for my family and this community,” Walker said. “It is an honor to be in a position where you can help people on a daily basis.”

Teacher charged with providing alcohol to minors

October 1, 2014

A Cascade High School math teacher and assistant football coach has been charged with contributing alcohol to a minor.

Zachary D. Simpson, 27, of Crawfordsville was arrested Sunday morning by Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies at his residence. He was incarcerated in the Montgomery County Jail on a $1,000 cash-only bond at 9:19 a.m. and posted bail at 2:47 p.m.

Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies received a call Sunday morning from a concerned parent stating her daughter and two other girls came home intoxicated. Deputies arrived at the parent’s residence and noticed three underage girls were intoxicated and one was unresponsive.

A probable cause affidavit alleges Simpson provided alcohol to three girls. It states the three girls consumed shots of Captain Morgan liquor provided by Simpson. One of the girls also allegedly drank vodka from a sports bottle. She had a blood-alcohol level of 0.126 when a deputy tested her Sunday morning.

Furthermore, one girl reported she was kissed on the cheek by Simpson as he put her to sleep on a couch.

Sheriff’s deputies went to Simpson’s residence after obtaining information. Simpson told police the three girls were at his house, and confirmed the girls had consumed alcoholic beverages.

After being detained, Simpson said he came home from a concert when one of the girls said they were coming over through a text message. He then stated the three girls were intoxicated when they arrived.

Simpson asserted the girls brought the vodka and that the Captain Morgan liquor was in his freezer.

Sheriff’s deputies noticed the smell of alcohol in Simpson’s breath while interviewing him at the jail.

Detective Travis King of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said there were no indications of sexual activity. The parent reporting the incident also stated in the affidavit that there were no sexual advancements.

Simpson formerly taught at North Montgomery High School. The affidavit states the three girls were in his algebra class last year.

The incident remains under investigation, and more charges may be added.

Mill Creek Community Schools Superintendent Jim Diagostino issued a written statement Tuesday afternoon.

“We sincerely apologize for the actions of the teacher and assure everyone that we do not condone, nor will we tolerate, this type of behavior from our school employees,” Diagostino stated. “The teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.”


September 30, 2014

While the public phase of MUFFY’s 2014 fundraising campaign has yet to begin, good work is already being done throughout Montgomery County behind the scenes.

The Pacesetter phase of the Montgomery United Fund For You (MUFFY)’s 45th annual campaign began on August 1, and organizations large and small have been working hard to raise money for MUFFY as summer slipped into autumn.

“Pacesetters are businesses and organizations who set a standard for leadership in our community by donating or running a company campaign to benefit MUFFY before September 30,” said David Johnson, MUFFY’s Executive Director. “They give our annual campaign a terrific jump start, and we like to celebrate them for their efforts and thank them for giving this campaign such a promising beginning.”

MUFFY will be toasting their Pacesetters at their 2014 Kickoff Luncheon, which will be held at noon on Wednesday, October 1 at the Crawfordsville Country Club. Delicious delicacies will be paired with a short program, recognition of Pacesetter companies and the presentation of the first “big check” of MUFFY’s 2014 campaign. Pacesetters will also be recognized in local media and on MUFFY’s website, www.muffy.org.

2014 marks 45 years since MUFFY began its first fundraising campaign in 1970. Since that time, nearly 11 million dollars have been raised to assist area non-profit agencies in meeting the needs of Montgomery County’s residents. MUFFY remains the most efficient and cost-effective way to give to local non-profits, as it is the only fundraiser authorized to accept payroll deductions and distribute it to the agencies of a donor’s choice without the unnecessary expense of each agency running their own campaign.

For more information about MUFFY”s kickoff luncheon and to RSVP, call 765-362-5484 or visit www.muffy.org/kickoff.html.

Dems plan annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner

September 30, 2014

Democratic Secretary of State candidate Beth White will be the keynote speaker at the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Oct. 7 at the Byron Cox American Legion Post, 101 Walter Remley Drive, in Crawfordsville. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m., with the program to follow at 7 p.m.

White, now serving in her second term as Marion County Clerk, is the chief election official of Indianapolis, the nation’s 13th largest city. As clerk she has championed voters’ rights by expanding early voting opportunities and lobbying the General Assembly to remove barriers to voting. She created yVote!, a voter education program for high schools to encourage participation in elections.

The 2014 Jefferson Jackson dinner will also feature local candidates Raymond Kirtley, for judge of Superior Court 1; Howard Pollchik, County Council District 1; and David Hadley for County County District 2. Guests also will hear from 4th District US House of Representatives candidate John Dale and State Senate District 23 candidate Bob Burkett.

NutHatch, the popular acoustical music group that specializes in Celtic and American folk music, will provide entertainment.  Miller’s of Waynetown will cater the dinner. 

Tickets are $20. Century Club members receive two free tickets. Reservations are required. Please contact Hadley by email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or phone 362-0599 by noon Thursday to reserve tickets.