LOCAL NEWS

Fire at Random House leads to evacuation

July 2, 2015

A fire in the northeast end of the building at Penguin Random House led to an evacuation of the facility Wednesday.

Shortly before 2 p.m. the Crawfordsville Fire Department responded to a call of a fire inside the building. Crawfordsville Fire Division Chief Paul Miller said a baler caught fire.

Miller said all employees were evacuated from the building and had been accounted for by Random House personnel before the fire department arrived. He said the Crawfordsville Police Department assisted with the evacuation of the building.

Random House workers were trying to extinguish the fire when firefighters arrived. Miller said that with the help of the fire sprinklers in the building, firefighters had the blaze under-control quickly.

An air test was performed inside the facility before employees were allowed back inside the building. People were returning to the building by 2:40 p.m.

The extent of damage from the fire was unknown. Random House officials declined to comment.

Hospital unveils telestroke machine

July 2, 2015

Thanks to a new piece of equipment unveiled Wednesday at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville, stroke patients will have access to specialized treatment from doctors and physicians who might be at home, at the store or at Starbucks.

The telestroke machine allows physicians to communicate remotely with patients through video conferencing. The physician can see the patient and the patient can see the physician, allowing for the doctor to perform a virtual neurological examination. The physician can access the patient’s medical records and history, as well as communicate with the physician on site at the hospital.

Carol Bailey, R.N. and division director of intensive care services, said the main physician that will be used is Dr. Arthur Rosen, a neurologist who is a part of the St. Francis Physician Network.

“He can be located at home, he can be located in the hospital, he could be at Starbucks,” Bailey said. “He could be anywhere. He has an application on his computer and laptop. When they call him, he can see a patient any time, and the patient gets to see him. It’s a two-way communication.”

This allows patients to receive care from the best source possible.

“A lot of times, the (emergency) physicians don’t treat a lot of stroke patients, so they aren’t as likely to give TPA (tissue plasminogen activator, the main way strokes are treated),” Bailey said. “This gets a specialist right to the patient’s bedside. It’s better care for the patients.”

The machine will first be used to treat stroke patients in August. There is potential for the technology to be used for other medical purposes in the future. Terry Klein, vice-president and COO at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health, said the hospital is looking at using the device for telenephrology (kidney treatment) and telepulmonology (lung treatment). 

The device will allow the hospital to bring care to the patients, rather than relocating them.

“In the past we’ve transferred these patients to other parts of the state,” Klein said. “We won’t need to do that anymore.”

The machine costs $25,000 to lease annually, Klein said. The machine is on a three-year lease.

'Don't Talk And Drive'

July 2, 2015

“Don’t text and drive” is a frequently issued warning for drivers of all ages. Thanks to changes in the Indiana legislature, “Don’t talk and drive” will become the new phrase for Indiana drivers younger than age 21.

It is now illegal for drivers younger than 21 to use any sort of telecommunications device while driving, including using hands-free devices such as Bluetooth. The exception to this rule is calling 911 for emergencies.

Crawfordsville police chief Mike Norman believes the new law will enhance driver safety. He said that while the devices have changed, driver distraction has always been an issue.

“Before cell phones were such a popular issue, it was radios,” he said. “Teenagers messing with the radios. It became more prevalent with the use of any kind of device. I totally understand it, I think it’s a good idea. It’ll keep our teenagers safer and focused.”

He said there will be a grace period while drivers become aware of the new law.

“With any new law or rule that comes into play, we give it a little break-in time, I guess you could call it,” Norman said. “People do need to be aware of it. Initially, you won’t be cited. But in a reasonable amount of time, if we continue to see driving habits where this is the issue, citations will be issued accordingly.”

Fourteen states have bans on the use of handheld devices while driving, regardless of age. Norman would not be surprised if Indiana was added to that list in the future.

“I’d imagine they will look at the statistics this produces after they’ve tried this law for a period of time,” he said. “It would not surprise me.”

Also new to the books is a $500 fine for drivers who impede traffic in the left lane of highways with slow driving. Norman does not foresee this law having a large impact on the area, with the potential exception being U.S. 231N.

“I don’t think it’s going to cause us too much concern,” he said. “There again if it does, we’ll handle it accordingly. They’ll have that amount of time to understand and learn what the laws are.”

Other changes that impact young drivers include:

• Within the first six months of driving, the only passengers allowed in the car with a new driver are individuals 25 or older, parents, siblings or a spouse.

• Drivers 18 and younger will not be allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and from 1 a.m. through 5 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Exceptions are for work or school-related travel and religious events.

• Teenagers who take driver’s education can get their license at 16 years and 90 days, rather than 16 years and 180 days. Allen Brown, owner and instructor at AB Driver’s Training in Crawfordsville, thinks the change will be positive.

Individuals who do not take driver’s education can get their license at 16 years and 270 days.