Churney joins IWA as deputy director

September 3, 2015

Zachary Churney has been hired as deputy director for Indiana West Advantage. 

The principal challenge of the deputy director position will be to work with business and educational leaders in the community to identify and address workforce issues that are limiting the economic growth of the community. Churney will be the liaison for IWA with these leaders on a daily basis to ensure IWA is aware of workforce and other business issues for local


Originally from Indianapolis and a graduate of Wabash College, his background has been primarily in economic development and education. 

“My goal is to work alongside leaders in industry and education to strengthen our workforce here in Montgomery County,” Churney said. “We have a great community and I’m excited to see what we will accomplish in the coming years.”

The mission of IWA is to serve as an active leader in the advancement of the economic health of Montgomery County, by serving as the focal point for business and industry growth, job retention, workforce development and economic development education that will result in a greater quality of life for

the community.

Young American Idol contestants needed

September 3, 2015

The Montgomery County Historical Society Clock Tower Committee is looking for young singers to compete in the first-ever Montgomery County American Idol Contest. Students in sixth grade through high school are being asked to participate in the event which is designed to help raise funds for the installation of a clock tower at the courthouse.

The event, scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 17, will take place at Crawfordsville High School’s auditorium.

Each audience member will have one vote to select the winner.

Sandra Lofland-Brown, committee chairperson, hopes the event will put the clock tower project back into the minds of citizens.

“We thought we could get the courthouse project back out in front of the public,” Lofland-Brown said. “The more we put the courthouse in front of the public, the quicker we can raise the funds to complete the project to restore the clock tower to the courthouse.”

Contestants must reside in Montgomery County, and can register now by calling Lofland-Brown at 765-918-6045. There is an audition scheduled at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 at the Vanity Theater.

Included in the event will be a live auction. Items also are being solicited for the auction. These will be on display at Joe Sadowski’s building at 107. E. Main St.

Efforts to restore the courthouse clock tower have been ongoing for 20 years. In October 2014 organizers received a major boost when both the City of Crawfordsville and Montgomery County Council agreed to help with funding.

At that time it also was announced that a structural engineering study was necessary to make sure the clock tower could be placed on the courthouse roof. The study has been completed, and it has been determined some steel beams need to be added to the courthouse structure to help support the new clock tower. The additional work is the reason the committee has reignited their fundraising push.

The clock tower was removed in 1941.

Mayor Todd Barton said in October 2014 he believes restoring the clock tower is a part of his vision for making downtown special again.

“I committed to this project early because I was hoping the county would get on board,” Barton said. “The courthouse is a centerpiece for our downtown.”

Lofland-Brown said her goal to have the clock tower restored by Indiana’s Bicentennial Year of 2016 is still obtainable, but time is running out.

“We are going to need the people’s help to get this done,” Lofland-Brown said. “We have a goal to have the new tower up during Indiana’s Bicentennial Celebration. To get it done we will need donations as soon as possible.”

For more information about Montgomery County’s American Idol competition or the courthouse tower project, contact Lofland-Brown at the above phone number or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Community ready to 'Stellarbrate'

September 3, 2015

The city of Crawfordsville will celebrate its Stellar community designation with a “Stellarbration” this Friday.

The event is open to the public and will take place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Marie Canine Plaza, which is at the corner of East Main and Green streets.

“It’s a really good opportunity for us to share the excitement ... and get together and celebrate,” Mayor Todd Barton said.

Stellarbration will begin with a program that will feature comments from Mayor Barton and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. State agency partners and community partners also will be present and recognized at the event.

During his part of the presentation, Mayor Barton will talk about the Stellar proposal, what it included and what the proposed changes will mean for the community.

Crawfordsville’s winning proposal laid out several different projects including connecting the existing trail system, creating a location in the city to bring various organizations under one roof and one umbrella, making improvements to the neighborhood around the Old Culver Hospital, completing the process to renovate the Ben Hur Life Building and building a Pocket Park at the corner of Washington and Pike streets.

Because the Stellar proposal was community-focused, one of its features was the Farmers’ Market. Mayor Barton said the market really “pulls the community together.” To highlight that part of the proposal, a mini-version of the Farmers’ Market will be featured at Friday’s event.

Crawfordsville was named the 2015 Stellar Community on Aug. 17 at the Indiana State Fair. After being a finalist in 2012, the city beat out Decatur and Marion for this year’s designation.

Mayor Barton would like for anyone who is available to come out to Stellarbration to learn, eat cake and celebrate with him and other city officials. Because it’s just not a win for the city.

“It’s a win for all of us,” he said.

Crawfordsville begins street work Thursday

July 22, 2015

The city will be milling and repaving the following city streets starting on Thursday:

• Wabash Avenue (Grace Ave to US 136)

• Englewood Drive (US 136 to SR 32)

• Pine Street (Binford to Market St)

• Elm Street (South Blvd to South entrance to Whitlock Place)

• Spring Street (Walnut St to Green St)

• Pine Stine (Wabash Ave to Pike St)

• Glenn Street (Wabash Ave to Bridge)

“To do this we will require all vehicles be removed from the above mentioned streets prior to 6 a.m. on Thursday,” Street Commissioner Scott Hesler said. “Any vehicles not removed by this time will be towed at the owner’s expense. Please keep all vehicles off of the streets until the project is complete.” 

Weather delays are possible.

“We will mill all streets prior to paving,” Hesler said. “Meaning there might be a few days gap between when your street is milled and when it is repaved. The contractor determines this schedule.”

Should you have any questions you can contact Hesler at 364-5166 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.