Montgomery County Emergency Management Director Shari Harrington had the chance help the people affected by Hurricane Matthew. On short notice, Harrington loaded up her truck Oct. 6 and within a day and a half was in Florida working with the Florida Emergency Management Control Center in Tallahassee.
Harrington was a member of the Indiana EMA Incident Management Team that answered the call for help from the Florida EMA. The team has five members. Her week-long stay included assisting on the human services team. She was active in assisting with the logistics and distribution of commodities. Florida’s EMA had pre-ordered enough supplies in case the hurricane hit the state at full force. Luckily, the eye of the storm stayed in the Atlantic Ocean.
“Florida is pro-active instead of re-active when it comes to hurricane preparations,” Harrington said. “The Federal Emergency Management had started moving commodities to Florida before the storm got close to the United States. For instance, we had nine million prepared meals ready to be shipped along with nine million bottles of water. Florida EMA officials had planned it perfectly.”
Harrington said her job was to help get the commodities to areas hit by the hurricane, which was mainly along the east Florida.
“We moved meals, water, diapers, tarps and other items to the people in Florida,” Harrington said. “Basically, we had the commodities that helped people get back into their homes.”
Other relief efforts that Harrington assisted with were taking care of the state’s EMA command centers, discovering the status of school buildings and helping the schools determine when they could re-open.
Working in the human services area of the EMA plan meant Harrington saw and heard some incredible stories. One story in particular about a veteran allowed her to understand the human aspect of the storm.
“We had an older gentlemen with who was a vet in Daytona,” Harrington said. “The man got confused and ended up being on the street when the storm hit. We were able to rescue him to a shelter and then follow-up by getting him into a nursing home where they could take care of him like he needed to be taken care of. The human interest stories made the importance of what we were doing much greater in my mind.”
Harrington, who is a board member of the national All-Hazard Incident Management Team Association, said she got the invitation to go to Florida because of working with state and national EMA officials in the past.
“I was asked because of my contacts with other people throughout the nation,” Harrington said. “Working with these people is a good thing because I know that, if the situation ever arose where we needed help in Montgomery County, these people would be the ones to show up.”
As part of the FEMA order, Montgomery County will be reimbursed for Harrington’s week-long salary and other expenses. While she was away, her assistant Brian Campbell watched over the EMA office in Montgomery County.
Community Action Program Inc. of Western Indiana is offering training on smoke free housing to landlords and managers of multi-unit housing complexes in Benton, Montgomery, Fountain, Parke, Vermillion, and Warren counties. Smoke free housing is growing in popularity across the country. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, has strongly encouraged Public Housing Agencies to adopt smoke-free buildings to protect the health of residents, and now urges federally assisted multifamily property owners to go smoke-free. HUD is expected to finalize a ruling regarding smoke free housing by the end of 2016.
The U.S. Surgeon General has warned that breathing secondhand smoke for even a short time is dangerous. Children, the elderly and disabled, and low-income and other disadvantaged individuals and families are the most likely to suffer from breathing secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes heart attacks and lung cancer and it makes asthma worse. Smoke-free housing is especially important for kids. Secondhand smoke can hurt their growing lungs, and kids and teens with asthma have difficulty breathing. Secondhand smoke is also associated with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Research has demonstrated that smoke does not stay contained within individual apartments and as a result can harm residents in non-smoking apartments.
Smoke-free housing benefits landlords and managers as well. It reduces fires caused by smoking. In 2007, over 140,000 fires were started by cigarettes, cigars and pipes in the U.S. causing $530 million in property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Twenty-five percent of people killed in smoking-related fires are not the actual smokers, with many being children of the smokers, neighbors or friends. Smoke-free housing also saves on property maintenance costs from cleaning and painting stained walls and ceilings and repairing burn marks left by smoking. Less damage means less expense to get a unit ready for a new resident.
The workshop will be facilitated by Smoke-free Housing Indiana which is made up of the American Lung Association in Indiana as well as the Indiana State Department of Health’s Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission. The workshop will provide additional information about the pending HUD ruling, the many benefits of smoke free housing, steps in developing, implementing, and maintaining smoke free housing and more.
The workshop is scheduled from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 15 at the Community Action Program office located in Covington.
Local residents can expect to see a lot of increased traffic in Crawfordsville this week with the 22nd Annual Amsoil Ironman scheduled for this weekend. Last year over 20,000 race fans attended the event at Ironman Raceway making it the largest GNCC event in the United States and this year’s attendance is expected to be ever bit as big.
Once again, area motels and hotels are filling up for the weekend. Other businesses such as the convenient stores, restaurants and grocery stores are expecting increased business. The campground at Ironman Raceway, owned by the Tom Shaver family, will be full with GNCC workers arriving as early as Tuesday.
Holiday Inn Express manager Paul Parry said his hotel is sold out as are other local hotels. Parry said the business that Shaver family brings to Crawfordsville is important to the local visitors economy.
“This area owes the Shaver family a great deal of thanks for what they have done at the track and for all the people they bring to Montgomery County,” Parry.
Race fans will start arriving on Thursday when they start lining up to enter the track when the gates open at 9 a.m. Friday.
Shaver family member Lori Shaver said there have been some features added to the two-day event. GNCC promotes breast cancer awareness each year at the race. Southmont High School’s FFA will be at the track raising funds for Faith Alliance, a local breast cancer awareness organization.
National pride will be on display with a special presentation that has international implications. The International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), the longest-running team world championship in off-road motorcycling, took place Oct. 11-16 in Navarra, Spain. For the first time in history the team from the United States won the race. Race Director Tim Cotter will present the ISDE trophy to the winning team members and to the country during a celebration recognizing the world championship.
“This ISDE championship is really a big deal,” Shaver said. “I have seen the trophy and we want to celebrate the fact the United States won this year’s race. We think our race fans are going to be excited to celebrate with the winning team members.”
This is the third and final motocross event to be held this year at Ironman Raceway. Earlier this year, Crawfordsville Main Street introduced the social media hashtag #motoville for any motorsport event that happens in Crawfordsville. The hashtag is being used by race fans internationally for Instagram and Twitter accounts. Anyone can search the hashtag to view images throughout the weekend.
LINDEN — Crawfordsville’s volleyball season came to an end with a 3-0 sectional loss to Sagamore Conference foe Western Boone Thursday.
The Athenians’ season finishes at 2-29, while the Stars record improves to 17-14. WeBo advances to the sectional semifinals against Frankfort on Saturday morning.
“We fought. We fought hard,” Crawfordsville coach Kelly Johnson said of her squad. “We never let down. WeBo knows that we were here tonight.”
The first set went 25-14 Stars but the second set was in doubt right until the end.
Down early, the Athenians came back within one at 17-18, but a couple kills and a couple service errors gave the Stars the 25-20 win.
A quick WeBo jump-out in the third set put Crawfordsville in a catchup mode, and the comeback was not there, with the Stars winning 25-15.
“I thought we showed some nerves early,” WeBo coach Laura Lawson said. “It was the first tournament experience for a lot of our team. It wasn’t a pretty win, but any win in the sectionals is a good win.”
The size and power advantage of the Stars was evident from the start.
“They out-powered us at the net,” Johnson said, “in both size and swings. We really forced them into some errors in that second set, and I think we had them on the run a little bit. We played aggressive and served strong for the most part, but WeBo is very athletic.”
That power number for the Stars is 37 kills, led by Tayln Guinn with nine and Callie Gubera with eight. They also had 14 aces.
The Athenians were led by Caroline Schueren with eight assists, six kills, two blocks and an ace.
“That is one of those juniors we will be building on next season,” Johnson said of the junior hitter.
Another junior, Madison Wendelin, had three kills and a block, and a third, Zoe Walbert, had four kills.
Sophomore Mia Stadler had three digs and an ace, while freshman Abby Bannon had five digs and a kill.
Four seniors, Lilly Bushong, Fabiola Castro, Emilea Pursell and Elyssa Bentley, saw their Crawfordville volleyball careers end.
“I’m just so proud of all the girls,” Johnson said. “It’s been a tough season, but we had nothing but awesome practices, the best attitudes and the hardest workers. Our seniors were great leaders and we will miss them, and now we have to look forward to next year. We have some real experience coming back, and we have some really good players waiting in the wings. I’m looking forward to it.”
The Stars and Hot Dogs match Saturday will be played after the North Montgomery and Tri-West play in the first semifinal at 10 a.m.
Montgomery County voters are showing up in record numbers to cast early votes in the Nov. 8 General Election. On Thursday, just one week into the early voting period, Montgomery County Clerk Jennifer Bentley reported there has been more than 1,300 votes cast in the courthouse.
“We have been really busy and have been averaging over 200 voters every day,” Bentley said. “We will be over 1,500 at the end of today.”
Bentley said the total number of early votes cast in the May’s Primary Election was just more than 3,000, which was a county record. She said the high number of early voters almost guarantees that the record will be exceeded. Bentley said voters better understand the early voting process this time compared to the May primary election.
“People are saying they do not want to stand in line on Election Day,” Bentley said. “I believe people learned a lot during the primary.”
Bentley has noticed voters are moving in and out of the voting booths quicker than they did in May. She believes voters are more comfortable using the new voting machines that were first introduced during the primary. She also said poll workers are not having to explain the voting process in as much detail when a voter enters the booth.
The one difference in the present ballot and the primary ballot is that there are questions on retaining
Indiana judges, a constitutional question about gun use and hunting in the state and the option to vote a straight ballot.
Bentley also addressed the Indiana news story that cases of voter fraud are popping up throughout the state. After several attempts to contact the Indiana State Police, Bentley better understands the problem after talking with the ISP.
“We finally were able to speak to the state police about Montgomery County being mentioned in the voter fraud story that broke in Indianapolis,” Bentley said. “We have not had any cases reported in our county and there actually have been very few in the state.”
Voters have been asked to go to www.indianavoters.com to check their voter
registration information. Residents can answer a few
identification questions and learn more about the election and check their registration information.
Bentley said another problem for some older voters is because when they originally registered to vote, stating their birth date was not a requirement. The computer system will not pull up the voters information unless it can match up the county of residence, name and birth date. Some concerned registered voters have called the clerk’s office after finding their information is wrong. Bentley said her office can help voters correct any mistakes they find.
Bentley said the more difficult situation that can skew voter registration lists is the fact it is difficult to purge names. She said her office can immediately purge a name from the voter registration list when the person dies, but for someone who has not voted recently or even moved from the county, it is more difficult.
Another reason a name can be purged from the voter registration list is when a voter has not participated in two consecutive general elections. The names of voters not participating in the last two elections will find their name taken off the voter registration list.