Wabash Freshman Visit ASI

August 29, 2014

Consumers from Abilities Services Inc.’s day program are riding high following a visit from a group of Wabash College men.

Several members of the Class of ’18 volunteered Wednesday at the local organization that provides services to people with developmental disabilities and their families. Their visit was part of the college’s annual Community Service Day. Sixteen groups of students, each led by a faculty member, fanned out throughout Crawfordsville to assist in a variety of service projects.

The young men assigned to Dr. Michael Burch’s group helped at ASI, where they assembled two three-wheeled bicycles for the consumers. They also helped consumers in the cooking lab prepare a brunch of pancakes and sausage.

“The partnership with Wabash College is real important for ASI,” said Robert Cook, executive director. “Equally, it is important for our consumers to interact with these top quality men and see the examples that they are setting for our community ... The laughter and enthusiasm we witnessed was priceless.”

The bicycles (Wabash red, of course), helmets and other gear were purchased with funds from a grant ASI received from Montgomery United Fund For You. 

“We would like to give a big thanks for the young men who volunteered their time to join us,” said Beth Smith, assistant programming coordinator.

The group did much more than ASI staff had originally planned.

“Each of them took it upon themselves to find their own way to interact consumers in a unique way,” Smith said.

Michelle Leonard-Smith, director of administration, said the college was well represented with a tremendous group of young men who were more than willing to jump in and help out.

“Community integration is a large part of what we do, and by having these young men join our programming we were able to give some consumers an opportunity to interact that they might not get otherwise,” she said.

ASI is already looking forward to next fall and the Class of 2019 joining them for another successful affair. 

“We were able to forge new friendships today, and for most of our consumers, these are memories that will last a lifetime.”


Festival Unites Believers

August 29, 2014

Anyone who enjoys Christian music will have plenty to enjoy at the Second annual Change of Heart Music Festival on Saturday and Sunday. 

The event, which takes place on the grounds of Lane Place, has expanded to two days. Organizer Josef Lee is excited about how the festival has grown in just its second year.

“We are pumped about the festival this year,” Lee said. “We had so many artists wanting to come, we had to make it a two-day festival.”

The concert event is a ministry of New Harvest Fellowship of Crawfordsville, but the festival has quickly grown to include more than one church group.

“We have people all over the area wanting to help with the festival,” Lee said. “We have other churches and groups involved and it is great to see so many people working together to put on a quality Christian event. This is not the Strawberry Festival, but with all we have going on, it is going to have that same feel.”

Besides a lineup of talent that includes musical groups, artists and even a Christian comedian, the grounds will be full with activities.

Food and retail vendors will be available. A kids zone will include a variety of games from a paint ball truck and ring toss to pony rides and more. 

Food vendors will serve pulled pork sandwiches, elephant ears, cotton candy, drinks and more.

Several different genres of Christian music will be featured, including Southern gospel, hip hop, Bluegrass and praise bands.

Mitch McVickers, a former band member of the late Rich Mullens and the Ragmuffin Band, will entertain at 9 p.m. Saturday. McVickers has been nominated for and won Dove Awards. 

Christian comedian Scott Gregory also will perform at 5:40 p.m. Saturday. Gregory has been featured on several major television networks and brings a fresh and comical look at every day situations.

At 12:45 p.m. Sunday, following a 10 a.m. worship service, Cindy McCandless will bring her talent to the festival. McCandless does inspirational art on stage with music playing in the background. Festival-goer’s will see a gospel story come to life as she places finishing touches on her artwork and the true focal point of the work comes to light.

The family-friendly event has two purposes, Lee said.

“The mission of Change of Heart is to unite believers so we can share and extend Christianity on a larger scale. Along with that, it also provides a great platform for various organizations and businesses who wish to set up a booth for the weekend,” Lee said.

The two-day event is free.

For more information, visit the http://newharvestcville.com/event-items/2014-change-heart-music-festival.


Archaeology Program Back at the General Lew Wallace

Auguts 28, 2014

The History Beneath Us archaeology program returns to the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum on September 6-7 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day to continue the excavation of the reflecting pool in General Wallace’s backyard.

Dr. Chris Moore from the University of Indianapolis will return with archaeology students to continue excavating two different areas of the property. One unit, near the Carriage House, is nearing completion. Some evidence of building materials and a burned area were previously found there. Multiple units are open near the reflecting pool, so there will be plenty of opportunities to help dig and, hopefully, find the wall of the reflecting pool.

Visitors to the grounds will be able to observe the archaeologists at work, examine the findings as they are uncovered and participate in parts of the process by scraping dirt with trowels and screening for artifacts alongside the excavation crew. For families with smaller children, the Archaeologist Training area offers them the chance to dig in a separate area where they will be sure to find “artifacts.”

The “History Beneath Us” program is free and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 6 and Sunday, September 7. For further information on History Beneath Us and other upcoming events, contact the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum at 765-362-5769 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Yesterday's Lt. Baldwin Memorial

August 28, 2014


Montgomery County hasn’t forgotten Lieutenant Russell Baldwin’s sacrifice.

Wednesday marked the 40th anniversary of the night Baldwin was killed in action. Baldwin responded to an armed robbery Aug. 27, 1974, at the Grab It Here grocery store. He was in pursuit of William “Billy” Gaddis of Indianapolis when he was shot and killed at 9:07 p.m. in the 300 block of Lafayette Avenue.

The community gathered Wednesday to honor the deceased Crawfordsville police officer’s memory through a series of memorial services.

“A growing number of people in our community are too young to clearly remember the events that took place or to have experienced the stinging emotions that accompanied them,” Mayor Todd Barton said during a memorial speech. “But we must not forget. We must always remember the sacrifice that was made that night and let it strengthen our resolve to do everything in our power to see that it doesn’t happen again.”

Baldwin’s family members traveled from Florida for memorial services. The evening started with a graveside tribute at Oak Hill Cemetery

“Dad loved being a police officer and was so happy when he got hired by the Crawfordsville Police Department,” Baldwin’s son Po Baldwin said. “He loved this community dearly. It is an honor to see everyone remember him.”

Following the graveside tribute, police officers led a memorial ride through downtown Crawfordsville en route to Milligan Park. Residents stood along U.S. 231, saluting the officers and bowing their heads with Baldwin in their minds.

At Baldwin’s memorial in Milligan Park, Crawfordsville Chief of Police Mike Norman, Mayor Barton and Po Baldwin spoke about Russell Baldwin’s impact on the community.

“The demise of Crawfordsville Police Lt. Russell Baldwin marked a sad reminder to the city of Crawfordsville, Montgomery County and the state of Indiana,” Norman said. “For those who carry a badge, it has always been and always will be a dangerous endeavor.

“To put oneself in harm’s way in the defense of others, disregarding your own safety to protect the community, paying the ultimate sacrifice with your own life — what could be more honorable? That is what Lt. Russell Baldwin did without hesitation.”

Retired police officers also payed tribute to their fallen brother.

Rick Wilson was a rookie police officer and was on duty the night Baldwin was killed. He remembers Baldwin’s passion for people.

“Russ loved his family and this community,” Wilson said. “There is more than one way to do the right thing, so Russ was a people’s person. He was a friendly officer who did not stand on ceremony unless he was called to do so.”

Community members played a memorial softball game at Baldwin Field after the speeches. The tribute concluded with a candle vigil at 9:07 p.m. at Baldwin’s memorial and a memorial dispatch call.

Through the memorial services, Montgomery County remembered Baldwin’s service to the community.

“Our community has come to recognize that we are a much better place because of the way Russell Baldwin lived, served and protected,” Barton said. “So tonight we pause to remember. To remember the sacrifice that was made. To remember the man and officer that Lt. Russ Baldwin was.”


Crawfordsville Centralizing Development Operations

August 28, 2014

The Board of Public Works approved a lease agreement Wednesday with J. Taylor Properties to rent the third floor of the Chase Bank building at 200 S. Washington St. Montgomery County Economic Development and Wabash College Community Development have confirmed their upcoming moves to the building, while the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s move is pending a vote.

“When you look at cities like Lafayette, you see that they have their community and economic agencies in one location,” Mayor Todd Barton said. “We believe this move will improve communication and the city’s goal of bettering itself.”

The lease will expire Sept. 31, 2017. It calls for an annual payment of $79,050 with a monthly charge of $6,587.50. Barton said the agencies housed in the building will divide the monthly rate.

The board also approved a $17,520 contract with GreenCylce to chip wooded debris at the Street Department’s waste yard site.

In addition, the board approved two water bill adjustments due to leaks. A property in the 200 block of East Main Street will receive a $1,149.33 refund, while a property in the 1100 block of Lafayette Avenue will receive a $2,622.30 refund. The owners of both properties have repaired the leaks.

Board members also renewed the city’s unsafe building form through the State Board of Accounts.

In other business, Crawfordsville Fire Chief Larry Patton had two medications safes declared as surplus for sale.

Several street repaving projects are close to starting. Repaving at the Crawfordsville Municipal Golf Course parking lot began Wednesday. Street Commissioner Scott Hesler said city street repaving projects will begin Tuesday.