LOCAL NEWS

CSI caps off a world record

A Crawfordsville manufacturer is setting the the bar high throughout the world. For the second consecutive month, Closure Systems Incorporated has broken the world record for the total number of closures produced in a month.

More than 1.53 billion plastic closures were made in May, breaking the factory’s April world record of more than 1.48 billion. 

Plant Manager Carlos Espinoza said the reason the local manufacturer is breaking world records is two-fold. First, it starts with dedicated employees who average producing more than 4 million closures every day.

“We have 350 great employees,” Espinoza said. “They work very hard and take pride in what they do.”

A second factor is the warm weather. 

"Our closures are on water, carbonated beverages and other products like sports drinks,” he said.

Warm temperatures always drives up demand for the caps that go on carbonated drinks and water drinks. However this year, the demand has increased over previous summers. CSI employees are working around the clock, seven days a week to keep up with sales.

With total production numbers up, Espinoza said it is safe to say that anyone who opens a drink in a plastic bottle, it was likely made in Crawfordsville.

“Our plant serves basically every state in the Midwest to the East Coast,” Espinoza said. “If you open a drink, chances are great that we made the cap.”

More good news is on the horizon for the company once was known as Hoosier Crown Industries. The company plans to add yet another production line, which means the need for 27 additional workers. Espinoza said the new line will be running by the end of September.

Like all other manufacturers in Montgomery County, Espinoza admits it is a challenge to find employees due to the low employment rate. The manager said his company employs local workers  and every county that touches Montgomery County. He said his plant leadership is always trying to come up with ideas to give their production workers a good working environment.

“We have a program that rewards our people,” Espinoza said. “If our managers see any of our workers on the production floor doing something extra or a good job, they pass out tokens on the spot. The tokens can be used to claim prizes in our company store.”

Espinoza said they are now working on bringing wireless internet for workers in the employee break room.

“We work at keeping our employees,” Espinoza said. “When we get a good employee we want to keep them.”

To celebrate the recent world records, CSI is treating the employees to appreciation dinners for the next two weeks. Each shift, as it rotates to days, will be served a meal featuring grilled hamburgers and hot dogs plus other items. The management team will serve up the lunches.

Also, the plant is sponsoring a family outing on Sugar Creek by paying for canoe rental, food and drinks.

Espinoza, who came to Montgomery County 18 months ago, has been a plant manager at four other CSI plants. The international company has production facilities in every part of the world including Europe, South America, Central America and China. The Crawfordsville plant is the company’s largest and the largest closure plant in the world. Pepsi and Coca Cola are CSI’s largest customers.

Half Way Home asking for help

Two participants in the Half Way Home of Crawfordsville’s 180-day rehabilitation program are getting ready to graduate and live on their own for the first time in their lives.

But before these women move on and move in, they need some help.

“A lot of these girls come from the same type of situations,” Half Way Home’s founder Sarah Houston Dicks said. “Whether they come to us from jail or a troubled home situation, most of them have not a thing to their names.”

Half Way Home is asking for donations of gently-used items that could help furnish these two women’s apartments, which they obtained by themselves.

Examples of needed items include: linens, dishes, couches, appliances, small tables, televisions, cookware, silverware and beds.

“I’ve seen exceedingly big changes in these girls,” Dicks said. “Many of them come to us with low self-esteem and feel they’re not worth anything. Some of them come from families who are not supportive or from relationships with men who were abusive. We’re trying to show them that they are important to the community and to us.”

The graduation of these two women means they have successfully completed the 180-day program, gone to counseling, obtained employment and housing and, best of all, have refrained from using any type of drugs or alcohol.

“Every woman coming out of this program has the potential to be a very productive member of this community,” Dicks said. “If we don’t help each other, then all of us are going to suffer.”

Graduations for the two program participants will be held July 2 and 4. Dicks hopes to have a decent collection of items for their apartments by July 1.

If anyone has any questions or has gently-used household items they would like to donate, contact her at 765-366-2844.

Dermatologist gives protections tips for being out in the sun

It’s that time of year. Festivals, vacations, play time, outdoor parties and family get-togethers — outside in the sun is the place to be.

That is, if exposed skin is properly protected.

Crawfordsville Dermatologist Linda Spencer said there’s more to protecting a person’s skin than just sunscreen, but it can be difficult to figure out how to use sunscreen properly.

But first, there are basics Spencer said everyone should be aware that explain why correct sunscreen usage is so important.

The sun emits different wavelengths of ultraviolet light, and there are two different types of UV light: UVA rays have a longer wavelength and UVB rays have a shorter wavelength.

UVB rays do more superficial damage, meaning they are more responsible for sunburn and skin cancer.

UVA rays cause deeper damage and photoaging, which includes wrinkles, freckles and the thinning and fragility of the skin. These rays also contribute to skin cancer formation. UVA rays are the predominant wavelength found in tanning beds and can penetrate glass (driving), which is why there is an increased risk of skin cancers and aging of the skin on the left side of faces and necks.

“Ninety percent of what we perceive as ‘aging’ of the skin is caused by sun exposure,” Spencer said. “You can compare the quality of skin on the inside of your upper arm to your face and neck to see the sun’s effect. It’s easier to prevent photoaging than to treat it.”

The three different types of skin cancer that are caused by the sun are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

“Skin cancer is dangerous because it can kill you,” Spencer said. “Even a non-lethal type can cause significant disfigurement. It is expensive to treat, but must be treated to prevent destruction of skin, muscle and bone.”

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It’s locally destructive, so it can eat through muscle and bone. This type of cancer is caused primarily by sporadic high-intensity ultraviolet exposure, including spring break trips to Florida.

Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common type of skin cancer. It can metastasize instantly and is induced primarily by chronic daily exposure.

Melanoma, it is the third most common but it is the most deadly of the three types.

“One person dies of melanoma every 52 minutes,” Spencer said. “And the risk of melanoma doubles if someone has had more than fivesunburns.”

Protecting skin from these dangerous consequences of overexposure to the sun can be accomplished by taking the proper precautions.

“The primary defenses are protective clothing (hats, shirts, sunglasses), seeking shade (take a golf umbrella or shade structure to ball games), and avoiding the midday sun,” Spencer said. “Sunscreen is a minor part of sun protection. Sunscreen is only for those areas that can’t be adequately protected any other way.”

And in case the argument has already formed in people’s heads, Spencer said Vitamin D inefficiency is not a good enough excuse for unprotected sun exposure.

“Geographically,” she said, “Indiana is too far north for the sun to be strong enough to help us produce all the vitamin D we need. A vitamin D supplement is generally necessary, whether or not we use sunscreen on exposed skin daily as recommended.”

Now, on to sunscreen. It can be difficult to pick the most effective kind when there are so many different kinds to choose from.

Sun Protection Factor, or SPF, indicates how much UVB protection is afforded — how much longer one can be outside before actually burning. Spencer said if a person normally burns after one hour in the sun at noon in June, an SPF 20 allows that person to stay outside for 20 hours before burning. However, that’s only if adequate amounts were applied and reapplied every two hours.

Spencer noted that there is no factor devised to indicate protection from UVA rays, so when shopping, look for a “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB” label. Without this label, the sunscreen will only protect the skin from UVB rays and not the long-term damage to deeper layers of the skin.

So what should a person look for when they’re buying sunscreen?

“The best sunscreen is the one that you will use daily,” Spencer said. “It should be as fundamental a part of your morning routine as brushing your teeth. Apply a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen on your face, ears, neck, V of the chest, backs of the hands every morning.”

Spencer recommends creams for faces. For skin that’s oily, acne-prone or hairy (men’s legs and arms for example) use gels. Consumers should avoid sprays all together.

And when it comes to SPF labeling, Spencer said any number that is higher than 50 is simply marketing — not science.

Also, she said, “be aware that there is no such thing as ‘baby sunscreen.’ The manufacturers would like you to buy multiple bottles, one for the baby, one for the younger kids, one for yourself, and so forth. Don’t be fooled.”

Sunscreen should not be used on babies younger than 6 months old. Even after children reach that age, Spencer said, parents should rely on sun-protective clothing, shady structures and avoid the midday sun. And when they’re too active to stay in the shade, Spencer recommends using a mineral-based

sunscreen.

Spending time in the sun is normal for the summertime, and some days it just feels really good and laying out just seems like the best plan.

“If determined to show off your beach body,” Spencer said, “apply a handful of water-resistant sunscreen SPF 30 or higher to exposed skin at least 30 minutes before going outside and reapply after swimming. Get someone to help you apply it properly and completely to your back. A product called Heliocare taken prior to sun exposure may help reduce risk of sun damage as well, but is not a substitute for sun protective clothing and seeking shade.”

While enjoying the sun can be nice at the time, skin cancer can be detrimental to a person’s health and their future. So Spencer recommends regular self-examinations of the skin.

“Caught early, skin cancer is easy to treat. Caught at an advanced stage, and it’s not. Prevention is key, along with early detection should skin cancer develop. Complete self skin examinations, using a hand-held mirror and a full length mirror, should be done periodically, just like self breast examinations. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that you ‘check your birthday suit on your birthday.’”

For more information on sunscreens and their safety ratings, visit https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen.

City progressing toward $2 million grant

With one public hearing down and only one to go, the City of Crawfordsville is on track to receive a $2 million grant for the Fusion 54 project.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs committed the $2 million to Crawfordsville since the city was awarded the Stellar designation, however, there are necessary steps, including submitting an application, the city must take in order to secure the award money.

“There are several things we had to do in order to submit the application,” grant administrator Amy Miller said, “such as purchasing property and environmental reviews. All of those are done except for the property, so we’re waiting on that. Once that’s happened, we’ll hold our second hearing and then submit the application.”

Mayor Todd Barton said the $2 million, once it’s received, will cover approximately half of Fusion 54’s project costs. The other half will come from local matching and private contributions. Barton said negotiations with the property owner will begin soon.

Miller said there should not be any problems with the application process; it’s just paperwork that must be submitted for logistical reasons.

The first hearing took place during Wednesday’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting and gave community members a chance to ask questions or voice concerns about the grant process. The second and final hearing will be scheduled for some time in July.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a bid from Milestone Contractors in the amount of $142,242 for this year’s street department projects.

Cindy Ellingwood from Crawfordsville Main Street appeared before the board after the group had already put on its first Lunch on the Plaza and First Friday events.

The board agreed to let those continue as long as people standing at the events do not crowd around and block sidewalks.

Ellingwood and the board also discussed issues with the Farmer’s Market, which is now being led by a steering committee with help from Crawfordsville Main Street.

More barricades will be at Pike and Walnut streets because Ellingwood said people continue to drive through that area even though it is closed off. Farmer’s Market vendors also will now be allowed to park on the sidewalk on Pike Street between the alley and Washington Street.

In other business, the board:

• Gave approval for a Dumpster to be placed in front of 113 W. College St. from June 24-27.

• Approved the closure of Vernon Court, as well as the lower part of the city building, at 9 a.m. July 7 for workers to remove a large, dying ash tree from the Elston Building property.

• Gave 4-H the approval to once again use the city’s yard waste site for a staging area for the swine show from 5:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. on July 14.

• Granted an easement agreement on Grace Avenue, which will allow city to get construction equipment in and out.

• Gave Mayor Barton the approval to sign an application for a loan program for the wastewater treatment plant.

Freedom Fest set for this weekend

Plenty of activities and food will be featured Saturday at the annual Waynetown Freedom Fest at Tremaine Park. From baseball, to music, to games and fireworks, organizers have a full day planned.

“We want to celebrate the freedoms we have living in America,” said Kyle Proctor, event chairman and town marshal. “We start off with baseball and end the day with a good fireworks show, and there are a lot of good activities in between for people to enjoy.”

This is the third year for the festival which was started as an effort to bring back fireworks to the west-central Montgomery County community after several years of going without. 

An age 10-and-under baseball tournament will kick off Saturday’s events at 8 a.m. (Games actually being at 5 p.m. Friday.) A pancake and sausage breakfast will be served by the Gigglin’ Pig beginning at 8 a.m. at the park. 

Food booths will open at 11 a.m. This year the number of food vendors has expanded to include Jack and Susie Irvin, Robin’s Homestyle Catering, the Waynetown Freedom Fest Committee, Gigglin’ Pig and John Dixon. 

Menu items include homemade chicken and noodles,

a variety of grilled meat sandwiches, fried foods, ice cream, elephant ears, cotton candy, drinks and more. 

A children’s play area will open at noon. From noon to 7 p.m. free swimming will be offered by the Waynetown Town Council at the Waynetown Aquatic Center.

Live music will be provided by two bands representing different eras. Both bands were invited to perform due to popular demand.

Local band, The Leadsman, will take the Freedom Festival stage at 3:30 p.m. The band plays rock music from the 1960’s  The band members have been together since they were in high school in the 1960’s. The band played numerous times at the old Waynetown Dip-n-Dive swimming pool at what were known as Splash Parties in the 60’s and early 70’s. 

Mullett Over from Terre Haute will play cover music from the 1980’s beginning at 7:30 p.m. The band played at last year’s festival and features several musicians including brass and saxaphones on some songs.

A patriotic salute is scheduled to begin at 9:45 p.m. There will be a 21-arial bomb salute, taps and the National Anthem performed. Fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m.

Signs pointing to parking for the event will be placed around the park area. For those parking on the old school ground, free shuttles will be available to take attendees to the festival grounds.

Including the constructtion of the aquatic center, the town has spent nearly $1.3 million on park upgrades thanks to a sizeable donation from a former friend of the community, Joan Harrington, who is now deceased.