Movie premiere is scheduled

The long-awaited release of the Montgomery County Movie is close to being a reality. Tickets go on sale today for the World Premier scheduled for one week from today. 

Although ticketshave already been offered to cast members and other contributors to the movie, there are still tickets available for the premier. The tickets for Monday are $15 and can be purchased at the lobby of the PNC Bank from 3 - 7 p.m. beginning today through Friday.

The premier is scheduled for 7:37 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, at the Vanity Theater. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and all seats are reserved. In the event the show is not a sale out before the premier evening, tickets will be available at the door.

A red carpet event is scheduled beginning at 6:30 p.m. as part of the premier sponsored by Superior Moving and Storage Red Ball and Deb Cedars. Before the movie, producer Dick Munro and director Phillip Demoret will have opening remarks and the big announcement that has been a secret since news of the movie was released three years ago.

“For those attending the premier, they will be the first to find out the actual name of the movie,” Munro said. “They will also, for the first time, find out who the villain is.”

The movie has been three years in the making and will feature Montomery County.

“This movie is unique because it is 100 percent Montgomery County,” Munro said. “We have 395 people involved with the movie and all of them have a connection with Montgomery County. That number represents people who participated as actors, providing props, locations, and advisors. There is a scene from every township in Montgomery County.”

“Every person, location, and every second of the movie is filmed in Montgomery County. We have 120 Montgomery County locations in the movie,” Munro added.

Even 15 original songs were written for the movie by local resident Ryan Kline.

Since the movie has not been released, there is no official viewer rating for the movie. So, Munro and Demoret rated it themselves. The two decided to rate the movie as PG-13 due to language and violence.

Demoret, who wrote the movie script, explained the rating.

“There are some words used in the movie that really are not appropriate for young children,” Demoret said. “Also, we are saying the movie is classified as a family-oriented horror show. It really is not as scary as we first thought it would be, but there is a horror feel to the movie.”

Munro said he likes to think of the movie as a community movie. 

“I think we have created a brand new genre,” Munro said. “There are community festivals, community yard sales where the community comes together to make something happen. Well, this movie is an example of the community coming together and so I call it a community movie.”

Munro expects the community to embrace the movie, and most movie-go’ers will want to go more than once because of the nature of the film

“For anyone who has been around here for a long time, they will have a hard time following the script the first time,” Munro said. “I think a lot of people will be preoccupied looking for who they know and trying to figure out the scene locations they might lose track of the script. We already have some of the cast who have purchases tickets for Monday and Tuesday because they know there will be a lot to see and concentrate on during the movie. I think we saw that around here when Hoosiers was released.”

After the premier, the movie will continue showing at the Vanity Theater at 7:37 p.m.  on Oct. 27 - 30 with tickets costing $10.

A silent auction for movie props will be ongoing during the week of showings. Also, DVDs of the movie can be pre-ordered as well as a book being written by Munro about the making of the movie.

Munro and Demoret want the community to understand they have rented the Vanity Theater for the week-long showing and they request no one call the Vanity for show information.

Police chase ends in crash, vehicle fire

A Roachdale man is in jail after leading police on a car chase in southern Montgomery County on Wednesday afternoon. The pursuit ended in a crash and subsequent vehicle fire.

Wesley Baker, 33, is facing charges of reckless driving and reckless endangerment following Wednesday’s crash. He also is wanted on a parole warrant.

According to a press release from the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 3:28 p.m. county units were responding to an alarm in the southern part of the county. While en route, a deputy spotted a vehicle with a suspicious driver near the alarm location. When another deputy turned around and began to catch up with the suspicious vehicle — a 1991 Ford Thunderbird — the vehicle immediately fled and began driving recklessly on U.S. 231 South.

Deputies attempted to stop the Thunderbird. However, the driver refused. The vehicle turned onto S.R. 234 and then onto C.R. 225, where it went off the roadway and rolled into a bean field. Shortly thereafter the Thunderbird caught fire.

Deputies secured Baker, the sole occupant, and removed him from the vehicle. New Market Fire Department responded to the scene and extinguished the fire. The vehicle was a total loss. Crawfordsville medics transported Baker to Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville, where he was treated and released for non life threatening injuries. He was then booked into the Montgomery County Jail.

Deputies later checked the home on the original alarm call and it does not appear the house was entered.

Chargers marching to state finals

The North Montgomery Marching Chargers are doing something they have not done for 32 years. The 36-member band will advance to the Indiana State Music Association State Finals in the Class B Competition on Oct. 24 at Lawrence Central High School.

Its last such appearance was in 1983 when the band competed in the state finals at the RCA Dome.

Band director John Flodder said the band earned a gold rating at Saturday’s state preliminaries. However, the significance of the rating took some time to sink in.

“When I heard the announcement my jaw hit the ground,” Flodder said. “The kids were excited, but it was not until we were loaded back on the bus that they realized we were going to state. A celebration broke out and we ended having one big band group hug.”

Flodder has seen the band grow in numbers each year since he took over. His first year there were 23 members.

“I was told when I was hired that the school corporation wanted to see the band flourish,” he said. “We have a very supportive administration at North Montgomery as well as great parents to have made this happen in just four years.”

ISMA is the largest marching competition in Indiana. A total of 28 bands are expected to compete in Scholastic Class B. This is the first year for the Chargers to compete. In Flodder’s first three years, the band only marched in the Festival Group, which is a non-competition class.

“Starting four years ago my goal with the band was centered around having a good performance that entertained the audience,” Flodder said.

This year Flodder was still a bit leery about entering the band into competition. The first two marching competitions the Chargers competed in the festival class, and the results were encouraging.

“We received a gold rating and also won a first place in distinction visual performance at Rennsselaer,” Flodder said. “I decided we had a good start and had some success, so I made the decision to enter into Class B competition at the prelims.”

Marching band is not a regular class at North Montgomery, so the band only practices after school each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is a one-week band camp before the start of school.

“My goal is to help kids connect with the audience in a performance without sacrificing music education,” Flodder said.

With fall break beginning today, Flodder said his band won’t be together again until Tuesday. The last practice before state will take place the morning of state finals since a band concert is already scheduled for Oct. 22 in the school’s auditorium. That concert will include three Northridge Middle School bands as well as the high school concert band. The Marching Charger Band will play their competition songs to close out the concert. There is no admission fee to the concert.

Flodder is feeling confident. The band had a good week of practice, refining the show which features songs “Crazy Train,” “Chattanooga Choo Choo” and “Take the A-Train.”

At Lawrence Central, the Marching Chargers will compete against

14 other bands. They will take the field for competition at approximately 12:31 p.m. Oct. 24. Flodder said Sagamore Athletic Conference bands Tri West and Danville also will be in the competition. A total of 35 class bands and the competitive open class will take place at the state finals.

The Charger Marching Band instruction staff includes Flodder, Marching band assistant director and math teacher Zach Burney, Color Guard Director and Purdue University student Ariana Sowders and Indiana State University student and Percussion Director Thomas Davenport.

Veterans Expo draws crowd

Nearly 100 local veterans attended the Byron Cox American Legion Post #72 Veterans Expo on Thursday. Twenty-four exhibitors were present offering free advice and information to the veterans about services available to those who have served the country.

Montgomery County Veterans Service Officer Joe Ellis was on hand helping veterans understand all his office does. He was distributing books that described veteran benefits and information on Honor Flights.

“We have had three guys sign up today for the next Honor Flight which excited me,” Ellis said. “This expo is important because it gives a lot of  veterans the opportunity to see, read and talk about what veteran services are available. There organizations here all have something to offer to our veterans.”

U.S. Congressman Todd Rokita’s Constituent Outreach Manager, Jared Bond, was manning a booth. He was there to help veterans solve problems they might be having.

“I am here to help people who are having issues with the V.A. and other agencies,” Bond said. “I feel good because I have been able to help a few veterans out today.”

Legionnaire Rodney Strong was chairman of the expo. He said veterans get more than information at the event.

“One of the big things the veterans get out of this is being able to sit and talk with other veterans,” Strong said. “The camaraderie between the veterans is important. The free flu shots and eye exams provided by Dr. Michael P. Scheidler are always a hit.”

Strong finds more Vietnam era veterans than ever before are looking for help and information.

“The Vietnam vets are getting to the age they are looking for benefit information,” Strong said. “We want to make sure those veterans understand all of their benefits and what is offered to them.”

Two participating agencies, Alzheimer’s Association and Crossroads

Veterans Services, an Easter Seals organization, also were at the expo for the first time since its inception 21 years ago.

Crossroads veterans also brought a Remembering Our Fallen exhibit displaying Hoosier servicemen and women who have lost their lives since Sept. 11, 2011. The display is being scheduled to return to Crawfordsville when the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall visits in August 2016.

The display included a photo of Waveland’s Brian Bowman, who died Jan. 3, 2010, in Afghanistan.

“The Remembering our Fallen display was humbling,” Strong said. “When we have it here with the traveling Vietnam wall that is going to be something, and I know a lot of people will want to come see them together.”

The local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers prepared a free breakfast and lunch for attendees.

Local nurse goes the extra mile

When an elderly Wisconsin woman was brought into the emergency room at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville late Saturday afternoon, registered nurse Jenny Long knew her patient was seriously injured and seriously upset. 

The patient had been a passenger in a vehicle involved in an accident at Interstate 74 and U.S. 231 North late Saturday afternoon. Long quickly realized the woman was more worried about her long-time pet Tismo than herself. The dog ran away from the accident scene and could not be found.

“The patient was so stressed about where her dog was that it was making it hard for us to treat her injuries,” Long said.

That is when Long promised her patient she would go look for the dog herself. Her words seemed to bring calm to the situation. 

“I promised the lady that as soon as I got off my shift, I would go look for her dog,” Long said. “That seemed to calm the patient down and we were at least able to treat her and get her ready to be transferred.”

When Long’s 12-hour shift ended at 6 p.m. Saturday, she made good on her promise. Long spent nearly two hours looking for the Pomeranian-Poodle mix. She walked fence rows, talked with several crash witnesses and talked to convenience store employees. Long even had her husband, Cole, join in the search after his 12-hour shift ended at a local factory.

“There were several witnesses who had seen the accident and saw the dog run to the west,” Long said. “There was a fence row and a corn field and I knew that dog could be anywhere.”

So, Longs searched and walked. They even found a farmer in the area who promised to be on the lookout. 

Finally, with the sun setting, the search was called off. However, that did not stop Long from worrying about her patient who had been transferred to another hospital and was even further from her pet.

“We really did not know if the dog was even alive,” Long said. “But, I wanted to keep my promise to find Tismo because it was obvious the dog was very important to the lady.”

Long then reached out via Facebook to local pet advocate, DeAntha Wright-Thornburg. The Crawfordsville woman is known for helping find lost animals.

“When Jenny called I immediately put out the call of the missing dog,” Wright-Thornburg said. “People immediately started re-posting the news and wanting to help.”

At 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Thornburg was at the accident scene looking for Tismo, but with no luck.

“Whether the dog was found dead or alive, I thought it was important to find it so the lady could have some kind of closure,” Wright-Thornburg said. “It was important to her recovery to find out what happened to the dog.”

It was not until 11 p.m. Sunday that Tismo was finally found. A farmer found the dog and called the phone number on the dog’s collar. The number belonged to a Wisconsin veterinarian who was able to notify the injured woman’s family that the dog had been found. Relatives of the injured woman picked up the dog and drove it home to Wisconsin.

Long was relieved to get the news. 

“I was so worried about the lady,” Long said. “She had no one here to go searching for the dog. I just felt like I had to help. I worried that we’d never found the dog. I worried about how the lady’s rehab would go.”

Pam Miller, a manager at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville, said Long is an example of the type of people who work in the local emergency room. 

“Jenny is just another example that nurses have big hearts,” Miller said. “I have known for a long time that our E.R. is blessed with good and caring nurses.”

Long has been a registered nurse for four years at the local hospital. She graduated from Ivy Tech while raising her three children. She also is a Southmont High School graduate.

“I guess I did what I did because I kept thinking what if that was my grandmother lying in a hospital far from home,” Long said. “I am just happy the lady is recovering and she knows her pal is waiting for her to get home to Wisconsin.”