Elks donate to AWL

Taking care of dogs and cats at the Montgomery County Welfare League comes with big expenses. As the shelter continues to transition to more animal care and less euthanasia of animals, the Crawfordsville Elks recently came through with a new idea to help the shelter take care of more animals.

The local Elks donated $2,300 to the shelter to help pay for spaying and neutering of sheltered animals needing those services. The direct result is that the AWL will be able to lessen adoption fees for their animals for one day. To celebrate, the shelter will have Elks #483 Day from 11 a.m. to

2:30 p.m. July 15 at the shelter. Adoption fees for the day will be $48.30 for dogs and $4.83 for cats. 

The event is open to the public and snacks and hot dogs will be available.

Elks #482 president Diane Vail said some of the Elks’ members thought of the idea to donate to the AWL. She said the funds are from an Elks National Foundation grant.

“We wanted to do something to help the animal shelter and our members thought donating to the shelter would be a good idea,” Vail said. “We appreciate the fact the shelter is having an Elks Day and we hope the community will come out and visit with the shelter staff and take home a new pet.”

Visitors will be allowed to walk dogs and spend time with the sheltered cats. Several Elks members will be present greeting attendees.

AWL director Misha Anderson said the donation will help with her effort to euthanize less animals. She said the one result in the philosophy change is that medical expenses for the animals are increasing.

“The Elks donation has boosted our moral at the shelter,” Anderson said. “Because of their generous donation, we will be able to offer reduced adoption fees with a special day. The Elks came up with this idea to donate toward spaying and neutering fees and we love it.”

Anderson said although the Purdue University Veterinary School provides some birth control services free of charge to the AWL, the university does not do all of the animals, in particular larger dogs. Now, with the donation, all present animals will be either neutered or spayed.

“Purdue does us a great service, but sometimes they do not want to work on our larger dogs,” Anderson said. “We are excited that all of the animals we now have will be able to be taken care of.”

Anderson said their shelter continues to be over-crowded even though they recently had 14 dogs and 13 cats adopted at the Indy Mega Pet Adoption event held two weeks ago at the Indiana State Fair Grounds.

Anderson said the goal for the AWL is to provide more medical services to animals. In the past, those animals would be euthanized. That is why she said the AWL board has given her permission to offer reduced adoption fees and other ideas to encourage adoption.

Donations for AWL veterinarian expenses can be made to Lucy’s Fund, a special fund set aside for animal medical expenses.

Worley seeks insanity defense

A Darlington woman accused in the stabbing deaths of her two children is mounting an insanity defense, as a judge ordered an examination to determine whether she is competent to stand trial.

Brandi L. Worley, 30, faces two felony counts of murder after police found the bodies of 7-year-old Tyler Worley and 3-year-old Charlee Worley in their home the week before Thanksgiving.

Authorities say Worley called 911 and confessed to stabbing the children.

On Tuesday, Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Harry Siamas granted her request to file a belated insanity defense. She has 15 days to submit the motion.

A hearing on the competency status is set for 10 a.m. Aug. 7. 

Worley is represented by attorney Mark Inman, Indianapolis.

The children’s deaths came the day after Worley’s husband filed for divorce, and she told investigators she didn’t want him to gain custody rights, according to court records.

Fresh Paint

The group of longtime residents have fought to save Waveland’s old school, brought fresh locally-grown food  and family movies to the town park and planted flowers along the main drag.

Now the members of Waveland Strong are lending their support to re-painting the downtown mural, which depicts past landmarks such as the old high school. 

“It really gives you a sense of what the town is all about, in a kind of capsule look as you come up the hill,” said member Ron Keedy, a Waveland native.

The mural was painted in 1985 to celebrate the town’s 150th anniversary. Commercial artist Mark Launer sketched out a design on the side of the current Italian Pie and Bakery at Cross and Green streets, and local artists helped fill it in.

As current building owner Stacey Paddock looked for someone to re-do the painting, Delores “D.J.” Thomas-Farley came forward. Thomas-Farley was one of the mural’s original artists and restored it in 2005, adding the covered bridge, school and library.

Paddock said she was thankful Thomas-Farley offered to spend more time with the mural.

“It’s almost a landmark now for Waveland,” she said.

While Thomas-Farley bought the paint, she said the project would not have been possible without the support of friends and neighbors.

“This is just my labor of love for the town I was born and raised in and plan to be buried in,” she said.

Russ Nelson agreed to loan a scaffold and Keedy turned to Waveland Strong’s Facebook group, calling for volunteers to haul the structure six blocks to downtown.

Eight townspeople turned out. Rich Dickerson pitched in a set of wheels for the structure, allowing Thomas-Farley to easily move along the mural.

But Keedy didn’t trust the rickety wooden ladder she used to reach the scaffold. Back on Facebook, he sent out a call for sturdier, aluminum steps, which were loaned by Dawn Corwin.

As Thomas-Farley paints, Keedy and fellow resident Dave Fullenwider often check in, while  Karen Zach brings her snacks and drinks.

Other residents stop by to say hello and tell Thomas-Farley they’re glad the mural is being restored.

Before the Independence Day weekend, Thomas-Farley figured she was halfway done.

She said the project is her way of supporting the mission of Waveland Strong, which promotes, provides and backs funding for community programs and resources.

“I am just another Waveland kid who loves my hometown and wants to see it revived again,” Thomas-Farley said.

Montgomery County Pullers to help 4-H

For the third consecutive year, Montgomery County 4-H will be the beneficiary of a truck pull. 

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. Friday, the Montgomery County Pullers will host the event at Ironman Raceway. 

Two higher education groups have agreed to participate. One, Parkland College from Champaign, Illinois, will combine with local farm implement dealer Bane Welker for a pre-show exhibition. 

Meanwhile, the Purdue University Diesel Club will sponsor a Show & Shine truck show. It is open to anyone wanting to enter the competition and prizes will be awarded.

The Indiana Truck Pullers Association will begin its show at 7 p.m. There will be pullers from across the Midwest, as well as a new class that has been developed to encourage local truck owners to participate.

“The truck pulls started by local guys getting together and pulling against each other,” said Lori Shaver of Tom’s Marine. “We wanted to have a class where the average guy from around here can show up and compete. We think adding the local touch will be popular and fun to watch.”

The ITPA show will include truck classes and one tractor class. The local truck classes are four-wheel drive gas 6200, work-stock, street stock gas and street stock diesel.

Food at the event will be provided by the Gigglin’ Pig and American Grill. Kona Ice, a new addition to the food vendor area, will serve shaved ice.

The Montgomery County Pioneer Association will have an antique tractor show during the pull.

Southmont FFA will work the gate. Admission is $10 per person, with children age 5 and younger admitted free. Admission fee includes parking. Bleacher seating is available.

All proceeds will be donated to Montgomery County 4-H. 

Several businesses and individuals have donated to help cover part of the expenses.

This year the pull has three commercial sponsors — Mac Tools, Newton Welding and Fabricating and York Automotive Group.

On July 14, the raceway will have an Indiana Championship Horse-pulling event with proceeds also benefiting 4-H.

Watson resigns as Southmont's head softball coach

NEW MARKET — Southmont is in search of a new head softball coach after Jennifer Watson stepped down last week following two seasons at the helm.

“I’m going to miss it,” Watson said. “There’s not a doubt in my mind that I’ll miss coaching. And I went back and forth for a long time, but I do feel in my heart that it’s the right thing to do.”

Watson is the stepmother to three and also has 2-year-old son of her own, and was hit hard this spring season when she noticed the amount of family events she missed while fulfilling her duties as a varsity coach. 

Watson took over as the head coach at Southmont in July 2015 when Britney Carpenter took the head job at Crawfordsville. Before that, Watson was Carpenter’s assistant for the 2015 season.

“Greatly appreciate Jen’s dedication and leadership within the program,” Southmont Athletic Director Aaron Charles said. “We hope to find someone that cares and works hard in developing our players as athletes and as individuals. We hope to have the position filled as soon as we believe we have the right person.”

Southmont went 18-9 after Watson’s first year running the program in 2016, and the Mounties finished 8-6 in the Sagamore Conference.

This year Southmont was 17-9 and 8-6 in the SAC to tie Tri-West for third in league play. The Mounties went on a short run to begin the postseason state tournament in May. Southmont beat Cloverdale 3-1 in the first round of the IHSAA Sectional, and beat Monrovia 7-6 in the semifinal before losing to South Vermillion 12-3 in the sectional championship.

Watson’s decision to step down now isn’t a permanent decision, though. She plans to return to coaching sometime down the road.

“I hope that’s the case,” Watson said. “I hope right now I can just focus my time on the kids and my husband and then down the line, I hope that the opportunity presents itself again to get back into coaching. I absolutely love coaching and I love the sport.”

But it was a hectic spring season for Watson. Missing all of her stepdaughter’s middle school track meets, leaving for work before her 2-year-old son, Colton, woke up and getting home after he went to bed weighed on her. And when her family’s home caught fire from a lightning strike during spring break in March, Watson said she got to thinking about what she considered most important.

“I started to think, really, around the spring break point of what is really important in life,” Watson said. “Just realizing more than anything that it’s family, doing what makes you happy, and being a mom and being a wife is what makes me happy.”

The house wasn’t ruled a total loss, but Watson and her family have been living in a rental while their home is gutted and remodeled. They hope to move back into it in August.

No specific timetable is set to fill the head coaching position, but whoever will take over next will step into a program that’s solid right now.

“I think pretty highly of our team,” Watson said. “I think that right now, Southmont softball is only going to get stronger.”