LOCAL NEWS

‘Couch to 5K’ series seeks participants

 Franciscan Health Crawfordsville, Franciscan Physician Network, the Journal Review and the Montgomery County Wellness Coalition will be starting a “Couch to 5K” running group in April that lasts for 10 weeks. The purpose of this group is to help promote regular exercise as a part of a healthy lifestyle within the community, along with improving the health status of those interested. 

This program is open to anyone 18 years and older who have no major health issues, and are wanting to learn the basics of running. Please note that this is a beginner’s program. The group will host group training sessions that follow a “Couch to 5K” training program and education on different topics of interest. 

At this time, space is limited to only 10 people. Sign-up is based on a first come/first serve basis. The first meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 3. There will be one group meeting/run per week (mainly held on Thursdays) leading up to the Strawberry Festival 5K held on June 10. Locations of the meetings will vary, but will start out at Franciscan Health Crawfordsville, 1710 Lafayette Road, Crawfordsville.

The cost for this program is $40. This will cover the entry fee for the Strawberry Festival 5K, along with a Couch to 5K T-shirt. A health screening will also be included to help track your progress over time. Payments can be made by cash or check that evening.

“Starting an exercise program can be a very scary thing, and taking the first step is always the hardest part,” said Kelsey Miner. “With the high amounts of support, instruction, and motivation through this program, you may find you are able to accomplish more than you ever thought possible.”

For more information on the program or to reserve your spot, call Miner at 765-364-8938, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Further details of the first meeting will be given at the time of sign-up. Payment will be accepted on or before April 3.

Sixth Entrepreneurship Summit slated for April 1

Indiana’s role as a hotbed for entrepreneurship will be spotlighted April 1, as Wabash College hosts its sixth Entrepreneurship Summit.

Scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the NCAA Hall of Champions in Indianapolis, the Summit hopes to spur the entrepreneurial drive by highlighting the resources available at Wabash College and Central Indiana as a whole. Entrepreneurs and students from 18 colleges from across the state are expected to attend.

“The focus of this year’s Summit will be Emerging Technology, from Electric Motorbikes to 3D-Printed Cars,” said Steven Jones, ‘87, Dean for Professional Development. “The goal is to shine a spotlight entrepreneurship and encouraging students to think about the multiple paths to success that exist at Wabash. Through the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship, Wabash College is leading the conversation in entrepreneurship and serving as a resource for new and innovative ideas.”

Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson’s opening remarks begin a morning program that features an opening keynote address by Josh Rasmussen, Founder & CEO of Monday Motorbikes in Los Angeles.

This will be followed by six break-out session speakers: Tony Unfried, ’99, Founder & CEO of Archon Tech Strategies; Ruchir Sehra, ’88, Founder & CEO of Resonea Inc.; Wesley Virt, ’17, Founder of Vionix Academy; John Qualls, president of 1150 Academy; and Tony Scelzo, Chief Revenue Officer of Healthstatus.com.

The second keynote with be by David Woessner, ’01, general manager of Local Motors. Woessner will talk about his journey from Wabash to Washington: How a Country Kid from Indiana Found Tech.

The afternoon session includes a panel discussion moderated by Jim Dreher, ’85, a medical device entrepreneur, who is founder and managing partner at Option3 LLC, and co-founder of Hotspur Technologies Inc.

The Summit, hosted by Wabash President Gregory D. Hess, routinely draws attendees from Chicago to Indianapolis.

Attendees will be provided breakfast and lunch. Transportation will be provided to and from the event to all Wabash students on Saturday.

Registration is required. Tickets may be reserved until March 30 at www.wabashES6.eventbrite.com. The event is open to any college or university student in Indiana.

Look for the event on Twitter @WabashCIBE #WabashES6.

Sewage project moves forward

County officials are pleased that the $4.2 million sewage project that will expand service along State Road 32 East and C.R. 400E continues to move forward.

On Thursday, the Montgomery County Regional Sewage Board met to discuss several items pertaining to the project. The best news is that the project appears to be 18 months away from being able to hook up area homes and businesses to the new line.

“We are moving forward,” said Phil Bane, Montgomery County Commissioner and sewage board president. “It is a slow process with a lot of things to consider, but we are trying to make all the right decisions.”

As of now, the board expects construction to begin in early 2018.

The board approved an agreement that will be presented to Banjo Inc. and Pilot Travel Center detailing each company’s already agreed upon financial contributions. Each company is expected to pay $150,000 toward the project’s design and construction. The two companies have been involved with the project from its start after they contacted county officials asking to be added to the service area that includes Nucor.

“We have talked about the contributions for a long time,” MCRSB attorney Stu Welliever said. “This is the first time we will have the agreement in black and white.”

A copy of the approved agreement will be delivered to both companies’ perusal.

Local contractor Jim Ratcliff of Ratcliff Homes approached the board considering a future sub-division he is building along C.R. 400E just south of Smartsburg. He said if he could hook up the homes he has planned in the area, he could build 50 homes. Otherwise, if he has to use septic systems, he could only build approximately 33 homes on the 17 acres he is developing. The county code requires more land per lot if septic and well systems are used.

The board indicated interest in working with Ratcliff to add his proposed sub-division homes to the new sewage line. Ratcliff said adding the proper sewage equipment now to each lot will help him in planning and potentially save him construction costs.

Ratcliff also said it would be beneficial for the area to have Indiana American Water add lines to the area. Board members told Ratcliff that others along the new line have expressed the same interest and suggested he directly address the water company about adding a water delivery system.

The board tabled an inter-local agreement between the sewage board and county commissioners considering office administration expenses for the sewage district.

CFD to get upgraded ambulance

Crawfordsville Fire Chief Scott Busenbark has found a way to save the city some money and replace the department’s ambulance.

On Wednesday the Crawfordsville Board of Public Works & Safety approved the chief’s request to purchase a new chassis for an ambulance in the amount of $158,950. Busenbark said the purchase will result in a cost savings.

“The chassis is what gets the wear and tear on an ambulance,” Busenbark said. “We will mount our patient compartment on the new chassis which is a lot cheaper than buying a brand new ambulance.”

Busenbark is going to use fire protection user fees to pay for new chassis.

Dale Petrie, the city’s project manager, requested and received a change order in the construction costs of new fire station located on East Market Street. Petrie said the change will allow for a better method to protect the bell inside the bell tower from the weather. The change order was in the amount of $2,503.

Crawfordsville Parks and Recreation Director Fawn Johnson is making plans for the 1 p.m. April 8 Community Easter Egg Hunt at Milligan Park. Johnson received permission to close East Pike Street from Vernon Court and Wabash Avenue, as well as Wallace Avenue from Elston Avenue to Wabash Avenue. Johnson said the streets need to be closed from

11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to accommodate the anticipated large crowd.

The board approved Mayor Todd Barton’s request to enter into a contract with Blue Marketing for the production of economic development materials.

City Code Enforcement Officer Barry Lewis reported the courts had approved the demolition of two houses on West Market Street. The razing of the houses is scheduled to commence Monday.

The Beta Theta Pi fraternity at Wabash College received a noise abatement from 10 p.m. to midnight on April 1 and April 8. The fraternity plans to have a band play in its parking lot. The fraternity is required to provide proper security during the event.

Sirens planned for Mace, Chigger Hollow

Meredith Manges is still rebuilding.

Seven months after a tornado destroyed three of his barns and damaged his home on East U.S. 136, one of the sheds is back up. The house has been fixed.

Manges and his wife were driving home as the twister struck and had already seen the alerts on television, but he welcomed news of plans to put an outdoor warning siren in Mace.

“They’re worth quite a bit to have,” said Manges, who also uses a weather radio for storm information.

Mace is one of the communities on the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency’s list to receive a siren, pending approval from county commissioners.

A second siren is planned near the Chigger Hollow subdivision off Nucor Road. Both areas are no stranger to severe weather.

“We’ve had the majority of our tornadoes in that quadrant of the county,” said EMA director Shari Harrington.

Before August’s EF-2 twister in the Mace and Linnsburg areas, tornadoes also touched down in New Ross and near the Pilot Travel Center on State Road 32.

If granted approval, EMA plans to purchase one new siren and use a refurbished one that was unhooked from the Montgomery County Courthouse last year.

The new siren would be installed along U.S. 136 in Mace, with a one-mile coverage radius including Linnsburg. Chigger Hollow’s would be the refurbished one, which Harrington said still has a reliable range.

New sirens cost around $13,000 — not including installation — and are typically covered by the emergency management budget or grants. Duke Energy is paying for most of the refurbished siren and working with the EMA on a locwation.

“The ball right now is in Duke’s lap,” Harrington said.

While crucial for alerting people outdoors to threatening weather, the sirens are just part of the EMA’s arsenal.

The county’s free mass notification system — which provides location-specific alerts to subscribers by text message, e-mail and landline telephone – allows authorities to warn more people of emergencies instantaneously. It launched in 2014.

EMA plans to promote the system at public events and help people sign up. To register, visit montgomeryco.net and click on “Emergency Alerts.”

With the push for the phone and email alerts, Harrington said there are no immediate plans to install more sirens after the next are hooked up.

“I think if we can get more people on the mass notification system, it’s quicker, it’s more reliable and it works day or night,” Harrington said.

Be A Storm Spotter

Montgomery County EMA is sponsoring an upcoming storm spotter class.

When: 6:30 p.m. April 10

Where: Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency, 300 E. Pike St.

What you’ll learn: How to identify clouds and warning signs of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

More info: 765-364-5154, ext. 1.