Mikek named Indiana Academic All-Star

INDIANAPOLIS —Forty high school seniors from throughout Indiana have been named 2017 Indiana Academic All-Stars, a program of the Indiana Association of School Principals, and were honored at a luncheon Tuesday at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis. In addition, 50 other students were recognized as Academic All-Star Regional Honorees.

Crawfordsville High School’s Benjamin Mikek was among those students selected as an All-Star.

The students were selected from a field of 264 outstanding nominees from the state’s private and public accredited schools.

Academic All-Star distinction recognizes seniors who excel in the classroom first and foremost, but who also are actively involved in their schools and communities, and take on leadership roles in those activities. The program is produced by the Indiana Association of School Principals, with support provided by Franklin College, Marian University, Indiana University Bloomington and Purdue University, along with corporate partners Herff Jones, IndyStar.com and Inter-State Studio and Publishing Co.

Each nominated student submits an essay recognizing his or her most influential educator. For the past several years, Franklin College has sponsored two Influential Educator Awards and this year honored retired elementary teacher Brenda Carter, who was recognized by Indiana Academic All-Star Sidra Ahmad of Plainfield High School, and North Decatur Jr./Sr. High School (Greensburg) Spanish teacher Jennifer Robbins, nominated by Indiana Academic All-Star Regional honoree Kelsey Moorman. Each teacher received $1,000.

Additionally, $500 teacher awards were presented by the Marian University Academy for Teaching and Learning to Floyd Central High School (Floyds Knobs) teacher Karen Mayer-Sebastian, who was nominated by Indiana Academic All-Star Carson Conley, and Greencastle Schools Technology Integrator, Charles Shields, who was nominated by Indiana Academic All-Star Nicholas Seaman.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick provided a welcome and congratulatory words to the students and


The IASP Indiana Academic All-Stars program salutes academic excellence in the same manner that student athletes traditionally are honored. By providing a showcase for academically talented seniors, the sponsoring organizations hope to accomplish the following objectives:

• Give academic achievement the prestige it deserves;

• Motivate students to recognize the value of academic excellence; 

• Provide students with an incentive for academic achievement; and 

• Promote a positive image of Indiana’s young people.

Each public and private high school accredited by the Indiana Department of Education may nominate one senior for consideration as an Indiana Academic All-Star. From these nominees, a selection committee chose the Regional winners (representing five regions in Indiana) and the 40 Indiana Academic All-Stars.

Selection of the school’s nominee is based upon the following considerations:

• A mathematical formula that combines the SAT or ACT composite score and the seven-semester grade-point average; and

• Academic achievements and honors, academic courses and academic extracurricular activities.

• Other extracurricular activities, community service and leadership qualities.

Covington to host IHS’s History on Wheels exhibit

COVINGTON — Covington will be among the first stops for a one-of-a-kind history experience dedicated to Indiana’s automotive and racing heritage. The Indiana Historical Society is proud to present History on Wheels, a 53-foot double expandable semi-trailer and traveling exhibit that will roll into Covington City Park, June 28 through July 1, for the Covington Fourth of July Celebration.

The appearance will be one of many for History on Wheels as it begins to travel the state and help IHS reach a wider audience at festivals, schools and other special events.

“For decades, the Indiana Historical Society has dedicated resources to giving people a way to experience and enjoy Indiana history in their own communities,” said John A. Herbst, IHS president and CEO. “History on Wheels allows us to expand on this critical part of our mission. As the only traveling exhibit of its kind in the state, it is a new way to experience history.”

History on Wheels has a custom design that allows the trailer to expand to nearly 1,000 square feet of indoor museum space. Inside the trailer, IHS’s Auto Indiana exhibit will take guests on a ride through the state’s far-reaching and personal connections to the auto industry.

Displays touch on the history of more than 100 Indiana automakers manufacturers, such as Cord, Duesenberg and Studebaker. They also delve into the lives of Hoosier innovators and inventors, such as Carl Fisher, Elwood Haynes and Ralph Teetor.

Visitors of all ages can explore under the hood of a vehicle modeled after a 1914 Marmon Touring Car. In addition, children can climb into the driver’s seat of a mini IndyCar and imagine what it would be like to cross the famed Yard of Bricks.

IHS will launch History on Wheels on May 6 with free admission and extended hours in honor of the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon. Visit from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., in the parking lot of the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located across the street from the Mini post-race party.

From May 7 through 13, History on Wheels will remain at the History Center and will be included with admission to the Indiana Experience (free for IHS members). The History Center’s regular operating hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

History on Wheels is presented by IHS, with support in part from Lilly Endowment Inc. For reservation fees and booking information, contact Mark McNees, IHS History on Wheels coordinator, at 317-234-2029 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. More event locations and details are available on IHS’s website, www.indianahistory.org/HistoryonWheels.

Streets to see improvements

Crawfordsville residents are going to witness history along several city streets during this spring and summer construction season. The city is going to repave a total of 4.1 miles of roadways. In the past, the city has only been able to pave less than one mile per year.

The city applied for and received a Indiana Community Crossroads Grant in the amount of $687,000. They also were able to use other monies that had were paid by the state as part of the required match for the grant. When all was said and done, the city accumulated nearly $1.6 million dollars for this summer’s work.

“This is the most amount of roads to be repaved in one summer than anyone can remember,” Crawfordsville Street Commissioner Scott Hesler said. “It is going to be a busy summer for sure, but the end result is going to be a good thing.”

City Street Department employees started work last week along West Main Street. They have been replacing infrastructure items that will improve the area’s storm water drainage. After the west-end portion of Main Street receives new asphalt, the city will have resurfaced the entire street from east to west within the last two years. 

Included in the total project will be the installation of 86 ADA ramps at intersections.

Milestone Contracting was awarded the bid for the summer work. Hesler said he is presently working on collaboration with Milestone, school bus routes, gas companies and other utilities to make a schedule for the pending work to be completed. He expects the work to begin around June 1 and will take three months to complete.

Hesler said his department will make sure residents have access to their homes during the construction period.

While the work is being done by the Lafayette contractor, Hesler said his department will keep working as they do every summer. Projects such as patching other streets and working on alleys will continue.

Another large project scheduled to begin this spring will be done on Green Street in the downtown area. The work includes separating storm water and sewage waste from the present one line into separate lines. Hesler said there will be times when portions of Green Street will be closed to traffic but the contractor is working to keep closures to a minimum. Parking along Green Street will be disrupted at times as well.

Board acts to prevent cell towers in city

Crawfordsville city officials were scurrying around late Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning to protect visual sites.

City attorney Kent Minnette presented the Crawfordsville Board of Works and Public Safety with a resolution to combat new state legislation that will make it easier to build cell phone towers, even in the heart of downtown Crawfordsville.

Mayor Todd Barton said the city had been aware of the impending legislation, but the late night approval meant the city had to work fast to prohibit cell towers being built wherever companies like AT&T and Verizon desired.

“The state legislature, at the last minute, passed a bill that will allow cell towers to be built in municipal right-of-ways regardless of any zoning or ordinances,” Barton said. “They gave us the opportunity to pass some restrictions, but they had to be passed locally by May 1. “We were lucky we had a meeting today to take care of it.”

Barton said the city has been battling the construction of cell towers all over the city and especially in the downtown and residential areas.

He said the most recent case was when a cell company tried to place a 100 foot tower across from the post office.

“We are fighting the cell towers all the time,” Barton said. “We had to act fast to protect our city. Just recently we had companies wanting to build towers in residential areas.”

The new law allows cell tower companies to construct towers in any property where there are underground utilities. Companies no longer have to adhere to local zoning regulations or ordinances.

Barton said the resolution, which was approved by the board, stops towers from being built in a defined downtown area or designated areas such as historical districts.

The mayor is unhappy with the new law and believes state legislators “sold-out” cities and towns.

In other business:

• The board allowed Ivy Tech Community College to use the commerce park pond for professional development classes from June 5-16.

Craigslist ad leads to musician’s first studio album release

Greg Carey started with the words “No Lyrics.”

Scrambling the letters, he stumbled on “Lions Cry,” the title for an instrumental track on his debut studio album, “Memories.”

His favorites from the selection of self-written hard rock jams don’t have any words.

“My voice is what I think is my weakest musical attribute,” said Carey, who uses his middle name, Lance, professionally.

After years of giving away his songs, Carey now has a taste of the business side of making music.

It took six months just to find someone to shoot the album cover, where he leans against a wall at the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum, holding a guitar.

The photo was taken by Sarah Bradley.

Making the album has been a learning experience for the Crawfordsville native, who fell in love with music at his childhood babysitter’s house.

That’s where he popped in heavy metal icon Kiss’s “Alive” album, discovering Ace Frehley’s guitar riffs.

There’s a childhood photo of him holding a Kiss guitar. It didn’t come with an instruction manual and he gave up trying to strum it after a few months.

He found his place behind the drums, playing along with Kiss’s albums until he knew them by heart, “even with my grandpa saying, oh, he’s going to be a drug-addicted loser,” he said.

Carey would later join the U.S. Army, serving in the 1991 Gulf War.

Back on home front duty after the war, he joined a band, where the guys gave him a 10-hour guitar lesson.

“I had a cushy job assignment in Washington, D.C., and it allowed for a lot of time,” Carey said. “It wasn’t what they called a tactical unit, it was one where you had a top-secret security clearance and wore a suit and tie to work every day.”

After leaving the service in 1995, Carey kept going back to his collection of Kiss albums, sprinkling in some country and jazz.

He’ll often tinker with his music during downtimes at his subcontracting job for LSC Communications. Carey also plays drums for local band “Just Chillin’” and bass guitar for “The Dennis System.”

In the fall of 2014, he answered a Craigslist ad for a recording session at Deboy Recording in Indianapolis.

“What impressed me about Greg was his preparedness,” Deboy said. “From his song structures to tempo changes, he had it all down,” he said.

“Memories” can be downloaded for $9.99 or purchased for $10.

Copies are available at Allen’s Country Kitchen, Wabash Revisited, Rotten Robbies Cycle Sports & More and Eliza’s Consignment Boutique.

It’s also available at JL Records in Lafayette.

It can also be purchased through CDBaby, Amazon and iTunes.