LOCAL NEWS

Commissioners open courthouse tower bid

After more than 20 years, county officials and the members of the Courthouse Clock Tower Committee now know how much it will take to restore the clock tower to the Montgomery County Courthouse. 

On Monday, commissioners opened one bid for the construction of the tower. The bid price was $540,000.

Clock Tower Committee member Sandra Lofland-Brown said receiving the bid will allow her to complete fundraising. She said she has some donors who have pledged their support, but wanted to wait until a final cost was received.

Donations pledged from the City of Crawfordsville and county officials currently total $308,000.

Ken Brown, a clock tower committee member, said the project, and a needed structural study, helped the county identify issues before the project started.

“The county learned that the courthouse has some structural issues even before placing the clock on the courthouse,” Brown said. “The structural problems have added to the cost of construction and should be addressed even if we were not adding the tower. The study gave the commissioners an idea on the true condition of the courthouse.”

Commissioners took the lone bid under advisement.

Anyone desiring to contribute to the project may do so at the county auditor’s office or contact Lofland-Brown by calling 765-918-6045 or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Commissioners also discussed rebuilding the county highway garage destroyed by fire in November. Commissioners are working with local architect Steve Akers.

County insurance agent Robb Williamson reported the county has received to date a total of $631,411 from its insurance company. He also reported there is an additional $101,000 available to complete replacement cost of the building.

Commissioner Phil Bane believes the county should build a larger storage shed but have a firewall to divide the building to be used for storage and also for a new garage to work on equipment. He also proposed taking the existing shop area and turning it into storage.

If commissioners do more than just construct a new building to replace the one they lost, Bane acknowledged the project could take two years to complete due to funding.

Commissioners agreed to go forward with Bane’s plan and to have Akers continue working towards that end.

In other business, commissioners:

• Hired James Wolf as the new county Weights and Measures Officer.

• Approved a request from Dave Peach to use the courthouse steps at noon May 4 for a National Day of Prayer ceremony.

• Approved the 2016 County Highway Annual Report as submitted by County Highway Director Jeremy Phillips.

• Approved an LPA Agreement for the Road Reconstruction and Slope Stabilization project located near the intersection of Country Club Road and S.R. 32 West.

‘Totally Awesome Decade’

The days of “long distance dedications” are making a comeback, as children of the Spotify era pay tribute to hits from the FM dial.

“Back to the 80s... The Totally Awesome Musical” takes the stage Saturday and Sunday at Southmont Jr./Sr. High School.

“I keep telling the kids mom and dad are going to eat it like candy,” artistic director Amy Woodall said during a recent dress rehearsal.

But the decade’s radio stars have a new fan base. 

Junior Jack Reimondo, who plays KISS T-shirt clad lead character Corey Palmer, has long strummed 80s rock anthems on his guitar.

Senior Gabrielle Trent, portraying Palmer’s crush Tiffany Houston, grew up listening to her dad’s collection of Bon Jovi and Cyndi Lauper albums.

The musical is a trip back in time for thirty-something Corey, remembering the heartbreak and everyday life of senior year at William Ocean High.

Corey was madly in love with Tiffany, who lived next door.

“He’s definitely a similar character than I am in real life, but I’d like to say I’m a little less wimpy and definitely less awkward,” Reimondo said.

Tiffany, who Trent describes as a sweet, popular girl, has her eye instead on the good-looking Michael Feldman. Corey can’t match the athletic talents of Michael and his friends.

But Corey and his pals are still more popular than Feargal McFerrin III, who is best friends with his computer and has the crazy notion CDs will one day replace cassette tapes.

The musical features hit songs from “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” to “You Give Love a Bad Name” along with a “Star Wars” dream sequence and high-energy dance routine.

“It’s going to be an awesome experience,” Reimondo said.

As South works to grow the theater program, music director Andrew Martin said they were looking for a show that would appeal to all ages.

“The kids think the music is a ton of fun and the parents remember it from their earlier lives,” Martin said.

Performances are 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Southmont auditorium. Doors open 30-45 minutes before show time and concessions will be sold before the show and during intermission.

Cost is $8 for adults and $5 for any student. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by calling Nancy Watson at 765-866-0350 ext. 201 during regular school hours this week. 

Payments are not accepted over the phone.

Those buying in advance should indicate how many adult or student tickets are needed and for which performance. The tickets will be available at the “will-call” desk.

“Back to the 80s” is a production of Music Theatre International.

Goode Receives National Honor Roll Award from American Public Power Association

Phil Goode, Manager of Crawfordsville Electric Light and Power, was named to the 2017 American Public Power Association’s Honor Roll. The award was presented recently at the Indiana Municipal Power Agency’s Annual Meeting by IMPA’s president and CEO Raj Rao and APPA president Sue Kelly.

Harmon, Fights to light up the stage

The Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau will present Dancing with the Montgomery County Stars on May 20 at Wabash College. In the weeks leading up to the dance competition, the Journal Review will feature each of the 10 dance pairs. This is the next pair to be featured.

Name and occupation: 

Craig Harmon. Manufacturing manager at LSC Communications.

How long have you lived in Montgomery County?

53 years

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I like to run, play golf and play the guitar. I also enjoy spectator sports like football, basketball and racing. I haven’t missed an Indy 500 since 1969.

Tell us about your family.

Kelly and I are blessed to have three beautiful daughters, Meryl (Nathan) Bray, Haley (Nick) Long and Carly Harmon; as well as two sweet grandchildren, Alden and Jovie Bray.

My mother, Sue Harmon Guard, as well as two sisters, BethAnne Harmon and Edie Pettit and their families, are also supporting us in this event.

What song always makes you get up and dance or sing along?

“I Saw Her Standing There” by The Beatles.

What was your reaction when you were asked to be a Star?

At first I was a bit nervous. However, knowing what the Youth Service Bureau means to our community, I simply could not refuse to participate in such an important cause.

Why did you decide to participate in this Youth Service Bureau fundraiser?

I have attended all of the prior DWMCS events and know several of the past participants. I’ve always admired the work that people put into their performances and the satisfaction that they receive from this experience. Also, to find out that I was recommended by a dear friend and past participant (Samantha Swearingen), it was simply an offer I simply couldn’t refuse.

Why should the public come to this event and support you and your partner?

First of all, because the Youth Service Bureau is such a great cause. It is filled with dedicated people who have a passion for helping. Also because this is truly a fun and entertaining event that all ages will enjoy. Plus, Jennie and I are going to rock it.

• • •

Name, occupation:

Jennie Fights. Choral director at Crawfordsville Middle School and Crawfordsville High School.

How long have you lived in Montgomery County?

I lived in Montgomery County for two years and am currently living in Lafayette.

What do you do for fun in your spare time?

I perform. I love performing in John P. Blair shows at the Vanity theater. When I’m not on stage, I enjoy spending time with people I love.

Tell us about your family.

Both of my parents are nurses. My mother is the Dean of the School of Nursing at Ivy Tech in Lafayette. My father is a Heart Cath Lab nurse at IU Health in Lafayette. My sister and brother-in-law live in Louisville with my adorable niece. 

What is your dance background?

Show choir. I have always moved well and have good rhythm, but I am by no means a trained dancer. I started dancing in show choir in high school and just continued to dance in musicals and one dance class in college.

What is your favorite type of music to dance to?

Musical theater is my favorite type of music to dance to. I love having a story when I dance.

Why did you decide to participate in this Youth Service Bureau fundraiser?

I work with students and kids every day. I want to do anything I can to help make their lives easier or more successful.

Why should the public come to this event and support you and your partner?

Children are the future, and we as a community need to do whatever we can to help then get to the right path of a successful future ... this is just a fun way to do it. My partner and I will not disappoint ... we are ready to put on our dancing shoes.

Sam Saturday planned at North

A desire to do something big for one of their own is driving the North Montgomery Student Council as they organize the May 13 Sam Saturday. The effort includes a fund raiser organized by student council representatives from each of the four classes. Proceeds are earmarked for the Sam Jackman family. Jackman is a sophomore at the school and is battling leukemia in Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis.

North Montgomery senior Becca Adams is the student council vice-president and is helping organize the event. She said student council sponsors had asked the whole council if they wanted to do a fund raiser, not expecting what the students came up with.

“I think we surprised them that each class had such good ideas that we decided to do all four of them,” Adams said. “We wanted to do something for one of own and for someone we care about.”

Each class is organizing a separate fund raiser that will all be a part of Sam Saturday. The freshman class is sponsoring a 9 a.m. 5K run/walk on the Sugar Creek Trail. 

The other events will take place at the high school. The sophomore class is sponsoring a game system 2K Basketball Tournament to be played on the big screen in the school’s auditorium. The junior class will have a bake sale and the seniors will have a car wash. 

Holly Hook is a student council sponsor. She complimented the students’ effort once they were given the challenge to come up with a special event to raise funds for someone in the community.

“One goal of student council is to help build leadership and promoting students to take initiative,” Hook said. “When we presented the idea of doing something to benefit Sam, they were so excited and jumped right in. Hopefully, this is an experience they leave NMHS with knowing they helped organize an event for a great cause.”

Sam’s mother is Lisa Jackman. She said the family finds encouragement for all the efforts the community has done to help with the family’s expenses while they travel back and forth between hospitals.

“The very consistent support from his friends and the community makes Sam feel like he is not forgotten,” Lisa said. “ It’s been rough the past two and one-half months as Sam spent 73 straight days in a hospital and had scary times with critical blood infections in intensive care. The support is important to help keep us going in this battle.”

Jackman, a sophomore honor student, was first diagnosed with leukemia during the fall his freshmen year at North Montgomery. After beating the first round of the disease, it was discovered the cancer had returned in November. The family decided to try an experimental treatment in a Cincinnati children’s hospital, but it did not help. Jackman is now back an out-patient at Riley as he continues to fight his disease. The medical staff is continuing to use trial treatments and medications. He recently has recovered from two serious blood infections. Lisa said her son’s fortitude and attitude has even impressed those who are taking care of him at Riley. 

“We recently had one of Sam’s doctors call him a beautiful weed,” Lisa said. “He said no matter what he goes through, or what the doctors do to him, he keeps bouncing back. His attitude helps us everyday.”