Team Mason planning new 5K on Saturday

Family and friends of a local man who died from a hereditary kidney disease will gather in Milligan Park on Saturday for a 5K color run/walk to raise funds for prevention.

Three years after burying her 38-year-old son, Mason, Denise Patton says there is more work to be done educating people about the risk.

“It’s a silent disease, and people just aren’t aware of it,” she said.

Mason Patton died in March 2014 from complications of Alport syndrome, which causes progressive kidney disease and abnormalities of the ears and eyes. He left behind a daughter, Stella.

The disease accounts for less than just a half-percent of adults with end-stage renal disease in the U.S., according to the Alport Syndrome Foundation. Less than 200,000 people in the U.S. are living with the disease.

Overall, chronic kidney disease affects 10 percent of the world population, according to the foundation.

Kidney disease kills more people per year than breast and prostate cancer.

Since Mason Patton’s death, family and friends- — dubbed “Team Mason” — have held a series of local fundraisers. Last year, the team raised $25,000 for the National Kidney Foundation.

The team is first in the state and 11th in the country for money donated to the foundation.

While it has participated in the foundation’s annual walk in Indianapolis, this is the team’s first 5K event in Crawfordsville.

The race kicks off at 8 a.m. Cost is $20 the day of the event. Participants are asked to register at the park entrance next to The Big Dipper.

For more information, call Denise Patton at 765-366-4629.

Donations can also be mailed to 2193 E. Overcoat Road, Crawfordsville IN 47933.

Bridge to be named after Earl Luzader

When it’s time to work in the garden, Earl Luzader crosses a concrete bridge over Sugar Creek Branch, which runs alongside the cabin where he’s lived since the depression.

The bridge will be dedicated in Luzader’s honor during a ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday on Fall Creek Road in Ripley Township.

Luzader’s property sits in the unincorporated community of Hibernia, a four-minute drive from Yountsville. His neighbor, Justin Miller, set sights on the bridge after reading local author Dick Munro’s book, “Paddling Sugar Creek.”

In the book, Munro writes about his frustration over nearly all the county’s bridges and roads being numbered instead of named according to local character. Miller began thinking about names for the bridges crossing the branch.

Montgomery County Commissioners have already renamed the bridge on Luzader’s property as the “Earl Luzader Bridge.”

At the dedication ceremony, local artist Larry Ward will unveil a wooden sign designating the bridge. An official proclamation will be read and Father Alexis Miller of the nearby Holy Transfiguration Church will offer a prayer of blessing.

Following the event is the Fall Creek Road Spring Clean-Up, where residents pick up trash along the road.

A pitch-in picnic will be held at the church at noon.

Discovering Our Past

When Kathy Shigeta welcomes visitors into Henry and Joanna Lane’s home, she likes to show the piano in the guest parlor.

The Lanes purchased the 172-year-old instrument on their honeymoon in New York, paying more to ship it home than it cost. It sailed first to Florida, then on to New Orleans, up the Mississippi River and across the Ohio  before arriving in Madison, Indiana, to finish the journey on land.

If visitors aren’t aware of the story, it was something Shigeta herself only recently discovered as the new curator and collections manager for the Montgomery County Historical Society.

A San Francisco-area native, Shigeta said the role is a perfect introduction to this history-rich community.

“To tell the honest truth, Montgomery County is new to me,” she said, “so, as you can imagine, I was interested in finding ways to learn more.”

After earning her bachelor’s degree in English from Santa Clarita University, Shigeta taught English in Japan, where she met her husband, Tatsu.

The couple later settled in the Champaign-Urbana area, where she worked as a records clerk for the University of Illinois. She earned her master’s degree in Asian studies from U of I.

They came to Crawfordsville in September after Tatsu became general manager of Heritage Products.

It wasn’t long before the curator job came open. Shigeta answered the listing, looking for a part-time gig to learn about the area.

“She’s working hard, she’s going through the collection and finding some things we weren’t aware of,” executive director Steve Frees said.

The curator and collections manager oversees a database of the roughly 5,000 items in MCHS’s possession, updating the organization’s Facebook page and giving tours of the Lane Place, which Joanna’s niece, Helen Elston Smith, gave to MCHS after her death in 1939.

A church group was visiting Thursday morning as Shigeta pointed out her favorite artifacts. She picked up a delicate china that a woman gave to Joanna’s sister, Susan Wallace.

With visitors interested in different aspects of the past, she and the other tour guides have their favorite parts of the Lanes’ story.

Shigeta was drawn to Henry’s connections with Abraham Lincoln, whom he helped get to the White House.

She’s also tapped in to her love of art, stumbling upon a piece by Henry’s first wife, Pamela.

“I was looking for a wall decoration, and I came across a sampling that she apparently had done in the early 19th century, when she was quite young,” Shigeta said.

“That’s one of the things that fascinates me about this job, you keep discovering things. I mean, not only things that you can hold in your hand, but facts about the families.”

Drain work on Main continues

Crawfordsville Street Superintendent Scott Hesler reported Wednesday at the Crawfordsville Board of Public Works and Safety meeting  that work is progressing on East Main Street. Hesler said the replacement of drains is close to completion on the westbound lane. Beginning Thursday, the drain replacement work will continue in the eastbound lane.

In other business, Hesler reported the contract with Milestone Construction for summer street paving is ready to be signed.

Get rid of tires, fight mosquitos

Local residents can join the Montgomery County Health Department in some spring cleaning. The health department will host the fourth annual Tire Amnesty Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in their parking lot at 110 W. South Blvd. While this event provides the community with a cost effective way to dispose of old tires, the purpose of the event is for mosquito control. 

Last year, the health department collected more than 2,000 tires, more than twice the amount of the previous two years combined. Not only do piles of tires serve as an eyesore, they also are the perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

In order to lay eggs, mosquitoes require only a capful of standing water. As a result, virtually anywhere that can collect water and create a warm, moist environment is a potential breeding site. 

Waste tires collect rainwater easily, and it is difficult to completely drain any water that collects inside them. Each tire brought in to be properly disposed of is estimated to remove thousands of offspring from entering the mosquito population over the course of the summer. 

In addition to disposing of tires, there are other measures can be taken to limit the population of mosquitoes around homes. These include cleaning out gutters, changing the water in bird bathes weekly and emptying out any other outside containers that may collect rainwater and provide mosquitoes with a breeding site. 

Mosquito populations are monitored and tested by health departments all over the country, because mosquitoes are part of a group of organisms called vectors. A vector is any organism than can transmit infectious diseases to other creatures, including humans. While severe diseases such as meningitis and encephalitis can be transmitted, these instances are rare. 

The Montgomery County Health Department is primarily concerned with monitoring mosquito populations for the presence of West Nile Virus, which, unlike the Zika virus, is present in the mosquito species in Indiana. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 70 to 80 percent of individuals exposed to West Nile will exhibit no symptoms, but some individuals may be more susceptible to developing severe symptoms.  

The first 10 tires brought to the event are free. Each additional tire will cost $1 to help offset disposal costs. There is no limit to the amount of tires each person may drop off, but no tractor tires will be accepted. Health department workers ask you report the total number of tires you are disposing of when entering the parking lot.