Schools to delay start of day

Crawfordsville middle and high school students will be able to hit snooze on their alarms next year — at least one day a week.

The Crawfordsville Community School Corporation Board of Education unanimously approved a once a week delay to the start of the school day at the high school and middle school.

The plan calls for a 40 minute delay to the school day for students on Wednesday, allowing teachers at the high school and middle school to get together for collaborative work.

Crawfordsville Middle School Principal Brent Bokhart said that the delayed start of the day has something the two school administrations have been discussing for a while.

“This is time for the teachers to collaborate,” he said.

Bokhart said that as teachers try to incorporate different learning strategies across the disciplines, it became apparent that teachers needed this time to meet.

“It is a benefit that will go back into the classroom,” he said.

He added that they had been looking at other schools before taking the request to the school board.

“I think our teachers need this,” Superintendent Dr. Scott Bowling said.

He said that while the day school started late did not have to be Wednesday, they had it in the middle of the week to miss holidays when school is not in session. He told the board that South Montgomery schools are adding a similar component to their school week.

The start of the school day at the three Crawfordsville elementary schools were not changed.

In other business:

• The board received a presentation from members of the Athenas club from the high school. The club asked the board to consider allowing students time during the day to sleep or de-stress and relax. They also discussed the importance of learning about mental health and how to teach students about suicide and suicide prevention. The club told the board about the dangers of body-shaming and the need for non-competitive sports at the high school. They also asked if there was a way to start a mini Athenas club at the middle school to give needed support to students at CMS. The board took no action on the requests. The students were advised to speak to their building principals as a next step.

• The board increased the number of transfer students that will be accepted to 40 per grade level. The deadline to apply for a transfer is Aug. 1.

• The board discussed the 2018-19 school schedule. The schedule was tabled to allow the district to follow-up on a survey that was sent out to get parent and student feedback. 

• The board approved a trip for the Crawfordsville Robotics team for Saturday. The team will participate in events at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

• The board approved retirements for Janet Hook, CHS special education teacher; and Susie Minch, Nicholson teacher.

• The board approved resignations for Tina Hutchison, Hoover receptionist; Denise Blevins, Speech Pathology Assistant; and Lori Guard, Health Careers teacher.

City Offices Closed for Good Friday

All City of Crawfordsville offices will be closed on Friday (April 14) to observe Good Friday.


this means there will be no trash or recycling pick up on Friday. Friday’s normal routes will be picked up on Monday along with Monday's normal routes.


The Yard Waste Site will be closed on Friday and Sunday. It will be open on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

CERT team seeking volunteers

If a disaster strikes the county and rescue crews cannot quickly respond, a team of civilian volunteers may be the first on the scene.

Volunteers are being sought for a Community Emergency Response Team, which trains and coordinates non-professionals to aid victims of mass incidents until emergency workers can take over.

The program is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Montgomery Fund For You has partnered with the county EMA to oversee the local team.

“Montgomery County did not have a CERT team prior to this year,” said MUFFY executive director David Johnson, who heads the team.

Johnson said 20 to 30 volunteers are needed to build the ranks. Nine people have signed up so far.

They include a volunteer firefighter and his family, nurses, American Red Cross volunteers, a Wabash College employee and representatives from large businesses and industries.

Volunteers undergo 21 hours of initial basic training in fire safety, light search and rescue and first aid.

The team grew out of the response to August’s tornadoes in Mace and Linnsburg, when numerous residents turned out to assist first responders and help clean up the damage. Montgomery County had lost a network of trained contacts when the local Red Cross chapter merged with a regional center.

“There were just a variety of changes in local volunteer services across the community,” Johnson said.

Hours after the twister struck, EMA asked MUFFY to help organize and coordinate the volunteers at the scene.

Johnson and MUFFY board members spent the next three days staffing incident command in Mace. They recruited additional volunteers to help victims recover personal property, secure homes and clear debris.

MUFFY formally agreed to oversee a response team during a debriefing in the tornado’s aftermath.

Volunteers will also be asked to set up at community events helping residents sign up for the county’s mass notification system.

EMA director Shari Harrington said the team is designed to help give Good Samaritans proper training to be more efficient in disaster situations.

Montgomery County is one of 15 CERT programs in the area, including Lafayette and Greencastle. The concept was first implemented in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s.

Since the training went national in 1993, communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico have started teams.

City to buy PNC Building

Crawfordsville’s Fusion 54 Center is closer to having a home after the city’s Board of Public Works and Safety approved the purchase agreement for the PNC Bank Building on Wednesday. 

Mayor Todd Barton presented the agreement to the board and said plans for the building are to use it as part of the city’s Stellar Communities Plan.

The negotiated price of $850,000 was a fair price, Barton said. He told the board the price was below the average of the two appraisals the city obtained because the building, which is owned by TPI of Montgomery, LLC, is in need of considerable repair. 

The purchase agreement states a title search must be ordered before closing, which must be on or before May 31.

According to the agreement all property taxes, including 2016 property taxes payable in 2017, must be paid by the seller by the closing date. The Montgomery County Assessors Office reported as of Wednesday, $2,480.95 of past taxes are due on the property.

The purchase and remodeling costs will come from funds originally planned to build the Fusion Center on South Washington Street. Barton has said acquiring the building will be less expensive than building a new building and also will free up funds to use on other Stellar projects.

Crawfordsville Street Department Commissioner Scott Hesler said work will begin Monday on W. Main Street, Grant Avenue and Barr Street. His department will be replacing structural items to prepare for the summer street paving program. Hesler anticipates work in the area to last from four to six weeks.

In other business, the board:

• Accepted a bid from Milestone Contractors of Lafayette in the amount of $1,590,400 for street paving. The money will come from the state’s Community Crossroads Grant and city funds.

• Accepted a bid for the purchase of a pickup truck for the street department from Etter Ford in the amount of $30,996.

• Approved a request from the city’s Code Enforcement Officer Barry Lewis to contact a property owner who lives near the intersection of S. Walnut and Jennision Streets in regards to trees obstructing the view of motorists.

Stoup helps VU win national title

When Vincennes University cheerleader Allison Stoup walked onto the stage to compete in the Collegiate National Cheerleading Championship she felt numb.

“I couldn’t feel my legs,” she said.

However, once the music started, six months of practice began to pay off. With the VU Cheer team’s March 27 performance, they captured the National Small Co-ed Show Cheer Division of the USA Collegiate Champions title at the National Junior College Association Division.

Stoup, who has been involved with cheerleading since her elementary school days, said the competition was a two-day affair. After the team’s first competition performance on March 26, she said they were not feeling optimistic.

“We really had a rough first day,” Stoup said. “We had a couple of falls and when we walked off our heads were down.”

Those feelings did not last long. When the cheer coach showed the team the standings after the first day, they were surprised to be leading the four other teams by four points.

The team used its new-found enthusiasm to put together a better performance the next day.

“The second day, we really hit it and put on a great performance,” Stoup said. “We had a lot of confidence that we were going to win the championship.”

As the 15-member team gathered for the awards presentations, the confidence proved to be spot on. The team was named the champions which set up a celebration that carried on into the night.

“It was awesome to hear our names called as the champions,” Stoup said. “We went out to eat and went back to our hotel and continued our celebration in the hallways. We found out that some of the guests did not appreciate the noise we were making.”

The championship drive started in Octoboer 2016 when the cheer team found they were going to participate in the event. The squad started a regime that included three and four practices every week.

Stoup, who is working toward a bachelor’s degree in ag business, said cheerleading has been good for her. She said all the friendships made, plus the fact cheerleading keeps her active and motivated, has made it worthwhile. Now the squad, which performs at VU men’s and women’s baskeball games, has gained new respect on campus.

“People on campus are more aware of the cheer team now and the school is even planning a special celebration for us,” Stoup said. “Maybe this year we won’t be pushed under the table at the athletic banquet like in past years.”

Stoup, who is the daughter of Kristy Crews, will cheer again next school year, her final year to cheer.

“I have always considered cheerleading as a sport,” Stoup said. “I am an outgoing person, so cheerleading fits me perfectly. I am going to miss it after next year, but who knows, maybe I will be a school cheer coach someday.”