LOCAL NEWS

Food program kicks off today

School is out for the summer, but that doesn’t mean children in need of meals will go hungry. Local food banks, providers and volunteers are serving free breakfast and lunch to all children younger than age 18 at area schools and parks this summer.

No registration is required for any of the area programs.

Here is a list of programs:

Crawfordsville

Monday-June 30

• Crawfordsville High School, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (Breakfast at 8 a.m.)

• Hose Elementary, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Hoover Elementary, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Nicholson Elementary, 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

• Mills School, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Willson School, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

• Imperial Estates Park, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

• Milligan Park, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Ladoga

Monday-July 28, town park shelter house (Ladoga Elementary students only.)

Breakfast: 8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Lunch: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Inclement weather: Ladoga Elementary cafeteria

(The program will kick off Monday with free food, bounce house, activities and informational and nutritional flyers.)

Fountain County

Now through Aug. 4

• Covington Park, June 5-30, 11 a.m. to noon

• Veedersburg Park, July 3-28, 11 a.m. to noon

• Attica Park, June 5-July 28, 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

• Hillsboro Park, June 5-Aug. 4, 11 a.m. to noon.

Fountain Central Jr./Sr. High School cafeteria

Now through June 23

• Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

•Lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Fountain Central Elementary cafeteria

July 24-Aug. 4

• Breakfast: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

• Lunch: 11 a.m. to noon.

Chargers fall in sectional final to Bruins

LINDEN — Tri-West’s surging baseball team used a big third inning to gain some momentum and cruise to an 8-2 victory over North Montgomery in the championship game of the IHSAA Sectional Monday.

The sectional semifinal and final games, originally scheduled to be held at Crawfordsville, was moved to North Montgomery after storms last week damaged the baseball complex at Crawfordsville High School. 

North Montgomery, who ended the season 15-13, beat Lebanon 11-3 in the sectional’s opening round last week and slipped by Western Boone 2-1 in the semifinal Monday to play in a baseball sectional championship game for the first time since 2009. The last time the Chargers won a sectional title was 2001.

“It was fun for the kids and we made a nice run, and won a couple of close games and battled,” North Montgomery coach Mitch Merica said. “It was a good way to end the season. Obviously we had higher goals, but there’s not too many teams that was going to beat Tri-West today.”

The Bruins have won 17 of the last 18 games and used a five-run third inning to take the lead for good and win a sectional title for the first time since 2003 when Tri-West was in Class 2A. Now the Bruins (17-6) advance to play Indian Creek in the first game of the IHSAA Regional at Crawfordsville on Saturday. Indian Creek beat Beach Grove 1-0 in the sectional final at Danville.

North Montgomery took a 1-0 lead on Tri-West in the bottom of the first inning when Gregory Pietsch doubled to score Bryce Frederick. And Collin Knecht hit a home run over right-center field to put the Chargers ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the second.

“I thought we hit the ball hard at times,” Merica said. “We gave ourselves a chance early. They’re by far the best hitting team in the conference. Up and down the order, I mean, the middle of their order is murders’ row. They hit some unbelievable pitches hard, in the gap, for home runs. We’re disappointed we lost, but we’re not disappointed by our effort. They were just better than us today.”

In the top of the third, Tri-West’s Derek Wagner doubled to score Lucas Goodin, and courtesy runner Quinten Cooper later scored when Nick Rabe singled to right. The Bruins took the lead four good when Zachary Waters hit a three-run home run over right-center field to give Tri-West a 5-2 lead.

“That was huge,” Tri-West coach Ryan Oppy said. “We gave up those two runs early and the moral got kind of down. But that inning was huge and turned the tables for us.”

The Bruins, who made it to the sectional final with a 14-4 win over Frankfort in the other semifinal game, added three more runs in the top of the seventh. 

In the sectional semifinal game North Montgomery’s Devan Plant scored on a passed ball in the top of the first inning against Western Boone, but Peyton Young tied the game on Lance Oldham’s sacrifice fly to right field. The Chargers threatened to score in the second inning when runners moved to second and third base on a Western Boone error with one out. But a strikeout and a fly-out to first got the Stars out of the jam.

The Chargers nearly scored again in the sixth inning when Knecht singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Tyler Swick was walked to get two runners on with one out, but a fielder’s choice, twice at second base ended the inning.

North Montgomery won it with a run in the top of the seventh. Pietsch doubled and later scored from second base off Mitch Merica’s single to right.

“It was good to see two seniors step up and have two big hits, and we hung on,” Matt Merica said. “We hit the ball pretty well all day. It’s high school baseball, it’s sectional baseball, and you never know what’s going to happen.”

Mounties win baseball sectional championship

CLINTON — Southmont’s baseball team went fishing between games Saturday and hooked themselves a sectional championship as they defeated Rockville 2-1 to claim the Class 2A Sectional 44 baseball championship.

After winning their semifinal game against North Putnam, the team found a fishing spot close to South Vermillion High School and went to relax and get ready for the title game. Word is that they landed a few fish.

They came back to the baseball field and behind the one-hit pitching performance of Boone Welliever and Cam Chadd, they claimed the trophy.

In winning their first sectional since 2002, the Mounties run their record to 14-11 and advance to the regional round next weekend, where they will take on Ritter at Park Tudor.

They found a way to score two runs and the pitchers made it stick.

“Boone had that no-hitter into the sixth,” Coach and proud father Jamie Welliever said. “We played good defense behind him. Boone has been a three-sport athlete his entire career at Southmont, and I know he is a clutch competitor. He is always ready, and tonight we gave him the ball. His slider was really working and he got a bunch of outs with it.”

Boone struck out six while walking two. When the Rox got their first hit in the sixth, a double that put the tying run at second with a runner at third, Coach Welliever made the change on the mound.

“Cam finished up the game earlier today (against North Put),” he said, “and I knew he was ready to go. I have trusted Cam his entire career, whether it is on the mound or on defense. He is a great competitor.”

With one out in that sixth, Chadd got an infield out that scored the Rox run, and then got another groundout that ended the inning. The junior got a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, including a game-ending strikeout, to pick up the biggest save of his career.

The Mounties got their two runs earlier.

Ryan Stanley led off the second by reaching on Rockville’s only error of the game. Austin Manion walked to move him to second, he reached third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a passed ball.

In the fifth, Boone Welliever walked (he had been hit his first two times up), was sacrificed to second by Cole Wemer and scored on a Brandon Rogers single to left field, which happened to be Southmont’s first hit of the game. 

In all, the Mounties had three hits off Rockville pitcher Kegan Wimsett, who went the distance and picked up the loss, as the Rox fall to 17-11 to end their season. Wimsett had the only hit for his team as well.

The sectional championship highlights a season of ups and downs for the Mounties, but the trophy they took home proves the work was worth it.

“Sometimes those ups and downs make you better if you work hard at it and fight through the bad,” Coach Welliever said. “Our schedule was probably beneficial to us, especially since we played several close games during the season. I do know that our four seniors and their leadership were very important to this championship.”

Coach Welliever was a member of the first Southmont team to win a baseball sectional, back in 1979, and coached the Mounties to a sectional title in 1988. This one, with his son, was a little special.

“This win was for all of Southmont, and he is included in that,” Boone Welliever said, ice bag on the arm. “It was an honor to be chosen to pitch this game, and it’s a little more special having my Dad as the coach. This is my last high school sport with him, and this championship makes a lot of those practices where we might have gone at it a little bit even more special.”

The regional game next Saturday is scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. start.

Southmont survived a late scare by North Putnam and advanced to the sectional finals with a 5-4 win in the Class 2A tournament at South Vermillion.

The Mounties, who move to 13-11, got a run in the second, three in the third and another in the fifth to stay in front of the the four runs scored by the Cougars in the top of the seventh.

Cole Wemer picked up the win for the Mounties, getting his second pitching victory of the sectionals after beating Cloverdale last week. Cam Chadd pitched the last two innings and was tagged for the four runs, only two of which were earned.

“Wemer was solid, and Chadd was ready to go,” Jamie Welliever said. “We were solid defensively behind Wemer and not behind Chadd. We were not aggressive on the ball.”

Wemer threw 107 pitches, allowed two hits while walking six and striking out six. He pitched out of a couple jams, and Logan Smith had a big diving catch to end a bases-loaded threat in the fifth.

Wemer helped himself at the plate, reaching base twice and scoring twice. Risty Bullerdick had two hits, was hit once, had one RBI and scored twice. Brandon Rogers had a hit and scored the other run. Chadd had two hits and an RBI.

Max Haste started on the mound for the Cougars, whose season ends at 11-14. He went 2.3 innings before giving way to Jack Kendall.

Kendall had the big blow in the seventh with a three-run homer. It was the senior’s first dinger of the season.

Post 72 honors fallen in annual ceremony

So much time has passed since Bill Stieg came home from the Pacific, he fears Americans no longer appreciate what World War II was all about.

“I think it’s good that people remember what has happened in the past, and maybe we can prevent it from happening again,” said Stieg, who served with the U.S. Navy Reserves on the LST 1025 from 1945-1946.

Local veterans, dignitiaries, families and Cub Scouts gathered Monday for the American Legion Post 72’s annual Memorial Day ceremony at Oak Hill Cemetery North.

It was one of a number of programs held at area cemeteries to pay tribute to the nation’s fallen heroes and say thank you to the veterans still around to tell their stories.

Coming to Oak Hill was an honor for Bob Garing, who served in the Navy from 1951-1955 and is a veteran of Korea.

“Being an American, it’s our obligation to honor our fallen brothers and sisters,” he said.

Mayor Todd Barton read a Memorial Day proclamation. He asked those gathered near the cemetery’s war memorial to think of the total freedom they had to leave the ceremony and do whatever they pleased.

“We can only do that because these men and women were willing to give their lives to defend that freedom,” Barton said.

Guest speaker Brig. Gen. Wayne Black, assistant adjutant general - Army of the Indiana National Guard, urged Americans to pause and reflect on the sacrifices paid by those in uniform.

“They are the beacon of hope that democracy, freedom, equality and lasting peace will prevail across our world,” he said.

Cub Scouts from Pack No. 909 posted the colors for the Pledge of Allegiance. Post 72’s Honor Guard presented a rifle salute and played Taps.

The Honor Guard also presented at the other Oak Hill cemeteries as well as Odd Fellows, Old Town and Calvary.

Sarah Hutchens’ 9-year-old son, Lucas, was part of the Scout pack.

“I think it’s just important he understands the sacrifices that a great many people have made,” she said, as Lucas passed out small American flags.

That’s a message his 11-year-old sister, Lacy, an incoming sixth grader has already received.

“People sacrificed themselves so we can have a free country,” she said. “So we need to honor them for that.”

Soon-to-be first grader Jekory Howard watched as the Honor Guard pointed its rifles to the sky. Jekory, whose grandfather Mike Spencer commands the Honor Guard, is recovering from being hit by a car in February.

After the guard had marched away and the Scouts lowered their flags, Jekory raised his arm to salute.

Volunteers in MCCF spotlight

As the founder of Dusk-to-Dawn Bereavement Services, Cheryl Fuhrmann juggles counseling grieving families with the day-to-day tasks of running the end-of-life support organization.

Gail Pebworth, through decades of service with the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, has been a tireless advocate for civic engagement and improvement.

Both community leaders were recognized Thursday as Volunteers of the Year during the Montgomery County Community Foundation’s annual meeting at the Crawfordsville Country Club.

Their organizations were presented with a $1,000 grant in honor of the women.

“You think about what both individuals have done for the community... how important it is for their organizations that they’ve had volunteers like those two, it’s just extraordinary that they’re able to do that,” MCCF board president Larry Griffith said.

Fuhrmann, who specializes in the study of dying, death and bereavement, founded Dusk-to-Dawn as a nonprofit agency five years ago.

Previously, Fuhrmann was a certified activity director in long-term care for the area and a group facilitator with the Visiting Nursing Service in Indianapolis.

The deaths of her aunt and uncle in a 1985 murder-suicide inspired her work with grieving families. At that time, she said, grief counseling was in its infancy.

“Finding help was not to be had,” Fuhrmann said. “I struggled with that for a very long time, and after many years I decided that I was being called to help others through this kind of pain.”

Fuhrmann is also active in her church, serving on the worship and music leadership team of Christ Lutheran.

Pebworth, a retired swimming coach, first joined the League of Women Voters in 1964, while living in Bloomington. She joined the local league when her family moved to Crawfordsville 50 years ago.

A highly visible face of the organization, she has held numerous offices and served on and chaired many committees at the local and state level.

Pebworth helped push for voting centers, which were introduced last year. The league won a national award for its advocacy on the issue.

“That was to make it easier for people to vote,” she said. “Our whole voter service activity is very important.”

This was the first year for a tie in the selection process. Pebworth and Fuhrmann were selected by the board from a pool of 12 nominees suggested from the community.

Other nominees were: Elaine Chase, Lew Wallace Study & Museum Preservation Society; Kim Green, Habitat for Humanity; Ron Keedy, Waveland Strong; Lyndsay Lieske, Through the Gate; Dian Moore, Montgomery County Historical Society; Kathy Moore, Half Way Home; Curt Stevens, Trinity Mission; Bob Surber, Animal Welfare League; Susan Vaught, Purdue Extension; and Michelle Yoder, Friendship Kitchen.

Each received a certificate and small gift.

Youth volunteers are also recognized each year with an award named for Peggy Herzog, a retired school drug prevention educator.

This year’s winner was Dulce Martinez, a rising senior at Crawfordsville High School.

Martinez, 17, is active in the Athenas club, which visits Wellbrooke of Crawfordsville and helps out at the Boys & Girls Club of Montgomery County.

She also volunteers with Achaius Ranch, the Kiwanis pancake dinner, Teen Court and the Nourish program.

“It’s a nice thing to do, being involved in your community,” Martinez said. “I love doing this.”

The Athenas received a $1,000 grant in honor of Martinez’s service.

“It’s pretty impressive for a young lady to be that involved,” Griffith said.

There were three other nominees in the youth category, including Conner Cox, Youth Service Bureau; Tully Fenters, Boys & Girls Club; and Kathryn Melvin, Waynetown Community Volunteer Fire Department.

Along with award presentations, the foundation also introduced incoming board members.

Terresa Hatke, Ron Dickerson and Jim McBee were each selected for three-year terms.

Outgoing members Heather Barajas, Tony Cosenza and Tom Mellish were recognized for their service.

The foundation awarded just over $1 million in grants and scholarships in 2016.