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Historical Society receives Community Foundation grant

The Colfax Historical Society recently received a $4,418 grant from the Clinton County Community Foundation, made possible though the Robert and Martha Lucas Hall Family Endowment. The matching grant will be used to help replace flooring throughout the new Colfax Historical Museum. Some historical artifacts are currently on display within the Colfax Public Library.

“We are building a new museum in the old American Legion,” said Amanda Boksa, president of the Colfax Historical Society. “Also, there is an event space that will be rentable for area residents.”

The Colfax Historical Society was formed in 2017 and it soon started looking for additional space to house and display artifacts from the town’s past.

“Currently, the museum is housed in the library where I work,” Boksa said. “The collection is stunted because of the size of the space. Our goal was to create a new museum, something with more space to give adequate recognition to all the artifacts we have regarding Colfax’s history. That led us down the path of getting a building.”

The society’s initial plan was to obtain the old Rosenberger Building at 101 W. Midway in Colfax, but it was purchased before the organization could purchase it.

“It really dashed our dream,” Boksa said. “We had done a lot of fundraising to get that done.”

Thankfully for the historical society, the local American Legion post stepped up to help.

“American Legion Post 439 was disbanded and generously donated the building (at 303 W. Main St. in Colfax) to our organization,” Boksa said. “We took that over in March of 2019 and have been renovating. We have replaced all the insulation and ceiling tiles. The plumbing and electrical was repaired. We painted and have done some cosmetic repairs. One of the final pushes was this large flooring project that the Community Foundation made possible for us.”

The historical society hopes to open the event space by the first of March, and it is planning to open the Colfax Historical Society in August.

“We intend to have it ready for public viewing in time for the Ole Hickory Days Festival in August,” Boksa said. “We are hoping to tie the opening and ribbon cutting to the festival.”

The renovation of the old American Legion post has been prolonged due to the pandemic.

“Right now, it is limited when we do work days and meetings,” Boksa said. “There are not a lot of people like me who are in their 30s doing the history thing. I wish we had more. The demographics of our organization have not really allowed us to do a ton of work during COVID. We have had to really take a pause, which is part of the reason why it has taken two years. We would have been much farther along.”

This grant is the latest of several that the society has applied for to help fund the museum project.

Back in November of 2019, the society received a generous Tipmont RMEC EnviroWatts grant.

“They provided a grant for just over $3,500 for us to do all new LED lights throughout the building,” Boksa said. “We have gotten help through grants. I will hopefully submit a grant to SIA (Subaru Isuzu America). Their grant program is starting for updating furnace and air conditioning.”

Boksa says there is a lot of history in Colfax that most people, sometimes even locals, are not aware of.

“It was a hopping place when the railroad was here, and even when Miller’s (Restaurant) was here serving 1,500-plus on a weekend. People who come to Colfax now, including myself five years ago, had no idea. Learning through the library and museum makes it really exciting. Not everyone knows this stuff, and this stuff is so cool. That is where my passion lies. My kids can come in and say, ‘Wow. That used to happen in Colfax?’”

Boksa hopes the community utilizes the event space, which is “just shy of 4,000 square feet.”

“We are really hoping that the rental space provides longevity for our (museum) space,” she said. “It will cost nearly $4,000 a year just in insurance and utilities. We are hoping people will want to utilize our event space in order to help our organization.”

Those who wish to donate, sponsor or volunteer for the project may contact Boksa at historical.society@colfax ptpl.org.

“Any assistance that we can get from local businesses or people who want to help and get involved – we are actively pursuing membership and help,” she said. “All donations are tax deductible. So, if corporations or companies want to help us, we (display) who our sponsors are. Anything to keep us afloat is helpful.”

The Colfax Historical Society Board is comprised of Boksa (President), Patricia Larsh (Treasurer), Brenda Kinslow (Secretary), Carol Birge and Betty Snell. There are 49 charter lifetime members from all over the country and the Philippines.

A healthier 2021

The most common New Year’s resolutions for 2021, according to a recent YouGov poll, were exercising more, improving your diet and losing weight. However, the trick to all resolutions is finding ways to keep them.

Amanda Harness, program director and personal trainer for the Clinton County Family YMCA, sees the spike in gym memberships each year.

“At the beginning of the New Year, it starts off a little slow,” Harness said. “People are coming off the holidays and they are coming off some habits of eating, lounging around and enjoying that time. It starts to pick up in the second or third week of January, but it really starts to pick up around February. It is so odd, and I have seen that over the past five to seven years.”

Harness works with people who have very different fitness goals.

“You have what I call your ‘spring breakers,’ and they are doing it for like four to six weeks,” she said. “They are hardcore and wanting to get in shape, especially if they are going somewhere warm. Then you have your people who really want to make a life change. They are wanting to make sure they are staying consistent and asking questions about what they can do at home. They are wanting to go that extra mile. They are asking nutrition questions and asking what the difference is between different carbs or different fats. Then you see people who want to get in shape for that marathon in May. So, it is very interesting seeing the different categories of people. It is a diversity of groups. And those are honestly three different styles of workouts that people have to do. A lot of people don’t understand how cardio and weight loss works or how weights and weight loss works.”

With a variety of fitness goals, it is important that people tailor their workout and eating habits accordingly.

“First and foremost, it is important to set them up for success and lead them down that path of what is going to help them the best,” Harness said. “The kind of workout I would give somebody who is going to do a marathon is a totally different workout than what I would give somebody who is trying to lose weight or somebody who wants to tone up really quickly for that vacation, or for heart health. Everything is so different. If you don’t have your goals and components in the beginning, you are not going to get the most out of your workout.”

Harness says one of the keys to keeping your resolution to get healthy is to strike a balance between achieving manageable goals while also finding ways to challenge yourself.

“The best thing is to sit down and write down things that you want to achieve and then make small goals,” she said. “Don’t make huge goals. Don’t say ‘I am going to lose 20 pounds in two weeks.’ You need to start by saying, ‘I want to feel good in my clothes in two weeks.’ Start with little goals, and those little goals that you achieve will help motivate you to stay consistent. If you set yourself up for success like that, you are more prone to staying consistent in your workouts and eating healthier. So, I always tell people to start off by setting those small goals, and keep challenging yourself. If you don’t challenge yourself, you are going to stay the same. And you are not in this to stay stagnant. You are in this to change.”

Most of all, don’t let discouragement derail your resolution.

“Always try to find the positive in things in order to move on,” Harness said. “Wherever you let off, get back on the train and start again. Don’t stop. Stopping creates inconsistency, and inconsistency doesn’t create something that is going to be positive. If you don’t set yourself up for success in the beginning, you are going to fail.”

House races to oust Trump; he blames accusers for US 'anger'

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House pressed forward Tuesday toward impeaching President Donald Trump for the deadly Capitol attack, taking time only to try to persuade his vice president to push him out first. Trump showed no remorse, blaming impeachment for the “tremendous anger” in America.

Already scheduled to leave office next week, Trump is on the verge of becoming the only president in history to be twice impeached. His incendiary rhetoric at a rally ahead of the Capitol uprising is now in the impeachment charge against him, even as the falsehoods he spread about election fraud are still being championed by some Republicans.

As lawmakers reconvened at the Capitol for the first time since the bloody siege, they were also bracing for more violence ahead of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, Jan. 20.

“All of us have to do some soul searching,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., during a House rules debate, pleading for a change of heart among colleagues still backing Trump.

Two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and John Katko of New York, became the first to announce they would vote to impeach Trump.

“To allow the president of the United States to incite this attack without consequence is a direct threat to the future of our democracy,” Katko said in a statement.

Trump, meanwhile, warned the lawmakers off impeachment and suggested it was the drive to oust him that was dividing the country.

“To continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” Trump said.

In his first remarks to reporters since last week’s violence, the outgoing president offered no condolences for those dead or injured, only saying, “I want no violence.”

Impeachment ahead, the House was first pressing Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove Trump more quickly and surely, warning he is a threat to democracy in the few remaining days of his presidency.

The House was expected to approve a resolution calling on Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to the Constitution to declare the president unable to serve. Pence, who had a “good meeting” with Trump on Monday, their first since the vice president was among those sheltering from the attack, was not expected to take any such action.

After that, the House would move swiftly to impeachment on Wednesday.

Trump faces a single charge – “incitement of insurrection” – in the impeachment resolution after the most serious and deadly domestic incursion at the Capitol in the nation’s history.

During an emotional debate ahead of the House action, Rep. Norma Torres, D-Calif., urged her Republican colleagues to understand the stakes, recounting a phone call from her son as she fled during the siege.

“Sweetie, I’m OK,” she told him. “I’m running for my life.”

But Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, a top Trump ally just honored this week at the White House, refused to concede that Biden won the election outright.

Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., tied such talk to the Capitol attack, interjecting, “People came here because they believed the lie.”

A handful of other House Republicans could vote to impeach, but in the narrowly divided Senate there are not expected to be the two-thirds votes to convict him, though some Republicans say it’s time for Trump to resign.

The unprecedented events, with just over a week remaining in Trump’s term, are unfolding in a nation bracing for more unrest. The FBI has warned ominously of potential armed protests in Washington and many states by Trump loyalists ahead of Biden’s inauguration and Capitol Police warned lawmakers to be on alert. The inauguration ceremony on the west steps of the Capitol will be off limits to the public.

Metal detectors were being installed at the entrance to the House chamber not far from where Capitol police, guns drawn, had barricaded the door against the rioters.

The final days of Trump’s presidency will be like none other as Democrats, and a small number of Republicans try to expel him after he incited the mob that violently ransacked the Capitol last Wednesday.

A Capitol police officer died from injuries suffered in the riot, and police shot a woman during the violence. Three other people died in what authorities said were medical emergencies.

Few Republicans were expected to support either piece of legislation, but some were weighing their decisions.

Cheney had spoken to House GOP lawmakers of significance of the impeachment vote and encouraged them to consider it a “vote of conscience,” according to a person granted anonymity to discuss the private call.

In the Senate, Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania joined GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska over the weekend in calling for Trump to “go away as soon as possible.”

Indianapolis to use $13M from city coffers for virus relief

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis will tap nearly $13 million in city funds to provide rental assistance, housing for the homeless and other pandemic relief efforts intended to aid vulnerable residents.

The Indianapolis City-County Council voted 23-0 Monday night to direct $12.9 million from the city’s general fund to the relief efforts as city officials await possible additional federal funding.

Indiana’s capital has already spent the $168 million it received last year under the $1.8 trillion CARES Act approved last March by Congress. That funding went toward food and rental assistance, combatting homelessness and aid for local businesses, among other uses.

Mayor Joe Hogsett said in a statement that even though Indianapolis residents have begun receiving the coronavirus vaccine, “the effects of COVID-19 continue to threaten far too many in our city."

“This allocation will help extend existing programs and serve as a bridge until we receive additional federal funds that can more meaningfully address the scope of challenges Indianapolis families are facing," he said in a statement before the council approved the spending.

The city's funding includes $6 million for rental assistance, $2 million for non-congregate shelter for high-risk homeless residents, $1.9 million for coronavirus contact tracing efforts and $300,000 for food assistance.

Mark Bode, a spokesman for the mayor's office, said the city will continue to work with leaders in Washington, D.C., to advocate for additional local funds.

Mask requirement at the library

Citing Clinton County’s “Red” COVID designation assigned by the Indiana Department of Health and based on community spread and positivity rate metrics, the Frankfort Community Public Library has announced a list of restrictions that will go into effect at all of its branches in the county.

“100 percent face coverings will be required,” Greg Williamson, director of the FCPL wrote in the press release. “The mask must cover both your mouth and nose the entire time you are in the library. There will be no medical or other exceptions. If you cannot or will not wear a mask, you will be asked to leave the building. You are encouraged to use alternate library services such as curbside service or digital access. Based on guidance from the Center for Disease Control, children two or under are not required to wear a mask.

“There will be no public meetings held at the library at this time,” Williamson added. “Any exceptions to this will need to be submitted to the Library Director. These will be reviewed on a case by case basis, but in no situation will over 25 people be allowed to gather. Computer use at the library will now be limited to one hour per person per day. Restrictions and limitations are hard but, as we work to protect the staff and our community members, we will get through this.”

The FCPL strongly encourages its patrons to consider using Curbside Service of the library at this time.

“Call ahead to request materials, and then staff will contact you when your order is ready to be picked up,” the release read. “We even have contact-free pickup.”

The FCPL can be reached at 654-8746.

According to Williamson, the restrictions will remain in effect until the county has returned to “Orange” designation or lower for two weeks.

“We will monitor this and evaluate what we believe is best for the community,” Williamson said.