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Southside resident named National Guard adviser

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A southside resident will help the leader of the Indiana National Guard know when an Army policy has changed and will assist families of deployed soldiers.

Sgt. Maj. James R. Gordon, 50, has been named command sergeant major for the Indiana National Guard by Maj. Gen. R. Martin Umbarger.

Part of Gordon’s new job will be to inform Umbarger when an Army policy has changed and how that would affect soldiers and to help the families of deployed soldiers get what they need while their family member is deployed.

Gordon will start work Feb. 28, after Sgt. Maj. James Brown retires. Brown was in the position for about seven years.

In his 20-plus years in the Army, Gordon has served as a command sergeant major, operations sergeant and first sergeant for numerous infantry divisions.

He has a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from Oakland City College. He also graduated from U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, Military Freefall Course, Pathfinder Course, Rappel Master Course, Air Assault Course, Jump Master Course, U.S. Army Ranger and Basic Airborne School.

He lives on the southside with his wife and two children.

\Asian grill in Greenwood mall closes its doors

One of the biggest restaurants in the Greenwood Park Mall’s lifestyle center has closed.

Stir Crazy Fresh Asian Grill closed its locations in Greenwood and Castleton on Tuesday. Simon Property Group, which owns the Greenwood Park Mall and the Castleton Park Mall, already is talking to potential replacements, spokesman Les Morris said.

The closures leave behind prime space that’s highly visible, Morris said.

“We view it as an opportunity to find a great tenant,” he said. “It’s an attractive 50-yard-line spot.”

Stir Crazy is a Chicago-based restaurant that centers around a bar where customers can select stir fry ingredients and then watch a chef cook it in a wok. The restaurant touts fresh produce that’s delivered daily.

The company did not return messages.

Stir Crazy leased a 6,300-square-foot space at the mall and had been there since the lifestyle center opened in 2007. The 115,000-square-foot wing replaced the L.S. Ayres Department Store with restaurants and stores.

Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse and the Cheesecake Factory currently occupy the $19.8 million lifestyle center.

Stir Crazy’s closing isn’t the first in the 6-year-old lifestyle wing. Another original tenant, the Atlanta Bread Company, closed and was replaced by Tony Sacco’s Coal Oven Pizza.

Morris said the former Stir Crazy location is highly visible from the heavily trafficked U.S. 31.

“The right eatery could do very well there,” he said.

Franklin parts company building warehouse

A parts company in Franklin will expand this spring with a new warehouse.

Pickett Equipment Parts Inc. has outgrown its current building and needs the warehouse to store Caterpillar parts that it sells, owner Brannon Pickett said.

The company has 10 employees who sell and repair Caterpillar parts for demolition and construction companies, Pickett said. Since it opened 18 years ago, the company has had 12 to 20 percent growth in sales each year, Pickett said.

The new warehouse will be built next to the company’s current building, at 200 Earlywood Drive. Construction on the 14,400-square-foot building will start in April and take about three months, Pickett said. He declined to say how much the new building will cost.

The expansion will not add jobs, he said.

Evening meal to aid

local Humane Society

Later this month, diners at a Franklin restaurant can help raise money for the Humane Society of Johnson County.

From 4 to 9 p.m. Thursday, 15 percent of the cost of diners’ meals at Applebee’s, 700 N. Morton St., can go to the local Humane Society.

Diners need to bring a Dining to Donate coupon, which is available by calling the office at 535-6626 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday or can be printed from www.hsjc.org.

Diners must have a coupon to donate, and coupons will not be available at the restaurant.

Homemakers association offers 8 scholarships

Local homemakers might be eligible for a scholarship to upgrade vocational skills or to earn a

college degree.

Indiana Extension Homemakers Association is offering eight $500 scholarships to Hoosier homemakers 25 and older.

Applicants must be admitted or be cleared for admission to a state licensed academic or vocational school.

Applications must be postmarked by March 15 and are available by calling 736-3724 or at the Johnson County Extension Office, 484 N. Morton St., Franklin.

Free tax assistance available at library

Free tax assistance for senior citizens and low-income individuals is available from the Johnson County Public Library and AARP.

Check jcplin.org/register for days and times at local branches.

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