Community News Archives for 2020-11

Indiana State Police remind drivers to Buckle Up and designate a sober driver

Thanksgiving is normally one of the busiest travel times of the year. While the pandemic may have impacted plans with family this year, the Indiana State Police wants to remind motorists who do use the road to buckle up and drive sober this holiday season.


“Due to the pandemic, we anticipate fewer vehicles on the road, but precautions still need to be taken, like wearing a seat belt and designating a sober driver,” said District Lieutenant Josh Watson. “Let’s work together to make sure everyone gets to their planned destination safely.”


Many traffic deaths and injuries could be prevented by wearing a seat belt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), from 1975 to 2017, seat belts have saved an estimated 374,196 lives. While Indiana’s seat belt usage rate is above 90 percent, more than half of the people who were killed in motor vehicle crashes last year were not buckled up.


Drinking and driving is also deadly and completely preventable. Every day, almost 30 people in the U.S. die in drunk driving crashes, NHTSA data shows. That’s approximately one person every 50 minutes.


In Indiana, there were 106 people killed in alcohol-impaired collisions in 2019, representing 13 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities.


“In a year when miles traveled are down, traffic fatalities are up 9 percent from this time last year,” said Rob Duckworth, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Traffic Safety Director. “Slower speeds and wearing seat belts are two of the best ways to prevent further fatalities, along with driving sober.”


Further, vehicle crashes continue to be a leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 8 and 15. For families with children, it’s important to have a properly installed child safety seat or booster seat for each child.


Parents can visit for a list of locations and a toll-free phone number to speak with experts about the proper installation of child safety seats.

Shelbyville's PMC - 90 years and growing

Shelbyville manufacturer PMC SMART Solutions recently celebrated its 90th year in business.


President / CEO Lisa Jennings, Executive Vice-President Mark Delaney and Sales Account Manager Michael Parks appeared on Chamber Chat with details of the PMC history and its future.



Jockeys donate toys to local children's event at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

The jockey colony at Indiana Grand is very generous each year at the end of the season. The group pulls together to donate toys to the local “Breakfast with Santa” event set for Saturday, Dec. 12. With a tough year leading up to the holidays, the jockeys have stepped up even more this season, donating a total of 61 toys, a new record for the annual toy drive.


“I have three kids myself and we are fortunate enough to provide toys for them,” said Manny Esquivel. “I come from a very poor place in Mexico, and just thinking about it, it’s hard to think about kids not getting toys for Christmas. I used to play with a stick and make wheels to put on it, and I had fun. But just imaging the kids getting toys, it’s something special. I just wish I was there to see their faces when they get them.”


Last year, the jockeys collected 56 toys for “Breakfast with Santa” held through Shelby Parks and Recreation. The event includes two sessions with breakfast catered by Denny’s, a visit with Santa, and now thanks to the jockeys, kids will go home with a toy.


“This is great thing we do each year, and I look forward to it,” said DeShawn Parker, current leading rider at Indiana Grand. “And, because of Covid, I’m sure there are many more families this year that will struggle to get toys for their kids. Hopefully, this will help out and provide a little better Christmas for some kids this year.”


Jockeys included in the photo for the toy donation, from left, include Marcelino Pedroza Jr., Tommy Pompell, Fernando De La Cruz, DeShawn Parker, Geena Lucille, Kendall Sterritt, Angel Reyes, Emmanuel Esquivel, Chris Creel, clerk of scales, Alex Achard and Sammy Bermudez (kneeling).


The abbreviated 2020 racing season comes to a close Thursday, Nov. 19 after completing 96 days of racing. Racing dates for 2021 will be approved and announced by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission in December.

DNR offering veterans and active-duty military free admission ON wEDNESDAY

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is offering veterans and active-duty military free admission to state parks, reservoirs, state forests, and state off-road vehicle riding areas on Wednesday, Nov. 11.


“We appreciate the sacrifices and service of our veterans and active-duty military and look forward to recognizing them with a day to explore some of the best outdoor places in our state,” said Terry Coleman, director of Indiana State Parks.


Veterans and military personnel should present ID or evidence of military service at the entrance gate.


For proof of military status, gate attendants will accept:


DD 214 discharge papers

Veteran license plates (Ex-POW, Purple Heart, Disabled Hoosier Veteran, Navy Veteran, etc.)

U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs Disability Award Letter

Veterans hunting and fishing license

Documents showing veterans benefits with veteran's name on document

Any other certificate or verification letter or form that establishes past or present military service


Blue River Community Foundation Winter Application Cycle

Blue River Community Foundation’s (BRCF) winter scholarship application is now open on the BRCF website: The deadline to apply is January 15, 2021.

High school graduating seniors planning to pursue vocational or undergraduate studies, current college students, graduate students, and adults pursuing or finishing a college degree may submit an application. One unique feature to BRCF’s application process is that applicants complete one application to qualify for all scholarship opportunities for which they are eligible. Specific criteria, requirements, and instructions for applying, as well as a list of scholarships available through the application process, are listed in the BRCF Scholarship Resource Guide for Students located on the Foundation’s website under the Scholarships tab.

Since 1994, BRCF has invested over $5.9 million in students pursuing post-secondary education. This amount represents over $2 .1 million which has been awarded to Shelby County’s 39 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipients and is made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc., as well as, $3.8 million awarded to students from BRCF Scholarship Funds. In fact, last spring 168 scholarships totaling $297,900 were awarded to 132 recipients from 85 active scholarship funds administered by BRCF. These scholarship funds are made possible through the generosity of our donors who recognize the tremendous need for assistance in meeting the costs of higher education.


For more information on BRCF’s scholarship application process, please contact Julie Alvis
at 317.392.7955 ext. 102 or