Community News Archives for 2021-03

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino donates $100,000 to Shelby County Fairgrounds pavilion project

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is committed to providing assistance for the region and recently stepped up to assist in a huge project in the works at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. The fair board is working to add a pavilion to the property this year, and with a $100,000 donation from Indiana Grand, the project is well on its way to becoming a reality.


Photo caption:  From left, Mike Cochran, Fair Board Secretary, Dave Howell, Fair Board Vice President, Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Indiana Grand, Jeff Pruitt, Fair Board President, Jennifer Thopy, Fair Board Second Vice President, Casey Gideon, Indiana Grand Guest Services Manager, and Mike Schantz, Fair Board Treasurer.


“This is something we’ve talked about for 20 years and now this is a priority for our board,” said Jeff Pruitt, Fair Board President. “Our board is made up of 11 volunteers and we want to do everything we can to make things grow and progress. By adding this pavilion, we will be able to host numerous events throughout the year that we could not accommodate in the past. It’s good to see this type of local support for our fairgrounds.”


The current structure is located on the southwest side of the racetrack and will undergo major renovations to provide a new temperature-controlled pavilion. The building will create venue space for everything from goat shows to indoor flea markets and meeting space. A groundbreaking will take place soon as weather becomes more favorable.


“The Shelby County Fairgrounds has been a great partner of Indiana Grand for years and they are a vital part of this community,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Indiana Grand. “Having space for additional events and programs year-round will benefit a lot of area residents and ultimately generate more visitors to Shelbyville. We are dedicated to continue our investment in Shelbyville and Shelby County and hope this is just the beginning of growth and development for this facility.”

Meltzer Woods in Trek Our Trails Challenge

You’ve been cooped up for months, and it’s time to get out and explore some of the most beautiful places in Central Indiana. Soon, wildflowers will be peeking through the forest floor, birdsong will be in the air, and Indiana’s nature preserves will be coming to life.


Central Indiana Land Trust is encouraging Hoosiers to take part in a Trek Our Trials Challenge by hitting the trails at five of its most popular nature preserves. The best part: you can go at your own pace, on your own schedule, as long as you hit the trails at five participating preserves in Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Morgan and Shelby counties.


When you’re on the trail, keep your eyes and ears open to the wonders of nature. You’ll want to take plenty of photos to remember and share the magic of the nature preserves, where you can enjoy gently flowing streams, lively birds and trees that are more than 300 years old.


To enter the Trek Our Trails Challenge:


1. Take a photo of yourself and any companions at the nature preserve sign or trailhead, either before or after your hike.

2. Email your photos to or post them to the Central Indiana Land Trust Facebook or Instagram using hashtags #cilti #trekourtrails2021.


Once you’ve visited all five sites, you’ll receive a Central Indiana Land Trust pin, plus, you’ll be entered into a drawing for prizes.


Your deadline is Nov. 26 (Black Friday), 2021. That gives you plenty of time to get out for a hike. And, if you want to go the extra mile, let the land trust plant trees to offset the carbon of your travel to and from the preserves. Enter your mileage in the carbon calculator at to get started.


These five nature preserves are part of the challenge:


  • Burnett Woods offers a perfect spring hike for the whole family, with an easy 1.5-mile trail. Located on 80 acres near Avon, this special woodland features a stunning display of wildflowers, including wild geranium, woodland phlox and trillium.
  • Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve near Martinsville has steep slopes, ridges and valleys that give hikers a dramatic view of the forest. While on this moderately difficult hike, you may see rare species like hooded and worm-eating warblers, Eastern box turtle and the state-endangered cerulean warbler.
  • Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow near Trafalgar is prime habitat for migratory birds and forest interior nesting birds. As you walk the two-mile moderate trail, listen for the fluting of the wood thrush and the voices of worm-eating and hooded warblers.
  • Meltzer Woods is one of Indiana’s last remaining fragments of old growth forest where you’ll find trees more than 300 years old. Level trails make for an easy 1.2-mile walk through this majestic forest near Shelbyville.
  • Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve offers a two-mile, easy walk through prairie and woodland in Fishers. Particularly in summer, its wildflowers draw butterflies galore.


Find more information about the properties and the challenge at

INDOT to host Virtual Career Fair Thursday, April 1

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host an online, virtual career fair on Thursday, April 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET.


INDOT is recruiting applicants for open full-time and seasonal positions in highway maintenance, fleet services, construction engineering and construction project inspections. Recruiters from INDOT will be available to answer questions and provide information on the benefits of joining the State of Indiana team. INDOT offers $250 sign on and $500 retention bonuses for eligible candidates.


Click here or visit to attend INDOT’s virtual career fair. Advance registration is not required.


Summer seasonal positions run from April through October at a starting pay of $16 per hour.


Candidates should have a valid driver's license and commercial driver's license (CDL). A high school diploma or GED is preferred but not required.


For questions, please email

Shelbyville - Shelby County Animal Shelter receives $2,500 donation from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Shelbyville–Shelby County Animal Shelter plays a vital role in the community and with recent assistance from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, their mission will extend a little further. Indiana Grand recently provided a $2,500 donation to the organization who is committed to assisting cats and dogs in the area.


“Animal shelters in the area were hit hard in 2020 due to the pandemic and their numbers have continued to increase as a result, which has put a great strain on a lot of the facilities in the area,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “We recognized these hardships and wanted to step in to provide some monetary relief for several shelters in the area, including the facility in Shelbyville. We are proud to continue our partnership with an organization that is so committed to their mission of assisting unwanted animals.”


The Shelby County Animal Shelter provides a much-needed service to the area, taking in dogs and cats that can no longer be cared for. They also receive strays, getting them off the streets and send them through a spay/neuter program before setting them up for adoption into new homes. One resident has made himself at home at the facility and has become a “poster cat” for the operation.


“Max Dyar came to us 16 years ago as an owner surrender, and we adopted him back out,” said Chris Browder, Administrative Assistant for the facility. “He came back to us last year when his owner could not care for him any longer. We tried to find him a home but because of his age, he was difficult to place. Our facility couldn’t adopt him, so he ‘adopted’ us. He now has his own social media following from coast to coast and has been featured on local television stations. He’s become a local celebrity.”


Known for his iconic expressions, Max was available for the check presentation from Indiana Grand, outfitted in his bow tie collar. He will benefit from some of the plans already underway through the donation from Indiana Grand.


“We will use this money for much needed dog beds and cat towers,” added Browder. “We will also use some of the funds for the exterior of our property. Spring always presents us with projects to fix. We want to beautify our facility and make it as inviting as possible, and we always welcome people in to adopt or to volunteer.”


The Shelbyville – Shelby County Animal Shelter is equipped with an outdoor walking trail behind the building, complete with a waterfall, to get the dogs out for exercise. They also have a play area for the canine residents, ideal for interaction with potential adoption families and volunteers. The facility is very community focused and works to “give back” as much as they can to the area.


“Twenty-five hundred dollars is a blessing to us,” added Browder. “We are very grateful for the continued support from Indiana Grand.”


Eberhart: New online tool connects Hoosiers to job and career opportunities

Hoosiers seeking a better-paying job can use the state's new Hoosier Talent Network website to match to 1 of more than 135,000 job openings, according to State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville).


Eberhart said the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's new online tool located at connects individuals searching for work directly to employers in their desired location. Companies that are hiring can also use the website to connect with candidates.


"Searching for a job can be difficult for some, and this site provides another helpful resource," Eberhart said. "By matching users with opportunities based on their skill sets, this is helping both job seekers and businesses that are searching for strong candidates."


According to Eberhart, the platform is powered by artificial intelligence and can understand a job seeker's skills and capabilities to match them to relevant jobs. To get started, Hoosiers create a profile by answering basic questions about themselves, which takes about 5 minutes. Job recommendations will appear based on qualifications and capabilities. Applications can be submitted through the website or through company career sites.


Eberhart encourages local Hoosiers to visit to connect to the Hoosier Talent Network, and other education and training resources.

You're encouraged to check for recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are encouraging motorists to check for vehicle recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 886 safety recalls affecting 55 million vehicles and other equipment in the U.S. Unfortunately, approximately 25% of vehicle recalls go unrepaired, which puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.

Checking for vehicle recalls is a quick and easy process:


Find the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN number, which is located on the lower portion of the car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on the vehicle’s registration or insurance card.


Enter the VIN number into the search bar at


Within seconds, drivers will know if the vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.  If one exists, motorists should contact a dealer for the vehicle manufacturer to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for the free recall repairs.


If you think your vehicle may have a safety-related defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Even one complaint is enough to trigger a safety recall.


For more information about vehicle or equipment recalls, visit

INDOT Unveils "Hoosier Hoops Highway" for NCAA Tournament

The Indiana Department of Transportation this week began unveiling its "Hoosier Hoops Highway" signs in advance of a busy basketball month in Indiana, with the Big Ten, Horizon League and NCAA tournaments being hosted in the Hoosier State.


Games will be played throughout Indiana in basketball arenas in Indianapolis, Evansville, West Lafayette and Bloomington. 


INDOT is placing temporary signs on highways leading to host cities to commemorate the historic month and help guide fans and teams.


March Madness

Signs will be visible along major routes serving tournaments, such as I-65, I-70, I-465 and I-69 during the month of March.

Follow INDOT on Facebook and Twitter for traffic and road construction updates as you travel to tournament games.