Community News Archives for 2021-07

First Merchants Corporation announces second quarter 2021 earnings per share

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ - FRME) has reported second quarter 2021 net income of $55.6 million compared to $33 million during the same period in 2020. Earnings per share for the period totaled $1.03 per share compared to the second quarter of 2020 result of $.62 per share. Year-to-date net income totaled $105 million compared to $67.3 million during the six months ended June 30, 2020. Year-to-date earnings per share totaled $1.94 compared to $1.24 during the same period in 2020.

Total assets equaled $14.9 billion as of the quarter-ended June 30, 2021 and loans totaled $9.1 billion. The Corporation experienced organic loan growth of $289.6 million, or 3.4 percent during the last twelve months, offset by the forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans which accounted for a decline of $466.9 million. As a result, the loan portfolio decreased by $177.3 million, or 1.9 percent, during that period. Organic loan growth, on an annualized basis, was 6.7 percent in the second quarter 2021. Investments increased $1.4 billion, or 48.7 percent, during the last twelve months and now total $4.1 billion. Total deposits equaled $12.2 billion as of quarter-end and increased by $1.2 billion, or 11.3 percent, from the same period in 2020.
The Corporation’s Allowance for Credit Losses – Loans totaled $199.8 million as of quarter-end, or 2.19% of total loans. Net charge-offs for the quarter totaled $1.3 million and no provision expense was recorded. Provision expense taken during the three and six months ended June 30, 2020 of $21.9 million and $41.6 million, respectively, reflected our view of increased credit risk related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-accrual loans as of quarter-end totaled $57.6 million.

Mark Hardwick, Chief Executive Officer, stated, “Our management team is pleased with our record setting second quarter net income. It’s very satisfying to achieve great financial results while serving our clients and communities. Our healthy levels of loan growth, earning asset growth, credit quality, capital levels and efficiency will lead us into the future. I am proud of our teammates for staying focused on our goals and continuously finding ways to win for our stakeholders.”

Net-interest income for the quarter totaled $104.3 million, an increase of $11.2 million from the second quarter of 2020, or 12.1 percent. Net interest margin, on a tax equivalent basis, totaling 3.22 percent, increased by 3 basis points compared to the second quarter of 2020. Yields on earning assets for the second quarter totaled 3.49 percent and cost of supporting liabilities totaled 27 basis points. Fair value accretion contributed less to margin as it accounted for 7 basis points in the second quarter of 2021, compared to 12 basis points in the second quarter of 2020. PPP loans contributed 15 basis points to margin during the second quarter of 2021, but subtracted 6 basis points from margin in the same quarter of 2020.

Non-interest income totaled $30.9 million for the quarter, a $4.4 million increase over the second quarter of 2020. Gains from the sale of mortgage loans were exceptionally strong and enhanced by a large portfolio mortgage loan sale contributing a gain of $2.9 million during the quarter. Fiduciary and wealth management fees increased $1.9 million over the second quarter of 2020, which was offset by a decline in card payment fees due to the adoption of the Durbin Amendment. Non-interest expense totaled $69.3 million for the quarter compared to $60 million in the second quarter of 2020 and $66.1 million in the first quarter of 2021. Total expenses in the second quarter of 2020 were unusually low and reflected a $2.3 million deferral of salary expense related to PPP loan originations, a $1.1 million reduction in bonus accruals and a $1.6 million decrease in processing fees related to termination of a debit card rewards program. Total expenses increased on a linked quarter basis primarily due to increased salaries and incentives.

The loan to deposit ratio now totals 74.9 percent and loan to asset ratio totals 61.3 percent. As of June 30, 2021, the Corporation’s total risk-based capital ratio equaled 14.23 percent, the common equity tier 1 capital ratio equaled 11.94 percent, and the tangible common equity ratio totaled 9.04 percent. These ratios continue to reflect the Corporation’s strong liquidity and capital positions.

IRS Criminal Investigation warns taxpayers about Child Tax Credit scams

The Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division is warning taxpayers about Child Tax Credit-related scams, which criminals may use to steal money and personal information.


While millions of American families started receiving the advance Child Tax Credit payments last week, criminals were already looking for innovative tactics to take advantage of unwitting victims.

Taxpayers should be on the lookout for a variety of phone, e-mail, text message and social media scams targeting families eligible for the credit. Any communication offering assistance to sign up for the Child Tax Credit or to speed up the monthly payments is likely a scam.

When receiving unsolicited calls or messages, taxpayers should not provide personal information, click on links, or open attachments as this may lead to money loss, tax-related fraud, and identity theft.  


“As the country continues to  grapple with the financial fall-out of the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers and criminals continue to evolve their efforts to steal the assistance the government provides, from those that need it the most,” said Acting Special Agent In Charge, Donald “Trey” Eakins, IRS Criminal Investigation, Chicago Field Office. “Be aware of those that try to steal the tax credit that you are entitled to, and if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is,”


Although scammers constantly come up with new schemes to try and catch taxpayers off-guard, there are simple ways to identify if it is truly the IRS reaching out.

  • The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers via e-mail, text messages, or social media channels to request personal or financial information, even information related to the Child Tax Credit.
  • The IRS does not leave pre-recorded, urgent, or threatening messages. Aggressive calls warning taxpayers about a lawsuit or arrest are fake.
  • The IRS will not call taxpayers asking them to provide or verify financial information so they can obtain the monthly Child Tax Credit payments.
  • The IRS will not ask for payment via a gift card, wire transfer or cryptocurrency.


If you are eligible for advance payments of the Child Tax Credit, the IRS will use information from your 2020 or 2019 tax return to automatically enroll you for advance payments. Taxpayers do not have to take any additional action. Taxpayers who are not required to file a tax return or who have not provided the IRS their information, may visit to provide basic information for the Child Tax Credit.


To report suspicious IRS-related phishing and online scams, visit

Spotted lanternfly found in Indiana

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was found in Indiana for the first time in Switzerland County earlier this week, the farthest west the insect has been found. This federally regulated invasive species has a detrimental impact upon plant growth and fruit production, especially in vineyards and orchards.

A homeowner in Vevay contacted DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology (DEPP) with a picture that was taken outside his home of a fourth instar, or developmental stage, larvae. DEPP staff surveyed the site and discovered an infestation in the woodlot adjacent to a few homes in the area. The site is within 2 miles of the Ohio River and the Markland Dam. DEPP and USDA are conducting an investigation to determine exactly how large the infestation is and where it could have come from, as well as how to limit the spread and eradicate the population.

Spotted lanternfly is a planthopper that originated in Asia. It was first discovered in the United States in Pennsylvania in 2014. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture tried to limit the spread of this pest, but it excels at being a hitchhiker and is often spread unknowingly by humans.

Adult spotted lanternfly has two sets of wings, and the underwing has a very distinct red color with spots on the outer wings. The fourth instar of the insect is bright red with black and white markings. The egg masses of this invasive insect look like mud and they can be spread by vehicle transport including recreational vehicles, cargo carriers (truck transport) and freight trains.



They can also be spread through trade materials sold in infested areas that are shipped out of state including nursery stock, outdoor furniture, lumber, etc. Anyone receiving goods from the east coast should inspect for signs of the insect, especially if the commodity is to be kept outdoors.

Spotted lanternfly prefers to feed on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima), but it has been found on more than 103 species of plant including walnut, oak, maple, and various fruit trees. This insect is often found on grapevines in vineyards. Adult insects have piercing, sucking mouthparts and weaken the plants through feeding on them, which can make it difficult for the plant to survive the winter months. Congregating spotted lanternfly insects produce a sticky substance called “honeydew” in large quantities that over time becomes infested with sooty mold that attracts other pests in the area.

The Indiana DNR is asking for all citizens to keep an eye out for spotted lanternfly. The bright color of both the last instars and the adults of the insect should be present at this time of the year. Anyone that spots signs of the spotted lanternfly should contact DEPP by calling 866-NO EXOTIC (866-663-9684) or send an email to For more information on this or other invasive pests see the following link

Blue River Community Foundation's Summer Scholarship application cycle

Shelby County high school students on track to graduate by June 30, 2022 can now apply for scholarships during Blue River Community Foundation’s (BRCF) summer scholarship cycle.

Students applying during this cycle will be considered for both the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship and BRCF administered scholarship opportunities.

Applicants must meet the minimum eligibility requirements (listed below) for Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship consideration; however, all students are encouraged to apply for over 150 scholarships awarded annually through BRCF’s Scholarship Program. The deadline to apply is September 1, 2021.


Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program

Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) is proud to partner with Lilly Endowment Inc. to select one Shelby County high school senior as a nominee for the 2022 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program. Independent Colleges of Indiana on behalf of Lilly Endowment Inc. will make final scholarship selections and notify BRCF of their decision by December 6, 2021. BRCF will notify the recipient of the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship no later than December 17, 2021.

The Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship Program is designed to raise the level of educational attainment in Indiana and further leverage the ability of Indiana’s community foundations to improve the quality of life of the state’s residents.

The scholarship provides full tuition, required fees, and a special allocation of up to $900 per year for required books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study on a full-time basis, leading to a baccalaureate degree at any Indiana public or private college or university accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Minimum requirements that must be met for consideration include:

• Reside in Shelby County

• Graduate by the end of June with a diploma from a regionally accredited Indiana High School

• Intend to pursue a full-time baccalaureate course of study at an accredited public or private college or university in Indiana

• Demonstrate the following:

? Participation in community activities

? Leadership skills in school, community, and/or extracurricular activities

? Commitment to academics and ability to succeed at the next level

• Must have a minimum 3.5 GPA and a minimum 1100 total score on SAT or ACT equivalent

Lilly Endowment created LECSP in 1998 and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling more than $424 million. Nearly 5,000 Indiana students have received Lilly Endowment Community Scholarships since the program’s inception; including 40 Shelby County recipients.


BRCF Scholarship Program

Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) administers over 95 scholarship funds established by caring and generous donor who are passionate about supporting students as they pursue their post-secondary educational goals. During the most recent cohort, BRCF administered funds awarded 185 scholarships to 134 students for a combined total over $439,000. Applicants who complete the summer cycle application in full are considered for all scholarships administered by BRCF for which they are eligible.

For a complete list of these scholarship funds, please visit the Foundation's website, or the BRCF’s Scholarship Resource Guide.

For more information about the summer scholarship application cycle, contact Julie Alvis, Communications and Scholarships Director, at 317.392.7955 ext. 102 or



DOR's Columbus office opening at new location on Monday

The Indiana Department of Revenue’s (DOR) Columbus district office, currently located at 3520 Two Mile House Rd., will close at noon on Friday, July 23.

Beginning Monday, July 26, customers can receive in-person service in a new, temporary location:

1248 Washington St.
Columbus, IN 47201

A permanent location is under construction and is expected to open in October.

All DOR district offices are open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.  

Although all walk-in centers are open for in-person assistance, DOR recommends customers make an appointment for service through

USDA to provide pandemic assistance to livestock producers for animal losses

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack announced the Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program (PLIP) in [recorded] remarks at the National Pork Industry Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI.  The announcement is part of USDA’s Pandemic Assistance for Producers initiative. Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.


The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. PLIP payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys, but pork producers are expected to be the primary recipients of the assistance.

“Throughout the pandemic, we learned very quickly the importance and vulnerability of the supply chain to our food supply,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “Many livestock producers had to make the unfortunate decision to depopulate their livestock inventory when there simply was no other option. This targeted assistance will help livestock and poultry producers that were among the hardest hit by the pandemic alleviate some financial burden from these losses.”


Additional Assistance Planned

The previous administration proposed pandemic assistance using flat rates across the industry, which does not take into account the different levels of harm felt by different producers. Pork industry supported analysis projected that disruptions in processing capacity in the pork supply chain create a situation with small hog producers and especially those that sell on the spot market or negotiate prices, bear a disproportionate share of losses. USDA has examined the difference between the negotiated prices for hogs and the 5-year average and documented a significant drop during April through September of 2020 due to the pandemic. USDA has set aside up to $50 million in pandemic assistance funds to provide additional assistance for small hog producers that use the spot market or negotiate prices. Details on the additional targeted assistance are expected to be available this summer.


PLIP Program Details

Eligible livestock must have been depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Livestock must have been physically located in the U.S. or a territory of the U.S. at the time of depopulation.

Eligible livestock owners include persons or legal entities who, as of the day the eligible livestock was depopulated, had legal ownership of the livestock. Packers, live poultry dealers and contract growers are not eligible for PLIP.

PLIP payments compensate participants for 80% of both the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal based on a single payment rate per head.  PLIP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible livestock or poultry by the payment rate per head, and then subtracting the amount of any payments the eligible livestock or poultry owner has received for disposal of the livestock or poultry under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or a state program. The payments will also be reduced by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1 and 2) payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.


There is no per person or legal entity payment limitation on PLIP payments. To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018.


Applying for Assistance

Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for PLIP starting July 20, 2021, by completing the FSA-620, Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program application, and submitting it to any FSA county office. Additional documentation may be required. Visit for a copy of the Notice of Funding Availability and more information on how to apply.


Applications can be submitted to the FSA office at any USDA Service Center nationwide by mail, fax, hand delivery or via electronic means. To find your local FSA office, visit Livestock and poultry producers can also call 877-508-8364 to speak directly with a USDA employee ready to offer assistance.

New fair food announced for the 2021 Indiana State Fair

Indulging in sweet and savory treats is an absolute must when visiting the Great Indiana State Fair and routinely ranks as the #1 reason people attend the fair. Just announced: a variety of new and wacky culinary creations added to this year’s State Fair offerings!


As always, the 2021 Indiana State Fair will offer traditional fair foods such as corn dogs and elephant ears, but these NEW 23 food items featured in the “Taste of the Fair” contest are a MUST TRY.


New food items featured at this year’s Indiana State Fair include: 


Beef Parfait (offered by Indiana Beef Cattle Association)

This new item will be exclusively offered at the northside Indiana Beef Cattle Association tent throughout the Fair. This savory Beef Parfait features flavor-packed layers of chopped smoked beef brisket, mashed potatoes, and smokey BBQ sauce.


BBQ Suga (Sh-uga) Momma (offered by Gobble Gobble Food Truck)

Many have tried the Mac Daddy, but now it’s the Suga Momma’s time to shine! The NEW BBQ Suga Momma features a generous serving of Gobble Gobble’s well-known pulled BBQ turkey sandwiched between two fresh donuts. This sweet and savory mix will have your taste buds working overtime in the best way possible. 


Buttermilk Wafflewich (offered by American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.) 

This year’s Indiana State Fair Dairy Bar signature grilled cheese is the Buttermilk Wafflewich. This unique twist on a classic grilled cheese sandwich features two buttermilk waffles grilled to perfection with ooey gooey cheddar and American cheese inside. A side of sweet red pepper relish is offered as the perfect topper to this cheesy treat. 


Deep Fried Cheesecake (offered by AP Concessions Deep Fried Sweet Concession)

Just when you thought cheesecake couldn’t get any better! This sugary treat features a blend of crispy and creamy fried cheesecake bites topped with powdered sugar and a succulent strawberry drizzle. It’s a slice of heaven in every bite!


Honey BBQ Wings (offered by Da Portable Rican)

These mouth-watering wings deliver a sweet taste with a touch of savory, spicy delight. Choose a small or large bucket!


Bavarian Cream Puff (offered by The German Corner)

The Bavarian Cream Puff is an authentic German dessert featuring a light, delicate pastry shell filled with a sweet vanilla cream and topped with powdered sugar or chocolate sauce, a dollop of whipped cream, and a cherry on top. Don’t miss out on this delicious delicacy!


Iced Coffee Float (offered by Hook’s Drug Store Museum)

Have your daily dose of caffeine with a scoop of ice cream for good measure. The Iced Coffee Float is a delicious concoction of ice-cold coffee and freshly scooped ice cream, topped off with whipped cream and a cherry. *Not available in decaf.


Bison Steak Fajitas (offered by Red Frazier Bison)

A hot-and-ready dish you can’t resist! Bison Steak Fajitas feature marinated bison steak with grilled onions and peppers, served on warm flour tortillas with corn and black bean salsa, lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream.   


Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner (offered by Urick Concession)

The Winner-Winner Chicken Dinner makes eating on-the-go easy by conveniently combining three dishes – creamy mac and cheese, coleslaw, and popcorn chicken topped with chives – in a crunchy and delicious waffle cone bowl.  


Cherry Chocolate Funk Hand Dipped Ice Cream (offered by American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.) 

This new hand-dipped ice cream flavor features a creamy blend of cherry and chocolate ice cream mixed with Bordeaux dark cherries, delicious chocolate fudge, and extra chocolate chunks. It doesn’t get more decadent than this!  


Philly Cheesesteak Fries (offered by Miss Piggy’s) 

These Philly Cheesesteak Fries take cheese fries to the next level! Hot, crispy French fries are topped with Miss Piggy’s signature Mr. Beefy’s seasoned Philly cheesesteak, onions, peppers, and mild cheddar cheese.  


Media Noche (offered by Da Portable Rican) 

Originating from Cuba, the Media Noche is a sandwich that has served many Puerto Rican families in the United States. Meaning “middle of the night,” the Media Noche gained popularity around the Latin night club scene. This classic Cuban sandwich includes garlicy bread, roasted pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and sweet pickles.


Frozen Mocha Coffee (offered by American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.) 

Looking for a pick-me-up? New to this year’s Indiana State Fair Dairy Bar is a Frozen Mocha Coffee. With a consistency similar to a milkshake, this drink is both decadent and refreshing and pairs perfectly with any delicious Dairy Bar menu item.  


Outlaw Burger (offered by Indiana Ribeye) 

It’s the Indiana State Fair’s “Most Wanted” burger! The Outlaw Burger is a thick and juicy quarter pounder with pepper jack cheese, peanut butter, and jalapeño jelly served on a toasty bun.  


Fruit Twister Paradise Pop (offered by Goodwin’s Pork-N-More) 

This popsicle is an icy twist on Goodwin’s Pork-N-More’s classic Fruit Twister Shakeup. This delicious frozen treat on a stick features fresh squeezed lemon, oranges, limes, pineapple tidbits, and real slice strawberries. This refreshing treat will taste like paradise!


Fruity Pebbles Funnel Cake (offered by Monroe Concessions) 

The Fruity Pebbles Funnel Cake combines two delicious foods – Fruity Pebbles cereal and a classic funnel cake – for a unique concoction. This dish features a fresh, golden funnel cake topped with powdered sugar, Monroe Concessions’ special icing, and a generous sprinkle of fruity pebbles.  


Cinni Minnis (offered by R&W Concessions) 

These adorable Cinni Minnis feature the gooey and delightful center of a cinnamon roll dipped in funnel cake mix, deep fried and served with powdered sugar and a sweet cream cheese topping. Each piece is a sugary bite of heaven!  


Chocolate Salted Carmel Milkshake (offered by American Dairy Association Indiana Inc.) 

Back by popular demand, it’s the Chocolate Salted Carmel Milkshake! Available at the Dairy Bar, this sought-after shake includes fan-favorite chocolate and salted caramel flavors for the perfect combination of salty and sweet.  


Miss Piggy’s Mac Daddy (offered by Gresham Foods) 

The Mac Daddy features a hefty helping of creamy, cheesy, melt-in-your-mouth macaroni and cheese topped with Miss Piggy’s signature sweet and savory tender pulled pork drizzled with Gresham Foods’ family recipe Sweet D’s BBQ sauce.  


Loaded Brat (offered by Black Leaf Vegan)  

This Loaded VEGAN Brat will make your taste buds tingle with excitement and dance with delight! The Loaded Brat is also 100% soy free and gluten free.


Bacon Mac & Cheese (offered by Indiana Pork)  

Believe it or not, this dish manages to make macaroni and cheese even more delicious. True to its name, Bacon Mac & Cheese features classic creamy macaroni and cheese and fresh, crispy bacon, mixed together for cheesy-bacon goodness.  


Mangonada Frozen Beverage (offered by Baskin Robbins)                                          The Mangonada combines sweet, tart, and savory authentic Latino flavors into a unique drinking experience. Mangonada swirls the bright, tropical flavor of mango puree with a salty kick of chamoy. A sprinkle of Tajín® Clásico Seasoning – a signature Mexican combination of mild chili peppers, lime, and sea salt – tops off the drink with a mild spicy kick, leaving taste buds with an unforgettably unique experience.


Sun King Funnel Cake Pastry Ale (offered by Sun King Brewery)                        

 Sun King Brewery's Indiana State Fair 2021 beer is inspired by a State Fair classic – funnel cake. Funnel Cake is a pastry ale that is a dark copper brown in color resembling its namesake. Three hundred powdered sugar funnel cakes were put in the kettle during the brewing process along with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. 6% ABV | 12 IBU


Fairgoers are encouraged to vote for their favorite featured food items by visiting any of the Information Booths presented by Prairie Farms throughout the 18-day fair or by using the QR codes displayed at each participating “Taste of the Fair” concession stand. The winning food stand will receive a $2,500 cash prize, followed by second place receiving $1,000, and third place receiving $500. 


In addition to these new “Taste of the Fair” food items, nearly 140 food stands will be offered at this year’s fair. A map including featured food items will be available at as you plan your trip to this year’s State Fair and at Information Booths located throughout the Fairgrounds. A map highlighting the locations of all of the fair’s food booths will be available on the Indiana State Fair mobile app.

Shelbyville FOP Lodge receives $25,000 donation from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

The Shelbyville Police Department relies heavily on the local FOP Lodge. In recent years, the structure had become nearly unusable and the need to revitalize the property came to the forefront. Thanks to a major donation by the Landwerlen family, the project got off the ground and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is proud to assist with a $25,000 donation toward the project, which is now complete.


“The week of COVID-19 in 2020 was the kickoff to our campaign, so our fundraising efforts were halted,” explained Bob Landwerlen. “Our family wanted to do something to memorialize my mother (Linda Landwerlen) and sister (Kathy Marcum). The building was in danger of being shut down. The Landwerlen family started this by donating $100,000 to kick off the project.”


Thanks to several smaller donations, renovations are now completed. The building experienced a complete overhaul, including a new kitchen, restrooms, two dressing rooms and a second story that accommodates three conference rooms and offices. Most of the work, from flooring to roofing to doors, was all performed by local companies with more than $20,000 in donated materials assisting with the project.


Both Linda and Kathy passed away in 2014. Linda, known for her cooking skills, is honored with the dedication of the kitchen in her memory. Kathy, a business owner and community leader, is honored with the patio and surroundings named in her honor. The entire facility is now known as the FOP Lodge 84 Landwerlen Hall.


“As restrictions are beginning to lift and open up, we are starting to plan our kickoff for the fundraising campaign of the FOP Lodge project,” added Sandi Landwerlen. “We still have a ways to go on fundraising to cover the cost of the renovation, but the project was so needed and time sensitive, we wanted to move forward with the plans.”


Having a usable FOP Lodge is important to the Police Department in more ways than one. Numerous events are held at the facility each year, and with the completion of the project, many training sessions have come back to the facility.


“The new FOP Lodge allows officers to have a place to come and unwind, and now we have a place to host all of our meetings,” said Chuck Curry, FOP President and City Canine Handler who has been with the force for 21 years. “We now have a dedicated training space, and this year will be the first year we will host all in-service training.”


The Shelbyville FOP Lodge was established in the 1920’s as a range. The building and FOP Charter were added in 1938. Since that time, the Lodge has played host to numerous events, and is open to the public as rental space for parties and other group gatherings.


“The mortgage on the building wasn’t something we planned, but I feel highly confident we will be able to meet our campaign goals, thanks to the support from organizations such as Indiana Grand,” added Curry. “Many of the events we hold each year are fundraisers so we can offer events like Kids Fishing Day and provide local scholarships. The capital project will be separate from those efforts.”


In addition to the monetary donation, Indiana Grand recently provided 40 cases of water for the Kids Fishing Day held at the facility. The event provides the opportunity for kids to interact with the officers while enjoying a day at the lake fishing at the facility.



“The FOP Lodge is a great asset for all of us to have,” added Fred McConnaughey, Treasurer of the FOP and patrolman for the Shelbyville Police Department. “We are now able to offer instructor schooling and it brings officers from other departments in, which is a great network for us. Within our department, it also gives us the chance to talk with the older officers and learn from them.”


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino made the $25,000 donation to Curry, McConnaughey, and Sandi Landwerlen earlier this spring. The donation will go towards the capital project for the revitalization of the facility.


“We are very appreciative of the support from Indiana Grand and value our partnership with them,” added Sandi. “We will continue to raise funding through our events and will continue to accept donations toward this worthwhile project, which my family is so proud of. Being able to honor Linda (Landwerlen) and Kathy (Marcum) in this way means a lot to our family, and they would be proud to be remembered in this way.”

INDOT to host public meeting on SR 244 project in Rush and Shelby counties

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host a public meeting next week to inform people about a new project coming on State Road 244 in Shelby and Rush counties.


The meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14. The meeting will be held at the Saint Vincent Catholic Church, 4218 E Michigan Road, Shelbyville.


The formal presentation will begin at 5:30 p.m. Afterward, project team members will be available to answer any questions about the project. 


The SR 244 project is a rehabilitation project from the intersection of Michigan Road and SR 244 in Shelby County to approximately Deer Creek in Rush County.


The project will include new pavement at various locations and the construction of new shoulders, side ditches and drainage replacement.

Experience Indiana's largest Ferris wheel & ways to save BIG at the 2021 Indiana State Fair

Where can you experience the largest Ferris wheel in the state and enjoy free concerts from some of your favorite musicians all in one day? The answer is your Indiana State Fair! The Fair is scheduled for July 30-August 22 and is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.


NEW to this year’s fair: the Hoosier Cruiser Super Wheel allows fairgoers to soar to new heights on the largest Ferris Wheel in the state of Indiana! Standing a whopping 150-feet tall, this giant wheel will be located on the north stretch of the State Fairgrounds and will operate daily throughout the fair. Riders can enjoy one of the wheel’s 36 climate-controlled gondolas that comfortably seats 4 to 6 guests for a breathtaking, birds-eye view of the Fairgrounds and beyond! Tickets are $10 per rider, or $15 for an upgraded, VIP experience.


For 164 years, the Indiana State Fair has served as the state’s premier hub for affordable family fun. In addition to this list of 100 completely FREE things to do at the Indiana State Fair, there are also daily deals and discounts available to help make this the best entertainment value in the Midwest! Start planning a trip to the 2021 Indiana State Fair and save up to 35% off full gate admission prices by purchasing advance discount tickets here:


Here are some of the best ways to save at this year’s State Fair:

  • $3 THURSDAYS, presented by the Indiana Secretary of State

NEW to the 2021 State Fair: One of the best deals at the State Fair moves to Thursdays: $3 Thursdays. Presented by the Indiana Secretary of State, $3 Thursdays features $3 deals all across the Fairgrounds, including $3 gate admission, $3 midway rides, and $3 food options at the food stands. Plus we’ve added a THIRD discount day to this year’s Fair – offering more ways to save! $3 Thursdays will take place every Thursday during the 2021 Indiana State Fair: August 5, 12, and 19.



AAA cardholders will receive FREE admission to the Indiana State Fair with a valid AAA membership card presented at the gate on Wednesday, August 18. Presented by AAA Hoosier Motor Club, AAA Day is another chance to attend the 2021 Indiana State Fair for FREE. One valid card per person.



BMV Discount Day is slated for Wednesday, August 4 this year. To get $6 gate admission on BMV Discount Day, visit for your voucher. Both printed and digital vouchers will be accepted at the gate on August 4. Don’t miss this opportunity to save 54% on admission!


  • INDIANA 811 DAY / IndyStar Free Ticket

Pick up a copy of the IndyStar on Monday, August 9th for a printed ticket that will grant you FREE admission to the Indiana State Fair on Wednesday, August 11 to celebrate Indiana 811 Day at the Fair. One ticket valid per person. 


  • MILITARY & FIRST RESPONDERS’ DAY presented by Easterseals Crossroads and Redux

Presented by Easterseals Crossroads and Redux, Military & First Responders’ Day at the Indiana State Fair on Friday, August 20 we honor and thank first responders and military personnel. On this day, first responders, current and former military, and their families receive FREE admission to the Indiana State Fair with a valid ID presented at the gate.



One of the best ways to save money at the Indiana State Fair is to take advantage of advance discount tickets. Tickets purchased online before 11:59 PM on July 29 are only $10 plus, while general admission tickets purchased at the gate during the Fair are $13. Save big on parking as well by purchasing the $8 pass online through July 29. Parking at the State Fair is $10 on-site. For additional great family value packs, and ways to save up to 35% off, visit And don’t forget that children 5 and under get in FREE!




The Midwest’s largest Midway returns and your best way to save is the advance discount midway wristband.  Presented by Indiana 811, the Indiana State Fair Midway has games and rides for fairgoers of all ages. Click here to save (what is the percentage?) by grabbing your wristband for only $25 (available through Sunday, August 1 at 11:59pm). Fan favorite rides all return in 2021, including NEW rides for additional charge. Wristbands are valid on select days - July 30 and August 4, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, and 22.


For more ways to save and enjoy your Indiana State Fair, a complete list of more than 100 FREE Things to do while visiting the 2021 Indiana State Fair available here:



The Indiana State Fair is the state’s largest multi-day event celebrating Hoosiers’ spirit and agricultural heritage. These 18 days celebrate Indiana agriculture and promote it to hundreds of thousands of people across Indiana, and beyond. Nationally recognized for offering great entertainment, showcasing youth, interactive agriculture education programs, premier facilities and a variety of unique, fun foods, the Indiana State Fair has been an annual attraction for generations of Hoosiers since 1852. The theme of the 2021 Indiana State Fair, “Celebrating the Hoosier Spirit,” is dedicated to celebrating all things Indiana and the resiliency of the Hoosier Spirit. For more information, visit