Community News Archives for 2023-03

Bundle Up Program collects in April for September giveaway

The 6th annual Bundle Up Program will be running in April.

The First Church of God, 1815 S. Miller St. in Shelbyville, is collecting coats, hats, scarves and gloves or monetary donations through the month of April. The coats will be given away on Sept. 30.

They also work with the schools and other county agencies throughout the year to meet the need of the community.
If you would like a box to help collect coats call Christina at 317- 642-9024.

Money donations can be sent to the church at the address above.
Drop off locations include:

  • All Shelbyville Central Schools
  • The First Church of God
  • Loper Commons apartments
  • Blue Ridge Terrace Apartments
  • Taylor Communications
  • Beaty Construction
  • Freudenburg
  • Shelbyville Parks Department
  • Centra Credit Union
  • Evangelical Church of Christ

Blue River Community Foundation bringing serving back

In late 2019, Shelby County residents and organizations were offered an additional tool to help meet their volunteer desires and needs.

A new website,, was created by Lilly Intern Danni Schweitzer to provide community members the opportunity to find the perfect match for their service desires. The site also served as an avenue for local organizations to share with the community their volunteer needs.

BRCF’s hopes in creating the website was that we could provide a central location for both nonprofit organizations and volunteers to meet their needs and contribute to a combined effort of serving Shelby.    

Due to the social isolation of the pandemic, there were little to no volunteer opportunities to share on the website or social media platforms during most of 2020 and 2021. Chances to volunteer in Shelby County started to become more widely available in 2022 and it became apparent to BRCF that it was time to revive Serve Shelby. 

When Laura Land joined the Foundation in July of 2022 as the new Community Engagement Officer, one of her first assignments was to learn as much as possible about nonprofits in Shelby County and to decide how to best utilize Serve Shelby to support their efforts. Land has dedicated the majority of her time over the past several months to connecting closely with local charities through one-on-one conversations and by way of the Nonprofit Roundtable, growing the Serve Shelby site, and becoming more actively engaged on social media through this resource.

If you are connected to a local nonprofit and your organization does not have a profile on the Serve Shelby site, contact Land to add this information. Additionally, if you are a community member looking for volunteer opportunities, check the site often and/or follow Serve Shelby on Facebook or Instagram to be sure you are informed of any local volunteer needs.

In March, Serve Shelby published the first edition of the Serve Shelby e-newsletter. Visit to enjoy the first release and sign up to receive future versions.

Busy week for adults and kids at Shelby County Public Library

March 20-26 is jam-packed with fun activities for both adults and kids at the Shelby County Public Library for the county schools’ spring break.


A Master Gardeners’ spring workshop, an Irish roots genealogy class, and creative crafts for toddlers to teens are scheduled.


Special adult events this week include The Book Group @The Bookmark meeting at noon Tuesday at the café at 9 Public Square to discuss “The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit” by Michael Finkel; Finding Your Irish Roots workshop at 7 pm Wednesday in the library Annex; an essential oils and bracelet craft meeting at 2 and 6 pm Thursday in the Annex; and the Shelby County Master Gardeners’ Spring Into Gardening workshop from noon to 4 pm Saturday at the Velma Wortman Morristown Branch, 127 E. Main St., where they will sharpen tools, conduct planting and gardening mini-classes, and offer craft workshops for all ages, while library staff conduct the Seed Swap in the library’s vault.


Youth Services librarians have outdone themselves at Morristown and Shelbyville, with extra craft times for elementary-age students, more storytimes at both branches, teen crafts and a Dungeons & Dragons adventure, plus a brand-new Babies/Toddlers Play Time at 10 am on Friday. Youth activities are too numerous to list here. Simply check out the Spring Break Fun Page on the Shelby County Public Library’s website: to find detailed times, explanations, and locations.


Please call if you have any questions: for Shelbyville: 317-398-7121; for Morristown: 765-818-1718.

Lane closure on U.S. 52 over the Big Blue River

The Indiana Department of Transportation contractor E & B Paving LLC. announces a lane closure on U.S. 52 over the Big Blue River near Morristown. 


Beginning on or after Monday, April 3, crews will close the west bound lane on U.S. 52 for a bridge replacement project. There will be a temporary signal in place throughout the reconstruction of the bridge starting with the westbound lane. The signal will allow westbound traffic to cross the the bridge on the eastbound lanes.


Once crews finish the west bound lane they will switch to the eastbound lane to complete the reconstruction.


The bridge reconstruction project will be completed mid-November, weather depending. 


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Repaving and patch work on U.S. 52

 The Indiana Department of Transportation announces repaving and patch work on U.S. 52.

Beginning on or after Tuesday, crews will start patching U.S. 52 from I-465 to Morristown in the eastbound lane. This operation is a rolling lane closure in the eastbound lane only. There will be width restrictions at the patching location.

This work is expected to be complete at the beginning of April. 

BRCF pledges 1:1 match up to $1,000 for DPIL during National Reading Month

In celebration of National Reading Month, the Blue River Community Foundation is offering a 1:1 match on gifts of any amount up to $1,000 made to the Shelby County Imagination Library Fund during March, according to the foundation’s newsletter.

This fund supports the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program in Shelby County and provides children age 0-5 an opportunity to have books delivered to their homes each month.

The program is free for each registered child; DPIL covers the cost of the books and the fund held at BRCF covers the cost of shipping and handling.

Although a gift of $25 covers the cost for one child for one year, a gift of any amount is welcome and will be matched up to $1,000.


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Shelbyville mayoral candidates to host town halls

Two of Shelbyville's mayoral candidates have upcoming town halls.


Brad Ridgeway, Republican candidate for mayor, will host a meeting at VFW - Post 2695 on Tuesday, March 21, 6 - 8 p.m.


VFW - Post 2695 is at 1622 East SR 44.  It's behind Studio 10 Cinemas.


Republican candidate David Finkel has similar town hall events coming up on March 29 and April 13.


The event on March 29 is scheduled for at 6:30 p.m. at Intelliplex, at 2154 Intelliplex Dr.


On April 13, Finkel will host a town hall at Queens Catering, 223 S Harrison St, at 6:30 p.m. 


All members of the public are invited to attend the candidates town halls.


Ridgeway, Finkel and Scott Furgeson are Republican candidates for mayor on the primary ballot.


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Legal Aid free phone clinic happens Tuesday for Shelby and surrounding counties

Legal Aid will have a free Legal Aid Phone Clinic today for residents of its eight-county district.

The district includes Shelby, Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, Jennings, Johnson and Rush counties. 

The Legal Aid Clinic and Pro Bono Program utilizes local volunteer attorneys, offering free legal consultations to low-income individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford an attorney.

Individuals calling to the Legal Aid Phone Clinic can expect to receive a brief consultation to answer general and eviction questions, offer legal information, or to receive other limited pro se assistance or advice, over the phone.

Individuals seeking legal consultation must register by calling Legal Aid at 812-378-0358 today between noon and 2 p.m. A volunteer attorney will return calls to registered individuals between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Individuals must be available between 3-5:30 p.m. to answer a call from an attorney.



Daylight Saving Time: Turn your clocks forward and test your smoke alarms

Daylight saving time begins this Sunday, March 12, and the American Red Cross Indiana Region reminds everyone to turn your clocks forward one hour and test your smoke alarms.


Did you know working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half? That’s why it’s critical to “Turn and Test” and take these lifesaving steps to stay safe from home fires — the nation’s most frequent disaster:


  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. That’s because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Check the date of your smoke alarms and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Practice your two-minute escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late. Include at least two ways to get out from every room and select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows where to meet.
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.

If you are interested in a free smoke alarm installation, click here.


Visit for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download our free Emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in app stores.


The Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 disasters every year and most of them are home fires. To help prevent fire-related deaths and injuries, the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries. 


Recently, with support from thousands of community partners, the campaign met its goal of installing 2.5 million free smoke alarms and making 1 million households safer across the country. So far, the Home Fire Campaign is credited with saving more than 1,583 lives in the U.S. Because home fires remain a daily threat and the campaign has made a lifesaving difference, the Red Cross will be continuing the program with community partners as part of its standard services across the country



TC students advance in National History Day in Indiana State Contest

The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) proudly announces students have been selected to advance to the National History Day in Indiana (NHDI) State Contest after a successful South region contest Saturday.

The contest included students from Brown, Monroe, Perry, Shelby and Washington counties. Among the South Region finalists under the category of Senior Individual Exhibit is Aleah Heineman of Triton Central with "The Fox Sisters."

Also, under the category of Senior Paper is "Henrietta Lacks and the Broken Medical Frontiers: Where Should Medical Decisions and Ethics Coincide?" by Laureyn Wendte.
Approximately 70 students took part in Saturday’s contest, with finalists advancing to the 2023 NHDI State Contest on April 22 at Marian University in Indianapolis.
NHDI is a yearlong program dedicated to enhancing history education in Indiana's schools. Students in grades 4-12 explore a historical subject that fits under the annual theme.

This year’s theme is “Frontiers in History: People, Places, Ideas.” Students use their research to create a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance or website. To reach the 2023 NHDI State Contest to be held at Marian University on April 22, students must qualify at one of six regional contests.
NHDI is a project-based, inquiry-based program which encourages students to explore their own passions by conducting research, developing research questions, and then exhibit their individual learning styles through the creation of exhibits, documentaries, performances, papers and websites.

BRCF Community Grant cycle

The BRCF Community Grant cycle is open


Interest forms are due March 15. Applications are due: April 1.


Applicants can find the full list of grant policies and guidelines for BRCF community grants by visiting


During this grant cycle, BRCF welcomes proposals addressing a broad range of initiatives and opportunities to serve the community. We encourage and give preference to the following:


- New or innovative programs that serve a broad spectrum of community members

- Projects that strive to serve/engage underserved populations

- Collaborative projects across various disciplines

- Projects that are impactful and transformational

- Programs that show sustainability

- Grant funds will clearly help the group or organization pursue strategic plan objectives that advance their long term institutional vitality and/or program quality