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Hancock County News Archives for 2020-12

Ruling against Greenfield Granite to seek restitution

The saga of a Greenfield business that was the scene of a death investigation and a lawsuit by Indiana's attorney general has come to a close this month. 


A civil case against Greenfield Granite has been decided, as Hancock County Court Commissioner Cody Coombs ruled for the state, awarding over $379 thousand to the state. 


In a four-page summary judgement, Coombs noted that representatives of Greenfield Granite never responded to the charges and ruled the business committed an unfair, abusive or deceptive act against its own customers, who paid for headstones that were never received. 


With the ruling, the office of the Indiana Attorney General can take whatever steps needed to recover property, which Coombs directed to be liquidated or distributed in hopes of using the proceeds to make restitution. 


Furthermore, Coombs awarded $5,000 per violation to be paid by the business. Also, any cremains located on the property are to be turned over to local authorities for identification and to be returned to the family. 


The business was the scene of a death investigation on Sept. 8, as former owner Amie Strohl took her life at the business.


At the time of her death, Strohl was under investigation by the Greenfield Police Department as several complaints were filed regarding payment for services that were never rendered. 


Shortly after Strohl's suicide, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging that they had engaged in deceptive practices for two years. 


Court records show that Strohl was to have appeared in Hancock County Superior Court 2 for a civil case on the day she took her life. 

Virtual learning at Mt. Vernon calls for day outdoors

It's a snow day for a school in Hancock County, meaning all kids are home for virtual learning, but instead of working on a computer all day they've asked their students to grab their snow shoes.


Mt. Vernon Community Schools Superintendent Jack Parker said students only have one new assignment.


Step one, students have to use the scientific process and plan an outfit that will keep them warm and dry while playing outside.


"Once this hypothesis has been secured, students will be expected to test their theory by going outdoors and playing in the snow," said Parker. 


Step two, students will be practicing their skills of estimations and measurements by throwing snowballs at each other, the catch they have to stay six feet apart. 


If they happen to get hit with a snowball, it's time to practice their social skills and use good words to express themselves. 


For the kids that aren't feeling well, Parker said their assignment is to rest and drink plenty of fluids. 


"Students will self-report their grades to their teachers tomorrow during our regular virtual-learning day," he said. "Teachers have the option to not record this as a graded assignment."

He said students can also earn extra credit by helping shovel sidewalks and driveways. 

Greenfield woman killed in crash with wrong-way driver on I-65

A Greenfield woman was killed Monday night in a crash on I-65 in Boone County, according to the Lebanon Police Department.


According to police, Nicole Watson, 22, of Greenfield, was traveling north on I-65 when she was struck head on by Bill Rainwater, 83, of Indianapolis. Rainwater was traveling south on the wrong side of the interstate. 


Officers had already begun pursuit of a vehicle heading the wrong way when the accident happened.


Watson was pronounced dead at the scene. All northbound lanes of I-65 were closed as a result of the crash. 

Greenfield patrolman honored for life-saving effort

A Greenfield police officer was honored for saving a woman from a burning car in September.


Patrolman Blake Crull received the city's Lifesaving Award and the Medal of Valor during a City Council Meeting.


While patrolling Sept. 9, Crull came upon a two-car crash. One car was upside-down and on fire. Crull approached the car and heard someone inside. He freed Heather Fischer from the car and made sure she got help.


Fischer and her family attended the event.


"This is about coming together as a community and recognizing what this incredible man did for me. I definitely wouldn't be here if he wouldn't have been where he was at the time and been brave enough to actually risk his life. A burning car...a lot of people don't just run right up and do that," Fischer told WISH-TV.


The Lifesaving Award is given to officers who quickly save a life in the line of duty with disregard for personal safety. The Medal of Valor is awarded to police officers for outstanding acts of heroism and bravery.

Crider: Communities in Senate District 28 receive more than $1.2 million in road-funding grants

Communities in Senate District 28 will receive more than $1.2 million to improve roads and bridges through the Community Crossings Matching Grant Program, said State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield).

The CCMG, established by the Indiana General Assembly<https://iga.in.gov/> in 2016, aims to advance community infrastructure projects, strengthen local transportation networks and improve Indiana’s roads and bridges. Since it was put into place, the program has awarded more than $830 million in state matching funds for local construction projects.

In Senate District 28, the following communities received grants:

·       McCordsville received $992,723.17;

·       New Palestine received $112,171.10; and

·       Shirley received $95,199.66.

“The Community Crossing Matching Grant program is a great resource for local municipal and county governments, helping them improve our communities," Crider said. “I look forward to seeing the positive impact these grants will have, and I commend the local leaders whose efforts made this funding possible.”

Through the program, the Indiana Department of Transportation<https://www.in.gov/indot/> matches up to $1 million annually when localities invest in road and bridge repairs. Counties with populations fewer than 50,000 and cities and towns with populations fewer than 10,000 receive a 75%/25% match, while counties with populations of greater than 50,000 and cities and towns with populations of greater than 10,000 receive a 50%/50% match.

Elanco to build global headquarters in Indianapolis

Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health has announced plans to move its global headquarters to downtown Indianapolis.


Elanco, the world’s second-largest animal health company, will establish its global headquarters at the site of the former GM Stamping Plant in downtown Indy. The 91-acre former industrial site has sat vacant since General Motors closed the plant in 2011.


Elanco says the new site in downtown Indy will allow it to “consolidate its global operations and more than 1,000 team members at one location,” according to Inside Indiana Business.


The investment in its Indianapolis HQ will allow Elanco to create nearly 600 jobs over the next decade while retaining more than 1,600 employees.


The company will keep its manufacturing centers in Clinton, Indy, and Terre Haute.


“It is a momentous day for the state of Indiana as we celebrate Elanco’s decision to establish its global headquarters in central Indiana, positioning itself for future growth and consolidation in the Hoosier state and creating hundreds of high-paying jobs for Hoosiers,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb. “Elanco is an important asset to Indiana – a leader in our growing agbioscience sector, which is poised to grow and continue innovating. We are thrilled with the direction of Elanco’s future and the transformational impact its growth will have on the agbioscience sector, the downtown Indianapolis footprint, and most importantly, the lives of Hoosier workers.”


Elanco plans to break ground on the new headquarters in the first half of 2021. Construction should be complete in the next two to three years.


The city of Indianapolis will help increase accessibility to the site through the construction of a new, two-way bridge across the White River at the current location of Henry Street. In addition, the city and state will partner in the development of a new pedestrian bridge connecting both banks of the White River.

Fountaintown man charged in incident with pregnant woman, animal

A Fountaintown man has been charged in Hancock County with battery / bodily injury of a pregnant woman and animal cruelty.


Matthew Seaman, 22, was arrested after deputies were called to a home November 24.  The woman involved said Seaman had kicked a dog that threw up and then pushed her and she said at one point something hit her in the stomach.


Seaman admitted to throwing a drink in the woman’s face and said he kicked the dog off the porch.

Seaman was granted a $2000 cash bond at his initial court appearance earlier this week.