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National FFA organization receives grant to help strengthen Indiana chapters

The National FFA Organization has received $3 million from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help strengthen Indiana FFA chapters.

The National FFA will partner with Indiana FFA to strengthen the organization in six primary areas: teacher professional development, recruitment and retention; curriculum development; capital support; staffing; and marketing. These initiatives will create an array of support programs to assist agriculture teachers in creating meaningful student interaction and expanding engagement with students from underrepresented and marginalized populations—a key focus of the National FFA Organization’s current strategic plan.

“This transformational investment will enable us, in partnership with Indiana FFA, to expand the impact of local FFA chapters and agricultural education programs on youth across Indiana,” said Scott Stump, CEO of the National FFA Organization. “We want everyone to feel welcome and a part of FFA and agricultural education. This funding helps us to support our teachers while offering resources to ensure Indiana FFA has the capacity and infrastructure to expand access for students from low-income households, communities of color, immigrant populations, students who lack adult supervision, or any other student who could benefit from FFA experiences.”

“The support of Lilly Endowment means many more students can enjoy what our leadership camp and programs are about in Indiana,” said Tamara Ketchen, director of the Indiana FFA. “We hope students develop the leadership skills and confidence to pursue a career in agriculture and food and stay in Indiana.”

The grant is one of nine grants totaling $91.5 million that Lilly Endowment has made to national youth-serving organizations to help them enhance and expand the impact of their Indiana affiliates and chapters. The grants reflect the Endowment’s longstanding commitment to the healthy development of youth in Indiana and to the youth workers and organizations that serve them.

“At Lilly Endowment we believe that this support will help National FFA and the other organizations funded serve more effectively in Indiana and reach even more youth,” said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “We also are pleased by the interest many of these organizations have in replicating strategies that succeed in Indiana with their affiliates and chapters around the country.”

Truck on order for Shelby County stolen during delivery

A truck ordered by the Shelby County Commissioners for the highway department was stolen while being delivered.


Shelby County Commissioner Chris Ross.



Ross says even if the dealer is able to quickly find a new truck chassis to ship it may not be in time to have the other pieces installed.



The truck was ordered nearly a year ago.  A recent call for bids for a tri-axle truck  resulted in no bids and companies explaining that it may be 2024 or '25 before they could get Shelby County a tri-axle.


The county's effort at buying a tractor and mower has been more of the normal variety.








Expansion, remodel underway for Shelbyville's Builders Lumber and Hardware

A new look expansion / remodel is underway for a Shelbyville business.


Builders Lumber and Hardware has begun the expansion at its 1309 Miller Avenue location.   


Brian Baker says plans were being made before the Covid pandemic.



Physical work at the store began Monday.




The changes without will also bring about changes within.


Baker jokes about the interior changes that mean moving products and displays.  He hopes customers will be patient when that time comes.



The hope is that the project will be complete by spring or early summer of 2023.






Shelbyville senior named to Semifinalists pool for 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program

Shelbyville High School senior Isabella Bradburn has been selected as a semifinalist in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Bradburn (photo) is one of over 16,000 Semifinalists in the 68th Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. These seniors have the opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,250 National Merit Scholarships worth nearly $28 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, Semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the Finalist level of the competition. About 95% of the Semifinalists are expected to attain Finalist standing, and approximately half of the Finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar title.

National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC), a not-for-profit organization that operates without government assistance, was established in 1955 specifically to conduct the annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Scholarships are underwritten by NMSC with its own funds and by approximately 340 business organizations and higher education institutions that share NMSC’s goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence.

High school juniors entered the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants. The nationwide pool of Semifinalists, representing less than 1% of U.S. high school seniors, included the highest-scoring entrants in each state. The number of Semifinalists in a state is proportional to the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and a high school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received. A Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT and ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

From over 16,000 Semifinalists, more than 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Three types of National Merit Scholarships will be offered in the spring of 2023. Every Finalist will compete for one of the 2,500 National Merit $2,500 Scholarships that will be awarded on a state-representational basis. About 950 corporate-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards will be provided by approximately 180 corporations and business organizations for Finalists who meet their specified criteria, such as children of the grantor’s employees or residents of communities where sponsor plants or offices are located. In addition, about 160 colleges and universities are expected to finance some 3,800 college-sponsored Merit Scholarship awards for Finalists who will attend the sponsor institution.

National Merit Scholarship winners of 2023 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July. These scholarship recipients will join nearly 368,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Commended Students

Shelbyville High School also announced that seniors Cooper Lay and William Haessig have been named Commended Students in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.



Shelbyville principal Amy Dawson presented a Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation to Lay (photo above) and Haessig (photo below).



About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation were recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2023 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2023 competition by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“These being names Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NMSC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of educational excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Legacy of Joe Risley firmly secured in many Shelbyville residences

A drive on Shelbyville’s near east side last week evoked memories of Risley’s Kitchen Specialists and owner Joe Risley.

Joe operated his cabinet business at 212 E. Broadway St. (photo) and consistently demonstrated an earnest commitment to his customers over the course of the company’s four decades. He designed kitchens throughout central Indiana and his customers included many celebrated individuals and entities. He endeared himself to the local community with a congenial demeanor and benevolent spirit that made him a popular and valued figure throughout Shelby County.

Risley died on Jan. 22 at the age of 93. A recent memorial service for the former Shelbyville resident revealed a life filled with business success, significant experiences and satisfying relationships.

Joe Risley was born in 1929 in the Broad Ripple area of Indianapolis. His early memories included attending opening night at the Vogue Movie Theatre on College Avenue in 1938. The Vogue currently serves as one of Indiana’s most historic and popular music venues. He also remembered his father teaching him to swim in White River.

The Risley family moved to the Brookfield community in northwestern Shelby County in 1939. His father worked for Capitol Dairies.

Joe played basketball and softball at Moral High School. He was particularly proud of striking out Shelbyville basketball great Emerson Johnson when Moral played the Shelbyville High School baseball team.

Following graduation in 1947, Joe began working for C.C. Hicks Furniture in downtown Indianapolis, functioning in a variety of capacities.

“I was basically a gopher the first year,” Joe wrote. “I moved into being a shipping clerk and later working in the showroom.”

That introduced him to the world of furniture and eventually led to his interest in the cabinet business.

He met Marge Cook at the 1948 Marion County Fair and was immediately smitten. Marge was a 1947 Shelbyville High School graduate. They began dating and married in 1950.

Joe was drafted in 1951 and wound up stationed in France. He started in the signal corps then became a company clerk. He was a competent typist and, consequently, was able to land a position as assistant editor and writer for the weekly newsletter. The publications editor was Ed Asner, who would go on to become a prolific actor and played the iconic Lou Grant on the historic television series “Mary Tyler Moore Show.” 


Asner and Risley (photo) forged a genuine friendship that would last the rest of their lives. The two former soldiers reunited after one of Asner’s performances at Butler University’s Clowes Hall in 2009.

“That was a very satisfying reunion,” said Joe’s son Mark. “Ed left tickets for our family at the box office and we met him afterward. We all truly enjoyed the evening.”

Asner died in August of last year.

Joe returned to C.C. Hicks following his 1953 discharge from the service. He and Marge settled on Shelbyville’s west side, eventually moving into 440 W. Washington St. in 1966. The Risleys maintained that residence until 2001.

The couple welcomed children Mark, born in 1956, and Leigh, born in 1958 to the family. Both would go on to graduate from Shelbyville High School with Mark becoming a well-known WSVL Radio personality and salesman from 1971 through 1984.  

Joe indulged his enthusiasm for sports and played basketball for a number of men’s teams in leagues throughout the area.

“The C.C. Hicks Company sponsored us,” wrote Joe. “I also played for the Moral Township Athletic Association team and several teams in the Shelbyville leagues.”

He was proud to have played at the Dearborn Hotel Gym on E. Michigan St. in Indianapolis.

“Some great players played there,” he continued. “I remember playing against Gordon King from Tech High School, who was a 1947 Indiana All-Star.”

The Dearborn gym was a small cinder-block structure with a 75-foot-long court (nine feet shorter than today’s regulation high school court). The state’s best players competed in the rudimentary facility from the early 1950s until the early 1970s. Oscar Robertson, former Pacer Jerry Harkness and former Indiana All-Star Willie Gardner are all Dearborn alumni.

“I became a much better player after high school,” Joe once said. “I appreciated the opportunities to play as an adult. Those were fun times.”

The Hicks Company began to have Marsh cabinet displays in their showroom. Joe asked if he could sell the cabinetry in Shelbyville for a commission. Risley’s MAJOR Cabinet Sales was born. The MAJOR was an acronym for Marge, Joe and Risley.

Joe’s first sale was in 1954 to a family on Conrey Street.

“Two wall cabinets for over her washer and dryer,” wrote Joe.

In 1961, Joe set up the company at 212 E. Broadway, a location that would become emblematic of quality cabinet installation and kitchen remodeling to a generation of Shelbyville residents.

General Electric built a massive plant in Shelbyville in the mid-50s and the city was expanding residential areas due to the influx of people. That presented a prime opportunity for Joe to develop his business. Risley’s Kitchen Specialists flourished from that point forward.

In the early 1970s, Joe established a cabinet-sales enterprise in Carmel, which was beginning to grow, and that provided Joe the opportunity to tap into a new market. While working as president of Carmel Kitchens, Joe sold to Indiana Pacers coach Bob Leonard and his wife, Nancy. He later designed a kitchen for long-time Pacers’ trainer David Craig.

The Risley’s Kitchen brand became increasingly popular in the greater Indianapolis area.

”He was able to capitalize on the Indianapolis market,” said Mark.  “I remember one year he had four out of the nine kitchens at the Home-A-Rama at Geist.”

Joe sold two kitchens to Dorothy Mengering, David Letterman’s mother (she remarried after Dave’s father died). She and her husband saw the Risley’s product at the Indy Home Show and had cabinets installed at their home in the Glendale area of Indianapolis and later at their Carmel home.



“David Letterman would have his mother (photo) live on TV standing and talking in her kitchen,” wrote Joe. “My Kitchen. She was always so kind and treated me so nicely.”

He participated in a number of Shelbyville community projects. He was a member of a group that initiated the post prom program, which provided entertainment and supervision for high school students after the prom. Post proms are common today but were just beginning to be held in the sixties.

Joe was chairman of a committee for the local Exchange Club that brought the Harlem Globetrotters to Shelbyville three times in six years in the late sixties and early seventies.

“We never got the first team of Globetrotters but the ones who came were excellent,” wrote Joe.

The games were held at Shelbyville High School at what is now William L. Garrett Gymnasium. It is true that well-known team superstars such as Meadowlark Lemon and Marcus Haynes never played at Shelbyville. However, Herbert “Geese” Ausbie and Robert “Showboat” Hall represented the Globetrotters here and gave the large crowd a remarkable show. Ausbie would go on to be one of the most recognizable Globetrotters in franchise history.

Joe was enamored with golf and it became one of his life’s pleasures. He took special joy in competing in golf tournaments and playing regular dates with friends.

“Mark and I won a couple Father/Son Golf Tournaments at the Elks Club,“ wrote Joe.

He also scored two hole-in-ones during his career and was named the Club’s outstanding golfer one year.

He derived tremendous enjoyment from playing golf with friends such as Carroll Theobald, Jerry McCracken, Gene Lusk and Jack Eiler.

Eiler was once quoted as saying that, “there was no one more fun on a golf course than Joe Risley.”

Joe enjoyed regular weekly rounds of golf with cohorts Del Coryea and Jerry Martin. Shelbyville businessman Keith Limpus recalls playing with the group in the 1980s: “They were all 30 or more years older than I was,” said Limpus. “I really enjoyed being around them. They were amazing golfers who routinely shot in the 70s. I learned a lot from them. I played every week with them for a couple of years. They were exceptional people.”

“Dad was very proud that he was able to shoot his age when he was in his seventies,” stated Mark.

Joe sold Risley’s Kitchen in 2001 and he and Marge moved to Fishers. Marge survived two bouts with breast cancer. She was thankful to have been a 40-year cancer survivor.

She died in 2016 at the age of 86.

Mark and Leigh currently live in Fishers. They served as caregivers for their parents during their final years.

A new building stands at the former site of Risley’s Kitchen Specialists. Joe Risley has not lived or done business in Shelbyville for more than 20 years. Still, when many of us long-time Shelbyville residents travel on E. Broadway, we see, if only for a moment in our mind’s eye, the Risley’s sign.

That is understandable.

Joe Risley left his mark on Shelbyville.

Shelbyville housing and commercial development "The Mill" receives federal funding

A $34 million mixed income development that would have both commercial and residential components and use the former Shelbyville Coca-Cola plant as its site has been awarded federal money.


Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Board of Directors for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) announced five developments have received awards from the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, in conjunction with Multifamily Tax Exempt Bonds. This funding is used to incentivize private developers to fund the acquisition, rehabilitation and construction of affordable housing communities throughout Indiana.


“Affordable housing is critical to Indiana’s success, and this investment is a huge piece of our state’s infrastructure growth,” Crouch said. “We strive every day to continue making Indiana a place for people to live, work and play.”


IHCDA receives applications for Housing Tax Credits and Multifamily Bonds under the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP). The QAP, which is unique to each authoring state, details selection criteria and application requirements for the LIHTC program, Multifamily Bonds, HOME funds, Development Fund and the National Housing Trust Fund in conjunction with tax credits. It also contains all deadlines, application fees, restrictions, standards, and requirements.


Among the properties receiving bonds and tax credits is The Mill in Shelbyville.  It will receive $22M in tax exempt bonds and $1,689,717 in tax credits to create 168 affordable housing units.


The project envisions approximately 15,000 square feet of the Coca-Cola building will be commercial, perhaps a restaurant or brewery along N. Harrison St. leading into downtown, with office space and lounge areas in the back half of the building.


With another 13,000 square feet behind the Coca-Cola building and the Porter Center, The Mill will have between 160-172 units featuring studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments with easy access to the Blue River Trail and within walking distance of the Public Square.


“This investment for affordable housing is a huge piece in fulfilling IHCDA's mission," said Jacob Sipe, Executive Director of IHCDA. "Creating and preserving affordable housing will help to close the housing gap and build Indiana's infrastructure for years to come. Affordable housing is critical to ensuring long-term affordability that allows residents to thrive in neighborhoods and to maintain consistency in their neighbors, schools, jobs and healthcare.”

Member of the Indiana State Police that calls Shelby Co. home promoted to Major

The Superintendent of the Indiana State Police, Douglas G. Carter, has announced the promotion of Captain Sid Newton to the rank of Major. 


Major Newton will serve as the Laboratory Division Commander, and oversee the Indiana State Police forensic laboratory system, crime scene investigations program and evidence management system.


Newton, a native of Indianapolis, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University. On December 24, 1995, he graduated from the 53rd Indiana State Police Recruit Academy and was appointed as a Trooper assigned to the Indiana State Police Post in Lowell.  He later transferred to the Lafayette Post, and in 1998, he was appointed as Detective in the Drug Enforcement Section.


In 2007, Newton was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and served as a Polygraph Examiner. In 2011, he was promoted to the rank of First Sergeant and served as the Polygraph Unit Supervisor.


In 2014, Newton was appointed to the rank of Captain, and served as the Deputy Commander of the Laboratory Division until this recent promotion. During his career, Newton served the Indiana State Police on the Tactical Intervention Platoon and the Clandestine Laboratory Team.


Major Newton resides in Shelby County with his wife and two sons.

Shelby County Clerk releases absentee voting schedule

Absentee voting will begin in the lobby of the Shelby County Courthouse on Wednesday, October 12.


Voting hours will be Monday through Friday starting October 12, to November 4, during the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The courthouse will also be open for voting on Saturdays, October 29, and November 5, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, and Monday, November 7, from 8:00 am to noon. 


Voters may also vote at the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Saturday, October 29, from 8:00 am to 3:00pm, and at Moral Township Fire Station on Saturday, November 5, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Anyone wishing to vote at the courthouse please use the west entrance off the parking lot. Absentee voting will be conducted on the first floor of the courthouse.


October 27, is the deadline by 11:59 pm for the Circuit Court Clerk to receive an absentee ballot application from an applicant requesting delivery of an absentee ballot by mail. Applications may be submitted to the Circuit Court Clerk in person, by fax, by mail or by e-mail. 


Any questions regarding the General Election to be held November 8, the public can call the Voter Registration Office at 317-392-6324.

Crime victims assistance grants awarded to several area agencies

Several area agencies were awarded federal grants to assist crime victims.


The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded $67 million in federal grants to more than 190 public and non-profit entities through the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) program.


The funding will be used to provide direct services and assistance to crime victims throughout the state.


Among area grantees:

Shelby County Prosecutor's Office, 16th Judicial Court, $101, 914

The Court and Child Advocacy Group in Shelby County, $44, 230

Hancock Co. Child Advocacy Center, Zoey's Place, $210, 782

Hancock Co. Prosecutor's Office, $104, 074

Rush County Victims Assistance, $65, 061

New Directions of Decatur County, $255, 002


VOCA funding is provided by the Office for Victims of Crime under the U.S. Department of Justice and comes from the fines and restitution paid by convicted federal offenders.


The Victims of Crime Act was established by Congress in 1984 to support state and local programs that assist victims of all kinds of crime including assault, robbery, homicide, driving while intoxicated, fraud, elder abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking and many others. Overall, VOCA funds are designed to help survivors stabilize their lives after a victimization, participate in the justice system and restore a measure of security and safety to their daily lives, along with addressing the physical and emotional trauma of crime.


Over the next two years, these grants will fund a variety of initiatives in Indiana including mental health counseling, transitional housing, crisis intervention, legal aid, and child and youth services. The funding will also be used to support victim advocates, sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and other victim-focused positions.


This cycle, priority was given to projects that focus on serving marginalized and underserved communities, as well as promote equity and racial justice.


“When it comes to addressing the needs of crime victims, one size does not fit all,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Director. “That’s why funding sources like VOCA are important because they allow organizations, embedded in the community, to create and tailor services to the individual.”


The projects for the 2022-2024 grant cycle were approved by the ICJI Board of Trustees and will be made available to organizations starting in October.

Shelbyville's McKeand Stadium to get field turf, track replaced

It’s long been debated, when, will Shelbyville High School get field turf to replace the natural grass at McKeand Stadium. 


It appears the time is now.


At Wednesday’s meeting of the Shelbyville Central School Board Superintendent Matt Vance noted that it is time for a replacement of the track at the stadium.  It makes now an ideal time to address the football turf, as well.



School board president Curt Johnson.



Johnson says from having available funding on hand to wanting to get ahead of any supply chain issues that might arise, the time is now.



The goal would be to have the turf and track ready for the next school season, by August 1.


Morristown senior receives academic honor

Morristown High School senior Simon Klinger has been named a Commended Student in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program.

Morristown principal Jeremy Powers announced the honor Wednesday in a media release.

Klinger received a Letter of Commendation from the school and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NSMC), which conducts the program.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized for their exceptional academic promise. Although they will not continue in the 2023 competition for National Merit Scholarship awards, Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 students who entered the 2023 competition by taking the 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.

“Those being named Commended Students have demonstrated outstanding potential for academic success,” commented a spokesperson for NSMC. “These students represent a valuable national resource; recognizing their accomplishments, as well as the key role their schools play in their academic development, is vital to the advancement of education excellence in our nation. We hope that this recognition will help broaden their educational opportunities and encourage them as they continue their pursuit of academic success.”

Beech Grove man sentenced for arson in 2021 Amtrak fire

A Beech Grove man will serve federal prison time for a major fire at the Beech Grove Amtrak facility and an apartment complex in Johnson County.


Casey Sage, 35, of Beech Grove,  was sentenced was sentenced to eight years in federal prison after pleading guilty to arson of a federal property and arson of property of an organization receiving federal financial assistance.


According to court documents, on May 1, 2021, Sage entered the Amtrak facility located at 202 Garstang Street in Beech Grove. Amtrak, a federally owned corporation, uses that facility for repair and servicing of locomotives and passenger rail cars. A little after midnight, Sage ignited a railroad flare and threw it into a building used to store acetone, paint, denatured alcohol, varnish, spray paint, degreaser, engine starting fluid, and paint remover. This quickly started a fire, which spread to another building close by that was also used to store flammable material. Both buildings were destroyed because of the fire. In total, Sage caused more than $1.1 million in damages to the Amtrak facility.


Investigators also discovered that, a few weeks before the Amtrak fire, Sage entered his ex-girlfriend’s apartment in Greenwood, at an apartment complex receiving Section 8 funding through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Sage intentionally started a fire in the master bedroom of the apartment. The fire eventually spread to most of the apartment before it was successfully extinguished. This arson caused more than $100,000 in damages to the apartment building and approximately $10,000 in property loss to the apartment tenant.


“The arsons committed by the defendant were an outrageous course of conduct that endangered apartment complex residents and emergency personnel,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “I appreciate the hard work of investigators and prosecutors who came together across agencies to identify and vigorously prosecute the defendant, and the first responders who risk themselves to keep the public safe. The serious sentence imposed today demonstrates that those who commit arsons with utter disregard for the lives and safety of the public will be held accountable.”


“Today’s sentencing brings a successful end to a fast-paced, complex, and highly collaborative investigation that brought several agencies together with a common goal of safeguarding the community by taking a dangerous criminal off the streets,” said Basil Demczak, Special Agent in Charge of the Amtrak Office of Inspector General Central Field Office. “We not only appreciate the dedication of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and all of the agencies involved, but we are grateful for the support of members of the Beech Grove community in helping our team solve this crime.”


“After the Beech Grove Fire Department successfully extinguished the arson fire, our department worked with local, state and federal authorities to develop evidence to lead to this guilty plea,” said Amtrak Police Chief Sam Dotson. “Our Heavy Maintenance Facility employs almost 500 Amtrak employees and is a critical element to our national network, so protecting it and assisting in prosecution of those who would damage it is an important part of the department’s mission.”


The cases were investigated by the Amtrak Office of the Inspector General, Amtrak Police, Beech Grove Police Department, Greenwood Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigation, and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.


The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. As part of the sentence, Judge Hanlon ordered that Sage be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for five years following his release from federal prison.

Law enforcement warns of scam threatening arrests for unpaid citations

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is receiving complaints about individual (s) calling and telling citizens that they have an unpaid traffic citation that needs paid. If the citation isn’t paid a warrant will be issued.


Other callers used court terms such as “subpoena”, telling the victim that they had ignored a subpoena that involved an investigation. The victim didn’t stay on the telephone with the scammer or suspect, they terminated the call.


There is no “Law Enforcement” agency or Court in Johnson County that will call and ask for payment of any kind over the telephone.  The Johnson County Sheriff;s office says they tell people if you do not recognize the number do not answer it. Also, never provide your social security number or any financial information, banking or credit card numbers.


These scammers do their research  and will attempt to use names of law enforcement officers who may actually work in Johnson County. Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess said he can ensure that he does not call citizens nor do his deputies call and request payments of any kind.


Notes from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office


  • Be on alert for communications with dangerous attachments or fraudulent links.
  • Treat any emails or texts with subject lines or information about coronavirus with caution.
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments.
  • Always verify the email addresses of those who send you emails.
  • Use trusted, legitimate government websites to obtain up-to-date information.
  • Don’t reveal personal or financial information via email or text message.
  • Verify the authenticity of a charity before donating money.


Supply chain issues hamper Shelby Co. Commissioners who receive no bids in effort to buy truck

You may have experienced the very same thing – a major delay in buying a vehicle.


Shelby County Commissioners are dealing with the issue again.  This time, no bids even submitted for a tri-axle truck the county wants to buy due, in part, to supply chain issues.


Commissioner Kevin Nigh.



Fortunately, Nigh says the difficulty doesn’t extend to the county’s effort to trade-in and purchase a new side-arm mower.  Although, Nigh did say that the bids came in from multiple companies and multiple platforms that allowed for trades, different mowers and other points.  So, those bids were taken under advisement at this time.

Candidates forum featuring state representative candidates at Shelbyville Middle School on Sept 27

A Candidates Forum featuring candidates from state representative district races will be held next week in Shelbyville.


The event will be at the Shelbyville Middle School on Tuesday, September 27.


Sponsored by the Business and Professional Women and Shelby County Chamber of Commerce, candidates from the House of Representative races in Districts 73, 54 and 47 will be featured.  Other local and state candidates will be on-hand for a meet-and-greet leading up to the forum.


For anyone who would like to submit a question for consideration, submit your question before Tuesday's event at  - . 










Indiana Department of Workforce Development reports data breach

Applicants information has been compromised in a cybersecurity incident reported by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

Someone gained access to some of the information held by the DWD.  Information impacted includes login email addresses and security questions. Currently, the agency doesn't believe social security numbers were accessed.

More than 4000 accounts were impacted.  The DWD says most of those were not currently receiving benefits.  Those impacted are being notified by mail.

Anyone impacted by the data breach can request a credit freeze from the three credit agencies.

Walorski's vehicle found to be at fault in August crash

The final report on the August 3 two-car crash that killed U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski has been released.


And it has determined Walorski's car was at fault.


According to the release from the Elkhar County Sheriff's Office Walorski's car was left of center and traveling at an excessive speed at the time of the crash.  Staff member Zachery Potts was driving the Toyota RAV-4 with staff member Emma Thompson and Walorski as passengers.


Walorski's vehicle accelerated to pass a flat-bed truck while traveling northbound on State Road 19.  It collided with a southbound car drive by Edith Schmucker of Nappanee.  All four people were killed.


Crash reconstructionists investigated the scene.  With their report and information obtained from the airbag control module, it was determined the RAV-4 was traveling 82 miles-per-hour just before the crash.


The report does indicate that there was no cell phone activity reported from the people in the Walorski vehicle leading up to the crash.


All four deaths have been officially ruled accidental.

An investigation determines a fatal shooting involving a Greenfield Police officer was justified

An investigation by Indiana State Police and the Hancock County Prosecutor into a Greenfield Police officer involved shooting has come to a conclusion.


A Hancock County law enforcement officer was justified in his use of deadly force in a July 31 shooting that left a man dead, said Hancock County Prosecutor, Brent Eaton. Darrin Baker was shot twice and died a short time later, despite measures to save his life.


There will be no criminal charges brought against the officer.


Prosecutor Eaton said the matter was thoroughly investigated by the Indiana State Police. The prosecutor’s office reviewed the report, other relevant records and media concerning the event.


“There is no need to continue this investigation,” said Prosecutor Eaton. “It is unfortunate that a life was lost. The evidence clearly indicates that Mr. Baker was in the process of taking a life when he was stopped by a police officer.”


On the morning of July 31, officers were called to the Keystone Subdivision. They determined shots had been fired and the victim had been forcibly removed from their vehicle and forced inside their residence.


Officers entered the residence, clearly announcing their presence. The victim responded clearly and repeatedly, “He has a gun!”


Officers found Baker straddling his victim, who was lying on the ground. Baker’s arms were positioned so that the firearm was near the face, head and upper torso of the victim.


Despite being told loudly and clearly several times to drop the gun, Baker refused to do so. Officer Davis fired two shots from his department-issued carbine rifle with both shots hitting Baker, who collapsed upon the ground.


Baker was in possession of a gun and was unresponsive. First aid was immediately rendered and an ambulance was called. However, Baker was pronounced dead a short time later.


The investigation revealed that the gun Baker had was fired three times at the residence. The first shot shattered the driver’s side window glass in their vehicle and the other two shots were fired inside the home. One was into the ground near the victim’s head and the other into the wall behind where the struggle occurred.


“All the evidence points to the fact that Baker intended to kill his victim and was in fact attempting to do so when officers intervened.”


The Hancock County Prosecutor says Baker disregarded the officers commands and continued his attack. The shooting by Officer Davis falls under IC 35-41-3-2(c)(1) and is legally justified.



IDEM issues Air Quality Action Day for Saturday for Central Indiana Region - including Shelby Co.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) has issued an Air Quality Action Day (AQAD) and is forecasting high ozone levels for Saturday, Sept. 17 in the following regions:


  • Central Indiana – Marion, Bartholomew, Boone, Brown, Delaware, Hamilton, Hendricks, Howard, Madison, Shelby 

Note: The counties referenced in the region(s) above are equipped with ozone air quality monitors. However, all counties within an AQAD region should heed the forecast. Air quality information for all Indiana counties can be found at

IDEM encourages everyone to help reduce ozone by making changes to daily habits. You can:

  • Drive less: carpool, use public transportation, walk, bike, or work from home when possible
  • Combine errands into one trip
  • Avoid refueling your vehicle or using gasoline-powered lawn equipment until after 7 p.m.
  • Keep your engine tuned, and don’t let your engine idle (e.g., at a bank or restaurant drive-thru)
  • Conserve energy by turning off lights and setting the thermostat to 75 degrees or above 

Air Quality Action Days are in effect from midnight to 11:59 p.m. on the specified date. Anyone sensitive to changes in air quality may be affected when ozone levels are high. Children, the elderly, and anyone with heart or lung conditions should reduce or avoid exertion and heavy work outdoors.

Ground-level ozone is formed when sunlight and hot weather combine with vehicle exhaust, factory emissions, and gasoline vapors. Ozone in the upper atmosphere blocks ultraviolet radiation, but ozone near the ground is a lung irritant that can cause coughing and breathing difficulties for sensitive populations. 

IDEM examines weather patterns and current ozone readings to make daily air quality forecasts. Air Quality Action Days generally occur when weather conditions such as light winds, hot and dry air, stagnant conditions, and lower atmospheric inversions trap pollutants close to the ground.

To learn more about ozone or to sign up for air quality alerts, visit

Two Arkansas people injured in two-car crash at Shelbyville's 44 and Progress Parkway early Friday


About 1:30 am Friday, Shelbyville Police responded to a crash on State Rd 44 at the intersection of Progress Parkway. They found a heavily damaged, inverted Ford Escape. There was a man in the driver's seat still buckled in. Shelbyville Fire Department arrived and extracted Reginald Jones, 43, of Greene, Arkansas, from the vehicle. He was immediately transported to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.


Police report that there was a female who was sitting on the curb next to the Ford Escape. She stated that she was the passenger in the vehicle. Police report Amanda Walker, 42, of Marmaduke, Arkansas, had several cuts to her elbows and knees. She was also transported to Methodist Hospital.


While on scene, I also observed a silver Acura RDX (V2). The Acura had heavy front end damage, mostly on the driver's side front. The driver, Nathanial Young, 23, of Shelbyville, told officers that he was uninjured. Young also stated that he was turning at the intersection facing east and that he had a
green turn arrow and assumed that Ford Escape was slowing down to stop at the light. Young stated that the Escape continued through the intersection.


Young further informed officers that when the collision occurred, the Ford Escape went up on his hood and flipped upside down.

While working the crash, officers report they located several opened alcohol containers in the Ford Escape. Shelbyville Police say Reginald jones was offered a Preliminary Breath Test and provided a sample of .154 BrAC. Ofc. Police say Jones also submitted to a blood draw at Methodist Hospital.


Brewfest returns to Shelbyville's downtown on Saturday

Shelbyville Brewfest returns following two years of Covid and pandemic protocols. 


The Saturday, September 17, event is hosted by Mainstreet Shelbyville and Knauf Fiberglass.


Mainstreet Executive Director Brandy Coomes.



With brew in the title, Coomes details who’s bringing their finest to the downtown.



She notes there is something for every age.  Also, for those looking to enjoy beer, you can go ahead and get registered online.



Brewfest is open 5:30 - 10 pm Saturday.







DWD takes steps to protect unemployment insurance claimants' personal information

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development has become aware of a cybersecurity incident involving unauthorized access to some unemployment applicants' login email addresses and security questions in the agency's Uplink system. DWD immediately took steps to secure the system. 

Investigators within the agency continue to research the incident, which impacted 4,264 accounts. At this time, no social security numbers were determined to have been accessed. Account holders are being notified by mail.

At least 94% of the affected accounts were dormant, meaning those account holders were not actively receiving benefits. Active account holders who are unable to log into their Uplink account should contact DWD at 1-800-891-6499 if they need to gain access.

DWD is working to further review processes and controls and continues to take all reasonable measures to ensure the security and privacy of Hoosiers' personal information.

Affected individuals who want to take further steps to secure their information have the right to request a credit freeze from each of the three credit agencies, which is a consumer right provided by Indiana law. To place a freeze, either use each credit agency’s online process or send a letter by certified mail to each of the three credit agencies. Further information about a credit freeze can be found at:


Lt. Gov. Crouch, Indiana Broadband Office designate Shelby County as a Broadband Ready Community

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and the Indiana Broadband Office announced that Shelby County is now designated as an official Broadband Ready Community.


The Broadband Ready Communities Program was created as a tool to encourage broadband development throughout Indiana.


The Broadband Ready Community certification sends a signal to the telecommunication industry that a community has taken steps to reduce barriers to broadband infrastructure investment. 


“Congratulations to Shelby County for prioritizing broadband development and becoming a certified Indiana Broadband Ready Community,” Crouch said. “As communities across the state enhance their broadband readiness and internet, our administration remains focused on helping them get reliable connectivity to underserved and unserved Hoosiers.”


The certification was approved by the Indiana Broadband Office following the Shelby County Commissioners adoption of a Broadband Ready Community ordinance.


“Our Task Force has been working with Southeastern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (SIRPC) on gathering information on the needs of Shelby County and its residents. We are looking forward to working with partners on developing a strategic plan to provide the most economical broadband expansion to our residents of Shelby County,” said Shelby County Commissioner Kevin Nigh. “With the changing times, our residents deserve the same opportunity as others to watch community meetings via the internet and find out what is taking place in the county so they can be more engaged. This will help our schools, students trying to do homework, and those from all corners of the county who have issues with fulfilling typical day-to-day activities due to lack of adequate internet service.”


According to Earnie Holtrey, Project Manager at the Indiana Broadband Office, Shelby County is the 71st Broadband Ready Community in the state to achieve this certification.


“Shelby County has taken the steps needed to enhance the quality of life for their citizens through broadband development. This is an exciting day for their residents and businesses, and we join in their excitement and celebrations,” said Holtrey. 

Greenfield PD says Rush Co. man died of medical emergency in Pet Smart parking lot

Greenfield Police report that a man found dead in his truck died of a medical emergency.

Greenfield Police detectives say that the man was found in a white 2006 Chevrolet Silverado pickup in the Pet Smart parking lot at 12:45 p.m. Tuesday. The truck was in the parking lot near the front of the business. It appeared the deceased, identified as John Lime, 81, of Rush County, had been there for a few days.

A person walking by the truck noticed the man and called 911. A dog was also dead in the truck. No information was given as to the cause of the dog’s death.

Anyone in the Pet Smart parking lot over the weekend or may have information is asked to contact Detective Nathan Garner at 317-477-4410 or email at

Diamond Pet Foods construction underway on $259M state-of-the-art production center in Rushville

Governor Eric J. Holcomb joined Rushville Mayor Mike Pavey and executives from Diamond Pet Foods to announce the company’s plans to build a 700,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution center in Indiana to support its Midwest client base.

To support the new $259 million state-of-the-art operation, the company plans to create up to 170 new jobs by the end of 2024.
“We couldn’t be prouder to welcome one of the world’s largest privately held pet food manufacturers to Indiana’s thriving economic ecosystem,” said Gov. Holcomb. “The Crossroads of America is where agriculture and innovation perfectly intersect, and precisely where our number one ranked infrastructure program, high quality of place and access to talent all contribute to support Diamond’s impressive goals and growth. I’m confident, together, we’ll find success in Indiana for generations to come.”
Founded in 1970, Diamond Pet Foods is a family-owned business headquartered in Meta, Mo., that produces cat and dog food from U.S.-sourced ingredients. The new facility, located at 2606 North State Road 3 in Rushville, will be the company’s first in Indiana and will house production and distribution operations, increasing the company’s output to Midwest clients.

Construction is underway, and the facility is expected to be operational in 2024.
“We are excited to choose Rushville for its proximity to suppliers as well as the community’s skilled workforce,” said Mike Kampeter, President of Diamond Pet Foods. “This new state-of-the-art facility will allow us to continue offering quality pet food at prices pet parents can feel good about. We look forward to adding Rushville and Indiana to the Diamond family.”
 The company employs more than 1,000 associates in its Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, South Carolina and two California locations. Information about open positions will be made available online.
Diamond Pet Foods is growing its Midwest presence due to increasing demand for pet food as well as an increase in U.S. pet ownership over the last several years.
 “Rushville is truly fortunate to have Diamond Pet Foods growing their company here,” said Pavey. “The leadership of Diamond Pet Foods understands rural communities. They will have a positive impact to Rush County for generations.”

Based on the company’s job creation plans, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) committed an investment in Schell & Kampeter Inc. (dba Diamond Pet Foods) of up to $1.5 million in the form of incentive-based tax credits and up to $300,000 in the local community from the Industrial Development Grant Fund to support infrastructure improvements.

These tax credits are performance-based, meaning the company is eligible to claim incentives once Hoosiers are hired and investments are made. The city of Rushville offered additional incentives.

About Diamond Pet Foods
Founded in 1970, Diamond Pet Foods is a family-owned and privately held company. As a leading manufacturer of pet food, Diamond Pet Foods provides a complete range of proprietary and private label products manufactured in six state-of-the-art and safety-certified facilities across the United States. Our mission is to make quality pet food affordable because we believe every pet deserves the very best.