Local News

State government complex to close to the public Tuesday, Wednesday

In consultation with security officials and the leadership of the General Assembly, Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced out of an abundance of caution the state government complex will be closed to the public Tuesday and Wednesday in light of recent national events, threats to other state capitols and COVID-19 restrictions.


There have been no credible threats against the Statehouse.


Per the typical schedule, the Statehouse will be closed for the weekend and Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.


Additionally, the Governor will virtually deliver his 2021 State of the State address on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. Details, including broadcast information and access to pool coverage, will be shared at a later date.


The Governor’s weekly COVID-19 briefing will be held Thursday, Jan. 21 at 2:30 p.m.


“The safety and security of our state employees and the Hoosiers who use our state services are always top of mind,” Gov. Holcomb said. “After an evaluation with public safety leaders, we have decided to err on the side of caution and close the state government complex to the public. Hoosiers will still be able to access essential state services online, on the phone, or in-person at branches around the state.”


Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray and House Speaker Todd Huston have canceled legislative activity for the week of Jan. 18. Bray and Huston said no committee or session meetings will be held next week, and staff will work remotely until instructed to return to the building.


“This decision was made out of caution and in the best interest of everyone involved in the legislative process,” Huston said. “Public gatherings are a critical component of our democracy, and I pray that any demonstrations are peaceful and respectful of the incredible privilege we all have as Americans to make our voices heard.”


“We have a lot of work to do this session on behalf of Hoosiers, but the safety of every person in the Statehouse is always our number one priority," Bray said. "We trust Superintendent Doug Carter and his team, and at his urging, made the decision to cancel our activities out of an abundance of caution.:

Former Greenfield police chief John Jester to lead Community Health's police department.

There's a new police department in town.


Community Health Network has established it's very own police department. The department will be staffed by 60 officers, with former Greenfield Chief of Police John Jester serving as the new police chief of Community Health's police department.


"We're going to have citizens that are proud of it, we're going to have visitors that are proud of it, we're going to have patients that are proud of it, but most importantly for me, I want this to be a program that our caregivers are proud of," Jester said in a video posted to Community Health Network's Facebook page.


Jester continued, "[A program] that they have confidence in, they know we're here to protect them, they know that we're here to provide them with a safe environment, they have enough trust to come to us when there is an issue, and trust that we will handle that issue appropriately."


The department will patrol all of Community Health Network's near 200 sites.


Community Health Network is the latest Hoosier hospital system to establish it's own police department. In 2013, Indiana joined dozens of other states in passing a law allowing hospitals to create their own police force.

ISP Trooper Sgt. Mitchell "Mitch" A. Blocher passed away after battle with brain cancer

An Indiana State Police Sergeant who called Hancock County home has passed away following a battle with brain cancer.


The Indiana State Police is saddened to announce the passing of 25 year Indiana State Police Veteran Sergeant Mitchel "Mitch" Blocher. 


During his career with the Indiana State Police, Sgt. Blocher was a member of the SCUBA team, a SWAT sniper, an investigator and most recently a supervisor for the Electronic Surveillance Unit. More information about his ISP career can be found in the obituary below.


Captain Tony Delello, Indiana State Police Area Five Commander, and longtime friend to Sgt. Blocher said, "Mitch stood strong on his values, to include his family, his faith and his community. His passion for his career and public safety was apparent in every aspect of his life. He worked tirelessly for twenty-five years to ensure safety in his community and beyond. Mitch will be remembered as a loyal leader who was a mentor to many."


The funeral will be available to view  on a live stream Saturday January 16  at 12 p.m. on Nine Star Connect.  www.vimeo.com/ninestar


Obituary for Sgt. Mitchell "Mitch" A. Blocher, provided by Hinsey-Brown Funeral Home

Sgt. Mitchell “Mitch” Alan Blocher, 49, fought the good fight against brain cancer and victoriously finished the race to meet his Savior on January 2, 2021. Mitch was born on June 26, 1971 in Wabash, Indiana to Alan Leroy and Carol Ann (Barton) Blocher.

Immediately after graduating from Ball State University in 1994, Mitch was accepted by the Indiana State Police and attended the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. He graduated on December 22, 1995 and was sworn in as an Indiana State Trooper on December 24, 1995.


During his 25 years of active service with the Indiana State Police, Mitch served on the Emergency Response Team as a Sniper from 2004-2008 and the Underwater Search & Rescue Team from 1998-2004 and 2009-2013 where he was a Dive Master. In 2012, he was promoted to Sergeant and in 2013 was assigned to the Electronic Surveillance Team where he served as Sergeant until his passing.


For his heroic achievements during his career, Mitch also received many awards and recognitions, including numerous honors from the Mothers Against Drunk Driving organization, the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators Award in 2010, the Sherlock Award for Fraud Investigation, the US Secret Service Certificate of Appreciation, the US Attorney’s Award for Outstanding Contribution to a Prosecution, and the 2010 Indiana State Police Outstanding Investigator of the Year Award.

The brightest part of Mitch’s life began on December 5, 1998 when he married fellow BSU Cardinal, Angeline Sunier. Mitch and Angeline settled in Hancock County and began a family with the birth of their oldest son Samuel “Sam” Ray in 2002. Their youngest son, Joseph “Joey” Henry followed in 2004. Mitch enjoyed spending time camping with his family, having backyard bonfires, grilling out and was a favorite fan at his sons’ athletic & academic events.


An avid runner, Mitch completed the Indianapolis 500 Festival Mini-Marathon many times and in 2014 was awarded the prestigious 500 Club Award, finishing 267th place overall.

Mitch unreservedly loved people and gave special attention to Eastern Hancock Schools and Wilkinson Church of Christ. He was a founding member of the EH Education Foundation, was invited to the EH Leadership Team and received the Loyal Royal award in 2020 from the EH Athletic Boosters. At WCC, Mitch helped with any and every Men’s Ministry function and was an ever-present welcoming face to each person coming in the door, even during his cancer battle. In 2018, Mitch ran a full marathon with Team World Vision at the Indy Monumental Marathon, raising money for clean water around the globe.

Everything about Mitch, from his life, throughout his sickness, and to his death was ultimately to fulfill his greatest purpose on this earth - to point others to his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. There is nothing that would bring more fulfillment to Mitch’s legacy than for people to meet Jesus through his story. He lived the words of Paul, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1 NIV)

Mitch is survived by his wife of 22 years, Angeline Blocher; sons, Sam and Joey; mother, Carol Blocher; father, Alan Blocher; sister, Tina (Eric) Menze; brother-in-law, Dane Dawson; and mother-in-law and father-in-law, Chip and Tina Sunier.

He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents, sister, Tamara Dawson and niece, Emma Menze.

A “File by” visitation will be held on Friday, January 15, 2021 from 4-8 p.m. at Wilkinson Church of Christ, 7293 IN-109, Wilkinson. Please be patient as the church is limited to 50 guests at a time.

Funeral services will be private and by invitation only. Those wishing to view the service via Live Webcast will be able to Saturday, January 16, at 12:00 p.m. that will be broadcast through NineStar (a link will be posted when available). To show love and support to the Blocher family, you may meet at Eastern Hancock Schools parking lot on Saturday at approximately 1:30 p.m. to see the family and funeral procession. (More information to follow.) In addition, there will be a Celebration of Life service at Wilkinson Church of Christ on Saturday, June 26, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, monetary contributions can be made in Mitch’s memory to the Eastern Hancock Education Foundation or Cops for Kids of Indiana, Inc. Edible arrangements will also be accepted.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Hinsey-Brown Funeral Service Knightstown Chapel. You may express condolences or share a memory of Mitch at www.hinsey-brown.com.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Sgt. Mitchell "Mitch" A. Blocher please visit our Sympathy Store.





Greenleaf announces plans to acquire, build out Indy food processing facility

Maple Leaf Foods announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Greenleaf Foods, SPC, a leader in plant protein products, is advancing plans to increase tempeh production capacity through the acquisition and planned build-out of a food processing plant in Indianapolis, Indiana.   


Driven by growing demand for its Lightlife® tempeh products, phase 1 of the Project involves the acquisition of a 118,000 square foot plant in Indianapolis which is expected to close in early April, and the installation of tempeh production equipment with initial capacity of approximately 4.5 million kilograms. The acquisition is subject to typical closing conditions, including completion of due diligence.


Based on early pre-engineering for the build-out of the plant, the estimated cost of the Project, including the acquisition cost, is approximately US $100 million. Initial production at the plant is targeted to begin in the first half of 2022, and when fully operational it will employ approximately 115 people. If demand for tempeh continues as expected, the plant offers the flexibility for the Company to proceed with a second phase of the Project which could include doubling the capacity.


Building additional capacity for tempeh products aligns with the Company's goal of maintaining its market leadership position in this category and is consistent with its strategy to build capacity in support of the high-growth plant protein business through the effective deployment of capital.

"Maple Leaf Foods has been purposeful in executing a multi-tiered strategy focused on capital efficiency. To date, we have found ways to leverage the capacity of our existing plant protein manufacturing assets, while successfully utilizing footprint in the rest of our network," said Michael McCain, President and CEO.  "At this juncture, given the high demand for our tempeh products, this Project offers us the ability to deliver incremental capacity in a cost-effective, timely manner in a location that has synergies with our long-term vision."


In 2019, Maple Leaf Foods announced plans to build a new world-class plant protein facility in nearby Shelbyville, Indiana, but development of that project has been delayed due to a number of factors including challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. By leveraging the opportunity to acquire an existing facility in Indianapolis to fast-track tempeh production, the Company will be able to meet near term, growing demand for tempeh while allowing more time to develop its longer-term vision for Shelbyville.   


About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods is a producer of food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Maple Leaf Natural Selections®, Schneider's®, Schneiders®, Country Naturals®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Lightlife®, Field Roast Grain Meat Co.™ and Swift®. Maple Leaf employs approximately 13,000 people and does business in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario and its shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).


MHP COVID-19 Update - January 11

MHP COVID-19 Update                 DATE: January 11, 2021


  • General update:  Acuity is starting to increase compared to the last several weeks.  We remain busy, but we are able to care for each and every patient that requires our services, whether that is in the Emergency Room or our inpatient units.  Priority Care and our MHP Family and Internal Medicine walk-ins are busy, but manageable.  The State’s positivity rate sits at 16.3% and the rate is 16.58% for Shelby County.     
  • Covid Vaccination Clinic at MHP:  Our first vaccine clinic day will be Friday.  Following ISDH guidelines, adults 80+ years of age, Healthcare Workers and First Responders are currently eligible to receive the vaccination.  Registrationwww.ourshot.in.gov  Our plan is to vaccinate 4 people every 10 minutes.  We have a sufficient number of volunteers to staff the vaccine clinic.  Both Major and the County Health Department are available sites for vaccination. 
    • Bamlanivimab “Bam” monoclonal drug for Covid treatment.  As of today, we have infused 333 patients with this Eli Lilly monoclonal drug.  We have a sufficient supply of both Regeneron and Bamlanivimab for our current needs. 



    • Number of NEW positive results: 82 new positive cases since 1/8/202
    • Out of the 82 new positive cases, 8 patients required inpatient care and 74 remained outpatient.  All testing supplies are good at this time.  Our in-house Covid rapid antigen test started today. 


    • We are busy, but stable in the Emergency Department.   


    • Current number of 3rd floor inpatients:  36 and 7 of those patients are in the Critical Care Unit (CCU). 
      • Number of available 3rd floor beds: 4
    • Currently, we have 19 inpatients that tested positive for COVID.



    • Number of vents currently in use and number of vents available:
      • We have 5 ventilator(s) in use and 1 BiPAPs in use, 2 trilogy units are in use.  This leaves us with 12 ventilation units available.

Shelbyville's Julia Hamblen to serve as Master of Ceremonies at Gov. Holcomb's inauguration

Shelbyville High School 2020 graduate Julia Hamblen is taking a gap year to serve as Indiana FFA President.  On Monday, she’ll serve as Master of Ceremonies at a major event.


Gov. Eric J. Holcomb, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch and Attorney General-elect Todd Rokita will be sworn into office by the Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush during a small, private ceremony at the Indiana State Museum today.


Hamblen talks about receiving the request.


She says a recent interaction with the state offices likely helped lead to this opportunity.



She says there’s some nerves but more excitement.



Due to COVID-19 precautions, the event is closed to the public, but can be viewed online via a livestream: https://vimeo.com/event/356296


Senate bill calls for appeal for businesses for violating pandemic restrictions

Businesses fined or closed for violating local pandemic restrictions would get a second avenue for appeal under a bill backed by Senate Republicans.


Charlestown Senator Chris Garten's bill would let businesses appeal a health department violation notice to the county commissioners. The penalty would be on hold until the appeal is resolved. 
President Pro Tem Rod Bray says the bill is one of Senate Republicans' top priorities. He says people affected by the decisions of an unelected health department should be able to turn to officials who are directly answerable to voters.


Garten's bill would give a business two weeks to file an appeal. The commissioners would then have a month to decide whether to hear it. If they don't grant a hearing in that time, the citation stands.

While the commissioners would handle appeals in most counties, there are three exceptions. Indy's UniGov structure would send appeals to the City-County Council. Fishers, Gary and East Chicago have their own health departments, so the city council would hear appeals there. And in the rest of Lake County besides Gary and East Chicago, appeals would go not to the commissioners but the county council.


Businesses can already challenge citations in court -- they could still do that if the council or commissioners rule against them. 


35 of the 39 Republican senators are co-authoring the bill, so it's already got the votes to pass the Senate. The House would consider it in March.

Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun looks back at 2020's battle with Covid; more in 2021

As Shelbyville continues to deal with Covid-19 and the ramifications of the virus, Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun says while there were some successes with how the city dealt with the disease, there is still much work to be done. 

DeBaun told Giant FM the city of Shelbyville did "as well as it could" in 2020 as Indiana Code limited the city on just how much actual authority local leaders have in the midst of a pandemic. 

"Our role was to be a part of the bigger team in gathering and evaluating information and then determining what the best route would be for our facilities," DeBaun said. 

The mayor said city leaders also sent out as much information to the public as possible so the residents would be able to make some of the same decisions, as well as understand why the city was responding the way it did on several matters. Shelbyville also participated in several rounds of small business Covid relief in cooperation with the Office of Rural and Community Affairs to assist anyway it could.

There were some rough moments in 2020 for the city as a result of the pandemic, according to DeBaun. 

"It was unfortunate that we had to suspend some programming and not open some facilities, but I think those were the right decisions. Additionally, we did see some reduction in local tax collections, however, I believe the bigger concern will be mid 2021 and in 2022 based upon how income taxes are collected and distributed," DeBaun told Giant FM.

As the calendar has moved into 2021, DeBaun continues to keep an eye on Covid-19 and continues to offer the same message to citizens -- wash your hands and take the necessary steps to ensure safety. 

"My message is the same as it has been throughout the pandemic -- mask up, maintain the proper social distance and wash your hands frequently. In communicating with Major Health Partners, I don't know that we are at a crisis level yet, but it won't take long to get there if people aren't diligent with these protocols," DeBaun said. 


Thousands of Indiana seniors register for free Covid-19 vaccine

A total of 33,500 Hoosiers age 80 or older registered for free COVID-19 vaccines between 9 and 11:30 a.m. Friday, the first day of eligibility for this age group.


Among those registering, 21,000 people scheduled appointments in the first 90 minutes after registration opened.


Hoosiers can continue to register at https://ourshot.in.gov, by calling 211 or by contacting one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging for help. A caregiver or loved one also may make an appointment on behalf of an eligible senior.


Individuals may encounter wait times due to a high volume of interest. The registration system was designed to put visitors into a holding queue when volume is high. The Indiana Department of Health encourages eligible Hoosiers to be patient or to check back later in the day.


An additional update will be provided later today.

200 Family Video locations including Shelbyville closing

It's the end of an era.


Over the last half-decade, Family Video has held on as the last big brick and mortar movie and video game rental store throughout the United States, outlasting stores like Blockbuster and Hollywood Video.


On Tuesday, the dreadful news was sent to all remaining 200 stores that they would have to sell off their inventory and close for good by late February.


"This was the thing to do on a Friday night," said Jessica Grose, the manager of the Family Video store in Shelbyville. "It's sad. We're going to miss so many people."


Grose told WISH-TV that her business has been down 50-to-75-percent since reopening from pandemic shutdowns over the summer. Company leaders have come to the conclusion that there was just no financial way forward.


The news of the closure comes just months after Family Video district manager Kristin Drisko told 93 WIBC back in September that she was confident that the video store chain would be able to navigate successfully through the pandemic.


"The company has to make those hard decisions to say 'we have to close some of these stores that just did not bounce back'," she said in September. "Some stores were hit way harder with COVID than others and some just didn't bounce back."


Another reason for Family Video's planned closure that Drisko touched on was the fact that Hollywood was, and in some cases still is, on lockdown. With the movie industry at a crawl or standstill, there are not many new movies for the company to push out there in order to draw in customers.


"You know, if we had this big title that would bring everybody in, it would have made a big difference but we didn't have that," she said.


Now, when you walk into one of the 20 remaining Family Video stores in Indiana, nothing will be available for rent, but everything will be up for sale. The plan is to close all stores by Feb. 28, but some stores may close sooner if they can sell off all their movies and games before then.

Thus, bring the brick and mortar video rental store into extinction.

Rental property owners asked to register with City of Shelbyville

The City of Shelbyville has opened its Landlord Registry Program.


Planning and Building Director Adam Rude explains the main reasons for asking rental property landlords to register their property with the city.




Rude says they currently have a form that can be downloaded.  Soon, online registration will be available.



Rude says they will hold a webinar to further explain registration and answer questions.  A deadline to be registered is set for later on in March.




You can see more details about the landlord registry on the City of Shelbyville website at:  https://www.cityofshelbyvillein.com/departments/planning-building/landlord-registration/ .



Greenleaf still planning facility in Shelbyville

In 2018, officials from the city of Shelbyville and Shelby County cooperated in the purchase of 131 acres for potential development.  


In 2019, Greenleaf Foods, SPC announced it was purchasing the land and investing $310 million in what is expected to be the largest plant-based protein foods facility in North America. 

At a ground breaking ceremony in April of 2019, officials stated Greenleaf would build the facility and create as many as 460 jobs by the end of 2022. 


The 230,000 square-foot facility is to be located on 57 acres east of I-74 and south of State Road 44 and is on property that First Presbyterian Church was going to develop on prior to the city and county purchasing the land. 


The Greenleaf development was to be the largest industrial project in the history of the city.

However, progress on the development has slowed since due to the Covid-19 global pandemic. 

Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun told Giant FM Greenleaf has suffered the same effects of the pandemic as you would expect in an uncertain market. 


"Because of that, the project was delayed but still on track to be completed. Greenleaf's leadership still is committed to Shelbyville, and we continue to work with them to complete their design and approve their site and development plan. I anticipate the commencement of more work on that project in the very near future," DeBaun said. 


Greenleaf has hired several employees, who were working in their temporary offices in Intelliplex but are now working from home. Currently, Greenleaf is going through the review process by Planning and Zoning. 


DeBaun said he is unsure if the goal to hire 460 employees by the end of 2022 is realistic due to the pandemic, but he says he remains confident Greenleaf will continue its investment in Shelbyville. 

"These projects go through a tremendous amount of review and discussion. The decisions to support projects like these aren't made lightly, so there is a high degree of confidence they will succeed," DeBaun told Giant FM. 

Three people including Shelby County Sheriff's deputy sustain minor injuries in crash

A Shelby County Sheriff's deputy was one of three with minor injuries in a Wednesday two-car crash.


Shawn Goode, 30, of Shelbyville told Shelbyville Police he came to a stop at the red light on Progress Parkway was East Michigan Road just after 7:00 pm.  Goode explained he didn't know why but he then proceeded into the intersection in a 2014 Ford Fusion, realized the red light was still active and was struck by a 2016 Sheriff's Department Tahoe driven by Deputy Ben Hirschauer, 30, of Shelbyville.


Hirschauer noted he had the green light and, as Goode explained, the Fusion has disregarded the red light at the intersection.


Goode was transported for medical treatment at MHP after experiencing dizziness at the scene.  A passenger, Aimee Gill, 24, of Shelbyville, was treated by medics at the scene.


Hirschauer was treated at MHP for a minor hand injury.

Love of birds turns into Shelbyville business

Growing up around birds not only sparked an interest in Gary Floyd and Karen Martin, it has also turned into a new business endeavor for the two. 


For Floyd, his father started raising parrots when he was a teenager and as a result, he had to help his father with the birds he told Giant FM.


"We had African Greys, Amazons, Macaws, Cockatiels, Cockatoos, and Parakeets. By default, I had to handle these guys and seeing their personalities and hearing their voices, it is amazing what they can learn and be taught. I had fallen for the birds almost immediately," Floyd said. 


Martin admits she has a similar story, as her mother got her a small, yellow parakeet as a child. 

"Then, my dad had a cockatiel growing up. As I got older, I started working in the bird aviary at a local pet store back home in Virginia when I was 18 years old. My love for birds has continued to grow through the years," she said. 


Now, their love affair for birds is a new business endeavor, as The Bird House and More, 159 East Washington St., Suite D, is now open. 


"We sell bird food for any type of parrot. We also sell accessories for their cages, as well as supplies. I have been in the animal industry nearly my entire life, but have been handling exotic birds for nearly 28 years. Karen has been in the pet industry for 22 years. As managers of pet stores and working with rescues, we combined our love for birds and thus born was The Bird House and more," Floyd told Giant FM. 


Floyd said business has been good thus far, as residents are taking advantage of the grooming services, as well as boarding. 


With the calendar approaching 2021, Floyd told Giant FM, there are some exciting possibilities in the new year.


"Periodically, throughout the year, we will have babies in the shop for sale. Also, we are looking into adding reptile supplies since the community has been asking. To stay informed, checkout our Facebook page and our website www.thebirdhouseandmore.com or come by the store anytime. We love to meet new animal friends," Floyd said. 



Aperion Care Waldron welcomes new ownership; renamed Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center

Aperion Care Waldron announces it has changed ownership.  Renamed Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, the 79-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility provides a broad spectrum of care, including long- and short-term care and rehabilitation, in an intimate and compassionate environment.


The new ownership team is a group of skilled nursing facility managers and operators based in Indiana and the Midwest.  The ownership change was effective November 1, 2020.


“In these challenging times, it is very reassuring that our new ownership team has years of know-how, shared values and a great group of experienced experts – based right here in the Midwest – to support our care team,” said Manoj Berry, the center’s Administrator.


Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center will benefit from the hands-on attention that comes from a smaller, but very skilled “non-corporate” ownership and management team.  The team has overseen operations at similar-sized care centers, in rural and suburban communities around the Midwest, and brings many new ideas that have been very successful at other facilities.


Implementing “Genuine Hometown Care”

“Our new owners view Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center as a world of family and friends,” said Berry.  “They share core principles and standards that reflect the people and beliefs of our region: Genuine Hometown Care, Community Integration, and Employees are Family.”


Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center is known for its focus on providing hometown care with a commitment to fully integrating with the healthcare needs of the Waldron, Ind., community.  As it continues to grow, the center will benefit from working with a skilled, hands-on regional ownership team.


“The ownership group has significant experience in overseeing operations at similar-sized care centers in rural and suburban communities around the Midwest,” Berry noted.  “We anticipate incorporating new ideas that have been successful at their other facilities as we work to advance our mission of excellence in care.”


About Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center

Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center is a 79-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility in Waldron, Ind., providing long-term care, short-term care, rehabilitation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, rehab-to-home, speech therapy, hospice care, and respite care.  The center is currently accepting new admissions for short-term rehabilitation and long-term care.  For further information, please contact Sarah Jones  at (317) 512-7341 or visit the Waldron Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center website at www.waldronhc.com.

Shelby Co. Sheriff's Dept using new tool to combat drug-impaired driving

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute is providing 52 Indiana law enforcement agencies with a new roadside tool to identify and keep drug-impaired drivers off the road.


The device, called the SoToxa Mobile Test System, is a handheld analyzer that uses an oral fluid swab to detect the presence of six kinds of drugs: cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, cannabis (THC), amphetamine and benzodiazepines.


Officers will begin using the devices in the field this month in response to the emergence of drugged driving taking place in the state and nationwide.


According to a 2018 Governors Highway Safety Association report, 44 percent of fatally injured drivers with known results tested positive for drugs in 2016, up from 28 percent a decade ago. Of those drivers, 38 percent tested positive for some form of marijuana, 16 percent tested positive for opioids and 4 percent tested positive for both marijuana and opioids.


To use SoToxa, the officer must have both a reason to stop a motorist, whether it’s for driving erratically, speeding or another infraction, and suspect impairment. During the traffic stop, officers will use standard detection techniques such as field sobriety tests, portable breathalyzers and suspect interviews to evaluate the driver. SoToxa would not replace those techniques but would instead function as an additional roadside tool officers could use.


If drug-impaired driving is suspected, the officer can ask the driver to take the SoToxa test. This is done by collecting an oral fluid sample, which is then inserted into the handheld analyzer. Results are available roadside within five minutes and indicate positive or negative for each of the six drug categories.


Much like a portable breathalyzer, the SoToxa test can be refused, and the results cannot be used as evidence in court to determine if the driver was impaired. The purpose of the test is to further establish probable cause, which can be used by the officer to make an arrest, administer a certified breath test, take the suspect for medical treatment or apply for a warrant to administer a blood draw.

In total, ICJI will distribute 66 devices to 52 departments around the state. The units cost $4,500 each, are reusable and were paid for with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funds.


Duckworth said that while departments can purchase SoToxa directly at any time, Indiana is one of the first states in the nation, along with Michigan, to have distributed the devices statewide.


Among area agencies receiving the device:

Shelby County Sheriff's Department 

Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department                        

Greensburg Police Department 

Decatur County Sheriff's Department                      

Hancock County Sheriff's Department 

Johnson County Sheriff's Department                    

Franklin City Police Department 



MHP says public vaccine expected in January; continued success with Covid treatments



  • Covid Vaccines:  Major Hospital expects to begin receiving vaccines sometime in January for public distribution.  Starting this week, our eligible staff began receiving their vaccines at Hancock Regional Hospital in Greenfield. 
  • Bamlanivimab “Bam” monoclonal drug for Covid treatment.  By the end of the day, we will have infused 164 patients with this Eli Lilly monoclonal drug.  We gave a Regeneron infusion to a patient yesterday and that patient is doing well as of today.  Regeneron is a different type of antibody drug used to reduce or stop the viral load in a Covid positive patient.  We have a sufficient supply of both Regeneron and Bamlanivimab for our current needs.        



    • Number of NEW positive results: 55 new positive cases since 12/16/2020
      • Out of the 55 new positive cases, 11 patients required inpatient care and 44 remained outpatient. 



    • Current number of 3rd floor inpatients:  39 and 6 of those patients are in the Critical Care Unit (CCU)
      • Number of available 3rd floor beds: 1, but we expect a few discharges later today which will free up some inpatient beds.
    • Currently, we have 20 inpatients that tested positive for COVID.


    • Number of total ER patients in last 24 hours: 60 patients



    • Number of vents currently in use and number of vents available:
      • We have 1 ventilator(s) in use and 3 BiPAPs in use, 3 trilogy units are in use.  This leaves us with 16 ventilation units available.    

Greenwood man charged federally for alleged $14 million fraud scheme

Acting United States Attorney John E. Childress announced today that Daniel R. Fruits, 46, of Greenwood, Indiana, was charged by a federal grand jury for his alleged role in three separate fraud schemes, including a nearly $14 million fraud on an investor, an attempted mortgage fraud, and a vehicle title-washing scheme.


“This financial investor gave his hard-earned money to someone whom he thought he could trust,” said Childress. “Instead, the victim’s money ended up in the hands of a self-absorbed thief who only cared about his interests. Living a life of fraud is inexcusable and always comes to an end.”


The Indictment alleges that Fruits defrauded a Kentucky investor, who was also Fruits employer, out of nearly $14 million. In 2015, the investor founded a trucking company, Secure Transit, and hired Fruits to run it. Over the next four-and-a-half years, the investor would invest approximately $14 million in the business.


Throughout that time, Fruits repeatedly lied about the company’s financial health, who its customers were, and what the money invested was being used for. On multiple occasions, Fruits allegedly sent the investor fictitious customer sales contracts and falsified financial statements that reported inflated company profits. At the same time, Fruits allegedly asked the investor for additional investments, sometimes in the millions of dollars, purportedly for the purchase of trucks or other business expenses.


Fruits spent a significant portion of the money on his own personal purchases and payments. He allegedly spent approximately $880,000 to purchase a horse farm and his personal residence, $560,000 on an RV and trailer, over $111,000 on a Corvette, approximately $90,000 on three Rolex watches, approximately $55,000 on a horse, $33,000 on a horse trailer, $23,000 on payments for two Ferraris, and $30,000 on payments for two escorts.


In addition to the fraud on the investor, Fruits attempted to perpetrate a mortgage fraud scheme on Fifth Third Bank. Specifically, in late 2018, Fruits made false statements to Fifth Third Bank to secure a $432,000 mortgage. He twice submitted falsified paperwork purporting to show that loans from another bank had been paid off, when they had not been.


Finally, Fruits perpetrated a title-washing scheme to remove a bank’s lien from the title of a truck he purchased. He financed the truck with a loan from Ally Financial for over $69,000.  Several months later, he sent the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles a falsified letter purportedly from Ally Financial stating that the loan had been paid off and the lien should be released.


The loan had not been paid off and Ally Financial never wrote that letter. As a result, the BMV issued Fruits a free-and-clear title for the truck, which Fruits then sold for $48,000, without repaying the loan to Ally Financial.


This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Shelby County among six with individual income tax rates change

Effective Jan. 1, 2021, six Indiana county income tax rates will increase, according to the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR).


Local income tax rates are determined by county officials and provided to DOR for review regarding compliance with Indiana law.


Below are the six counties impacted along with their new tax rates:


  • Martin County: 0.025 (increased from 0.0175)
  • Owen County: 0.016 (increased from 0.014)
  • Randolph County: 0.025 (increased from 0.0225)
  • Shelby County: 0.016 (increased from 0.015)
  • Switzerland County: 0.0125 (increased from 0.01)
  • Union County: 0.02 (increased from 0.0175)

These tax rates affect businesses with employees who live or work in any of these counties and have income tax withholdings.


  • For Indiana residents on Jan. 1, 2021, county tax rates for individuals are based on the employee’s Indiana county of residence on that date.
  • For individuals who are not Indiana residents on Jan. 1, 2021, county tax rates are based on the individual’s county of principal business or employment on Jan. 1.

Missing Wisconsin girl found in Bartholomew Co.; father arrested

Jocelyn Van Duyn, 10, was recovered by law enforcement in Hartsville, alive and safe, at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, December 15.


Jocelyn was found with her biological father, Jonathan J. Van Duyn, 33. FBI Indianapolis Division SWAT and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office took Jonathan into custody without incident.  Jonathan will be held in Indiana before being extradited to McHenry County, Illinois where he is wanted on an active warrant for failure to appear.


Family is traveling to Indiana to reunite with Jocelyn.


Law enforcement would like to sincerely thank members of the public who shared information and helped lead to the safe recovery of Jocelyn.


This continues to be an active investigation led by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and FBI Milwaukee Division, with assistance from the Walworth Police Department.


Also assisting in the investigation are the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol, Indiana State Police, Walworth County District Attorney’s Office and the United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Wisconsin. FBI Indianapolis Division and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the recovery of the child.


On the morning of Sunday, December 13, 2020, the Village of Walworth Police Department received the report of a missing 10 year-old female Jocelyn Van Duyn, who had last been seen on Saturday evening in the Village of Walworth, Walworth County, Wisconsin.


“Our working relationship with the FBI is extremely important”.  “This is one of the reasons that it is so important for BCSO deputies to attend the National FBI Academy”, said Bartholomew County Sheriff Chief deputy, Major Chris Lane who is BCSO’s most recent FBI Academy graduate. 

Snow could impact Wednesday morning commute

Snow will arrive in central Indiana beginning at about 1 am Wednesday and affect the morning commute, says the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.


"It will be kind of the 1-4 am hours south of I-70. As we get into areas north of I-70, it will be more like 4-7 am for snow onsets," said Aaron Updike, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Indianapolis.


Updike expects anywhere between one to two inches will fall all across central Indiana.


"It will start transitioning over into rain as we get into mid-day on Wednesday. Precipitation will end in the late afternoon/early evening time period on Wednesday," said Updike.


Updike advises you to take it slow if you're planning on driving Wednesday morning.


"Make sure that you're prepared just in case there are slowdowns on the roads. Make sure you keep a couple of car lengths away from people. Give yourself a little extra room if you need to stop," said Updike.

Downtown Shelbyville traffic changes starting Thursday

Changes in the traffic pattern through Shelbyville's downtown construction are scheduled for this week.


Beginning Thursday, December 17, all traffic will be routed to the east side of the Public Square. The west side  will be closed with the following updates:

  1. West Washington Street will be closed at the Public Square.  Access and parking will still be available up to the Public Square.
  2. All traffic running North and South on Harrison will be shifted to the east side of the Public Square.
  3. Pedestrian Crossings will not be available at the Public Square across North and South Harrison.  Crossing will be available at Franklin Street, Jackson Street and East and West Washington Street at the Public Square.  They are noted on the attached drawings.
  4. The parking garage is open and will have access to the Public Square
  5. A 5’ walkway will be maintained in front of the businesses in the construction area for pedestrian access.  Owners have been encouraged to use rear access if possible and will be notified when work is to be done that affects their entrance. 

MHP Covid-19 updates



  • Positivity rate:  Shelby County is now in the “RED” category with a 21.72% positivity rate.  Shelby County is still quite high compared to neighboring counties.  Indiana is #1 in the country with the highest positivity rate per 100,000 population.  The Shelby County Health Department issued a press release yesterday outlining the new restrictions and recommendations and can be viewed at https://www.co.shelby.in.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/120820-Press-Release.pdf.  
  • Vaccine distribution:  We expect the Pfizer vaccine to be approved officially by the Food & Drug Administration/EUA tomorrow for distribution.  Within one week, we anticipate receipt of the initial vaccine shipment and will immediately begin vaccinating those who meet the established criteria and choose to receive the vaccine. 
  • Bamlanivimab “Bam” monoclonal drug for Covid treatment.  By the end of the day, we will have infused 78 patients with this experimental Eli Lilly drug.  Our hospital admission rate is 1.82% for high-risk patients that received this drug, which compares to a 10% admission rate for high-risk patients who did not receive the infusion.  Since our previous update, we have not had any patients experience a reaction.  We have approximately 150 vials remaining.   


    • Number of NEW positive results: 79 new positive cases since 12/7/2020
      • Out of the 79 new positive cases, 6 patients required inpatient care and 73 remained outpatient.  Testing turnaround times for COVID send-out tests to the State lab are greatly improved and taking between 36-72 hours at this time.    


    • Current number of 3rd floor inpatients:  38 and 5 of those patients are in the Critical Care Unit (CCU)
      • Number of available 3rd floor beds: 2
    • Currently, we have 22 inpatients that tested positive for COVID.


    • Number of total ER patients in last 24 hours: 54 patients and 22 of those patients were life-threatening or met our critical care condition definition.   




  • Number of vents currently in use and number of vents available:
    • We have 1 ventilator(s) in use and 3 BiPAP in use, 0 trilogy units are in use.  This leaves us with 16 ventilation units available.   

Deadline to file for Equifax data breach restitution December 16

Time is running out for Hoosiers to file a claim for their share of a restitution payment related to the 2017 Equifax data breach.


Hoosiers have until Wednesday, Dec. 16 to visit IndianaEquifaxClaims.com and file a claim for a payment.


Nearly four million Hoosiers are eligible for a restitution payment, and most have not yet filed a claim, according to Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.


“As a result of our settlement with Equifax following its data breach, we have millions of dollars to distribute to eligible Hoosiers who visit IndianaEquifaxClaims.com and successfully file a claim,” Attorney General Hill said. “But if you want the money you are rightfully owed, you have to act by Dec. 16. Visit IndianaEquifaxClaims.com and file a claim today!”


The Equifax data breach occurred from May 2017 to July 2017 and exposed the personal information of 147 million Americans. Information compromised during the data breach included Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver's license numbers, and credit card details.


Attorney General Hill sued Equifax following the data breach and the company agreed to pay the state of Indiana $19.5 million.


Visit IndianaEquifaxClaims.com for more information about filing a claim and for answers to frequently asked questions about the settlement.

MHP Foundation receives grant to aid RX assistance program

Shelbyville-based Major Health Partners Foundation (MHP) recently received a $5,000 grant from the Urology of Indiana Charitable Fund. The grant will be used to support the foundation’s RX Assistance Program.


The grant was awarded via a blind donor matching process through the Central Indiana Community Foundation. “This is one of our most popular and impactful programs. When a patient cannot afford their prescriptions, Major Health Partners Case Managers are able to access this program to “bridge” the patient until long-term, stable assistance is found. Generally, the pharmaceutical companies have very good assistance programs, but the application period is four to six weeks. This leaves the patient without their medications during a time when they are the most vulnerable, particularly if they are at risk for being admitted or readmitted to the hospital”, said MHP Foundation Executive Director, Angela Gill.


Urology of Indiana is the largest urology private practice in Indiana with over 50 providers. It operates 15 locations across Indianapolis and central Indiana to provide patients with cost-effective, comprehensive urologic, urogynecologic and cancer care. “We are excited to support the Major Health Partners Foundation with the resources they need for their patient RX Assistance program. Our corporate giving team is committed to supporting organizations like theirs that promote positive health outcomes,” said Britt McDermott, Urology of Indiana’s Chief Executive Officer. 


The Major Hospital Foundation supports Major Health Partners and its patients by cultivating relationships with donors and encouraging charitable gifts. The gifts are used to further advance the care provided by MHP. The Foundation supports MHP and its patients with funding for technology, equipment, facilities, patient assistance and education.


“This grant is really important to the MHP Foundation because we can help prevent patients from getting into a downward health spiral, and instead, help them manage their health right from the moment of diagnosis. It also prevents avoidable hospital admissions. We’re very grateful to receive this grant from the Urology of Indiana Charitable Fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation.  It is going to make a wonderful difference in the lives of many MHP patients,” Gill added.