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Perseverance key theme in Excel Center's Class of 2022 graduation ceremony

The Excel Center’s graduation ceremony was filled with stories of perseverance.

On Thursday at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville, 28 students of varying ages and life challenges graduated from the Excel Center with high school diplomas.

“Most of our students have had some sort of barrier in their life,” said Shonda Russell, Lead Coach at the Shelbyville Excel Center and emcee for the graduation ceremony. “For them to persevere and keep fighting and keep going for what they know can potentially make them better situated for their future is undeniable. It is awesome.”

The Class of 2022 salutatorian Candice Miller (main photo) attended three high schools, participated in a home-schooling program and tried G.E.D. classes … twice.

“Those paths didn’t work for me,” said Miller, who spoke at the graduation ceremony. “I knew six different paths were not right for me. So each time I backtracked, licked my wounds and tried another approach. I took a seventh path that led to the Excel Center and there was no turning back.”

Miller continued her education through Zoom classes thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the birth of her son which altered the learning environment at home.

“My path through the Excel Center has been wonderful,” she said. “My teachers worked around my schedule and even taught me when I was traveling in a semi.

“When I was getting my days and nights messed up with a baby in the house, they were patient with me. I want to give a big thank you to the staff for walking with me on this journey, especially when the path wasn’t as straight as I hoped it would be.”

 

 

Tara Lewin (photo above) was forced to abandon her childhood and fend for herself after her father died when she was 12 years old. She moved out on her own and dodged DCS (Department of Child Services) for over a month to avoid foster care.

“School was not an option at that time,” said Lewin as she addressed her fellow graduates Thursday. “I did try to go back multiple times.”

Four years later she moved in with her grandmother and started to turn her life around. Not long after, her mother passed away.

“Being in school was too embarrassing,” said Lewin. “I continued to try and survive without education.”

Lewin was working a demanding full-time job when she enrolled at the Excel Center at age 19. Now she is engaged, owns a home and has the satisfaction of being a high school graduate.

“It took a lot of change and effort to make my graduation night possible,” she said. “In addition to attending school, I worked a full-time job and purchased a home with my now fiancé while trying to take care of my physical and mental health.

“It wasn’t the most traditional path to follow but it’s my journey and I know my parents would be proud I followed through and made a life for myself.”

 

 

The graduation class of 2022 are Jayna Alderson, Miles Baldwin, Samantha Bradfield, Dajuan Butler (photo above), Alicia Cox, Rory Dean, Sara Dick, Kierra Ebbert, Isaiah Frazier, Andrea Glendenning, Gavin Glendenning, Caitlyn Grimme, Tressie Hess, Zane Hunter, Tara Lewin, Keirra Macklin, Michael Matthew (class valedictorian), Devin McCall, Kaitlynn Messmore, Candice Miller, Viridiana Orozco Degollado, Kieara Reynolds, Madalyn Sangster, Caleb Spurlock, Emily Wendland, Jordyn Wood, Danin York, Mireya Zeigler.

The ceremony is not only emotional for the graduates but also the staff of the Excel Center in Shelbyville.

“We develop attachments with our students,” said Russell. “We coach them. We teach them. We are their shoulders to cry on and we laugh with them.

“To see them finally get to where they want to be is joyful.”

Shelbyville's Baker named ISP investigator of the year

Shelbyville's Paul Baker was honored by the Indiana State Police as an investigator of the year.

 

The Indiana State Police held an annual awards ceremony in Indianapolis to recognize ISP personnel for 2021 special awards. The ceremony includes naming a Trooper of the Year, Dispatcher of the Year, Laboratory Technician of the Year and an Investigator of the Year.

 

27 year Indiana State Police Veteran, Detective Paul Baker of Shelbyville, was named the Investigator of the year. Baker was nominated because of his role in a cold case investigation and the successful prosecution of a man connected to several Shelby County home invasions and rapes between 1982 and 1985. In 2002 Baker was assigned to the case and asked to re-examine evidence from the crimes, with the intention of utilizing current technology to identify a suspect. The analyzation of the evidence revealed DNA from an unknown male subject that was involved in an incident August 17, 1985. That DNA was unable to be matched with any known person.

 

In 2004 a task force was formed including Detective Baker and officers from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and the Shelbyville Police Department. Unfortunately none of the new leads led to the positive identification of a suspect and the case was classified as a cold case. 

 

In 2019 the task force reconvened and the Indiana State Police Laboratory, utilizing new technology, was able to identify a suspect. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of Steve Hessler on several charges. After a jury trial in March 2022, Hessler was convicted of 2 counts of rape, 6 counts of unlawful deviate conduct, seven counts of burglary resulting in bodily injury, three counts of criminal confinement and one count of robbery. He was sentenced to 650 years in prison. 

 

"Detective Baker was pivotal in preparing the case for trial, where we called 27 witnesses and introduced over 300 pieces of evidence. He did much of the work himself and oversaw assisting officers. I cannot stress enough what an important role several members of the ISP and the ISP Lab played in achieving this outcome. The efforts of Detective Paul Baker and all he did to help bring this case to a successful prosecution, to provide some closure to our several victims, and to ensure that an extremely evil, dangerous man was brought to justice. Various agencies played key roles to bring this case to trial, but Detective Baker and Shelby County Sheriff’s Detective David Tilford were the ones who organized everything that the various departments gathered into a case sufficient to convict a violent serial home-invasion rapist 37-39 years after his various local attacks," said Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landewerlen.

Mobile home park sitting in way of proposed industrial park project

Shelbyville’s Common Council will make the final decision on whether the annexation of approximately 33 acres on the city’s east side happens for Genesis Property Development.

The Shelbyville-based developer is working with a client to purchase the land, which is mostly farm land, for the creation of an industrial park along East State Road 44, nearly a mile from the Interstate 74 exit.

If the annexation and rezoning is approved, it will go against an unfavorable recommendation from the city’s Plan Commission that happened Monday night at City Hall.

At the center of the discussion is the long-established Woodland Village mobile home park that is part of the property in play.

Several residents of Woodland Village, who cited family members with disabilities and fixed incomes, as well as several surrounding neighbors concerned with drainage and traffic concerns appeared before the Plan Commission Monday to ask what happens to them.

Ron Kelsay, representing Genesis Property Development, did not name the prospective client interested in the property. He did state that the client is interested in more than just one business transaction in Shelbyville.

Kelsay also could not inform the Plan Commission of potential uses for the property as the project is speculative at this point. The land is currently zoned A1 (conservation agriculture). The goal is to change the zoning to IG (general industrial).

“We don’t have a specific project that we are bringing forward at this point,” said Kelsay when asked by Joanne Bowen, a member of the plan commission as well as the city’s Common Council. “At the point we have a specific project we will bring it through the proper channels.

“Generally speaking, we want to create an industrial park which is the purpose for the IG zoning. It is currently in the county and we have an interest in hooking up to sanitary and sewer with the city, so to do that we need to annex the property.”

Genesis Property Development has a contract agreement in place with multiple owners of the 33 acres in question, including Coers Limited Liability Company III that owns the 5-plus acres of land where Woodland Village sits.

“I will say even at this juncture where we are still developing plans and trying to put this whole thing together, there have been significant discussions about the mobile home park and what to do with it,” said Kelsay following the public comment portion of the meeting. “And also looking ahead if something needs to happen to it or, at that point, what do we do? How do we take care of people? How do we help them?

“At this point, I can’t give you all the answers. I can’t lay out a specific plan because it is still a little too early for that, but I will say we are keenly aware of the sensitivities and these are people’s homes.”

The city’s plan staff recommendation was to forward a favorable recommendation on the zoning classification.

The motion for an unfavorable recommendation was made by Gary Nolley and seconded by Bowen.

The next Common Council meeting is July 6 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.

Mixed use development project featuring former Coca-Cola bottling plant altered

The proposed mixed-use development project that involves the former Coca-Cola Bottling Plant in Shelbyville has been altered.

Birge & Held, the Indianapolis-based developer of the project, overcame sanitary and sewer issues by splitting the retail and residential project into two structures.

The original design had two structures of retail and apartments connected together. The new design includes a drivable path in between both buildings.

The former Coca-Cola plant, 405 N. Harrison St., is a likely destination point for potential breweries or restaurants with additional retail space located directly behind the plant.

 

 

A second building will include additional apartments and a parking area for residential use located near the Porter Center, the former home of Porter Pool.

No apartment units were lost in the redesign. The project will still include 168 apartment units from studio up to 3-bedroom units.

There was no formal presentation made Monday at the city’s Plan Commission meeting at City Hall. That is expected to come at the Plan Commission’s July meeting.

The new design was scheduled to go through the city’s technical review process today. The goal is to start construction in the fall of 2022.

Plan Commission approves preliminary plat for Isabelle Farms subdivision

Arbor Homes’ preliminary plat for the Isabelle Farms subdivision was approved Monday by the Plan Commission.

Following a long discussion at May 22 meeting, the plat approval vote was postponed until the June meeting so Arbor Homes could include a 30-foot buffer around the entire development that was originally discussed at a 2021 meeting.

The plat design submitted for the May meeting did not include the buffer.

The new design cost the subdivision five lots lowering the total to 249. A total of approximately 150 trees have been added to the project to fill out the buffer zone, according to Arbor Homes’ representative Lantz McElroy.

While there are still drainage issues being worked on, Arbor Homes would like to break ground on the 83-acre subdivision located at approximately 1350 N. Riley Highway in the spring of 2023.

In other plan commission business Monday:

  • Forwarded a favorable recommendation to the city council regarding a rezone of the residence at 118 E. Hendricks St. in Shelbyville from Business General to R1 (single family residential). Evie Bartlett, representing property owners Harold and Loretta Meloy, appeared before the commission asking for the rezone to convert a house that was formerly a lawyer’s office into a residential home to be sold. The house is currently vacant.
  • Forwarded a favorable recommendation for a rezone of 1706 McCall Drive from Business General to Light Industrial so the property owner, Sanjivan Bual, can build a mini-storage facility. The property is currently vacant.
  • Forwarded a favorable recommendation to the city council to annex the property at 852 Highland Drive at the request of the property owners, Dean and Linda Spurlin.

Southwestern valedictorian's next adventure starts at Purdue

Maggie Goodin has been lucky enough to travel the world at such a young age. The Southwestern High School valedictorian’s next adventure keeps her closer to home in West Lafayette at Purdue University.

The daughter of engineers, Purdue always seemed like the perfect fit. Only Goodin could not see herself following a similar educational track. Instead, she will major in Pharmacy.

“Both my parents are engineers and I’ve always been a STEM person so originally I was thinking engineering,” said Goodin. “I toured (Purdue) my freshman year (of high school), loved the campus, it’s a great school and I felt at home. By my senior year, I switched to pharmacy and got lucky because (Purdue) has an amazing pharmacy (program).”

As to where a pharmacy degree takes her is still unknown.

“I am seeing what options are available,” she said. “Maybe a clinical pharmacist in a hospital setting, I could go the medical school route or go the psychologist route or OBGYN.”

Goodin wrapped up the valedictorian honor at the semester break though she admitted it was not an ultimate goal of her time at Southwestern.

“I was not striving to be No. 1 or No. 2,” said Goodin. “I was just trying to do my best in classes. Over time, it became more of a goal or expectation. We (Goodin and salutatorian Faith Kelley) always just wanted to do the most with our education.”

 

 

Part of Goodin’s education has come from traveling to approximately two dozen foreign countries with her family. She lists Thailand and Morocco as two of her favorite places.

That experience with foreign cultures spurred her to revitalize the Culture Club at Southwestern High School.

“I got to bring a lot of knowledge on diversity and foreign cultures,” said Goodin.

The future Boilermaker is spending her summer working as a camp counselor at the Flat Rock River YMCA camp in St. Paul. She started the day after graduation.

A frequent visitor to the camp growing up, she is honored to now serve as a counselor and mentor younger children.

“I’ve always wanted to be a counselor here but there are limited spots available for female counselors,” said Goodin, who is responsible for up to as many as a dozen campers each week.

Goodin appreciates her time at the camp and her experiences at Southwestern which will carry on with her to Purdue.

“It’s a small school with a graduating class of 36 … insanely small,” she said. “With it being so small, it is awesome how it’s a family-style school. It was especially helpful with the classes. It allowed the teachers more time to work with you 1-on-1.”

(This is the 10th and final feature story highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

University of Indianapolis presented perfect opportunity for Southwestern salutatorian

Faith Kelley found exactly what she was looking for at the University of Indianapolis.

The Southwestern High School Class of 2022 salutatorian was admitted to UIndy’s occupational therapy early assurance program which puts her on track for a bachelor’s degree in three years followed by three more years in the occupational therapy program.

“UIndy has the only occupational therapy direct admittance program in Indiana,” said Kelley, the daughter of Curtis and Cindy Kelley.

The campus, located on the south side of Indianapolis, allows Kelley to stay at home while she transitions into college life. Being from a small school, Kelley appreciated the learning environment at UIndy.

“I visited a lot of different colleges and when we went to visit UIndy, the person taking us around was very honest and genuine,” said Kelley. “She really told you like it was and she was very supportive and very helpful.”

Kelley believes the educational environment will be similar to what she enjoyed at Southwestern.

“I think the first thing everyone from Southwestern says is it is a pretty small school,” she said. “I think that is very true in a lot of instances. It was one of the most close-knit groups I’ve ever been around. Everyone knows everyone.

“My teachers were very supportive of everyone that went there. They were very kind and very considerate of us when it came to a lot of things and they made us work hard when we needed to.”

 

 

Kelley was involved in basketball, tennis, track and field and soccer while at Southwestern and participated in Academic Team, Sunshine Society, Student Council, SADD, and choir.

She will major in Human Biology as part of UIndy’s 3-plus-3 program.

“I will finish my bachelor’s degree in three years then start the occupation therapy program for three more years,” she explained.

The track is daunting but Kelley should find it easier than preparing to give her salutatorian speech at Southwestern’s graduation ceremony.

“I hate talking in front of people,” she said. “It’s probably one of my worst fears. I practiced a lot the day before, and our valedictorian and class president all practiced with each other which helped out a lot.

“As for writing it, I had no idea what to do. I thought of things that really tried to represent us throughout the years and think about what I wanted people to learn from it.”

When it was over, Kelley felt relieved that the speech went well.

“I am glad I didn’t stutter or do anything dumb or say anything dumb,” she said. “It did go a lot better than I thought it would.”

(This is the ninth in a 10-part series highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

One man dead, a Trafalgar Police officer injured in pursuit and crash

A law enforcement pursuit in Johnson County ended with crashes and a fatality.

 

 

Just before 3:30 am Saturday a Trafalgar police officer was sitting at the intersection of State Road 135 and County Road 300S. The officer witnessed a dark colored pickup truck westbound disregard the stop at the intersection. The officer immediately followed the truck and activated his emergency lights in an attempt to stop the truck. Both the officer and driver of the truck made it to County Road 300S and 600W.  This  is a T-intersection.

 

Both the  truck and the officer crashed into the embankment.

 

The officer immediately after the crash radioed for help. Both the officer and the truck driver had to be extricated from their vehicles.  The officer was transported to Eskenazi Hospital via Lifeline Helicopter with back, hip, leg and internal injuries.  He is listed in serious , but stable condition.  The driver truck was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

The following agencies were on the scene to render assistance and first aid; Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Bargersville Police Department, Trafalgar Fire Department and the Bargersville Fire Department.

 

The Johnson County Coroner’s Office was on the scene and they are also conducting their investigation to determine the cause of death.

 

The names are not being released due to notifications being made. The accident is still under investigation the Johnson County Prosecutor was also on the scene. Further information will be released at a later time. 

Maurice Finkel: Shelbyville's ambassador of music and kindness

The Shelbyville community was enjoying a festive day of celebration at the dedication of the reconstructed and renovated Public Square in the summer of 1980. Mayor Dan Theobald, in the first year of his first term, prepared to address the assembly of citizens as the community band played.

Well-known band member Maurice Finkel paused for a quick radio interview and closed his comments by saying, “We have a beautiful new circle, music and Shelbyville people. What more could a person ask for?”

Those words exemplified Maurice Finkel. He held a special affinity for music, Shelbyville and, most of all, people. He enjoyed an extraordinary life filled with an abundance and variety of experience. He was a man who seemed to always radiate a sense of gratitude for life’s blessings.  

Finkel was a successful businessman who came to Shelbyville in the early 1950s. He worked as a salesman and later an entrepreneur in the auto parts industry. However, he was always most recognized for his contribution to the arts and his enduring sense of goodwill which was forever readily on display until his death in 2020 at the age of 97.

 

 

Maurice and his wife, Carol (photo above), served as significant promoters for a variety of campaigns to stimulate Shelbyville arts and musical endeavors. They started the community band and were at the forefront of The Shelby Arts Council and The Shelby Orchestral Association.

Their marriage and productive partnership as well as them ultimately making their home in Shelbyville were both ironic and unlikely.

Maurice’s father emigrated with his wife from eastern Europe to London. The elder Finkel’s intuition proved prophetic as problems in the region would eventually increase and result in the horrors perpetrated by the Nazi occupation of Poland in 1939 during World War II. He and his wife had three children in London before moving to Montreal where Maurice was born in 1923.

Music occupied a good deal of Maurice’s time as a youth growing up in Montreal. He played clarinet in the Baron Byng High School band. He became a skilled draftsman and developed an interest in aviation. Following graduation, he began work at Canadian Vickers, a civil and military aircraft manufacturer which would become Canadair.

During World War II, Canadair lent Maurice to Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, California. He worked on the Beaufort and the Boningbroke Bombers. He designed the overhead cockpit window seal for the PBV-1 Canso aircraft.

After the war, Maurice began selling in the auto industry for Canadian-based Lion Auto Parts. The company would become C. Mills Automotive. Maurice accepted a position as a salesman covering the Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia territory.

Maurice established National Automotive Lines, Inc. in Shelbyville in 1969. The company would be housed at the West Franklin Street location until 2019.

National Automotive, whose ownership would eventually include Maurice and sons Ken and David, sold auto parts to customers throughout the world. Maurice specialized in alternator, starter and transmission rebuilding parts. He was known and respected for his vast knowledge of the automotive parts industry.   

 

 

Maurice settled in Shelbyville and met Carol Drevno, a native of Chicago and graduate of the Indiana University School of Music. They would eventually marry and raise their children, Cydney, Sondra, Ken and David, in Shelbyville.

All four offspring would share their parents’ love of music and play multiple instruments. Ken and David would be members of the Indiana University Marching 100 during their college years in Bloomington.

In addition to organizing and developing community music associations, Maurice and Carol organized a music study club.

“These were similar to book clubs, except those in attendance explored and learned about music,” said David. “Mom and dad really enjoyed these meetings because everyone learned something every time they met.”

 

 

The couple also organized the “Shelbyville Community Concert Series.” This was a series of concerts held several times per year during the 1960s and 1970s at Shelbyville High School’s Breck Auditorium.  The productions featured a variety of very talented performers and were well attended.

Maurice’s humble demeanor belied his myriad talents and achievements. He was an accomplished pilot who flew 40 types of aircraft. He was designated a Master Pilot by the FAA and recognized for 50 years of safe flying. He spoke fluent English, French and Yiddish.

He purchased his well-known calliope (basically a portable organ) in 1987. He would become a popular musical attraction, especially at downtown Shelbyville events such as the Strawberry Festival.

“Dad really liked playing the calliope because he could see how much the public enjoyed the music,” said David. “It was instant feedback.” Maurice would play the calliope at the Indiana State Fair for 30 consecutive years from 1988 through 2017.

Maurice enjoyed providing musical opportunities to others. He used his connections to find pianos that owners were looking to discard and placed those instruments with interested people at no cost; a practice that David continues.  

His children would grow to adulthood and move on with their lives. Cydney became a doctor of Audiology and settled with her family in California. Sondra would marry and unfortunately die of cancer in 1990. Ken and David would have their own families and join Maurice in developing the family business with Ken living in Indianapolis and David in Shelbyville. Carol passed away in 2005.

 

 

Maurice bought the family home on Van Avenue in Shelbyville in 1954 and lived there until his passing less than two years ago. He and Carol expanded the house three times over the years and installed three organs while they lived there. A recent visit to the residence provides a pleasant integration of a musical museum and a warm, familial ambiance; much as it did in the 1960s and 1970s.

The benevolent spirit of the man who lived there for more than six decades continues to resonate. Maurice once said that life on Van Avenue was “A slice of Americana, where neighbors shared lives.”

For many of us, a drive past the Finkel house today resurrects memories of a family that fully invested itself in the Shelbyville community and a patriarch who consistently demonstrated a love of life and a special appreciation for the simple gifts it offered.

Maurice Finkel was a talented man who believed that every day could be a good day. He worked to make all of us believe it too.       

Shelbyville's unconventional valedictorian headed to Pomona College to study Neuroscience

Stefanie Howard does not see herself as a traditional valedictorian.

The top-ranked student from Shelbyville High School’s Class of 2022 did not achieve all A’s in middle school, does not have a family history of attending college, and is very passionate about helping people.

“I was not a very good student. I was the kid that got Bs and Cs in middle school and elementary school,” explained Howard, the daughter of Robert Howard and Scarlem Rodriguez. “I don’t know what happened. Once I got my second semester report card my freshman year that said I was fourth in my class is when it clicked.

“I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I try to be really chill about grades but the valedictorian thing was such an amazing success for my family. It became so much more important to me when I realized I’m a first generation (college) student, neither of my parents went to college. There is only one person in my extended family that went to college and no one has ever been valedictorian. It is an immense honor to do something like this. It became more about my family and inspiring other people that don’t think they are good enough, because you can still do it.”

Howard will follow her own graduation speech advice about embracing vulnerability by attending Pomona College in Claremont, California, to study Neuroscience.

“I cannot wait to go to California and immerse myself in the different culture,” she said. “I am excited to be in a completely different place where I can learn a ton of things.”

 

 

A successful cross country and track and field athlete at Shelbyville, she will continue her distance running career at Pomona, competing with the track and field program as a freshman and pursuing a cross country roster spot as a sophomore with Pomona’s nationally-ranked squad.

Through the Questbridge program that pairs high-ability students with colleges and universities across the country, Howard was linked with Pomona College.

“I literally didn’t know anything about Pomona but I heard it was a great school,” she said.

Howard thoroughly researched the college and talked with students before making her decision, turning down numerous other opportunities. The first time she arrives in California will be the first time she has been west of her home state.

“My parents are really hesitant (about me moving to California). I haven’t made any progress on my dad,” she said. “I live with my mom and I have shown her videos and she is excited for me and learning more about the school.”

Leaving home also means leaving behind her sister, who served as the student manager for Shelbyville’s cross country and track and field teams and an 8-month-old half-sister that is “so awesome.”

While Howard has never been west of the mighty Wabash River, she did travel east on a school-approved overseas trip to Italy and Spain in March.

 

 

While in Italy, Howard (photo above) was able to take a short run at the former site of the Circus Maximus.

“I ran in the streets of Rome and then I ran at the Circus Maximus in ancient Ostia,” she said. “It was so surreal. I have never had so much fun while running. We were so busy so I could only run for like 20 minutes. I think the most I ran was like 35 minutes in Ostia. Every single moment, I was like this is so crazy.”

While the ancient arena no longer stands in Ostia, the history of the place was not lost on Howard, who took Latin classes in high school.

“Running in Circus Maximus, I was imagining the chariot events,” she said. “They have excavated to the level where the Circus Maximus originally was. So it was like the real thing, it was not like you were running on a grass mound of all the sediment that has washed on top of it from the previous ruins. The spina is still there. It was absolutely crazy. I had so much fun.”

With her valedictorian status, Howard has obtained scholarships to help pay for her Pomona education. In early May, she learned she was one of 12 student-athletes in Indiana to receive the 2022 IHSAA/C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarship.

The $2,500 scholarship was presented to “well-rounded, positive role models who have demonstrated excellence in academics, school and community involvement, character, sportsmanship, and citizenship.”

Howard has about eight weeks left until she treks west. The phrase “wasting time” is not in her vocabulary. She can be found working at McDonald’s, doing volunteer work or just running to stay in shape.

“I like working. I need that structure,” said Howard. “Working every day provides me that. I like the routine of it.

“I’m running a lot and trying to contribute to the community. Summer is easy to take a couple of months off and not do anything to help other people. That is not my plan at all. I feel like if I’m not helping other people then I am wasting so many moments.”

(This is the eighth in a 10-part series highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

Shelbyville Police ask public's help to find missing teen Brayden Mahon

The Shelbyville Police Department is currently conducting an investigation of a missing 17-year-old male, Brayden Mahon.

 

Brayden was reported missing on February 10, 2022 and last seen in Shelbyville. Brayden lived with his father, Chris Mahon and grandmother, Shirley Michaels in Shelbyville at the time he went missing.

 

Brayden has not been active on any known social media sites and has not been seen or had any contact with family or friends since February 17, 2022. 

 

He is 5’11” and weighs 145lbs. 

 

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Brayden please contact Detective Mark Newman at 317-392-2511.  

 

Wine Walk returns to downtown Shelbyville Friday

The sixth edition of Mainstreet Shelbyville’s Wine Walk returns Friday to downtown Shelbyville.

After a two-year hiatus, the Wine Walk will feature seven wineries and trucks, food, shopping discounts as well as a downtown concert in the newly-redeveloped Public Square.

The Wine Walk starts at 5:30 p.m. Friday and ends at 9 p.m. A “wine down” concert follows from 9 to 11 p.m. with Bourbons and Brews continuing to serve those in attendance.

Wineries and wine trucks featured this year are:

  • Mallow Run
  • Ertel Winery
  • Sip and Share Wines
  • Easley Winery
  • Madison County
  • Let’s Wine Down
  • PROSEC.CO Truck

“We are real excited to bring you seven stops and four music acts,” said Brandy Coomes, Executive Director of Mainstreet Shelbyville Inc., during her GIANT fm interview. “And also we have some food and beverage trucks coming in in addition to our downtown restaurants. You puzzle all that together and it’s going to be a great evening.”

The stops on the wine walk are coordinated with local businesses to spur shopping in the downtown area.

“This has been a really popular concept and great for our local businesses, which was our whole intent,” said Coomes. “And it’s a great social thing for Shelbyville and Shelby County.”

The main attraction for the concert is Audiodacity.

Lindsey Flannery, The Duffys, and Sister Sinjin also will be performing Friday in downtown Shelbyville.

Tickets are required to participate in the wine walk. You must be 21 years old.

The after event concert is free to the public.

Munchies closing in downtown Shelbyville

Last call for Munchies.

The downtown Shelbyville restaurant and bar, located at 39 Public Square, will close its doors one final time Saturday, citing financial difficulties resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the downtown redevelopment project.

“We are deeply saddened as we sit here writing this. The damage that we sustained during the pandemic, and PRIMARILY CONSTRUCTION, has left us in a hole that we are unable to dig out of,” said Adam Tindall in a media release Wednesday night to the Shelby County Post. Tindall and Maryssa Huntsman own and operate Munchies.

“To everyone who has supported us, visited us, told your friends about us, laughed with us, listened to our frustrations, and became friends with us, THANK YOU,” the media release continued. “Your friendship and support mean more to us than you could imagine.

“We will be closing permanently at the end of the day on Saturday. Come on by for one last hoorah, one last beer, a tenderloin, a Philly, or you last plate of totchos. We will be selling food until we run out.”

 

 

Fifteen months ago, Huntsman vented her frustrations at the March 15, 2021  Shelbyville Common Council meeting at City Hall. While Huntsman and Tindall were in favor of the downtown redevelopment project and its proposed end results, timing issues with the construction at the front and rear of the restaurant (photo) were difficult to understand.

“I don’t think anyone is maliciously doing it,” she said at the meeting. “I think it’s more they are trying to get it done and not thinking about the collateral damage in the mean time.”

The city continuously worked with Genesis Property Development, the project manager, and Beaty Construction, the project contractor, to provide updates to local businesses but Huntsman continually cited a lack of communication with the timeline.

“I can’t get excuses on letterhead and pay my light bills,” said Huntsman at another 2021 council meeting. “I have huge business losses at no fault of my own.”

Cadillac Jack’s, 29 Public Square, also struggled throughout the construction project and was eventually sold to new owners to continue operations now that the redevelopment project is complete.

Gillman Home Center officially breaks ground for new Shelbyville location

Gillman Home Center will be open in Shelbyville by the end of the year if no major delays occur.

The Batesville-based company is growing by two locations in 2022, with a current project underway in Muncie and the beginnings of a Shelbyville location already started.

Curtis Gillman (photo, center), Chief Operating Officer of Gillman Home Center, hosted an official ground-breaking ceremony Thursday afternoon at its future Shelbyville location -- a 5.2-acre site at 200 Lee Boulevard.

“Shelbyville is the kind of town we thrive in,” said Gillman after the ceremony. “It’s a win-win for us being here. We feel like we can really compliment the other businesses in town, we are really going to be able to give back to the community.

“It’s the kind of town that supports small businesses that understand the value of a business that gives back, that will always hire local.”

With its two newest locations, the Gillman family will operate 14 locations in Indiana and Ohio, including Connersville, Edinburgh and Batesville.

The Shelbyville site will include a nearly 25,000-square-foot retail store and nearly 20,000-square-foot lumber barn.

 

 

“The easiest way I like to tell people is we have everything you need to build and maintain your home and a little more,” said Gillman. “That can be everything from your hard to find nuts and bolts in the hardware section to conventional lumber, shingles, insulation, lawn and garden supplies, drainage supplies, plumbing, electrical, and fun things too like we’ve got a lot of national brands for outdoor cooking.

“It’s a big store that we will fill with a lot of stuff.”

The site is already being prepared for construction which Gillman said will start “soon.”

“It’s a big process but once we get going and everything falls into place, we get moving quickly,” he said.

The first Gillman Home Center was built in 1992 in Batesville, Indiana. A Shelbyville location has long been desired by the company, according to Gillman, the son of the company’s founder, Charlie Gillman.

“More than anything, we see an opportunity here,” said Curtis Gillman. “This side of town needs building materials and hardware and we think we fit a niche that is needed on this side of town.”

Gov. Holcomb calls a special session to return $1 billion to Hoosier taxpayers

Governor Eric J. Holcomb Wednesday signed a proclamation calling a special session for the General Assembly to convene on July 6, 2022, to take action on his plan to return more than $1 billion of state reserves to Hoosier taxpayers.

 

“This is the fastest, fairest and most efficient way to return taxpayers' hard-earned money during a time of economic strain,” said Gov. Holcomb. “Indiana’s economy is growing and with more than $1 billion of revenue over current projections, Hoosier taxpayers deserve to have their money responsibly returned. I’m happy to be able to take this first step and look forward to signing this plan into law as soon as possible.”

 

Each taxpayer would collect about $225 in addition to $125 Hoosiers are currently receiving from the state’s automatic taxpayer refund (ATR). All told, each eligible Hoosier would receive about $350; a married couple filing jointly would receive about $700.

 

Click here to view the proclamation.

Shelbyville salutatorian chooses Indiana University to study Biology

Unable to fill a full schedule of classes his junior year, Nolen Chaney had a decision to make for one final class – Classical Literature or Genetics.

“I had a gap in my schedule my junior year … they couldn’t get me into all the classes I signed up for and the only classes available in the spot they couldn’t get me in was Classical Literature or a Genetics class,” explained the Shelbyville High School Class of 2022 salutatorian. “I took the Genetics class and it was really interesting to me. So I figured out that is what I wanted to do.”

Chaney will attend Indiana University in the fall and major in Biology with a Genetics educational track in his future.

“My sophomore year I can start taking areas of specialization,” said Chaney. “I want to go into Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. I want to get into a master’s program in Genetics.”

The decision to forgo Classical Literature was not a difficult decision. Chaney was advanced into a Biology class in seventh grade and quickly found his area of interest.              

“It was my favorite class,” he said. “The Biology class I took in high school just confirmed that.”

Chaney finished ranked No. 2 in his graduating class behind Stefanie Howard and one spot ahead of Braydon Povinelli, who will be his roommate at IU.

With the class ranking finalized, Chaney earned a speaking role at Shelbyville’s graduation ceremony.

 

 

“It went better than I thought it was going to go,” he said. “I’m pretty nervous talking in front of a bunch of people. At the podium, I was shaking the whole time. My speech was two pages long and when I went to change the page, my hands were shaking.”

Chaney is much calmer on the golf course where he carded a personal-best round of 39 last month at Blue Bear Golf Club on Senior Night.

“A goal of mine had always been to break 40 in a 9-hole match,” he said. “I had done it in practice a few times this year. On Senior Night, I shot the lowest score of my high school career.”

Chaney will take the golf clubs with him to IU where 2021 SHS valedictorian and former Golden Bear golfer Ethan Apsley is awaiting his arrival. The duo have already discussed introducing Povinelli, the 2021 state chess champion, to the sport.

While at Shelbyville, the son of George and Malia Chaney also was involved in Quiz League, Spanish Club and National Honor Society. Chaney also was named an Academic All-State golfer this past season.

Chaney and Apsley have a summer of golfing at courses they’ve not played planned around Chaney working in the pro shop at Blue Bear Golf Club in Shelbyville.

“Ethan is always calling me up and saying, ‘You want to go play golf here?” said Chaney with a smile.

Chaney narrowed his college choices down to IU and Notre Dame.

“IU has a great science program so it was a pretty easy choice to go to IU,” he said.

And while only about 90 minutes away from home, Chaney knows he will miss his hometown.

“My favorite thing about Shelbyville is the people,” he said. “I really enjoyed my time here. I think that is what I will miss the most … the people.”

(This is the seventh in a 10-part series highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

Morristown salutatorian following family footsteps to Ball State University

Carrie Cooper-Randolph revels in the idea of following in her mother’s footsteps in attending Ball State University.

The Morristown High School Class of 2022 salutatorian was accepted into the Honors College at Ball State and will study Biology with a future working goal of working in the genetics field.

“I have always been super interested in science,” said Cooper-Randolph. “I definitely am a science and math kind of person. I think genetic counseling is pretty interesting.”

Genetic counselors review testing results that search for genetic predispositions to certain diseases and cancers, according to Cooper-Randolph, and then talk about the next steps.

To enter that field, Cooper-Randolph will need more than a bachelor’s degree but there is no plan in place just yet for additional postgraduate work.

Cooper-Randolph arrived at Morristown High School prior to the start of her sophomore year. A top-10 student at Shelbyville, she immediately moved into the top two of Morristown’s 2022 graduating class.

“It was a little surprising, but it’s also a lot smaller class (size),” she said. “It was a little surprising and kind of cool.”

 

 

Cooper-Randolph went from a graduating class of approximately 250 down to less than 60 and found the learning environment refreshing.

“It’s a much smaller community. It’s a lot closer, more familial than Shelbyville was … Shelbyville is not super big but it makes a big difference,” she said. “Morristown is a small, close-knit community. It was nice to get to know everyone. You know everyone in your class, you know everyone in your school.”

Cooper-Randolph started playing clarinet in the school band in sixth grade and switched to tenor saxophone when she reached Shelbyville High School to join the marching band.

She continued playing at Morristown, performing in the marching band, pep band and jazz band.

“I’m a band kid,” she said with a smile.

Ball State offered her the right environment when she visited the Muncie campus. While comfortable in a bigger school environment like Shelbyville, she continued to thrive in the smaller settings at Morristown.

“As far as state colleges go, it’s not huge,” said Cooper-Randolph. “It is not nearly as big as IU. It’s a nice campus and it’s a little over an hour from home.”

Cooper-Randolph does not yet have her college roommate selected but is required to live with another Honors College student. While she works through that decision this summer, she will continue to work at The Pizza Shop in Morristown where she has been employed since September of 2020.

A fellow employee will attend Ball State as well so Cooper-Randolph knows she will have a friend on campus to make the transition to being a freshman again a little bit easier.

“Being a freshman again, that’s strange,” she said. “At the very least, I have friend, someone I work with, going to Ball State.”

The Morristown salutatorian is the daughter of Angie Cooper and Richard Randolph.

(This is the sixth in a 10-part series highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

Morristown valedictorian ready for all new experiences at Franklin College

Delaney Cornn had her hands in a little bit of everything at Morristown High School.

That worked so well, the Morristown High School valedictorian for the Class of 2022 will take a similar approach to her collegiate experience at Franklin College.

Cornn is leaning toward a career as a physical therapist or athletic trainer.

“I want to go through the (Franklin College) program and see everything,” she said. “They offer a ton of internships there. I can go to different places and experience different jobs.”

Cornn was actively involved in golf, basketball, softball and track and field during her time at Morristown and served as the president of the Student Council and National Honor Society.

Becoming valedictorian was not the primary goal of the daughter of Dande Ward and Omer Corrn, but she finds it pretty satisfying now that the process is over.

“Carrie (Cooper-Randolph) and I were the top two for a long time,” she said. “I was in my counselor’s office getting a copy of my transcript to apply for scholarships and when she printed it, it said No. 1 out of how many were in our class at the time.

“I looked at her and said, ‘Did I actually pass her?’ and she was like, ‘Yeah.’”

 

 

The title of valedictorian became official, according to Cornn, on the Tuesday after the school year was complete with Cooper-Randolph earning the salutatorian title.

“It’s kind of cool to brag about but it wasn’t really at the top of my goals,” she said. “I was gunning for scholarships, but I got a cool plaque with my name on it.”

With the valedictorian title came the responsibility of addressing the large crowd at the graduation ceremony.

“It was really (intimidating). You want to talk about yourself up there but I’m not the kind of person to talk about myself,” she said. “I kind of name picked a lot and said a lot of thank yous.”

Cornn plans to work throughout the summer before her Aug. 25 move-in date arrives and she officially becomes a freshman once again.

“All the times that I have gone to Franklin College for student days and schedule planning, everybody was super nice and super open about the student life there,” said Cornn. “They are very welcoming. I am excited for that portion of it. I’m not excited about trying to find my way around campus. Room numbers stress me out.”

Cornn will room with another small-town girl who graduated from Argos High School in northern Indiana, which will bring a sense of comfort while on campus.

“I will miss everybody, I will say that,” she said. “I am excited to see what adulthood has for me, what my career could be.

“And I am excited to explore everything.”

(This is the fifth in a 10-part series highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

Shelbyville man pleads guilty to carrying gun, assaulting law enforcement in Capitol breach; firearm loaded with shotgun shells and hollow-point bullets

An Indiana man pleaded guilty to carrying a loaded gun on Capitol grounds and assaulting law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. 

 

Mark Andrew Mazza, 57, of Shelbyville, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon and carrying a pistol without a license.

 

According to court documents, Mazza brought a Taurus revolver, loaded with three shotgun shells and two hollow point bullets, into Washington, D.C., to the Ellipse, and then to the Capitol. Sometime on U.S. Capitol grounds before 2:45 p.m., Mazza lost possession of the revolver. Mazza illegally made his way to the Lower West Terrace and a tunnel area with doors leading into the Capitol Building. He joined in a collective effort of rioters to push through at least 20 officers who were defending the tunnel entrance. At approximately 3:13 p.m., Mazza moved to the front of the tunnel line, next to the first set of doors. He held open one of the doors, and, as he did so, he allowed other rioters to attack officers with flag poles, batons, sticks and stolen law enforcement shields, and try force their way through the line of officers.  Thereafter, he took control of a baton from an officer’s hand and swung it overhead and downward to strike at officers in the tunnel entrance, hitting one officer in the arm. After striking at the officers with the baton, he continued his efforts to get past law enforcement officers and yelled, “This is our f---- house! We own this house!”

 

After moving back from the front line, he then participated in “heave-ho” efforts to apply significant physical force and pressure on the officers to remove them from the doorway. Mazza was pushed out of the tunnel by law enforcement officers, but he remained on the Capitol grounds until flash bang grenades were deployed by law enforcement officers later that afternoon. On Jan. 8, 2021, according to the documents, Mazza filed a false police report in Indiana in which he claimed to have lost his gun at an Ohio casino. 

 

Mazza was arrested on Nov. 17, 2021, at his home in Shelbyville. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 30, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison on the charge of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon and up to five years in prison in prison on the firearms charge. Both charges also carry potential financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division are prosecuting the case, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

 

The U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office investigated the case, with valuable assistance from the FBI’s Louisville and Washington Field Offices, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Shelbyville, Indiana Police Department.

 

In the 17 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 840 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 250 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing.  

 

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

First probable case of monkeypox identified in Indiana

State health officials announced that the first probable case of monkeypox in Indiana in 2022 has been identified. No further information about the patient will be released due to privacy concerns.

 

Initial testing was completed at the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) Laboratories today. Confirmatory testing is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Based on the initial positive test and preliminary case investigation, state health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection. The patient remains isolated, and health officials are working to identify anyone the patient may have had close contact with while infectious.

 

“The risk of monkeypox among the general public continues to be extremely low,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Monkeypox is rare and does not easily spread through brief casual contact. Please continue to take the same steps you do to protect against any infection, including washing your hands frequently and thoroughly, and check with a healthcare provider if you have any new signs or symptoms.”

 

Person-to-person transmission is possible either through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, such as bedding or clothing, or through exposure to respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

 

Monkeypox typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about 5 to 21 days after exposure. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. Some people may only develop the rash. The illness typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off.

 

The CDC reports that 113 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in 21 U.S. states and territories in 2022. Visit the CDC’s website for more information on the monkeypox outbreak.

Horseshoe Indianapolis donates $70, 000 to SCUFFY

As part of Caesars Foundation’s $3.3 million donation to organizations across the U.S., Horseshoe Indianapolis has donated a total of $70,000 to Shelby County United Fund for You (SCUFFY) with $55,000 of that sum coming directly from Caesars Foundation.

 

SCUFFY holds an annual drive which recently completed by surpassing the goal of $875,000 with more than $912,000 collected. All proceeds from the drive benefit 13 local agencies in Shelby County.

 

“It’s important to us that Horseshoe Indianapolis continues its goal of being a good corporate partner in Shelby County,” said Steve Jarmuz, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “Allotting our funds coming directly from Caesars Foundation to SCUFFY plus an additional $15,000 from our local program only strengthens our commitment to the immediate community and ensures the organizations under the SCUFFY umbrella have the resources they need to provide much needed services.”

 

SCUFFY currently provides support to 13 different agencies, including Boys and Girls Club of America, Girls, Inc, The Salvation Army, Project Clothes for Kids, Cancer Association of Shelby County, Turning Point, United Service Organization (USO) Indiana, Shelby Senior Services, National Head Start Association, Meals on Wheels, The Arc of Shelby County, Boy Scouts, and Girl Scouts. The 2022 drive was completed with a total of $912,907.65.

 

“This donation is so important to our organization,” said Alecia Gross, Executive Director of SCUFFY. “Without donations such as this, we would not be able to assist in our community. Horseshoe Indianapolis was the largest donor in this category, so we appreciate this so much.”

 

The Caesars Foundation is a private foundation funded by resorts owned or operated by Caesars Entertainment and is the entity through which Caesars funds non-profit programs. The Foundation is dedicated to supporting the communities in which Caesars Entertainment operates with an ongoing commitment to economic development while improving the quality of life of Team Members and their families, the community, and society at large.

 

To learn more about Caesars Entertainment's corporate social responsibility, please visit www.caesars.com/corporate.  

Columbus man arrested on child porn charges

A Columbus man was arrested on charges of possession of child pornography following a four-month investigation by the Indiana State Police and the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.

 

The investigation began in February 2022 after the Indiana State Police received six cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).  The tips were initiated after three internet service providers submitted reports to the NCMEC.  The NCMEC is a private, non-profit organization that assists law enforcement in the prevention of child abduction and sexual exploitation. 

 

The investigation, led by Indiana State Police Detective Kevin Getz, resulted in the ICAC Task Force executing a search warrant at 4815 Timbercrest Drive, Columbus, Indiana yesterday morning.  Task force officers assisting in the investigation were from the Indiana State Police ICAC and Cyber Crimes Units, the FBI, and the Bloomington Police Department.

 

During a search of the residence, additional evidence related to the possession of child pornography was located.

 

As a result of the investigation, Mark A. Scolley, 38, was arrested on seven counts of Possession of Child Pornography.  He was transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where he was incarcerated. 

With Waldron legacy secure, Megan Bogemann starting new journey at Purdue

For someone known for hitting 3s, Megan Bogemann was very comfortable being ranked No. 3 in her graduating class at Waldron High School.

Bogemann made it to the final day of school believing she could enjoy graduation day without having to give a speech. That is when she learned twin sisters Hadlie and Hallie Ross were named co-valedictorians and Bogemann was now the salutatorian.

“At the end of the last school day I found out I have to give a speech,” recalled Bogemann. “I had to think of something really fast and hope it was good.”

More comfortable playing in front of thousands of fans, Bogemann found the experience of talking in front of so many friends and families daunting.

“It was definitely nerve-wracking because I don’t want to talk in front of people,” she said.

That notion comes with some irony considering she plans to major in Speech, Language and Hearing at Purdue University. Her life will literally be built around speech.

“I went from a lot of physical therapy to occupational therapy, so I knew I wanted to do some sort of therapy,” she said. “I knew I wanted to go into the medical field but not go particularly into the medical field because I don’t have the stomach for it.

“I want to work in a hospital setting with speech pathology so I can help little kids.”

 

 

In reality, Bogemann has been helping little kids in the Waldron school system for the last two years. She, as are many members of the Class of 2022 at Waldron, is a role model because of her volleyball, basketball and tennis success.

Bogemann was part of a sectional championship winning volleyball team in 2021, a 3-point marksman for a basketball team that was ranked No. 1 in the state and won sectional and regional championships in February, and teamed with Mackenzie Shaw to become the first tennis doubles sectional champions in school history.

“I definitely think our sports has put a legacy on the school, and FFA (Future Farmers of America) too,” she said. “The senior class has helped do a lot of things for our community and I think that is what our senior class is based off of, helping our community and leaving a mark on Waldron.”

That mark is what made Bogemann sentimental during her final couple days in school.

“It was a little sad knowing it would be the last time walking in this class with these people, last time seeing these teachers, or the last time walking through the elementary (school),” she said. “It was cool walking through the elementary school and how excited they are to see you and know the impact you’ve made on all of them.”

Bogemann found Purdue to be the right fit, wanting a larger school experience without being overwhelmed by the setting.

“I wanted to have a place with a lot of people in it but still felt small,” she said. “I didn’t want to go to a big college and feel overwhelmed. “Purdue is still so many people but the campus makes it feel small and close knit and that’s what I liked about it. It felt like home to me.”

By choosing Purdue, though, Bogemann made the difficult decision to close out her athletic career.

“I already miss volleyball and basketball and I know I will miss tennis,” said Bogemann. “It’s bittersweet knowing what we did as seniors and walking out of this school with our faces being on the walls forever.”

(This is the fourth in a 10-part series highlighting the Class of 2022 valedictorians and salutatorians from the five Shelby County high schools.)

Ellie Gosser wins Shelby County Royal event at fairgrounds

All Ellie Gosser focused on were her perceived mistakes.

The six judges saw something else.

Gosser, a rising junior at Southwestern High School, was crowned the 2022 Shelby County Royal champion Wednesday night at the Shelby County Fair.

“It was a surprise,” she said with a big smile. “I tally my mistakes and I wasn’t expecting it. I messed up too much.”

Gosser was one of six competitors for the coveted Shelby County Royal title. She is the third representative in a row of the Southwestern Shamrocks 4-H group to capture the award following wins by Dane Kissell and Camille Thopy.

Also competing Wednesday were Avery Everhart, Ella Koch, Sarah Fitzgerald, Krista Brown (photo below) and Tyler Harker.

 

 

Each a champion showman in their particular breed of animal, the challenge in the Shelby County Royal is to show six different breeds of animal – swine, horses and pony, goats, sheep, dairy cattle and beef cattle – and express knowledge to the various judges of each breed of animal.

“This is extremely difficult,” said Scott Gabbard, county extension director of Purdue Extension Shelby County and the emcee for the Shelby County Royal. “These are animals that are not in their barn. They don’t work with them on a daily basis.”

Shelby County Fair livestock superintendents secure the animals to be shown and the competitors are randomly assigned to those animals. The pairings don’t always work well.

Sarah Fitzgerald drew a sheep that wanted no part of the event Wednesday and eluded as many as seven people before being corralled and removed. Fitzgerald was given another sheep to show.

Gosser was most concerned about showing a horse in the second round of the competition.

“It’s the least familiar to me,” she said.

The competitors got through the first four rounds which left the dairy cattle and beef cattle, which is what Gosser shows at the fair.

“It gave me an end of time comfort because I knew that was what I was going to end with so I felt better,” she said.

With the award in hand, Gosser could not even guess how many hours she has spent at the fairgrounds over the fair’s first three days.

“I don’t know. I really don’t … I can’t even give you an estimate,” she said.

 

 

The 4-H livestock auction is tonight at the Shelby County Fair, which has continued on despite triple-digit heat indexes Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It’s gone really well,” said Gabbard. “The kids and the families all worked well together. Yes, it’s hot and, at times, very miserable but that being said, we’ve worked well together and so far, so good.”

Greenwood man killed in apparent hit-and-run

A person was killed in a Greenwood hit-and-run on Wednesday.

 

About 11:45 am, the Greenwood Police Department responded to the 500 block of N. State Road 135 on a reported personal injury accident. Officers arrived and located a Greenwood man, Andrew Bankert, 23, dead at the scene.

 

Greenwood Police say that it appears Bankert was the victim of a hit-and-run accident.

 

Greenwood Detectives are actively investigating the incident.  Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Greenwood Police Department Tip Line at 317-865-0300 or they can anonymously make a report on the department’s web page at www.greenwood.in.gov/police.

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