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Local News

Greensburg man seriously hurt in fall from tree

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a hunting-related accident that occurred in Decatur County.

 

About 11:30 am Thursday responders were dispatched to the area near 8700 block of E County Road 150 N for a person injured after falling from a tree stand. 

 

 Jeffrey Berkemeir, 44, of Greensburg, was injured while attempting to remove a hang-on tree stand and falling approximately 25 feet to the ground.

 

Initial investigation reveals that Berkemeir was using a full body safety harness, when for unknown reasons, the lineman’s rope became untied from the harness, causing the fall.

 

Berkemeir was transported, via helicopter, to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for severe injuries to both legs.

 

Assisting agencies included the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department, Clarksburg Fire Department, and New Point Fire Department.

Shelby Mills project receives grant for development of property behind Porter Center

The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded 17 grants totaling $190,000 to programs that support a wide range of environmental initiatives across Indiana, including projects to support water quality, conservation, and habitat and forest restoration.

“Duke Energy is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and enhancing opportunities for outdoor recreation in the communities we serve,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with a number of local organizations that are doing meaningful work in our communities to promote environmental education and to preserve and restore Indiana’s land, water and habitats.”

Over the last five years, the Duke Energy Foundation has awarded 58 grants totaling $946,000 to organizations across Indiana for projects that support environmental responsibility. One of the recipients of a $20,000 grant is the Blue River Community Foundation in Shelby County, which is working to construct a linear park behind the historic Porter Center.

“Through the generosity of Duke Energy, we’re able to enhance and revitalize a portion of the Blue River Trail system behind the historic Porter Center by creating a rest area for trail users and a storybook trail for children. The park will be named after the flour mill that once stood at this site in the 1800s, Shelby Mills,” said Jennifer Jones, executive director of the Blue River Community Foundation. “This project will not only serve as a destination for community use and enjoyment, but also preserve and protect the natural resources in Shelbyville for future generations to enjoy.”
 

Blue River Community Foundation (Shelby County)
$20,000 for Shelby Mills

Funding will be used to support the construction of a linear park, named Shelby Mills, located behind the historic Porter Center to encourage trail users to use the west section of the trail system. The project will include tearing out old asphalt parking and transforming the area into both a rest area and a storybook trail that will offer children a lesson in Shelby County history.

 

The area will be filled with native trees, plants, flowers and a raingarden that will allow visitors to learn about the types of plants and elements that benefit the local ecosystem.

Mask mandate extended to Dec. 31 for all Shelbyville schools

Shelbyville Central Schools students and staff will continue to wear masks during school hours and at all indoor extracurricular events until Dec. 31, 2021.

Shelby County’s largest school system announced the decision Thursday morning that a mask mandate in place through Oct. 31 will continue until the end of the year.

According to the announcement, prior to the mask mandate being put in place, an average of 576 students were not in school due to COVID-19 or close contact tracing.

Since the mask mandate, that average dropped to 96 students.

Per Major Health Partners’ latest incident command update, Indiana’s COVID positivity rate is 9.3% while Shelby County’s positivity rate is 9.9%.

Morristown PD asks public's assistance to find Lance Sherman

The Morristown Police Department released the following information about a reported missing person on its Twitter account Thursday morning:

 

Lance Sherman is currently missing from Morristown, Indiana. He was last seen on 10/13/21.

He may be in need of medical assistance.

If you locate Lance, contact 911 or the Shelby County Sheriff’s Dept at 317-398-6661.

Morristown graduate takes Advantage Shelby County path to Shelbyville Fire Department

Advantage Shelby County was created in 2016 as a way to build a locally-grown talent pool.

Five years later, the Shelbyville Fire Department has its first firefighter and paramedic  created by Advantage Shelby County.

Katheryn Parker, a 2018 Morristown graduate, was sworn into service Monday morning and worked her first shift at Fire Station No. 1 in downtown Shelbyville.

“Advantage Shelby County gave me the opportunity to get my first two years of college paid for … to do my general studies which was a huge help,” said Parker Monday morning at City Hall after her badge was pinned on her chest by her mother, Andria Parker. “It was the same classes I would take at any private institution or school. Once I had that, they gave me more guidance as to what route I should go for a degree, where I should work and stuff like that.

“I don’t think I would be in the position I am today if I didn’t go the Advantage Shelby County route.”

The city, county and Ivy Tech have developed a strong working relationship through Advantage Shelby County. The Paramedic Science program is a relatively new offering that is gaining traction.

“This is exactly what we intended the programs to do … to create a talent pool for us that was trained in our programming which would eventually lead to an employee for us,” said Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun, who watched the ceremony Monday morning. “It speaks to the cooperation between the city, county and Ivy Tech because we created this paramedicine program based on anticipation of these kinds of results and Ivy Tech came to the table and said, ‘Let’s give it a shot.” And it worked.”

Advantage Shelby County is a two-year college scholarship program for graduates of Shelby County high schools. In exchange for free tuition, students must meet academic progress standards, complete a minimum of 10 hours of community service per semester and participate in a mentoring program.

Parker earned her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training through Blue River Career Programs in Shelbyville. Once she enrolled at Ivy Tech, a paramedic career became her focus.

 

 

“It started out in 2019 when I got offered a position in the paramedic program through Ivy Tech,” she said. “Once I got into the paramedic program, I started working on an ambulance here in Shelbyville.”

Through an arrangement with St. Francis Hospital, the Shelbyville Fire Department is bolstered by an ambulance training truck that is staffed by a paramedic, an EMT and a student.

“The students get 14 months of experience riding on that truck,” said Shelbyville Fire Chief Tony Logan. “That’s what ‘Kat’ did. She was the first one to go through Advantage Shelby County.”

While doing her training, Parker showed interest in firefighting skills.

“I had no idea I wanted to be a fireman. I figured I would ride the ambulance the whole time,” she said. “I got to know the (firefighters), got to see what they were doing and that peaked my interest. So I got on as a volunteer fireman. I started taking more fireman classes. “Eventually, I applied to the department not thinking I would get hired. I just wanted to get experience.”

Training locally is a great advantage in the hiring process, according to Logan.

“We have hired three or four people that have gone through that St. Francis truck that have worked for us for a period of time and we knew who they were,” explained Logan. “The benefit to that is we get to see who these candidates are. It’s different than just an interview.”

Parker already has her Firefighter I and Firefighter II certifications and has completed her paramedic training.

“The benefit today is she is going to start today and she will be precepted for approximately 25 days, that’s our normal precepting time in house,” said Logan. “It’s an orientation program. She will work so many days on the truck just observing, so many days doing certain skills, and so many days working as a paramedic being precepted.

“Once she achieves that certain level, we let her go with an ambulance and an EMT at that point.”

Parker will have 10 shifts of orientation at Station No. 1 and then shifts at Station No. 2 on the city’s southeast side and Station No. 3 at the water tower on the city’s southwest side to learn each building’s routines.

“I am not as nervous as I would have been if I was just coming in off the street because I know all the guys and how they operate,” said Parker. “Since it’s a new job and new for me being in the fire service, I am still pretty nervous but I know it’s a good bunch of guys that have my back.”

Nearly three-and-a-half years after her high school graduation, Parker already has a full-time position in her career choice with not nearly the debt accrued through a traditional four-year institution.

“They said I am kind of a pioneer for the paramedic program … that’s a lot of pressure,” she said. “That was nerve wracking but everything that got me here I think started in the Advantage Shelby County route.”

Parker is the trailblazer and there are already local students following in her path, according to Logan.

“We are hoping to get more people involved with Advantage Shelby County and this paramedicine program,” said Logan. “It’s really been a great pathway for kids to become firefighters.”

To enroll in the Advantage Shelby County program, complete the application process at www.IvyTech.edu/ShelbyAdvantage. The deadline for Class of 2022 graduates is Dec. 15.

Mickey's T-Mart to close after 44 years; 25% sale starts Wednesday

Mickey’s T-Mart is counting down its last days as Shelbyville’s locally-owned and operated supermarket with a closing target date of the day before Thanksgiving.

 

Brian Meeke said they’ve been looking at possibilities for some time related to selling the business but no offer was quite good enough.  Thus, the decision now to close the supermarket at 748 South Harrison Street.

 

Meeke says the leading reason is the passing of time and customers.

 

 

So, what’s next?  Meeke details the coming days and weeks which include opening a 25% off sale starting Wednesday.

 

 

Meeke says Wednesday’s sale opening could be a flood of activity.

 

 

 

The decision to close Mickey’s T-Mart comes after entertainment of offers to buy the business and the properties over the years.  But Meeke says those offers weren’t what they were looking for.  That results in the decision now.

 

 

Will the site feature another supermarket down the road?  Meeke hopes so but notes that the issues plaguing business right now may delay that until supply chains, hiring, wages and more are repaired.

 

 

Meeke says it’s been a great run for his family dating back to 1978.  It might be hard to remember a date or time of something over four decades ago but in the case of Mickey’s T-Mart, probably not.  Remember something else that happened in ’78?

 

 

America's largest grocery retailer to host nationwide holiday hiring event on October 13

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) announced its Family of Companies' second nationwide hybrid hiring event, including virtual and on-site interviews, will take place from 2-5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 13.

 

The organization's mission is to hire 20,000 associates by finding talent for retail, e-commerce, manufacturing, supply chain, merchandising, logistics, corporate, and pharmacy and healthcare roles.

 

"The Kroger Family of Companies is eager to welcome 20,000 associates to our organization as we prepare for an incredible holiday season where customers are planning to return to larger family gatherings and celebrations," said Tim Massa, Kroger's senior vice president and chief people officer. "It's an exciting time to work in grocery retail, and as one of the leading retailers and employers in America, we're committed to offering associates a culture of opportunity and career with purpose, competitive pay and benefits, and flexible schedules. We truly want our associates to have a rewarding and uplifting experience while meeting our customers' needs and delivering on our promise to be in-stock, fresh, and friendly."

 

The Kroger Family of Companies offers resources, benefits, and training, to support and develop associates and make their lives easier including:

  • Wages & Benefits: The Kroger Family of Companies provides comprehensive compensation packages, including competitive salaries and wages, healthcare, and retirement. In addition to an $800 million incremental investment in associate wages and training over the last three years, the organization is investing $350 million more in 2021 that has increased its average hourly wage to more than $16 nationally and when coupled with benefits, total compensation is more than $21 an hour.
  • Continued Education & Tuition Reimbursement: The Kroger Family of Companies' tuition reimbursement program, offering up to $21,000 for both part-time and full-time associates, covers a GED to PhD. Since inception, this program has benefitted 6,789 associates, with hourly associates making up 88.4% of those who have taken advantage of the offering so far.
  • Training & Development: The Kroger Family of Companies offers on-demand, role-specific training and resources through FEED desktop and mobile and modern learning platforms like Axonify as well as leadership, career advancement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion training.
  • Health & Wellness: The Kroger Family of Companies continues to further support associates' safety, health, and well-being by coaching managers to lead with compassion and empathy and through resources like The Well-Being Assistant powered by Magellan Health that is available 24/7 and offers free counseling sessions as well as BetterHelp, another mental wellness resource. The organization also encourages use of Whil, a wellness platform that encourages activities like mindfulness, yoga, and sleep. Additionally, the organization continues to award a one-time payment of $100 to associates who become fully COVID-19 vaccinated.
  • Perks & Discounts: The Kroger Family of Companies provides flexible scheduling, an advance pay option through partner DailyPay, as well as discounts on groceries, electronics, streaming services, travel, and more.

"We know that a career looks different for everyone, so we strive to provide the tools and support associates need to create their own path to success. No matter where your journey begins, we have fresh opportunities for everyone," continued Massa.

 

Hiring Event Details
The Kroger Family of Companies welcomes individuals who are looking for a career with purpose. Available opportunities include store leaders, customer service managers, personal shoppers, e-commerce specialists, digital marketing managers, software engineers, data architects, delivery drivers, warehouse workers, machine operators, category and procurement managers, financial analysts, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, project managers, and administrative supporters.

 

To preview all available roles and register for the hiring event, visit The Kroger Family of Companies' career site.

Weight restriction in place on I-65 / I-70 exit ramps in downtown Indianapolis

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) has implemented a weight restriction on the I-65/I-70 exit ramps in downtown Indianapolis as part of the North Split reconstruction. The restriction began Sunday, October 10, 2021 and will be in place through November of 2022. This restriction is being implemented to reduce traffic congestion, prevent infrastructure damage and improve safety for downtown commuters and pedestrians.

Vehicles exceeding 13 tons gross vehicle weight (GVW) will be restricted from using the I-65/I-70 collector-distributor exit ramp for Michigan and Ohio streets (Exit 83A), and the Washington Street exit ramp from I-65 northbound/I-70 eastbound (Exit 111). Vehicles exceeding the weight limit that have been using these exits should use the official North Split detours on I-465 to avoid the downtown construction (see map below).

Signage indicating the weight restrictions have been placed on I-70 westbound prior to the collector-distributor ramp at Exit 83A. Similar signage will be placed within the next few weeks on I-65 northbound and I-70 eastbound prior to the entrance of the South Split. When signage is in place, the restrictions officially begin.

Truck Restriction Sign

Indiana State Police troopers will be stationed near the appropriate exit ramps to enforce the restrictions and redirect overweight vehicles to the proper detour.

Access to downtown Indianapolis for vehicles less than 13 tons GVW will be maintained via:

  • I-70 westbound exit ramp to Michigan Street or Ohio Street (13-ton GVW restriction in place)
  • Pine St. entrance ramp to I-70 eastbound from New York Street and Michigan Street
  • I-65 northbound/I-70 eastbound exit ramp to Washington Street (13-ton GVW restriction will be in place when signage is installed)
  • I-65 northbound and southbound to Martin Luther King. Jr./West Street
  • I-65 southbound to Meridian Street
  • All existing ramps on I-70 west of the South Split

Detailed maps with construction-related closure and access information can be found on the North Split website: https://northsplit.com/maps/.

INDOT encourages drivers to slow down, exercise caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones.

For up-to-date project information, visit northsplit.com or text “NORTHSPLIT” to 468311. Follow the North Split project’s progress on social media at:

Indiana State Police investigating Decatur County inmate death

Indiana State Police began an investigation into the death of an inmate being held at the Decatur County Jail.

Just before 1:00 am Friday morning, James L. Catron, 54,of  Greensburg, collapsed while he was in custody at the Decatur County Jail.   Jail staff observed Catron collapse and immediately contacted EMS and began administering first aid and CPR. 

Catron was transported to Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg where he was soon pronounced deceased.

The Decatur County Sheriff requested detectives from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post to conduct an investigation into Catron’s death.

At this time, no foul play is suspected.  An autopsy is pending to determine a cause of death.  Catron had been housed in the jail since September 26.

Teenage boy shot in Greenfield

Greenfield Police are investigating the shooting of a 15-year old boy.

As of this report, the boy is in stable condition at an Indianapolis hospital.  Greenfield Police report that this does not appear to be a drive-by shooting as was initially reported.

There is no suspect that has been identified at this time.  No arrests have been made.

The shooting happened in a residential neighborhood early Thursday morning.  Officers were dispatched to the 800 block of North Noble Street just after 6:30 am. Initial calls to the Hancock County 911 Center indicated a 'drive-by' shooting.

Residents in the area are encouraged to check their home camera systems for any suspicious activity during the approximate 6:40 am time frame.  Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Lieutenant Nichole Gilbert at 317-325-1221 or e-mail ngilbert@greenfieldin.org . 

Greenfield man among two arrested in Johnson Co.; wanted for bank robbery

Two people wanted in northern Indiana on armed robbery charges were found and arrested in Johnson County.

 

Members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division were assisting in the search of two individuals wanted out of Elkhart County. During the course of the investigation, investigators learned that Morgan C. Carlson, 21, of Greenfield, and Adonis D. Blake, 22, of Ingalls, were staying at 725 South Morgantown Road, Greenwood. While investigators watched the residence the wanted female exited the home and walked to the Speedway Gas Station located at 5061 West Smith Valley Road, Carlson was arrested without incident at a business.

 

A few minutes later a male exited 725 South Morgantown Road.  He was identified as the homeowner of the residence. The homeowner confirmed that Blake was still in the home and that there were three handguns in the home and a seven month old child.

 

Members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and negotiators had arrived and set a perimeter up on the house.  A negotiator attempted to call and speak with Blake.  He refused to talk and disconnected the call. A few minutes later Blake exited the rear of the house and was arrested without incident.

 

Both individuals were transported to the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division to be transferred to Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division at a later time.

 

The sheriff’s office SWAT Team is made up of members from Franklin Police, Bargersville Police, Edinburgh Police and the Bargersville Fire Department (Medics). The White River Fire Department also assisted.

 

Detectives from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Greenwood Police Department, and a Task Force Officer with the US Marshals Service also assisted.

 

 

 

Nucor Fastener to expand with acquisition of coil processing facility in Shelbyville

The City of Shelbyville has confirmed that Nucor Fastener will expand operations into the former NSCI facility on N. Michigan Road.

The North Carolina-based steel products maker Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) has acquired the state-of-the-art coil processing facility in Shelbyville.

In addition to coil processing, Nucor will expand its fastener manufacturing capabilities by installing bolt making equipment at the Shelbyville facility.

Nucor expects to employ approximately 70 individuals once the expansion reaches full capacity.

“We are excited to grow our Fastener Division with the acquisition of these assets,” said Joey Loosle, general manager of Nucor Fastener, in an Inside Indiana Business article. “Adding bolt making capability to the Shelbyville facility will help expand our offerings to the automotive, heavy truck, industrial/MRO and structural fastener markets. Nucor Fastener is already a leader in steel fasteners and this expansion will further enhance that position.”

By recycling steel in electric arc furnaces, Nucor is among the cleanest steel producers in the world, according to a media release, with greenhouse gas emissions that are one-third of the global steelmaking average and nearly one-fifth of the average blast furnace steel producer. Nucor’s Fastener Products are made with 97% recycled content, which is far more sustainable than fasteners produced from blast furnace steel made overseas.

Nucor Fastener is a division of Nucor Corporation. Located in St. Joe, Indiana, Nucor Fastener has been operating since 1986 and employs approximately 240 teammates. Nucor Fastener produces alloy steel hex head cap screws, heavy hex bolts and nuts, and Tru-Tension assemblies.  Nucor Fasteners are used in a broad range of markets, including automotive, machine tool, farm implement, construction and military applications.

The Nippon Steel & Sumikin Cold Heading Wire Indiana Inc. (NSCI) in Shelbyville closed in March.

Putnam and surrounding counties among regions submitting for READI funds

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced 17 regions representing all 92 counties submitted proposals for funding from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI). Together, these proposals, which aim to accelerate small- and large-scale growth within their communities, total more than $1 billion in requested funding; the READI budget is $500 million.

“Secretary Chambers and I are impressed with and appreciative of all the hard work and collaborative energy invested in the READI regional development plans submitted across the entire state,” said Gov. Holcomb. “I have no doubt these plans will be the beginning of transformational progress that will impact Hoosiers for generations to come.” 

In July, regions indicated their intent to pursue READI funding. Each region convened a broad, diverse group of stakeholders, including major employers and anchor institutions, education partners, economic development professionals, philanthropy partners, and elected officials, to develop a game plan for population and economic growth. In these plans, regions outlined their proposal to invest in their growth and prosperity, outlining a series of strategies focused on physical projects and sustainable, multi-year programs to advance quality of place, quality of life, and quality of opportunity. 

The regions that submitted READI regional development plans are:

  • 70-40 Greater Mt. Comfort Corridor, led by the Hancock County Economic Development Council
    Counties: Hancock, Marion
    Proposal Themes: Improve quality of life to increase region’s vibrancy, attractiveness, sustainability and affordability; attract, train and retain highly skilled workforce; increase diversity, equity and inclusion
     
  • 180 Alliance, led by the West Central Indiana Alliance
    Counties: Boone, Hendricks, Montgomery, Putnam, Johnson and Morgan
    Proposal Themes: Bolster region’s quality of life, outdoor recreation, arts and culture, housing for talent attraction, infrastructure improvements and talent development
     
  • Accelerate Rural Indiana, led by the Decatur County Community Foundation
    Counties: Decatur, Rush, Shelby
    City: Batesville
    Proposal Themes: Increase connectivity, make place-based investments including housing projects and public infrastructure, market the region and create career pathways for new students and adults needing to upskill
     
  • East Central Indiana Regional Partnership, led by the East Central IN Regional Partnership
    Counties: Blackford, Delaware, Fayette, Grant, Henry, Jay, Randolph, Wayne
    Proposal Themes: Boost population trends to end population decline, mobilize learning systems to increase educational attainment and build equitable economic opportunities to increase median household income and earnings
     
  • Greater Lafayette Region, led by the Greater Lafayette Commerce Community and Economic Development Foundation
    Counties: Benton, Carroll, Fountain, Tippecanoe, Warren, White
    Proposal Themes: Retain existing talent and welcome new talent to increase the region's population, along with increasing housing opportunities, accelerate digital adoption among industries
     
  • Indiana First Region, led by the Southwest Indiana Development Council
    Counties: Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Harrison, Knox, Martin, Pike, Orange, Spencer, Perry
    Proposal Themes: End population and job losses through investments in training programs, public infrastructure, fiber optics, transportation and improved connectivity throughout the region
     
  • Indiana Uplands, led by the Regional Opportunity Initiatives Inc.
    Counties: Brown, Crawford, Daviess, Dubois, Greene, Lawrence, Martin, Monroe, Orange, Owen
    Proposal Themes: Scale and differentiate targeted industry clusters, ensure talent strategies meet industry demands, invest in key quality of life initiatives
     
  • North Central, led by the North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council
    Counties: Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Howard, Miami, Tipton
    Proposal Themes: Attract and retain people, develop the talent and skills of its current and future workforce, and connect talent with the jobs the region needs to be successful
     
  • Northeast, led by the Northeast Indiana RDA
    Counties: Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Kosciusko, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells, Whitley
    Proposal Themes: Grow population, increase educational attainment and raise per capita personal income
     
  • Northwest, led by the Northwest Indiana Forum
    Counties: Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski, Starke
    Proposal Themes: Build on success of IGNITE the Region plan, which focuses on business development and marketing, entrepreneurship and innovation, infrastructure, talent and placemaking
     
  • Southern Indiana, led by the Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority
    Counties: Clark, Floyd, Jefferson, Scott, Washington
    Proposal Themes: Nurture a diverse economy by improving destinations, workforce and entrepreneurship, real estate development, natural assets, connections and gateways, and infrastructure
      
  • South Bend/Elkhart, led by the Northern Indiana Regional Development Authority
    Counties: Elkhart, Marshall, St. Joseph
    Proposal Themes: Raise post-secondary talent attainment, improve minority income disparity, provide higher wage job opportunities and stimulate positive in-migration
     
  • South Central Indiana Talent Region, led by the Southern Indiana Housing and Community Development Corporation
    Counties: Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings
    Town: Edinburgh
    Proposal Themes: With its largest anchor institution Cummins, Inc., this region is focused on advancing new and emerging technologies, ensuring careers are well-paying and equitably distributed and people are well-educated and trained; and to cultivate a culture of resiliency
     
  • Southeast, led by SEI READI Inc.
    Counties: Dearborn, Ohio, Switzerland, Union, Franklin, Ripley (excludes city of Batesville)
    Proposal Themes: Prioritize talent attraction and development as the region’s foremost opportunity for growth
     
  • Evansville Region, led by Southwest Indiana RDA (SWIRDA)
    Counties: Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, Warrick
    Proposal Theme: Bring new high-paying job opportunities, increase population, reduce the number of households living in poverty and improve the health and well-being of residents
     
  • West Central, led by the Wabash River RDA
    Counties: Clay, Knox, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion, Vigo
    Proposal Themes: Leverage the region's higher-educational access, its destination assets and its proximity to Illinois to attract and retain students and visitors in the region
     
  • White River Regional Opportunity Initiative, led by the Central Indiana Regional Development Authority and Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization
    Counties: Hamilton, Madison, Marion
    Proposal Themes: Foster entrepreneurial ecosystem, generate high-quality and high-wage job opportunities and create vibrant places that attract and retain high caliber talent

READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging regional collaboration and data-driven, long-term planning that, when implemented, will attract and retain talent in Indiana. The IEDC will work closely with the newly established READI review committee to follow the evaluation timelines and assess the submitted plans before making formal recommendations for funding to the IEDC board of directors in December. Members of the READI review committee include:

  • Bill Hanna, Executive Director, Dean and Barbra White Family Foundation
  • Isaac Bamgbose, President and CEO of New City Development
  • Jason Dudich, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Treasurer, University of Indianapolis
  • Jason Blume, Executive Director, Innovation One
  • Kelli Jones, Co-Founder and General Partner, Sixty8 Capital
  • Leah Curry, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana
  • Lori Luther, Chief Operating Officer, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital

More information on the READI review committee, as well as links to download the regions’ proposals, is available at IndianaREADI.com. A map of the identified regions can be found here.

I-74 region plans $866M in projects to attract talent

An organization of successful cities and counties near Interstate 74 southeast of Indianapolis has submitted a funding request to the state to support $866 million in projects and programs for building communities and the region’s workforce. The organization, Accelerate Rural Indiana, requested $50 million from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) as a next step toward launching the projects. The request was submitted Sept. 29.

 

Accelerate Rural Indiana is composed of Batesville, Greensburg, Rushville and Shelbyville along with Decatur, Rush and Shelby counties. Its application includes 40 core initiatives gathered from interactions with more than 3,000 residents, anchor institutions and other key stakeholders.

 

The improvements sprang from overarching regional priorities which remove barriers and enable the region to seize opportunities to grow. Specific regional projects and programs include more and better-quality housing alternatives; improved quality of life amenities such as trails, parks and family activities; targeted education and workforce development programming; enhanced water, sanitary sewer, road and broadband infrastructure for attracting regional investment; and regional marketing to attract talent and investment.

 

“We see a promising future for our region on the other side of this development plan—a future that is characterized by regional collaboration and enhanced opportunities for our area’s residents,” said Bryan Robbins, chair of the region’s steering committee. “We’ve had an historic amount of cooperation toward devising a vision of who we want to be as a region, and READI is an opportunity to gather that momentum and accelerate toward our promising future, together.” 

 

Accelerate Rural Indiana communities are working together formally for the first time after having blazed a path of rural excellence in Southeastern Indiana through informal cooperation. In the past five years, they have landed more than $73 million in grants and philanthropic funding, leveraging more than $1.4 billion in private investment.

 

About READI

READI builds on the framework and successes of the Indiana Regional Cities Initiative and the 21st Century Talent Initiative, encouraging neighboring communities across the state to work collaboratively to develop a bold vision for their future that, when implemented, will attract, develop and retain talent in Indiana.

To achieve this vision, regions were invited to develop data-driven, actionable and sustainable development plans that outline strategies focused on improving the quality of place, quality of life and quality of opportunity within their communities. To help regions achieve their goals, the IEDC will award up to $50 million to selected regions to accelerate the implementation of regional development plans and the programs and projects identified that will catalyze economic and population growth.

Downtown redevelopment project nearing completion

The push is on to get the downtown redevelopment project complete.

Tom Davis, of Genesis Property Development, appeared Monday night before the Redevelopment Commission to present the latest billing statement for the nearly three-year project that is completely overhauling the Public Square in downtown Shelbyville.

Davis provided an update on the final phase of the project.

Landscaping is complete on the south end of the center island with work continuing on the north end. The center island has the renovated Julius Joseph Fountain, three flag poles and the Balser statue.

The fountain is currently turned off to allow brick pavers to be placed in the area. Once that is complete, Davis anticipates turning the fountain back on and letting it run through the end of the month before shutting it down until spring.

Limestone delivery was a concern for Davis when he spoke in September before the commission. Those concerns are alleviated now as the project rolls along.

“We are getting limestone deliveries every Monday so we are still pushing for (completion) by the Thanksgiving holiday,” said Davis. “Over the next month, you will see a lot more brick going down and limestone going up. And we want to get the paving done before the weather turns (cold).”

More light poles are scheduled to arrive which will brighten up the east side of the downtown area currently under construction. A second shelter house is almost 100% complete as well.

Davis stated trees will be planted later this week and early next week.

With the west side of the Public Square finished, Davis has seen an increase in people utilizing the pedestrian-friendly design.

“I have heard a lot more positive comments over the last month than the whole project,” said Davis. “People are starting to use the space.”

Work continues on the Methodist Building, the tallest building on the Public Square. Genesis Property Development, based in Shelbyville, owns the building and is cleaning it out to prepare for the build out of corporate apartments, which are already drawing interest, according to Davis.

While Davis expects the project to be nearly complete by the end of November, he admitted there may still be some final things to complete as December rolls around.

The City of Shelbyville is planning to hold its annual Christmas celebration in the downtown area after Thanksgiving.

Photo courtesy of Genesis Property Development shows the downtown redevelopment project earlier this year.

Pit bull that attacked SPD officer allowed to return home with strict stipulations for his care

Chaos, a pit bull that attacked a Shelbyville police officer on Aug. 8, will be returned to his owner, Jennifer Mays, with stipulations as to his care and to the public’s safety.

A Board of Works and Public Safety special meeting was held Friday afternoon to determine the fate of Chaos, who has resided at the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter since the early August incident at Sunset Park in Shelbyville.

After 90 minutes of discussion, the meeting was continued to Tuesday morning so that living conditions could be assessed at Mays’ current residence.

Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun, one of three members of the Board of Works, asked Mays several pointed questions Tuesday that he was not able to ask Friday because he had a prior commitment and could not attend the hearing.

DeBaun was concerned that the approximately 8-year-old medium-sized pit bull would have a stable living environment. Mays and her boyfriend are currently living with her mother at 305 Wellington Boulevard.

Mays was homeless and living in a tent in Sunset Park at the time police officer Curt Schuman arrived for a wellness check. Chaos was not on a leash and rushed out of a tent and bit Schuman’s hand, which required medical treatment and time off work.

DeBaun pressed Mays about her relationship with her mother and a criminal case pending in Hancock County. Mays stressed that if she was incarcerated, she has friends and family members that will care for Chaos.

To complicate matters, the Wellington Boulevard residence is a rental property. DeBaun contacted the property owner, Elaine Jevtic, who stated she did not want the dog at that property.

The Board of Works, which also consists of David Finkel and Bob Williams, was tasked with deeming the dog “vicious.” That made the task difficult, according to DeBaun after the meeting.

Williams stated that his most recent visit with Chaos at the animal shelter did not go well. Finkel and DeBaun remarked that their most recent visits demonstrated Chaos was much more relaxed and comfortable around people.

“I visited Chaos yesterday and played with him in the exercise area,” said DeBaun. “I noticed yesterday a remarkably different animal.”

Chaos is approaching 60 days at the animal shelter.

“He is not the dog he was 50-plus days ago,” said Finkel. “He is not friendly but he is not vicious.”

Williams made a motion to not relinquish the dog back to Mays but a second vote was not heard.

Finkel then made a motion to return Chaos to Mays with stipulations that he get properly vaccinated, any animal shelter fees be paid, and his living situation be monitored by animal shelter officials.

DeBaun seconded the motion. Williams still voted no.

Animal shelter director Keith Barrett said frequent visits with Chaos would be planned. DeBaun asked if Mays’ attorney, Warren Good, would draw up an affidavit to be signed that if Mays was no longer the primary caregiver for Chaos, the dog would be relinquished to the animal shelter.

“From a safety standpoint, we cannot let this happen again,” said Finkel. “We don’t ever want to see Chaos again.”

DeBaun closed by asking Mays to clean up the Wellington Boulevard residence from debris gathering on the property. While a complaint had not yet been filed, the property was headed in that direction.

In other Board of Works business Tuesday morning, three bids were opened for a road-widening project and utility work along County Road 300 North. All three came in around $500,000 under the city engineer’s estimate of $2,130,000.

The bids were taken under advisement and the project will be awarded at a later date.

Mask mandate extended to Oct. 31 for city buildings

The City of Shelbyville has extended its mask mandate for all city-controlled buildings to Oct. 31.

The mask mandate was put in place in September by the Common Council to assist in slowing down the spread of COVID-19, which was pushing Major Health Partners Medical Center to near maximum capacity.

At Monday’s Common Council meeting, the council extended the mandate by nearly three weeks until Oct. 31 by a vote of 5-1. Councilman Tyson Conrady voted against the extension.

“Are we ever going to stop wearing a mask?” asked Conrady before the vote was taken. “I have seen the numbers. I know all the statistics and data but I’m going to say no at this point because I think it’s time we move on with our lives.”

Councilman Scott Furgeson (R-4th Ward) and Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun were not at the meeting Monday.

 

 

While the mask mandate was extended Monday for city buildings, including City Hall, it was not enforced at either the Redevelopment Commission meeting Monday, which was held one hour earlier than the Common Council meeting, or the council meeting.

Redevelopment Commission member Mark McNeely listened to commentary from Tom Davis, of Genesis Property Development, with his mask dangling from his left ear. Davis did not wear a mask during the meeting.

And a man sitting in the audience for both meetings was not asked to put on a mask.

The city’s mask mandate is set to expire at the end of the month as is the Shelby County Commissioners’ mandate that students and staff at all Shelby County schools wear masks while indoors during instructional hours.

In other business Monday, the council approved seven grants totaling $140,000 for the Blue River Community Foundation to distribute.

The seven grant recipients are Grover Center Museum & Historical Society, Shelby Senior Services, Strand Theatre, Shelby Arts Guild Association, Girls Inc. of Shelbyville/Shelby County, J. Kenneth Self Boys & Girls Club of Shelby County, and Morrison Park Group.

The non-profits will be able to use the funds, budgeted by the city from racino dollars, for various programs and facility upgrades.

IRS extension deadline to file 2020 taxes is October 15

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding an estimated 188,400 Indiana residents who asked for an extension to file their 2020 tax return, that they have until October 15, 2021 to file and avoid the penalty for filing late.

 

The IRS urges everyone to file electronically in order to avoid delays and speed the processing of their return.

 

October 15 is the deadline for just about everyone.  Only members of the military and others serving in a combat zone, have more time. They normally have 180 days after they leave the combat zone to file and pay any taxes due.

 

There is usually no penalty for failure to file if the taxpayer is due a refund. However, people who wait too long to file and claim a refund, risk losing it altogether. The safest and fastest way for people to get a refund is to file electronically and have their refund electronically deposited into their bank or other financial account. Taxpayers can use direct deposit to deposit their refund into one, two or even three accounts.

 

IRS Free File is still available in English and Spanish giving taxpayers who earned $72,000 or less in 2020 a way to file and claim credits like the Recovery Rebate Credit, Advanced Child Tax Credit. The Free File Fillable Forms, the electronic version of IRS paper forms, is also available for people comfortable preparing their own taxes. 

No positive ID yet in Shelby Co. death investigation

No positive identification has been made in a Shelby County death investigation.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department is conducting the investigation following the discovery of a body on Sunday in a wooded area well off the road from an address at 2968 Old Franklin Road.

 

An autopsy is pending.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pit bull that attacked SPD officer awaits fate after special Board of Works meeting

A woman appeared before the City of Shelbyville’s Board of Works and Public Safety Friday afternoon to plead for the return of her dog.

A pit bull named Chaos attacked Shelbyville police officer Curt Schuman on Aug. 8 when Schuman was dispatched to Sunset Park in Shelbyville for a wellness check on individuals in the area.

Schuman walked up to a pair of individuals near the river when Chaos emerged from one of the tents nearby and attacked the officer, who was forced to leave the scene and seek medical treatment for a hand injury.

Animal control took custody of the dog and a hearing was held at the Aug. 17 Board of Works meeting to determine the dog’s fate. The owner of Chaos, Jennifer Mays, was not present for the hearing.

With no one to speak for the dog, which had been in animal control’s custody previously, and with visits from two Board of Works members that did not go well, Chaos was deemed “vicious.”

Citing failure to provide proper notification of the hearing, Mays was able to get a second hearing scheduled, which happened Friday. Represented by local attorney Warren Good, Mays took full responsibility for Chaos not being properly leashed and expressed remorse for the officer who was injured.

Mays has known Chaos, an approximately 8-year-old, medium-sized pit bull, for nearly four years and been his full-time caretaker for the last three years. She explained she has had no incidents with the dog, that admittedly has special needs, and that he was only protecting her from what appeared to be a stranger coming toward her.

The dog has now been at the shelter for 54 days, according to Keith Barrett of the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter, and has warmed up to him, but is still aggressive to strangers.

Barrett does not believe Chaos can be adopted “because of his temperament” but would not label him “vicious.”

Mays believes Chaos has separation anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, an affliction she suffers from as well. The dog and owner are constantly together or he is left with a caretaker when she cannot be around.

Mays explained she walks Chaos around the city without incident. He has been around children and strangers without problems.

Good was allowed to question Schuman, animal control officers, Mays and several people who are around the dog on a regular basis.

Chaos was not properly vaccinated at the time of the incident, which prompted cause for concern as well as what kind of living environment Mays will be able to provide if Chaos is returned.

Mays stated that she is currently living with her mother at a Shelbyville residence with a fenced-in backyard.

Schuman expressed concern that the environment would be safe to insure no further incidents.

“Can she assure this will not happen again … or a worse incident?” said Schuman, who missed approximately two weeks of work as a result of the injury.

The Board of Works and Public Safety consists of three individuals – mayor Tom DeBaun, Bob Williams and David Finkel. DeBaun had a prior commitment and was not at Friday’s hearing.

Finkel and Williams consulted with city attorney Jennifer Meltzer during the meeting Friday and agreed that a residence check needed to happen before a final decision could be made.

Animal control will visit where Mays is currently living and will report back to the Board of Works at its weekly meeting Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. at City Hall.

Finkel also wanted Mays to consent to getting Chaos properly vaccinated and provide information on who will care for the dog when she is not around.

“We don’t want to see another victim,” said Finkel.

General Assembly approves new congressional, state legislative districts

The Indiana General Assembly today approved the new congressional and state legislative district lines, concluding the General Assembly's constitutional duty of redistricting. Indiana is required by state and federal law to redraw Indiana's Statehouse and congressional maps following the nationwide census every 10 years.

 

"We have said all along that we were committed to drawing fair maps in a transparent way, and I believe we have done that," Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) said. "We prioritized keeping communities of interest together and drawing districts that make sense for the Hoosiers who live there, while maintaining nearly equal populations in each district. I believe these maps reflect feedback from the public and will serve Hoosiers well for the next decade."

 

"We're incredibly grateful for the work of Representative Greg Steuerwald and Senator Eric Koch who tirelessly and thoughtfully led the way on drawing these maps," House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said. "Redistricting is a complex and important process that impacts all Hoosiers. We're thankful for the hundreds of constituents who shared their feedback along the way, and I'm confident we delivered fair maps that ensure every Hoosier vote counts."

Huston and Bray both emphasized the new maps meet all state and federal requirements, and focus on maintaining compactness and keeping communities of interest together.

 

Highlights of the newly passed Indiana House, Senate and congressional maps:

  • The Indiana House map increases the number of counties that are wholly contained within one House district from 26 to 32. There are 22 fewer township splits where a single township is represented by multiple House districts. The House map includes a less than 1% deviation from the ideal population of 67,855 for each district.

  • The Senate map increases the number of whole counties contained in one Senate district from 49 to 65, keeps 96% of all townships whole and keeps 92% of all cities and towns whole.

  • The Congressional map keeps 84 of Indiana's 92 counties whole, and includes a near equal deviation, one or fewer persons, from the ideal population of 753,948.

Shelby Shake brings SMS seventh graders in front of community leaders

Giant FM Real Radio and the Shelby County Post participated in the Shelby Shake, a face-to-face interview event held Friday morning for Shelbyville Middle School seventh graders.

Kristiaan Rawlings, a Language Arts teacher at SMS, organized the event that put community leaders in front of SMS boys and girls to learn communication skills.

Forty-seven stations were set up in the SMS media center and manned by invited guests for nearly an hour. Once the language arts honors students gathered Friday morning during second period, they moved from station to station, introduced themselves and answered questions from the community members.

Students that met with GIANT fm News and Sports Director Johnny McCrory and Shelby County Post News Editor Jeff Brown had their interviews recorded. They were asked questions about the Shelby Shake event as well as their interests both in and out of school.

 

Alex Krach, director of the Grover Center Museum and Historical Society of Shelbyville, introduces a Shelbyville Middle School seventh grader to a shoe once worn by Shelbyville-native Sandy Allen, who was recognized as the world's tallest woman, during Friday's Shelby Shake event at Shelbyville Middle School. In the top photo, SMS seventh grader Cameron Miller is interviewed by Johnny McCrory of GIANT fm Real Radio.

Death investigation after missing man's body found along SR 3

The Indiana State Police and Jennings County Sheriff’s Office began a death investigation after a body was located along State Road 3 in northern Jennings County.

 

At approximately 12:00 pm Thursday, the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office was called to State Road 3 near the Jennings / Decatur County Line after an Indiana Department of Transportation mowing crew located the body of a deceased male near the roadway.  

 

The deceased male was soon identified as Joseph T. Gill, 27, of North Vernon.  Gill had been reported missing approximately two days prior and had not been reported seen until his body was discovered.

 

The joint investigation by the Indiana State Police and Jennings County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.  Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to contact the Jennings County Sheriff’s Office.

 

State Road 3 was closed in the area for approximately two hours while the investigation was ongoing.

 

The Westport Police Department, Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, North Vernon Police Department, Westport Fire Department, Jennings County Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Department of Transportation assisted with the investigation.

Beech Grove man arrested for shooting on 465

Detectives from the Indiana State Police have arrested Darnell Middlebrook, 37, of Beech Grove in connection with an interstate shooting that occurred last week. 

 

On September 21, Indiana State Police troopers responded to a report of shots fired at a vehicle on I-465 northbound near Pendleton Pike. The victim was driving a semi-tractor trailer and was not injured.

 

An investigation on scene led troopers to evidence of gunfire and a detailed description of the suspect's vehicle. A subsequent investigation by detectives led to an arrest warrant being issued for Middlebrook, that warrant was served September 29. Middlebrook was arrested on the preliminary charge of Criminal Recklessness with a Deadly Weapon.  He was transported to the Marion County Jail.

 

During the investigation it was determined the victim and suspect where known parties to one another and investigators do not believe this shooting was a result of road rage. 

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