Local News

MHP teams with U.S. Renal Care to vaccinate dialysis patients

Major Health Partners and U.S. Renal Care started administering COVID-19 vaccines Wednesday in Shelbyville to adult dialysis patients.

 

The vaccine was given as patients received their dialysis kidney treatment.

 

Photo provided

Thomas Walton received his COVID-19 vaccination Wednesday during dialysis treatment at U.S. Renal Care in Shelbyville. Dialysis patients are now eligible for COVD-19 vaccinations.

 

The state’s age-based rollout of vaccine eligibility, which now includes ages 50 and up, has been expanded to those with any of five medical conditions – down syndrome, sickle cell disease, post-solid organ transplants, patients on dialysis, and those actively in treatment for cancer or who have active lymphoma, leukemia or multiple myeloma.

 

Other groups already approved for vaccines are long-term care residents, first responders, and healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material in a healthcare setting.

 

Vaccine appointments can be scheduled on the state’s website at www.ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.

 

Major Health Partners/Major Hospital, 2500 Intelliplex Drive, is one of four sites for COVID-19 vaccinations in Shelby County, according to the state’s website (coronavirus.in.gov).

 

The other three sites are Shelby County Health Department at 1600 E. State Road 44, Kroger Pharmacy at 1601 E. Michigan Road, and Walmart Pharmacy at 2500 Progress Parkway.

Registration ongoing for Future Tiger Athletics baseball leagues

Future Tiger Athletics will continue registration until March 12 for 2021 T-ball, coach pitch, and kid pitch leagues.

 

Registration fee is $50 per child ages 3-8. If there are enough interested participants, there will be a league for 9- and 10-year-olds.

 

Kids ages 3-5 will play T-ball. Kid pitch and coach pitch leagues will be for boys and girls ages 6-8.

Registration fee is due April 3. Skills evaluation day for those ages 6-10 is 1 to 3 p.m. on April 3. If weather postpones the evaluation day, it will be April 10.

 

Evaluations will be held at the ball fields behind the main concession stand on the Triton Central campus in Fairland.

 

There will be a mandatory coaches meeting for all FTA baseball coaches at 3 p.m. on April 18 in the Triton Central High School cafeteria. Teams will be drafted at this time.

 

Each league participant will receive a T-shirt, socks and hat.

 

Teams will play eight regular season games followed by a single elimination tournament. The leagues will run from May 15 through June 12.

 

For more information, contact Heather Krueger at heather.fta.baseball@gmail.com or call 317-767-1209.

Hoosiers age 50 and older now eligible for Covid-19 vaccine

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 50 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 412,000 Hoosiers.

 

Due to limited vaccine supplies nationally, Indiana has prioritized healthcare workers, first responders and those who are most vulnerable in its vaccine rollout. Individuals age 50 and older account for just over 35 percent of the state’s population but represent 80 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and 98 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Hoosiers are encouraged to take advantage of one of three mass vaccination clinics scheduled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg and the University of Notre Dame this month.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of nearly 390 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

 

As of Wednesday, 1,031,266 individuals have received a first dose of vaccine in Indiana and 608,638 are fully vaccinated.

2021 SCUFFY Drive is underway with Wednesday's virtual kickoff

It wasn't in the usual breakfast format but SCUFFY kicked off its annual funraising drive Wednesday.

 

A virtual format was used so viewers could tune in on ZOOM for the opener of the Shelby County United Fund drive.  Pacesetters have already held their individual fundraising efforts to help jumpstart the campaign.  Dollars raised were announced during the kickoff.

 

Builders Lumber & Hardware - $8, 947.60

 

CoreVision - $3, 420.00

 

Coulston Elementary - $1, 535.00

 

First Financial Bank - $3, 080.00

 

Major Health Partners - $50, 652.13

 

McNeely Law - $20, 006.63

 

Runnebohm Construction - $24, 758.24

 

Ryobi - $41, 000.00

 

Shelby County Co-Op - $1500.00

 

Stephenson Rife - $11, 501.60

 

Pacesetters total - $166, 401.20  (19.3% of the $860, 000 goal for 2021)

 

 

Fieldhouse renovations enhance Triton Central's 'small college campus' vision

Bryan Graham opened his cell phone and pulled up Triton Central’s master schedule of events. He kept scrolling and scrolling to make his point about how busy the school facilities are on a daily basis.

 

As soon as the renovations to the fieldhouse are complete, that schedule will get even busier.

“Some days there are 16 different events going on. Here are 13 different things on a Thursday,” said Graham, Triton Central High School’s athletic director and girls basketball coach.

 

Superintendent Chris Hoke and Graham showed off the updates Thursday afternoon that only strengthen Triton Central’s belief that it provides one of the best educational opportunities in the state.

 

All three basketball courts in the fieldhouse have new flooring that was expected to be painted this week.

 

A new weight room runs parallel to court No. 1. It is ready for equipment set up.

 

A new second level within the facility has a classroom area overlooking the courts, an office and a new wrestling room that will bring the high school and middle school wrestlers back into the high school.

 

More restrooms, an actual concession stand, a hitting cage and portable tennis nets make the fieldhouse multi-functional for TC’s athletes and the thousands of athletes and their families that visit Fairland for events.

 

Jeff Brown photos

Triton Central's renovation to its fieldhouse is nearly complete. A new first floor weight room runs parallel to the basketball courts (top photo). A second floor viewing area/classroom overlooks the basketball courts. And the new hardwood basketball surface is top of the line, according to TC athletic director and girls basketball coach Bryan Graham.

 

The price tag for the renovation is approximately $3.1 million, according to Hoke, who estimated the total fieldhouse investment to be about $5 million.

 

That is a sizable price tag for a Class 2A school surrounded by farm fields.

 

“It’s a marketing and branding effort,” said Hoke. “It’s the largest billboard we own. We are a business. We have a product. It’s an educational experience. Our customers are kids and their families.

 

“They can buy that any place in the state of Indiana. We better give them a reason to choose us. That comes down to a lot of things. It’s culture. The size of the school is critical to that. It’s programming. What do you offer? When we talk about it from a business standpoint, this is some of the best advertising and marketing we can put out there.”

 

Based on the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s most recent sports classifications, Triton Central is firmly lodged in the upper fourth of the Class 2A field. With 466 students counted for the two-year classification cycle, TC is the 25th largest school in 2A with football, 20th in volleyball and girls basketball and 19th in boys basketball.

 

South Vermillion has the largest enrollment (544 students) in 2A football; Eastern (Greentown) (522) in volleyball and girls basketball; and Boone Grove (520) in boys basketball.

 

So Triton Central is in no danger of bumping up to Class 3A in the next classification cycle.

 

Hoke credits good planning from the school board more than a decade ago for creating the positive financial situation the school is currently in which allows it to take on large infrastructure projects.

 

A strategic planning session in 2018 then created a vision for the school system.

 

“The vision the board articulates really clearly is we want to be the largest 2A school in Indiana with small college facilities,” said Hoke. “Everything we’ve done has been informed by that vision.

 

“We don’t want to grow outside of a 2A school because what makes us unique is a small school environment. We know our kids and our kids know us. We don’t want to lose who we are but we know if we are smart financially we can do the facilities so this thing looks like … well you just don’t see this in most 2A schools. We can do that and be financially responsible.”

 

Over the last five years, the school system has opened a fieldhouse, upgraded that fieldhouse, added artificial turf to the football stadium, replaced the running track, added a golf complex, improved the bus garage and completed building work on the elementary and middle schools.

 

“We dropped our tax levy this year,” said Hoke. “We did this project (in the fieldhouse) and cut our tax levy. It really comes down to just good planning and I can’t take credit for all that.

“Boards in years past layered their debt service schedule here in a way that as one rolls off we are able to replace it dollar for dollar and do this in an ideally levy neutral way. Our tax rate and tax levy went down for 2021 on the back end of this project because of good planning that was done 15 years ago.”

 

The Triton Central school district is one-stop shopping for families. The elementary, middle school and high school are all located on one campus. That allows three schools to share facilities when needed.

 

“The No. 1 thing is Triton Central is such a family community atmosphere,” said Graham, who has been with the school system for over two decades now. “This is a community center. It was never about making money but if it serves that purpose while at the same time serving the kids, you are going to take advantage of that. I think we use our resources very well.”

 

Triton Central has hosted basketball, volleyball and wrestling competitions in the fieldhouse with overflow opportunities on courts at all three schools.

 

“(The fieldhouse) can be as busy as we want it to be,” said Graham. “I have tons of emails and messages right now wanting to book.”

 

Triton Central is firmly a 2A school in athletics. The number of students based on the last classification cycle puts Triton Central as the 220th largest school in the state.

 

Start looking at facilities, though, and Triton Central climbs much higher in terms of educational and athletic experiences.

 

“It’s the new standard,” said Graham. “I’ve never seen anything like it. And, quite honestly, I don’t think you have to put the ‘2’ in front of the ‘A.’

 

“If you didn’t know Triton Central and I started taking pictures and sending them to you, you wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, that’s a good 2A facility.’ It’s just a really good facility.”

Councilman questions assisting Duke Energy with new training facility

The Shelbyville Common Council approved a resolution Monday setting up and economic revitalization area to assist Duke Energy create a local training facility.

 

The establishment of the economic revitalization area allows Duke Energy to apply for a tax abatement to help construct the new structure.

 

“The next step is an ordinance to get approval of the tax abatement,” said Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun.

 

Duke Energy representatives have met with the council’s tax abatement committee. The request for approval could come before the common council at its next meeting on March 15.

 

Before the abatement is approved, there will be a discussion amongst the council on the worthiness of the abatement.

 

Council member and former mayor Scott Furgeson (R-4th ward) questioned whether Duke Energy has worked well with the city in the past.

 

“I’m not sure Duke Energy has been very receptive to anything that helps the city,” said Furgeson during the council meeting Monday night.

 

Councilman Brian Asher (R-at large) countered that Duke Energy, located at 2910 East State Road 44 in Shelbyville, aided in the recruitment of Greenleaf Foods to Shelbyville in 2019.

 

“I think Scott raises some valid questions to be presented at the next council meeting,” said DeBaun Tuesday afternoon.

 

Duke Energy is looking for a location for a new training facility that will service Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

 

Most of the training would be performed indoors, according to Jean Renk of Duke Energy.

 

The facility would potentially bring as many as 300 men and women a year to Shelbyville for training purposes.

 

“It would be coordinated curriculum over multiple days,” said Renk.

 

Shelbyville is one of several sites being considered for the regional training facility.

 

Free FAFSA aid this Sunday

Indiana residents planning to attend college in fall 2021 should submit the 2021-22 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before April 15 for consideration of state-based financial aid. Families can get free FAFSA help from financial aid experts during the virtual College Goal Sunday event from 2-4 p.m. local time on March 7.  Students/families can learn more and access the event.

 

Before attending the event, new student filers and one parent are each encouraged to apply for their U.S. Department of Education FSA IDs.  The 2021-22 FAFSA will collect 2019 tax information. Most families will be able to use the IRS data retrieval tool built into the FAFSA to retrieve their tax data, but parents should also have available the 2019 IRS tax return, 2019 W-2 forms, and current bank statements and investment information for manual data entries. Students who worked in 2019 should have their own income information available as well. Current students 24 years of age or older may complete the FAFSA with their own 2019 IRS tax return, 2019 W-2 forms, and current bank statements and investment information. 

 

The Division of Financial Aid provides financial aid information to students and families through community outreach, via email, and online.

 

Purdue University’s Division of Financial Aid can be reached by calling 765-494-5050 during the hours of 8 a.m to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or by emailing facontact@purdue.edu.

SCUFFY 2021 drive to kickoff Wednesday

The annual Shelby County United Fund Drive will kickoff Wednesday.  Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the word breakfast won’t be tied to it.

 

Executive Director Alecia Gross says they will virtually kickoff the 2021 drive Wednesday morning.

 

 

Gross says the annual Giving From the Heart will wait until a little later.

 

 

But outside of that, it’s drive time.

 

 

Drew Little will serve as this year’s drive chair with Ricca Macklin as co-chair.

 

Indiana announces 3 mass vaccination clinics for Covid-19, opens eligibility to Hoosiers age 55 and older

The Indiana Department of Health today announced that it has partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, University of Notre Dame and Ivy Tech Community College to host three mass vaccination clinics to help eligible Hoosiers receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.

 

In addition, effective today, Hoosiers age 55 and older are now eligible to receive a free vaccine.

“Getting tens of thousands of vaccines in arms in a matter of days is a huge undertaking that requires incredible partnerships,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “We are incredibly grateful to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Notre Dame and Ivy Tech for their willingness to meet this challenge head-on to help save Hoosier lives.”

 

The mass vaccination clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received its Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Saturday. The vaccine requires only one dose and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials involving nearly 44,000 participants from all races and ethnicities.

 

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives eligible Hoosiers a safe, effective and convenient way to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Because it requires just one dose, every shot administered represents a Hoosier who can rest easier, knowing their risk of severe illness from this disease has dropped exponentially.”

 

The Indiana Department of Health has also begun planning for a future mass vaccination clinic in Gary in collaboration with local health officials. Additional mass vaccination sites in other locations will be planned as more vaccine becomes available.

 

All clinics will require advance registration through https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. Proof of age and residency will be required. The mass vaccination clinics are listed as sites that eligible Hoosiers can select when making an appointment. No walk-ups will be permitted.

 

Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging, AARP and nearly 70 libraries around the state also can help Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

The clinic schedules are as follows:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis
March 5-7
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Enter through main gate off 16th Street; participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

 

Ivy Tech Community College
8204 County Road 311, Sellersburg 
March 12-13
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

 

University of Notre Dame
Compton Family Ice Arena
100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame
March 26-27
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Additional dates may be added to each of the above sites depending on demand and vaccine availability.

 

A separate advisory with instructions for media interested in covering the clinics will be issued closer to the events.

 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

Shelby County Drug Free Coalition staging virtual learning series

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition from staging public education events for nearly a year now.

 

The message is still very much necessary according to Lori Springer.

 

So Shelby County Drug Free Coalition will go online and conduct the first of a three-part virtual learning series Tuesday.

 

Titled “Secondhand smoke in casinos and multi-unit housing in the county,” the virtual meeting will feature presentations by Traci Kennedy on nonsmokers’ rights and Khadijah Omar from the American Lung Association.

 

The meeting runs from 10 to 11 a.m.

 

“Most of our work is community education type of work,” said Springer of the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition. “With COVID-19 we are not out in the community as much. So we talked about how we get the message out to the community to educate them on the dangers of tobacco and the dangers of drug abuse.”

 

On April 6 at 10 a.m., the virtual series continues with a meeting to discuss e-cigarettes, vaping and tobacco laws. The guest presenter will be Nick Torres of the American Lung Association.

 

The series finishes on May 4 at 10 a.m. with a meeting on prevention and recovery in Shelby County and surrounding areas. The meeting will be directed by Victoria Harris of ER Counseling. There will be elevator speeches from several local and surrounding area prevention and treatment facilities and programs.

 

For more information on the virtual learning series or to receive the online link to Tuesday’s meeting, contact Lori Springer at scdfc.office@gmail.com.

Missing Super Bowl ring could be in Greensburg

A man from Wisconsin man needs help finding a Super Bowl ring he last saw in Greensburg.

 

It’s been a tough week for Mike Kostelnik and his family. He said he hasn’t slept since Feb. 21, when he lost the Super Bowl ring.

 

It belonged to his father, Ron Kostelnik, a former Green Bay Packer defensive tackle. It’s a family heirloom he wears daily.

 

Now people hoping to help have been reaching out to him on social media. He said he can’t believe the power of the internet.

 

“I’m not proud to be going viral because of an embarrassing situation, but I am very pleased and kind of taken aback by the amount of people who have graciously moved this story forward,” said Kostelnik.

 

Mike has spent the past week mentally retracing his footsteps, starting with his trip to visit his daughter at Indiana University in Bloomington. Then on his way to visit Miami University in Ohio, he stopped at a BP gas station in Greensburg, which is the last moment he remembered seeing the ring.

 

“We ended up going back to Greensburg. It was not at the gas station,” said Kostelnik.

 

Mike’s father wore the ring every day until he died in 1993. He left the ring to Mike, who has worn it every day since. Now that it’s gone, he feels like a piece of him is missing, too.

 

“I got married in that ring. That’s actually my wedding ring,” said Kostelnik.

 

Mike is giving out a $5,000 reward, no questions asked, for its return.

 

“On the other side, it has his uniform number 77 and it has his name on there as well,” said Kostelnik.

 

He has hope the ring will be returned to him where it belongs.

 

“Any type of difficult times I would have faced. It’s nice to reflect back and have that ring close to me,” said Kostelnik.

 

The local police are aware of the situation. If you find the ring and want the reward, you need to contact a representative from the Packer Hall of Fame by calling 715-252-9364.  

ACLU files suit against Knightstown related to police department Facebook posts

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana today filed a lawsuit against the town of Knightstown, after at least twenty-six community members were banned from commenting on the Police Department’s official Facebook page, due to comments that were critical of the Police Department.   

 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of former Chief of the Police Department, Christopher Newkirk, alleges that the Town’s actions represent viewpoint-based discrimination, in violation of the First Amendment to the Unites States Constitution. 

 

After leaving the Police Department, Newkirk has remained involved in the community. He frequently views Facebook posts made by the Police Department and has commented on these posts to provide his thoughts. 

 

As a result of Mr. Newkirk’s comments, the Police Department banned him from its Facebook page, removing previous comments and prohibiting him from commenting in the future, ultimately prohibiting him from engaging in any expressive activity on the Police Department’s Facebook page. 

 

“The First Amendment protects people, who regardless of their views, attempt to hold the government accountable through expression,” said Gavin M. Rose, ACLU of Indiana Senior Attorney. “Knightstown’s practice of silencing citizens on Facebook who are critical of the police department’s actions or policies is unconstitutional.”  

Former Bartholomew Co. Sheriff Hill passes away after illness

The Bartholomew County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the death of a former sheriff, Rick Hill.

 

It is with great sadness that Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers announces the death of former Bartholomew County Sheriff Rick L. Hill.

 

Hill, 74, served Bartholomew County as Sheriff 1987-1990.  He passed away early Sunday morning, February 28, 2021.

 

Arrangements are pending at Jewell Rittman Funeral Home, Columbus.

 

“Former Sheriff Hill gave me my first job in law enforcement”, said Sheriff Myers.  He will receive full BCSO honors.

 

“Our most sincere condolences go to Rick’s wife, Lisa Hill, and all of the Hill family”, added Sheriff Myers.

 

New Palestine PD requests public's help to find Matthew Brown

New Palestine Police have asked for the public's assistance in locating a runaway / missing boy.

 

Matthew Brown was last seen leaving home at 132 East Main Street at 12:30 pm Thursday, February 25. He was last seen wearing a blue Hollister hooded jacket, black sweatpants, black shoes and black backpack.

 

Brown has blue eyes, brown hair, and is 5’5 tall.  He weighs about 110 pounds.

 

If you see Matthew Brown or know where he may be please call the New Palestine Police Department 317-861-4225.

Indiana State Police warn of "Child Safety Kit" scam

The Indiana State Police recently received a complaint from a resident advising of what appears to be an ongoing scam solicited via Facebook. This scam involves the offering of a “Child Safety Kit” by clicking on a link provided in the Facebook post.

 

The resident stated that the provided link to receive the “Child Safety Kit” asks the requestor to submit personal information, to include: name, address, and phone number, information which is then followed up by a phone call wherein the scammer requests to set up an in-home visit to further the transaction.

 

She reports having received two phone calls from two very persistent males requesting to come to her home and be allowed to load an App onto her phone as part of their “Child Safety Kit” service. She stated the callers were very persistent on setting up an appointment, and they falsely claimed they work directly with the Indiana State Police. She was never provided with name or a company name.

 

This scam has apparently been ongoing for quite some time, and was even reported on by the Louisville based WDRB news channel back in December 2019, wherein an Evansville, Indiana woman was victimized (follow the link below for their full reporting).

 

https://www.wdrb.com/news/indiana-woman-requests-child-safety-id-kit-via-facebook-gets-frightening-visit/article_0f898fbe-1dec-11ea-a5a8-8fba54f2fd1f.html

 

The Indiana State Police would remind all Hoosiers that scam artists are pervasive across the internet and all social media platforms.  Scammer’s methods and tactics are primarily intrusive to your personal and financial information, but as noted in this instance, they may often resort to invading your personal space as well.  Luckily this resident was on the alert and did not fall prey to these scammers tactics.

 

This complaint reported to the State Police is full of red flags, and luckily this local resident did not fall prey to these scammers tactics.  You can protect yourself by:

 

  • ALWAYS consider any unsolicited internet/social media transaction with a “Buyer Beware”
  • NEVER provided personal or financial information to an unknown source, whether it be on the internet, by email, or by phone.
  • NEVER invite or allow a stranger into your home, especially an unsolicited sales person- thieves commonly use this as a way to case your home for future burglary.
  • Don’t be INTIMIDATED by a scammer’s pervasiveness. Delete the internet conversation or just hang up the phone when something doesn’t feel right.
  • If you feel you have been victimized by a scammer, suspicious or threatening activity should be reported to your local law enforcement immediately.

Police warning about wallet thieves in Greenwood

Greenwood police are warning shoppers about two people stealing wallets from elderly shoppers.

 

Police say they stole a wallet from an 82-year-old woman and used her credit card, charging more than $7,000 to it in an hour. Video surveillance shows the suspects stealing the wallet from the woman at a Meijer.

 

Police say they are distracting customers while they shop, and then stealing their wallets.

 

Police said there has been a rise in thefts targeting elderly people in the Greenwood area and anyone with information should call Detective Scott Cottongim with the Greenwood Police Department, at 317-887-5619.

Two men killed when van runs into back of parked semi on 465; driver from Greenwood

A Johnson County man was killed in a car-semi accident late Thursday on I-465

 

Just before midnight last night, emergency crews were called to the scene of a serious crash on I-465 westbound near Michigan Road on the city's northwest side. When first responders arrived they found the wreckage of a full size van into the rear end of a semi-tractor trailer. A medic from Hendricks County happened to be driving by and stopped to render aid until other first responders arrived.

 

Two adult males were entrapped in a full size van and both were unconscious and unresponsive. Crews from the Indianapolis Fire Department worked to extricate both individuals. Despite life saving efforts, the passenger was pronounced deceased at the scene. The driver was transported by EMS to an area hospital and later pronounced deceased.

 

Preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police Crash Reconstructionists determined a semi-tractor trailer had pulled over to the right shoulder due to a mechanical issue. A white full size cargo van ran off the road and struck the back of the trailer. Indications are the semi-tractor trailer was not in the travel lane and had emergency flashers activated. The driver of the semi requested medical evaluation however was not transported by EMS. The Marion County Coroner's Office responded to the scene to recover the remains of the deceased. 

 

The driver of the Chevrolet van was identified as Andrew Blackwell, 33, of Greenwood. The passenger in the van was identified as Brenden Harper, 25, of Indianapolis. The semi driver was Raimundo Luis of Miami Florida.

 

The westbound lanes of I-465 were restricted for four hours while the crash was investigated, all westbound lanes have since reopened. 

Over 30 counties in BLUE on coronavirus map; Shelby still YELLOW

Indiana continues to make progress in the fight against coronavirus. 39 counties are now in the blue on the state's color-coded map -- the lowest risk of COVID spread.

 

Nine of those have been blue for two straight weeks and are now free of any restrictions. The other 30 -- including Marion, Johnson, and Hancock counties -- turned blue Wednesday and could be free of restrictions if they stay in the blue for another week.

 

Shelby and Bartholomew counties are in yellow.  Rush, Decatur, Johnson, Hancock and Marion have gone blue.

 

Almost everyone else is in the yellow -- the second-best rating.

 

Just three counties remain in the orange. Zero counties are in the red.

 

Indiana FFA celebrating National FFA Week

Julia Hamblen is making the most of a difficult situation.

 

The 2020 Shelbyville High School graduate accomplished her goal of becoming the Indiana Future Farmers of America State President only to have the normal routines and experiences altered by a worldwide pandemic.

 

“If you would have questioned me 2-3 years ago if I would have done this I would have said absolutely not,” said Hamblen. “This is horrible.”

 

Still, Hamblen opted for a gap year before enrolling at Purdue University to get the experience of FFA leadership and administration.

 

Indiana FFA State President Julia Hamblen

 

“I knew it would be different,” she said. “It’s not how I dreamed of but I am satisfied with what we’ve been able to do. We are a team that no one will forget.”

 

Hamblen is one of seven young men and women running the state chapter from the FFA facility in Trafalgar. She still has approximately five months left on her one-year commitment.

 

This week, Indiana FFA is celebrating 2021 National FFA Week.

 

“Our goal is to share the message,” said Hamblen. “A lot has been done in the past year. We want to celebrate with our members.”

 

On Tuesday, Hamblen stepped foot inside a school for the first time in almost a year when she visited the Seymour FFA chapter. Her senior year was cut short in March when COVID-19 made school learning at Shelbyville virtual.

 

Hamblen graduated and chose the unique opportunity of FFA leadership before starting her own agricultural education track at Purdue.

 

One of her tasks is to increase enrollment in FFA to help students gain knowledge through classroom instruction and hands-on work-based learning.

 

Indiana currently has more than 12,500 FFA members spread over 215 local chapters in 90 of the state’s 92 counties.

 

National FFA Week runs from Feb.20-27 and gives FFA members an opportunity to educate the public about agriculture, according to an Indiana FFA media release. Chapters conduct activities to help others in their schools and communities learn about FFA and agricultural education.

 

Many county fairs and the Indiana State Fair were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Hamblen believes the state is on track to see those events, as well as others, resume in 2021.

 

“That’s the goal right now … to sway back to normal,” she said. “We are advertising all our normal programming and we are hoping to have the state convention (in June).”

33 Indiana women selected as 2021 500 Festival Princesses; Milroy, New Pal and Whiteland represented

The 500 Festival has chosen 33 women from Indiana to be 2021 500 Festival Princesses.

 

They represent 16 Indiana colleges and universities as well as 21 cities and towns across the state.

 

They were selected based on communication skills, academic performance, community involvement, commitment to service, and leadership.  

 

Among the 33 chosen women:

 

 

Alie Brown, New Palestine, a graduate of New Palestine High School and a senior at the University of Indianapolis majoring in marketing and supply chain management 

 

 

Hannah McGee, Milroy, a graduate of Rushville Consolidated High School and a senior at Butler University majoring in strategic communication. 

 

 

Victoria Petriskey, Whiteland, a graduate of Whiteland Community High School and a senior at Ball State University majoring in history. 

 

The 2021 500 Festival Princesses were selected through a competitive process consisting of a written application and virtual interviews.

Registration continues for Shelby County Babe Ruth Baseball

Shelby County Babe Ruth Baseball postponed its 50th anniversary celebration in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

That celebration will happen later this year, according to local president Mark Tackett. More details will be released as the event gets closer.

 

In preparation for what Tackett expects to be a full summer slate of games at Donald L. Johnson Memorial Park, registration is currently open and player evaluations take place Saturday at Shelbyville High School’s auxiliary gym.

 

There are four league age groups within Shelby County Babe Ruth: 4-6, 6-8, 9-10 and 11-13.

Registration cost is $80 per player or a maximum of $240 per family living in the same household.

Player evaluations begin at 8:15 a.m. Saturday for those ages 6-7. The age 8 age group follows at 9:15 a.m. Evaluations continue at 10:15 a.m. for 9s and 10s. The session ends with 11-13s at 11:30 a.m.

 

There is no player evaluation session for the 4-5 age group.

 

Registration can be done online at shelbycountybaberuth.com. The website also contains more information about the organization.

 

Coaches for all leagues are still needed. Volunteers to work concessions and field maintenance also are needed.

For more information, contact Tackett at marktackett@shelbycountybaberuth.com.

 

Culvert project delayed by weather scheduled to close Shelby Co. 375 E on Thursday

Shelby County's contractor, Trisler Construction Co, Inc., will be closing 375 E between 350 S and 450 S beginning Thursday, February 25, for a period of 4 – 6 weeks to replace a large box culvert.

 

The last address accessible from the north is 4098 S 375 E, Waldron.

 

The last address accessible from the south is 4339 S 375 E, Waldron.

 

Winter weather postponed the start of the project that was announced February 1.

 

 

Call for flags at half-staff to honor Covid deaths

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff in memory of the more than 500,000 Americans who have died from COVID-19.

 

Per the President’s proclamation, flags should be flown at half-staff from now until sunset Friday, February 26.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents to lower their flags to half-staff.

Shelby Co. seeks funds to help small businesses hit by pandemic; federal $ granted for Pleasant View infrastructure

Shelby County is seeking money to aid small business dealing with the pandemic.

 

Commissioner Chris Ross says they have applied for $250, 000 in funds.

 

 

Ross says that SIRPC will aid in the administration of the funds if they are granted including the application process when the time comes.

 

 

Ross also noted the grant of federal dollars to aid the county in infrastructure and roads for the growth at the Pleasant View site of the I-74 corridor.

 

 

The grant is for $1.46 million.

Lieutenant governor believes local government should have say on local issues

Shelby County farmland is under siege from out-of-state power companies looking to create “solar farms.”

 

An 1,800-acre facility has already been approved for installation in northeastern Shelby County.

 

Southwestern Shelby County is the next target site but there is strong opposition from local residents determined to keep a second local “solar farm” from setting up shop.

 

Indiana lieutenant governor Suzanne Crouch believes the state should allow communities to make their own decisions as to how much “green energy” originates from land inside its borders.

 

“We very much support local decisions being made regarding those kinds of issues,” said Crouch Friday during a visit to Fischer Seeds in Shelbyville. “I’m a former county commissioner and no one knows their community better than local elected officials. So there is a role for them and they are the ones that have their fingers on the pulse of the community. They are the ones that should be making the decisions for what is best for their county. And they can be held accountable to the voters.”

 

Fifty-eight state representatives believe differently. House Bill 1381, which would remove the veto power of county commissioners, was approved last week, 58-38. State representative Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) was one of the 58 votes.

 

The bill next goes in front of the senate.

 

SPower, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been identified as the latest power company looking to create a solar facility in Shelby County. A representative has approached several land owners seeking to lease or purchase land. The landowner can then make a decision to be a part of the project or decline to become involved.

 

Money is certainly a factor in the decision. And landowner’s rights are protected to an extent. That makes getting involved a sticky proposition.

 

“It’s almost one of those economic development vs. quality of life issues,” said Crouch. “And what you want is for economic development and quality of life to be able to intersect so it benefits the community the most.”

 

COVID-19

 

As vaccinations mount across the state, COVID-19 statistics are in decline.

 

“When you look at the statistics, and everything is driven by data, almost 93% of Hoosiers that are dying are 60 and above,” said Crouch during her one-on-one interview with the Shelby County Post. “That’s 93% of the deaths. So if you can get that older segment of the population vaccinated, while other people may get sick and be asymptomatic and have other symptoms, the likelihood of them dying is not as great.

 

“So that’s why a couple weeks in January we were at a 17% positivity rate and we are 5% right now. As you are getting that population vaccinated, you are cutting down on those deaths and the hospitals have a chance.”

 

Vaccinations started with first responders and those in the oldest age groups. The age groups eligible for vaccination have been lowering but last week’s winter weather slowed down the process, according to Crouch.

 

One group that has not yet been approved for vaccinations is teachers.

 

“We’re focused on saving lives,” said Crouch. “That’s why we are focusing on those elderly Hoosiers getting vaccinated. Then, as we get those vaccinated, and we feel the data is compelling enough, we will start moving into other groups.

 

“And I can’t tell you how many teachers that have told me and Gov. (Eric) Holcomb that they are so grateful that their parents and grandparents are getting vaccinated because they realize that they are the ones most vulnerable.”

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