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City splitting Amos Road traffic study cost, seeking grant for corridor work

Traffic flow along Amos Road will continue to increase as developers keep building homes.


City officials know there is no easy solution to the problem that intensifies with traffic arriving and leaving both Loper Elementary School and the Golden Bear Preschool. 


With both the city and the housing developers in need of a traffic study, the cost of such an operation is being split.


Westport Homes, which is currently expanding the Twin Lakes subdivision and is closing in on the groundbreaking for a nearly 200-home subdivision further south, and Davis Homes, which is proposing a new subdivision near the preschool, will share costs of a full traffic study along with the city.


"We are splitting the cost with those developers that need that study," said Adam Rude, City of Shelbyville Plan Director. "We can get a traffic study of the entire road and see how we can fix the issues.


"Some things are obvious to fix but this one is not obvious and then will it be worth it to fix?"


Rude discussed the traffic study with the Board of Works Tuesday morning at its weekly meeting at City Hall. That prompted board member David Finkel to ask that the traffic study be done while school is in session to identify how congested Amos Road gets during student drop off and pick up.


Rude does not expect the traffic study to commence until later next month.


"There is still a lot of work to do before the counters go out," he said. "We will need to identify peak school days and peak non-school days. We will have to try to account for all the variations -- weekends will be different, what are the peak and non-peak times and mornings and evenings."


Corridor work


With the downtown redevelopment project in its final months, the city is already looking ahead at how to improve the State Road 9 corridor from Rampart Road south to the N. Harrison St. bridge.


In conjunction with the design group Taylor, Siekfer and Williams, the city will pursue grant money after a preliminary design and budget is created.


"There are a lot of infrastructure dollars coming down the pipeline," said Rude. "Shovel-ready projects will be funded first."


The city will look for aesthetic improvements such as street lights and sidewalks to the corridor that funnels south from Interstate 74 into downtown Shelbyville.


The entire stretch of road, now controlled by the city, also will need to be redone.


Rude expects the design phase to continue into late 2021 with grant money being awarded in 2022 which could push the start of the project into 2023.

Shelbyville valedictorian headed to Indiana University to study Biochemistry

Ethan Apsley was playing a round of golf when he got a text saying Shelbyville High School was switching to virtual learning for the rest of the 2020 semester.


"That was interesting," said Apsley, who was preparing for his junior season of golf with the Golden Bears. "We were done. It was kind of a surreal experience."


Despite the new academic challenges, Apsley adapted to virtual learning well which helped him maintain his top ranking in the Class of 2021.


The son of Kent and Marsha Apsley was recently named valedictorian at Shelbyville and will study Biochemistry at Indiana University in the fall.


"My dad went to IU so I've always liked IU most of my life," he said. "I thought it was the best choice because I want to go into the sciences and it felt like the right fit since they are a large research university."


Apsley has not mapped out his future, choosing to stay in the moment and see how his experience goes at IU.


"I kind of want to get into drug research but I will see how that works out. I have four years to figure that out," he said.


Apsley admits to being somewhat shocked when he was ranked third in his class after the first semester of his freshman year of high school. That altered his approach to school.


"I figured I needed to take a shot at (being valedictorian)," he said. "I changed my class schedule a little bit to give me a chance to get it."


One semester later he was ranked No. 1 and that never changed.


Apsley was a four-year golfer at SHS, played tennis for two seasons and was active in academic competitions. He was captain of the Quiz Bowl team the last two years.


Golf is and will continue to be a big part of his life. He is spending his summer working in the Pro Shop at Blue Bear Golf Club in Shelbyville which affords him course time. If his schedule allows, Apsley wants to play club golf during his time in Bloomington.


"I have to prioritize academics but I will try and make it fit in," he said. 


After dealing with virtual learning for the final two months of his junior season, Apsley was happy to get back into school to start his senior year. Then an upswing in COVID-19 cases forced SHS to switch to hybrid learning for a short period where students were staggered throughout the week as to when they could attend classes.


"I adapted pretty well to that," he said. "Hybrid was set up really well this year where we still had a great opportunity, not the same opportunity to have daily in-person conversations, but being able to have enough we could get by.


"I was in school two-and-a-half days a week. It worked well so being able to take tests in person was really nice because I was focused a lot better."


Apsley fully believes his choice of IU is the right one but there are still concerns moving onto such a big campus.


"I am excited for it but I know I will have to adapt," he said. "It's way different of an environment than I've been in with the class schedule and having to do a lot of self-studying that college requires."


Until he moves to Bloomington, Apsley will continue to work on one of his golfing goals -- scoring a hole-in-one.


"I've not been stupid close yet," he said with a laugh. "I've been probably within two feet before. It's definitely a goal. I thought I would get one by now as much as I've played."

Southwestern Shamrocks shine at 2020 and 2021 Shelby Royal competitions

Showing one species of livestock at the Shelby County Fair takes months of preparation.


On Wednesday night at the Livestock Youth Pavilion, five 4-H senior showmanship winners took on the challenge of showing five different species of animals in an attempt to win the Shelby Royal Showmanship Contest.


Already having earned success at the fair this week, Ellie Gosser, Dane Kissell, Kate Spegal, Emily Tyree and Wyatt Schonfeld competed for the prestigious title.


Each presented swine, horses, goats, cattle and sheep to five different judges and answered on-the-spot questions to demonstrate their knowledge of each species.


And when the competition was over, the Southwestern Shamrocks 4-H group had plenty to celebrate.


Kissell (main photo), a rising junior at Southwestern, was declared the 2021 Shelby Royal champion. One night earlier, fellow Southwestern junior Camille Thopy was crowned the 2020 Shelby Royal champion -- a year later than planned.


“This is pretty special. I’ve been doing 4-H my whole life,” said Kissell. “I have seen people win this and it’s good to be in that group as one of the top showmen out here.”


Jeff Brown photo

Dane Kissell leads his randomly-selected cattle around the show arena at the Youth Livestock Pavilion Wednesday night during the Shelby Royal competition.


Kissell is most familiar with swine, which was the first animal to be shown Wednesday. He admitted to letting his frustration show a little too much with a cantankerous animal and had to refocus to move forward.


“I show pigs and I like them to be nice and show well for me. It agitated me there a bit,” said Kissell. “I had to move on and put my best foot forward and do well in the rest of the events.”


Gosser, who captured the Senior Showmanship title Monday night, also attends Southwestern. Spegal attends Triton Central and Tyree goes to Waldron.


Schonfeld is a Morristown graduate attending Purdue University.


The 2020 Shelby County Fair was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That forced Thopy to wait another year to compete.


The 2020 Shelby Royal was held Tuesday at the Livestock Youth Pavilion.


Jeff Brown photo

Southwestern rising junior Camille Thopy was crowned 2020 Shelby Royal champion Tuesday night at the Shelby County Fair.


“I was very pleased with the animals I got,” said Thopy, who celebrated with Kissell after the event. “Some of the larger animals you kind of seek out the ones that potentially can be in the royal. Not so much the smaller animals but the larger animals have tempers that are harder to handle.”


Each of the six species superintendents (cattle is separated in dairy and beef), in cooperation with the Shelby Royal Committee, assist in procuring animals and supplies needed for the competition. Each contestant is then provided with supplies and an animal to show.


“I show every species but pigs so my weak point would have been the pig but I was able to work with a past 4-H (member) to learn more about hogs and how to show them,” said Thopy.


Kissell took a similar route to prepare but had to study more species than Thopy.


“I found people that I know that has the livestock that I don’t show and work with them to get your best ideas,” said Kissell.


Jeff Brown photo

Kate Spegal demonstrates her swine-handling skills for a judge Wednesday at the Shelby County Fair.


The event does not focus on the grooming of each animal but rather the handlers’ ability to control each species, understand the species, and present them correctly.

Perry setting up busy first year at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

The one thing Austin Perry knows about his upcoming freshman year at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is that it will be busy.


Perry, Shelbyville High School’s Class of 2021 salutatorian, has a major but no specialty. He will join the men’s tennis program but has no idea who returns for the 2022 season. And he will sing in the choir only because Rose-Hulman does not have a show choir like Synergy at Shelbyville.


Not surprisingly, Perry’s interests mimic his four-year career as a Golden Bear.


The son of Richard and Paula Perry will major in Engineering Design at the Terre Haute-based school which will allow him time to find his area of interest.


“It’s a four-year career path but the first two years you learn a little about everything,” said Perry. “Then you focus in your last two years. If I did something like Mechanical Engineering it would be all one career path.


“So I get a little taste of everything before I decide what I want to do.”


Perry played tennis at SHS because his mother did not want him getting hurt playing football. He was a strong No. 3 singles player for the Golden Bears as a senior.


“I’ve always been the athletic type but I never really started sports until middle school,” he said. “I wanted to play football but my mom was worried that I would get hurt. So I played tennis because my buddies were on the team.”


Rose-Hulman’s tennis program ended its season in mid-May with a 5-1 loss to Washington & Lee in the NCAA Division III Men’s Tennis Tournament Round of 32. The Engineers finished the spring season 7-4 and made its sixth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament.


Perry comes from a musically-inclined family and he intends to keep performing while in college.


“My dad sings a lot and plays guitar and my sister did show choir too,” explained Perry. “I had the roots growing up so I took it on and it’s been fun.”


Along with singing, Perry can play the baritone ukulele.


“It’s like a smaller version of a guitar with four strings,” he said.


Perry, like many other students, did not enjoy virtual learning which became mandatory in March of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


“It was fun at the start since you get a little break from school,” he recalled. “It was a little less work. Then it felt like forever. It got really boring and toilsome. I didn’t even want to sign in online.”


Perry’s senior year started in school, transitioned to a hybrid schedule where students split their week at home and in school and finished with all students back in the classrooms.


“It was not ideal but we took what we could get,” he said. “The masks got annoying, especially at the beginning of the year when we weren’t used to them yet, but it was good to be back in the building and see all your friends again.”


Rose-Hulman is preparing for students on campus this fall and in dormitories, according to Perry, who is excited for the transition.


“We will be in person but I don’t know yet about masks,” said Perry. “It feels like it will be a pretty normal year.”


There are no real summer plans in place for Perry other than a family camping trip to Glacier National Park in Montana. Once he returns, he will pack up and head to Rose-Hulman, the only school he considered for his educational track.


“My brother (Logan) went there so I already had some ties there,” he said. “And I saw he was challenged there. He was at the top of his class too, so if he was challenged then I feel like I will be challenged.”

Child, 8, hit by car in Shelbyville

A young boy was seriously injured when struck by a car Tuesday in Shelbyville.


The Shelbyville Police Department was dispatched just before 4:00 pm to the 1600 block of South RIley Highway for a personal injury accident.  Upon arrival it was learned that a white Chevrolet was northbound on Riley Highway.  The driver’s attention was briefly diverted to his daughter who was a front seat passenger.   When he redirected his attention to the road, he noticed that there was a child walking on the side of the road, and he was unable to avoid the child.   


The child, age 8, of Shelbyville was struck by the vehicle.  Evidence at the scene suggests that vehicle left the roadway prior to the collision. 


The child was lifelined to Riley Hospital with serious injuries.   No condition report has been released since.

Shelbyville - Shelby County to join others in I-74 Corridor Region to go after millions in READI money

Shelbyville and Shelby County are a part of a newly created I-74 corridor region seeking millions of dollars in state monies.


Governor Eric Holcomb announced the concept of READI in his State of the State address in January, and the Indiana General Assembly funded the program as a part of its new biennial budget.

Through this initiative, the state will encourage neighboring counties, cities and towns to partner to create a shared vision for their future, mapping out the programs, initiatives and projects that are critical for them to retain talent today and attract the workforce of tomorrow.


The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) will award up to $50 million per region to support the implementation of strategies focused on making positive developments in quality of place and quality of life, innovation, entrepreneurship, and talent attraction and development. 


Shelby County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Brian Asher appeared before the Shelby County Council Tuesday.



Asher’s resolution request to the county council was simply one of showing support.  No funding from the council was requested at this time.  He says they are seeking $50, 000 in grant money to aid the region’s efforts.



Over the next two months, Hoosier cities, towns and counties are being encouraged to coordinate and self-identify their proposed regions. The identified regions will then have two months after July 1 to create a regional development plan that "outlines the current state of the region, its vision for the future and a game plan to invest in its growth and prosperity."



Projects could include items such as infrastructure, workforce housing developments, revitalizing blighted or vacant properties, or cultural amenities. The funding could also be used for multi-year programs, including talent attraction initiatives, public-private partnerships to advance innovation, and small business support services.


Asher notes the recent announcement by Five Below further emphasizes that the I-74 corridor should be considered for growth.



The IEDC board of directors will form a READI review committee to evaluate regional development plans. Each region will have the opportunity to present its vision, goals and strategies.  The committee will establish criteria to evaluate plans and will host a series of review meetings that will be open to the public. 

The review committee will make funding recommendations to the IEDC board of directors. Once approved, the IEDC will award READI funding to selected regions to advance implementation of the projects and programs.

Mini 4H Livestock Show offers first opportunities to show in arena setting

After sitting quiet for nearly two years, the sounds of kids running around the Youth Livestock Pavilion Arena and livestock rustling in nearby enclosures were prevalent Monday during the first day of the 172nd Shelby County Fair.


“We have quite a crowd today. It’s good to be back,” said Scott Gabbard, Shelby County Purdue Extension Director.


The Mini 4H Livestock Show featured young boys and girls getting the opportunity to work goat, sheep and swine in an arena setting.


“This is for all the little kiddos that are in the mini-4H program to give them a chance to be with the animal with the older 4Hers helping them in the ring,” said Gabbard as he surveyed the fun. “And it’s almost like, I don’t want to say a teaser, but it is a way to expose the kids who don’t have to own an animal. It gives them an experience of being in the ring with an animal.


“You’ve got 4Hers with them who raised these animals and it’s a nice safe way to start exposing some of these kids to being around the animals and livestock when they normally wouldn’t have had these opportunities.”



The swine showing resembled more of a demolition derby. The pigs moved around the show arena in many different directions only to end up back by a side fence all conglomerated together.


Some cooperated for the most part. Others, would have preferred to be left alone.


The goats and sheep were more cooperative making a circular lap around the pen, except for one very small goat that was removed because it wanted nothing to do with the exhibition.


The boys and girls were introduced before taking their presentation lap and were given instructions by older 4H participants how to handle each particular type of animal.


The 4H Dairy Cattle Show was the first event Monday with a 9 a.m. start time. The 4H Beef Show followed the Mini 4H Livestock Show and lasted well into the evening hours on a beautiful night at the fairgrounds.



Swine, Poultry and Sheep showing events are today with the 2020 Shelby Royal, featuring the 2019 winners, commencing at 7:30 p.m.


“We’ve had some computer systems change in two years (since the last fair) but other than that, it’s one of those things we did some 730 days ago and now you just have to remember it,” said Gabbard. “Other than that, it’s been great and we are glad to be back.”


There will be a free gospel sing at the grandstand tonight at 7 p.m.


The midway and buildings open at 5 p.m.

Calendar marked for August 2 in Shelbyville's downtown reconstruction

Shelbyville's downtown reconstruction is working toward a key date - August 2.


Tom Davis with Genesis Property Development says August 2 will feature two significant road closures as the transition occurs for the project from one side to the other.



Davis says one change is shorter than the other, scheduled for three weeks through August 23.



Davis says northbound traffic will be open again by August 23.



Also, August 2, the project will transition to the other side, or flip.




Nuisance property owner fails to show for Board of Works hearing

The owner of a nuisance property in Shelbyville may force the city to get a court order to bring the residence at 197 Fountain Lake South Drive up to code.


Despite repeated efforts to work with Donnie Tresler, the owner of a .35-acre waterfront property lot, there has been no resolution to the situation that is frustrating neighbors.


A hearing was held Tuesday morning at City Hall during the Board of Works meeting. Tresler, despite being asked to appear, did not attend the meeting.


“We started receiving complaints at the end of March that there were no utilities at the property and that there hasn’t been for a number of years,” said Adam Rude, the city’s plan director. “We visited the property and requested to inspect the home a number of times and those requests were denied.”


The city received an inspection warrant which led to finding numerous violations on May 18 of the minimum housing standards.


“There are no utilities at the home – water, electric or gas,” explained Rude. “There are no furnace or air conditioning units. There are issues with electrical and plumbing.”


Tresler denies living in the residence and has refused offers of assistance with cleaning up the property.


There also may be an issue with a child living with Tresler, who has repeatedly stated they are living with a family member at another location.


A child’s riding toy was sitting near the front door of the residence Tuesday morning while a truck was parked in the driveway.


Rude asked the Board of Works for an order to vacate, an order for the removal of trash, debris and fire hazardous materials and an order for the repair or rehabilitation of an unsafe building to bring it in compliance with minimum housing standards.


The board approved those requests 3-0.


According to the Shelby County GIS map located at the city’s website, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom residence is 1,400 square feet and valued, along with the property, at $132,900.



“What we’ve got here is, for whatever reason, an uncooperative property owner with a significant amount of violations here,” said Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun, who is a member of the Board of Works. “The photographs certainly represent unfit living conditions. We’ve tried to engage him with our community advocate through the fire department and he has refused.”


Tresler now has until July 24 to show significant improvement of the residence, which is missing siding and has plastic covering a front window.


A court order to enforce the violations would be the next step and that would allow for additional clean up time.

Ten city traffic light boxes getting artistic vinyl wraps

Shelbyville’s traffic light control boxes will get a makeover later this year.


Jennifer Jones of the Blue River Community Foundation met with the Board of Works Tuesday morning at City Hall to get approval to vinyl wrap 10 traffic boxes similar to the one at the corner of Mechanic St. and State Road 9.


“The community loved (the first one) and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” said Jones.


Loper Elementary School art teacher Eric Sutton created the artwork for the first traffic box (photo).


With funding secured for 10 more art projects, the foundation did a call out for artists, both locally and nationally, to submit ideas, according to Jones.


A committee was formed to choose the winning submissions.


“They will all be different,” said Jones.


Some of the art projects could be tied to specific locations. One particular submission has a steam component to it and it will be assigned to a traffic box near an industrial area.


“It’s a nice way to infuse art into everyday items,” said Jones.


The cost of the project is approximately $18,000 and is funded by a Lilly Endowment grant.


The vinyl wraps should start appearing on local traffic boxes later this year.

Vaccinations available at Shelby County Fair

The Shelby County Health Department will be offering all three Covid vaccines - J & J, Moderna, Pfizer - at the Shelby County Fair. Pfizer is available for those 12 years of age and older.


Walk-ins are welcome.  You can stop by the Health Department booth at the far east side of the grandstand.  You can also get a free hand sanitizer while supplies last.  


The Shelby County Health Department booth will be open 3:30 pm - 9:00 pm.



1892 Bartholomew Co. schoolhouse destroyed by fire

An early morning fire destroyed an old one room schoolhouse in Bartholomew County.


Just after 2:00 am Monday, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies Dustin Newland and Brandon Sellers responded to the area of E 250 N / N 500 E in reference to a structural fire.  They found a fully engulfed building on the east side of the roadway, a one-room school house that dates back to 1892.


Fire departments arrived and extinguished the fire at the former Petersville School.  There were no injuries.


The Clay Township Fire Department, Columbus Township Fire Department, Clifford Fire Department, and Columbus Regional Hospital EMS were at the scene early Monday morning.



TC valedictorian speaks two languages, plays two instruments and wants to cure cancer

Samantha Ackley cringes at being labeled “smart.”


The Triton Central High School Class of 2021 valedictorian was accelerated into a pre-Calculus class in fifth grade. Her SAT score was over 1,500.


She will attend Earlham College later this year to study Neuroscience with the goal of obtaining her master’s degree in Paris. Curing cancer is on her mind.


“I wouldn’t call myself smart as much as I call myself hard working,” said Ackley, who can play clarinet and French horn and speaks two languages. “Intelligence is measured on your ability to identify patterns. I just work harder than some people, not all people, but some people.”


Ackley admits being valedictorian was never a stated goal even after finding out she was ranked No. 1 in her graduating class as a sophomore.


“It was a curious thing, but I wouldn’t ever say the goal was to be valedictorian,” she explained. “The goal was to just do as good as I could in all my classes. It’s good to have good grades on your transcripts because you get scholarships and you get college credits.


“It wasn’t ever the goal to be first, it was just the goal to do well in my classes.”


The daughter of Travis and Rachael Ackley found too many positive options about Earlham College, located in Richmond, Indiana, to go anywhere else.


“It’s a nice school and campus. I think I thrive better in smaller communities,” she said. “They have a really good study abroad program and they have a really good internship program.


“It’s a good community and staff that cares about you and it has a lot of good opportunities.”


Those opportunities include minoring in French and allowing students to continue performing music without being part of the college’s music program.


At Triton Central, the marching band program was a huge part of Ackley’s life.


“I was really involved in the music department,” she said as her eyes lit up. “I was in marching band all high school, winter guard all years except one due to my injury and I played in jazz band this past year. And I was in concert band which was a class every year.


“I’ve done practically all forms of band you can do there.”


She sat up in her chair a little taller when asked to explain just how difficult marching band can be to succeed.


“Woo hoo … I get a lot of crap for this because people think marching band is not that tough,” she said with energy. “So I want you to jog but you can only breathe when I tell you and the rest of the time you must spend your time breathing out. It seems like a piece of cake but then you have to try and do it.


“You have to breathe out for like 20 seconds then I will tell you to breathe in.”


As for color guard?


“Specifically for guard, basically everyone is doing a modified version of ballet while running on the field with a heavy piece of equipment in your hands.”


And then there is music to learn?


“You have to be able to play an instrument first and a lot of people just can’t do that,” she continued. “It’s a lot of mental work. You have to memorize your music. You have to play your music well. You have to keep good posture. You have to march correctly and if you don’t do all of those things correctly it’s not going to come out well.


“You have to march well in order to sound good, and if you don’t sound good even when you march, what’s the point? There are a lot of moving pieces and it’s a lot of mental effort to coordinate it all together.”


Ackley suffered a severe neck injury in an automobile accident during her junior year which prepped her for a serious dose of virtual learning that was on the horizon.


“I broke my neck on Oct. 27 my junior year,” she said. “I had to stay at school and do some things and went through virtual learning until early January (2020). So I had done something similar to e-Learning for two months and then I came back and was back in school and getting to do all the things I missed out on and then I went back home.”


The COVID-19 pandemic put all Indiana school systems into virtual learning outside of school buildings in March of 2020.


“It was something I felt like I had practice with but that doesn’t mean it was fun by any means,” said Ackley.


Earlham College is preparing for students on campus this fall and Ackley is ready to put her post-Triton Central plan into motion.


“The idea is to get my general degree then I would like to do a graduate program in Paris in genetics,” she said. “There is a lot you can do with those sorts of things because we still don’t understand how genes affect neurological disorders and diseases.


"And if I get really good at it, one day I would like to do something with cancer because there has to be something going on with genetics that we haven’t figured out yet.”

Shelbyville's Julia Prickett crowned Shelby County Fair Queen

A Shelbyville High School graduate and Purdue sophomore plans to be on the TV screen delivering your weather forecast in the near future.


Right now, the forecast appears nothing sunny for Julia Prickett.  The 19-year-old is the 2021 Shelby County Fair Queen.  She was the crown during Saturday’s contest held at the Triton Central High School auditorium.



She explains why this title, and opportunity, is valuable.



Prickett says she’s ready for the weather and everything else the fair has to offer.



Joining her on this year’s Shelby County Fair Queen court:


1st runner-up and Miss Congeniality – Triton Central graduate and soon to be IU freshman Lillian Gahimer, 18


2nd runner-up – SHS graduate and IU junior Abby Miller, 20


3rd runner-up:  Triton Central senior Emma Hutchinson, 17


Two Shelby Co. residents, one a student at SHS, killed in Kentucky car crash

A Shelbyville High School student and a Shelby County woman were killed Saturday in a multi-vehicle accident in Kentucky.


According to a press release from the Shelbyville (KY) Police Department, law enforcement and emergency crews were dispatched just before 8:00 pm Saturday to Interstate 64 for a multiple vehicle accident.


An initial investigation revealed that a 2005 Chrysler Pacifica driven by Neina Marie Keel, of Fairland, IN, was traveling westbound when for an unknown reason the vehicle crossed the grassy median and struck an eastbound 2011 Chevy HHR driven by Darryl Lancaster, of Shelbyville, KY.


Keel was pronounced dead at the scene.  A juvenile passenger of the Pacifica was transported by helicopter with critical injuries to University of Louisville Hospital.  That juvenile, later identified as Rushelle Renee Boswell, 16, of Shelbyville, IN, died at the hospital.  (obituary information for Rushelle Boswell is available below)


Two other juvenile Pacifica passengers were transported to area hospitals in serious condition.


Lancaster was also pronounced dead at the scene.  He was the only occupant of the HHR.


A third vehicle was involved in the crash.  The driver was not injured.


As part of the investigation, toxicology reports are pending on all drivers.


The Shelbyville (KY) Police Department operates a joint accident reconstruction team with the Shelby County (KY) Sheriff's Office.  They were assisted by the Simponsville Fire Department, Shelby County EMS, KSP Post 12 Frankfort and the Shelby County Coroner's Office.



Rushelle Renee Boswell, 16, of Shelbyville

Rushelle Renee Boswell, 16, of Shelbyville passed away Sunday, June 13, 2021, at the University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.


She was born September 13, 2004, the daughter of Robert L. and Susan Marie (Smith) Boswell.

Rushelle is survived by her parents of Shelbyville; paternal grandparents, Judy and Tom Settles of Shelbyville; maternal grandparents, Tom and Sherry Smith of Shelbyville; and paternal great-grandmother, Betty Reed of Shelbyville.


She also leaves behind her dogs, Milo and Missy.


Rushelle would have begun her junior year at Shelbyville High School this fall.


She worked in the dairy department at Walmart.


Rushelle enjoyed old square body Chevy trucks, going fishing and shooting, and listening to music.


Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 17, 2021, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.


Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, June 18, 2021 at the funeral home.


Memorial contributions may be made to the J. Kenneth Self Boys and Girls Club, 710 S. Miller St., Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.


Online condolences may be shared with Rushelle’s family at


S.R. 44 bridge closed for superstructure replacement

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Milestone Contractors, L.P. closed the S.R. 44 bridge over Sugar Creek Overflow between C.R. 700 E. and Sugar Creek Road on Saturday (June 12) for a superstructure replacement project.


The bridge is expected to remain closed for approximately 60 days. Traffic should utilize the official detour route of I-65, I-465, and I-74.


The project is part of a $6 million asphalt resurface and roadway reconstruction contract that will repave S.R. 44 between Franklin and Shelbyville, and reconstruct the roadway at the I-65 interchange, with the addition of traffic signals. Work began in early April and is expected to be officially complete next June.


Alternating lane closures will continue throughout the summer as paving progresses.

Three Hancock County, two Rush County members seek to be Indiana FFA state officer

Sixteen FFA members from across the state are preparing to interview for the opportunity to serve as an Indiana FFA State Officer for the upcoming year. Once completed, seven individuals will be selected to fulfill the roles of president, secretary, northern region vice president, southern region vice president, treasurer, reporter and sentinel.


During the 92nd Indiana FFA State Convention, the candidates will participate in a rigorous interview and selection process, in which, the winners will be announced at the final session on Thursday, June 17.


Once selected, the newly-elected officers will embark on a year of service, providing direction and overseeing the development of the student-led organization, which has more than 12,500 members statewide.


“Best wishes to each of the 16 candidates as they vie for an Indiana FFA State Officer position,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I always look forward to meeting each of the state officer teams and seeing the impact these young leaders make on FFA members, community supporters and others throughout their year of service.”


Along with promoting FFA, agriculture and agricultural education, some of their responsibilities include conducting FFA chapter visits, facilitating leadership conferences, and hosting career and leadership development events, to name a few.


“The FFA Organization is a vital pipeline that continues to equip young individuals with the skills they need to prosper in all of their future endeavors,” said Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler. “I look forward to seeing the seven young individuals tasked with leading the FFA organization make waves throughout the upcoming year.“


The following list includes the 16 Indiana FFA State Officer candidates:

  • Madisen Carns, Mt Vernon @ Fortville FFA
  • Shayla Crawford, Connersville FFA
  • Kayla Florian, South Newton FFA
  • Jeremiah Geise, Rushville FFA
  • Adison Hawk, Fountain Central FFA
  • Tyler Kilmer, Tri-County FFA
  • Jolene Morris, Benton Central FFA
  • Lillian Mussche, Southmont FFA
  • Nicholas Neuman, Rushville FFA
  • Kourtney Otte, Seymour FFA
  • Logan Overman, Greenfield Central FFA
  • Edwin Pluimer, Southern Wells FFA
  • Ashanti Snodgrass, South Newton FFA
  • Abigail Stuckwish, Brownstown Central FFA
  • Jordyn Wickard, Eastern Hancock FFA
  • Bonnie Witt, Sullivan FFA

“I am confident that each of the 16 candidates, if selected, would serve the Indiana FFA Organization well as a state officer,” said Indiana FFA Director Sam Miller. “No matter the outcome, I am so proud of each of these members and their commitment to furthering our organization.”


The 2020-21 Indiana FFA state officer team will be announced on June 17 on and on Indiana FFA’s social media channels.

Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department asks public to simply follow rules

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department says those who can't follow rules don't need to be in the city's parks.


Prosecuted, or at least released from use of the parks.  Those are options the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department is looking at increasing with concerns of bullying and vandalism in the city’s parks.


Director Karen Martin says, to a lesser extent, bullying, and vandalism are going to get increased punishment and more intense scrutiny to make sure the public treats the parks, and each other, in an appropriate fasion.



Martin says it's not always criminal offenses.  She notes that if you can’t follow the rules you won’t be in the city’s parks.



Martin says, so far this season, examples of vandalism have been things like bashed in sinks at restrooms and bolts removed from picnic tables.  She says park cameras have helped them catch some of the people involved.

Abby Miller competing in Saturday's Shelby County Fair Queen Contest

Shelbyville's Abby Miller is back as a contestant in the 2021 Shelby County Fair Queen Contest after an appearance a few years ago.  And the fair is back after an off-year due to COVID-19.


Miller appeared on GIANT fm to set the stage for the contest hosted at Triton Central High School Saturday as the fair opens its six day run on Monday.



Also Saturday, June 12:

4-H Dog Show

4-H Project Check-In

4-H Foods Auction

Baby Contest

Little Miss & Mister Contest

TC salutatorian excited for new challenges, new experiences at Purdue

As the salutatorian for the Class of 2021 at Triton Central High School, Benjamin Riggins used his graduation speech to identify three common characteristics of his peers – competitors, companions and clowns.


“For competitors, I talked about all of our sectional, conference and county championships won and how our class always competes to win,” he said.


Riggins played both football and baseball at Triton Central.


“For companions, I talked about how we all stick together as friends … formed bonds and friendships that will ultimately lead us to success down the road,” he said.


Riggins will study Chemical Engineering at Purdue University, and while not knowing his roommate, he is comfortable knowing he has fellow Tigers also headed to West Lafayette.


“For clowns, I talked about how we always liked to have a good time,” he said. “It was the class clowns and the jokes that made high school the most memorable and fun.”


The son of David and Jennifer Riggins also was involved in Robotics, Archery, Student Council and National Honor Society at Triton Central.


Three times he helped build a robot that qualified for the state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.


Nothing, in his mind though, will top being on the football field when the Tigers won the program’s first regional football title in 2019.


“Winning that first regional title was awesome,” said Riggins, who played safety and wide receiver. “It was a Saturday game day and there were tons of people there. It was the most people I’ve ever seen at Triton Central’s football stadium.


“When we won it, it was a feeling like no other. It felt amazing because everyone was cheering for you and it was something no one else had ever accomplished. It’s an experience I will always remember for the rest of my life.”


Months later Riggins and the rest of the TC student body was sent home to start virtual learning.


“From an academic standpoint, it was fun the first few weeks because we got a break from school,” he recalled. “Then we had to come back and do everything virtual. We had done e-Learning days for snow days but those were one day at time. It wasn’t a six-week stretch.


“It was really weird trying to do all our classes online. It just wasn’t the same. We didn’t get the full experience.”


Riggins is excited for starting at Purdue which is expecting students on campus and in the classroom.


“Purdue said they will be in person and want all students to get vaccinated but they are not requiring it at this point,” he said. “Hopefully, when we get to the fall things will be more normal. I’m really looking forward to it. Purdue seems to be doing all it can to make it a regular college experience.”


Until then, Riggins is working this summer as a lifeguard at the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center in Shelbyville and marking off the calendar days when he will be a freshman all over again.


“That is definitely something that will take getting used to,” he said with a smile. “We’ve been top dogs at Triton Central but it will definitely be a fun experience going to college.


“There are a lot of things I haven’t been able to experience at a small school like Triton Central. At a big school like Purdue, it will allow me to experience lots of new opportunities and meet people from different backgrounds.”

Details, info request in Shelby County death investigation

A few more details and a call to the public for any information in a Shelby County death investigation.


On Wednesday, a call to law enforcement reported a body discovered in the northwest corner of State Road 9 and U.S. 52.  The Shelby County Coroner’s Office has confirmed that the deceased is a male, approximately 5’6” to 5’9”.


So far, the race and age has not bee determined. Lab results are pending from Indiana State Police as well as the University of Indianapolis.


The Shelby County Sheriff's Department reports it does not believe there is any threat or danger to the public.


Coroner Brand Rund has asked that anyone with information that would assist with identifying the man to please contact him at or go to and submit a statement.

Kleine opted for academics over athletics in decision to attend Indiana Wesleyan

A decade ago, Morristown Elementary School celebrated the end of the year with academic awards.


Second-grader Rylee Kleine cleaned up. That’s when she first noticed her academic ability.


“At the end of the year we did awards and I realized I got almost all of the academic awards,” she said. “I didn’t really realize it too much but then we had reading levels and my reading level was so much higher than the other students in my class. I didn’t think anything much of it. I just liked to read a lot when I was younger.”


Several years later as a freshman at Morristown High School, Kleine found herself ranked No. 2 in the graduating class of 2021. She maintained that ranking all four years and recently graduated as the Class of 2021 salutatorian.


Kleine, the daughter of Brandon and Rachel Kleine, will attend Indiana Wesleyan University in the fall to study both Psychology and Entrepreneurship with the goal of working for a non-profit.


“I will get the business aspect of it with entrepreneurship and the psychology side for the non-profit side of it,” she explained.


Kleine found success on the basketball court and the track for Morristown during her high school career and was a member of National Honor Society, Student Council, Student Advisory and Student Executive Committee as well as Sunshine Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.


Her faith and her small-town roots were big factors in her decision to attend Indiana Wesleyan, located in Marion, Indiana.


“I went on visits to Indiana Wesleyan, Taylor University and Marian University,” said Kleine. “Taylor was a little too small for me. I knew I wanted small since I’d been at Morristown but Taylor was a little too small.


“Indiana Wesleyan’s facilities are amazing. The people there were really great. I think I fell in love with the campus and how pretty it was and the facilities are so nice. And I like the Christian aspect of it and it being a private school. Marian and Taylor both have that too but I thought Indiana Wesleyan was a better fit.”


That choice came with a consequence, though. Education won out over athletics which has been a huge part of her life.


“That was the main decision when looking at college … whether I wanted to play,” she said. “The Anderson (University) coach talked to me. The Earlham coach talked to me. So I knew I could go play at a (Division III) school but would it be where I actually wanted to go to college?


“I really wanted to go to Indiana Wesleyan for the education aspect but it was a tough decision … I will not lie.”


Kleine expects to stay active athletically, playing intramural basketball and running on campus.


Indiana Wesleyan is planning for students in the classroom in the fall which is a relief to Kleine, who was not a fan of virtual learning in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic closed down Indiana schools.


“I remember that day before we didn’t come back because I was sitting in (boys basketball coach Scott) McClelland’s room and he was like, ‘Guys, I don’t think they can keep us in school,’” said Kleine. “I thought he was crazy for saying that. Sure enough, after spring break we didn’t come back.


“I hated e-Learning. I did not enjoy it at all. I enjoyed being in school with all my peers and the teachers who are more in their atmosphere to teach. Online it just seemed like more logistical issues than actual education.”


Kleine also lost her junior year of track and field where she felt poised to help break a school record held by two family members.


“Athletically, I was crushed because I thought our track team was going to be pretty successful,” she recalled. “We were going after that 4x800 relay record and I think we would have got it.


“And I hated it for the seniors.”


One year later, Kleine, who had been bragging to her mother she was taking that record away from her and her sister, had renewed hope with her younger sister, Raegan Kleine, Maggie Lutes and Gracie Laster in the mix.


“Gracie shocked us,” said Kleine. “She’s a sprinter and then comes out and runs a killer 800. So I started telling my mom, the former Rachel Nolen, that we were going to get this.”


It took all season but at the Shelbyville Sectional last month, Lutes was coming around the track for the final 100 and no one was cheering louder than Rachel Kleine, according to her daughter.


“I think she was more happy for us than anyone,” said Kleine. “And my aunt (Shari Nolen) lives in Missouri now and we Facetimed her when it was over and told her we got it.


“Now mom likes to joke that she gave birth to half of the (record-setting) team.”


As for her favorite Morristown memories, it was easy to name the best.


“I think the state championship for the (boys basketball team) my freshman year will be pretty hard to beat,” she said. “The atmosphere for pretty much a month from sectional to state was insane. You felt like you were walking into a pep session every day at school. We had banners up everywhere.


“The morale … you couldn’t beat it. You don’t get that at a big school and I love that about Morristown.”

Franklin man killed in plane crash

 A Johnson County man was one of two people killed in a Sunday plane crash in central Indiana.


With the assistance of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, notification has been made to the family of both occupants involved in the fatal plane crash near State Road 47 and County Road 800 E. The deceased have been identified as:


  • Benjamin Corbet, 21, Franklin, IN
  • Kristen Green, 28, Swisher, IA



Montgomery County – The Indiana State Police are currently assisting the Federal Aviation Administration with the investigation of an airplane crash. The crash occurred in a field near the intersection of State Road 47 and County Road 800 East in Montgomery County.


This morning at approximately 10:20 a.m., The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call reporting that a small plane had crashed in a field. First responders arrived on the scene, confirmed that a plane had crashed, and requested the assistance of the Indiana State Police to investigate.


There were two individuals in the plane who were pronounced deceased at the scene of the crash by the Montgomery County coroner. Their names are being withheld until proper identification and notification has been made to their next of kin.


Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been contacted and the crash scene will be turned over to the FAA. The Indiana State Police will continue to assist the FAA, however, any determinations made relating to the cause of the crash will be released by their agency concluding a thorough investigation.


The Indiana State Police was assisted on scene by the FAA, Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department, Darlington Fire Department, Montgomery County EMA, and Montgomery County Coroner.

Ashley Furniture named in complaint for firing National Guard Captain trying to return to work

Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan announced a complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of Captain Christopher Robbins of the Indiana Army National Guard against DSG Indiana, a limited liability corporation, doing business as Ashley Home Store (“Ashley Furniture”), alleging that Ashley Furniture violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) when it failed to promptly offer Robbins re-employment after his return from active duty military service.


“The Department of Justice expects employers to fully comply with their reemployment obligations under the law,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Childress. “Where employers fall short in doing so, we will aggressively vindicate the reemployment rights of service members.”


According to the Justice Department’s complaint, Captain Robbins has been a member of the Indiana Army National Guard since 2006. In 2014, Robbins began working as a salesman at an Ashley Furniture Store in Greenwood. During the summer of 2017, Robbins provided notice to Ashley Furniture that his military service obligations with the National Guard required him to attend mandatory, out-of-state military training exercises with his unit. The training was scheduled for one month’s duration. The complaint alleges that at the completion of his training obligation, Robbins promptly sought re-employment as a salesman with Ashley Furniture and agreed with the company’s representatives on a return to work date. According to the allegations in the complaint, Ashley Furniture, however, did not allow Robbins to return to work on the agreed upon date. Instead, two days before the agreed upon return date, Robbins was fired by Ashley Furniture.


“Federal law protects the right of service members like Captain Robbins to resume their jobs when they return home,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Pamela S. Karlan of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “It guarantees that members of the armed forces are not forced to sacrifice their continued employment on top of the sacrifices they have already made in order to fulfill their military obligations.”


This lawsuit stems from a referral to the United States Department of Justice from the United States Department of Labor, after an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service.

Two more women arrested after pursuit and theft from Edinburgh outlet mall

Two Tennessee women were arrested after they stole numerous items from an Edinburgh store and then fled in a vehicle from troopers who attempted to stop them on I-65 in Jackson County.  The women were taken into custody after being involved in a crash with a Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy in Scott County.


The incident began at approximately 4:00 pm Wednesday when a dispatch was issued for a vehicle involved in a theft from the Polo Ralph Lauren Store at the Premium Outlet Mall in Edinburgh.  The Kia Optima occupied by two women was reported to have gotten on I-65 southbound from Edinburgh.  Numerous troopers from the Indiana State Police as well as officers from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department and Crothersville Police began looking for the vehicle.


Upon attempting to stop the vehicle, the driver, identified as Tatyana Burgess, age 22, Antioch, Tennessee accelerated and fled.  Officers from other agencies attempted to place tire deflation devices on the road at other locations.  Burgess eventually struck one of those placed near the Austin exit.


Burgess suddenly applied the brakes while on the right shoulder of I-65.  Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Zach Elliott’s Chevrolet Tahoe collided with the rear of her vehicle, ending the pursuit.  Burgess as well as her front seat passenger, Jernithia Bell, 20, of Nashville, Tennessee were then taken into custody.  The Edinburgh Police responded to the scene and collected numerous items allegedly stolen from the Polo Ralph Lauren store.  Items believed to have been stolen from other stores were also located in the vehicle. 


Both Burgess and Bell were transported to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour after complaining of minor injuries.  They were both checked out and released from the hospital before being transported to the Jackson County Jail.


Burgess was charged with Resisting Law Enforcement in a Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Reckless Driving.  Bell was incarcerated on charges of Possession of Stolen Property.  Both Burgess and Bell may also face additional charges in Bartholomew County related to the theft.


On May 26, Indiana State Police arrested two Louisville women on I-65 who had just stolen approximately $7,000 from the same Polo Ralph Lauren store in Edinburgh.  Approximately an hour later on that same day, Indiana State Police also attempted to stop another Louisville, woman who allegedly stole thousands of dollars of clothing from the same store.  That woman, Ta’neasha Chappell, led and numerous officers on a pursuit through three counties before finally crashing and being arrested in southern Clark County.


Officers believe all three of these incidents may be connected.