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Local News

Dozens of motorcycles turned out for Fallen Officer Memorial Ride on Saturday

Seven officers are remembered each year by the Fallen Officer Memorial Ride hosted by F.O.P. Shelby Lodge #84.

 

 

The event brought dozens of riders together Saturday at the lodge on Knightstown Road for a police escorted ride and lunch.

 

Shelby County Sheriff’s Detective Rod Mohr.

 

 

Mohr says the event remembers those officers who have fallen while raising funds that go, in part, to scholarships. He says the event’s sponsors put it in the black even before it’s held.

 

 

The event is  made even more special by family and friends that have ties to each of the officers.

 

 

 

 

Shelbyville's Fraternal Order of Eagles #766 hosting prom Saturday

Want to relive your prom?  Maybe improve upon the prom you attended years ago?

 

The Shelbyville Fraternal Order of Eagles #766 is offering that chance Saturday.  Angie Knight explains.

 

 

Knight says the theme is 'Then and Now' with colors of gold, silver and black.  She invites the public to come and make of it what they wish.

 

 

And it's hoped the public will see what the Eagles organization is about when they come to the prom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gridiron Club hosting pancake breakfast fundraiser for SHS football program

The Gridiron Club is hosting a Flap Jack Fundraiser Saturday morning at Applebee’s in Shelbyville.

The fundraiser runs from 8 to 10 a.m. with last serving at Applebee’s, 101 Lee Boulevard, at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door. Breakfast includes three pancakes, three pieces of bacon, breakfast potatoes and a drink.

Shelbyville High School football players will be serving the breakfast orders. For every ticket sold, $15 goes directly to the Gridiron Club, which is operated by parents of Shelbyville football players.

The Gridiron Club was created in 2021 by Shelbyville High School football coach Brian Glesing. The club meets monthly all year round.

The purpose of the Gridiron Club is to provide Thursday night team dinners, sack lunches for away games, senior banners, team yard cards and an end of the year banquet for the football program.

The Gridiron Club also pays one youth’s fee to participate in the local football league and assists Glesing with a youth football camp and T-shirt giveaways.

The Gridiron Club depends on the support of the community including local restaurants Applebee’s, Pudder’s, Cagney’s Pizza King, Walker Place, Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders and Grandma’s Pancake House to donate food for Thursday night dinners.

Applebee’s has purchased a break-a-way banner for the players to run through on game nights this season at McKeand Stadium.

 

 

Melvin Pierce (photo above) recently provided food for the football program’s first annual Season Kickoff Tailgate Party and he has agreed to feed the team before its first postseason game this year.

Long’s Furniture has assisted the Gridiron Club with making player yard cards for display.

The Shelbyville High School Athletic Boosters will grill hamburger and hot dogs for the team for its first Thursday night meal next week ahead of the preseason jamboree in Madison.

The Sports Locker Room in Shelbyville also works with the Gridiron Club for apparel sales.

The club will hold a basket raffle at Shelbyville’s first home game on Aug. 19. There will be six baskets available with items such as SHS apparel and a variety of gift certificates.

The Golden Bears host Greensburg on Aug. 19. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at McKeand Stadium.

New information from Elkhart Co. shows vehicle transporting U.S. Rep. Walorski crossed centerline in fatal crash

The Elkhart County Sheriff's office says the initial press release about the Wednesday two-car crash that killed U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski was incorrect.

 

In a release Thursday morning, the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office says eyewitnesses and video evidence confirm that a Buick LeSabre, driven by Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, was southbound on SR 19 south of SR 119 about 12:30 p.m.  A Toyota RAV 4, driven by Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka, was northbound and it was the RAV 4 that crossed the centerline for unknown reasons.  The initial release listed Schmucker as the northbound driver and that it was her car that crossed the centerline.

 

Potts was a staffer for Walorski, 58, who was also in the RAV 4 with another staffer, Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington D.C.

 

All four people involved in the crash were killed.  All have been confirmed to have been wearing seat belts and airbags did deploy.

 

If anyone witnessed the crash, they are asked to contact the Elkhart County Sheriff's office.

 

The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation.

Indiana U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski one of four killed in Elkhart Co. crash

The Elkhart County Sheriff's office has released the following information regarding a Wednesday auto accident that killed District 2 U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski:

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle crash on SR 19 south of SR 119 at 12:32 p.m. A northbound passenger car traveled left of center and collided head on with a southbound sports utility vehicle.

 

All three occupants in the southbound vehicle died as a result of their injuries:

Jackie Walorski, 58, Elkhart 

Zachery Potts, 27, Mishawaka 

Emma Thomson, 28, Washington, DC

 

The sole occupant of the northbound vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, was pronounced deceased at the scene.

 

The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation.

 

The following are posts and reactions to Walorski's passing

 

This message from Walorski's 2nd Congressional District Twitter account earlier this afternoon:  Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.

 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

“Today, the United States House of Representatives sadly mourns the sudden and tragic passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.

“A lifelong Hoosier, Congresswoman Walorski lived a life of service: whether caring for impoverished children in Romania, representing her community in the Indiana Statehouse or serving nearly a decade in the House.  She passionately brought the voices of her north Indiana constituents to the Congress, and she was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.

“Our Congressional community also mourns the loss of two devoted members of her staff, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson.  May it be a comfort to Jackie’s husband and partner in service, Dean, the entire Walorski family, the families of all the victims and the office of Indiana’s Second Congressional District that so many join them in mourning and are praying for them at this sad time.”

 

 

Governor Eric J. Holcomb

"Janet and I are devastated by the tragic loss of our friend Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and her two staffers - Emma Thomson and Zach Potts - earlier today. Our broken hearts go out to her husband Dean and the entire family during this time of unimaginable mourning. At every level of public service Jackie was known to be a positive force of nature, a patriot, and a relentless policy maker with an unwavering loyalty to her constituents. Jackie’s record of achievement is impossible to quantify. She will be remembered as a fighter with a huge heart that always went the extra mile and I’ll treasure the times we walked a few of those together. Every waking moment for her was energetically devoted to improving the lives of all Hoosiers better, the epitome of a good and faithful servant. She, and the example she set, will be missed every day forward.”

 

Senator Mike Braun 

“Jackie Walorski was a tireless advocate for the Hoosiers she represented and a kind friend to everyone she met. She faithfully served her constituents and her Lord and Savior, and I trust she is now wrapped in the arms of Christ. This is a devastating loss, and we grieve for her two staff members – Zach and Emma – who had their whole lives ahead of them. Please join me and Maureen in praying for the families and friends of those lost on this tragic day for Indiana.”

 

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch

"I was shocked and heartbroken when I received the news today about the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. Jackie and I served together in the Indiana House of Representatives, and she was a fighter for her constituents and conservative Hoosier values. My heart goes out to her husband, Dean, and the rest of her family and friends. She will be deeply missed."

 

 

Congressman Jim Banks

“My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie. Jackie was a true public servant –selfless, humble, and compassionate. She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives. Everything Jackie did was to serve others. Before Congress, she served in the Indiana Statehouse and she and her husband served as missionaries in Romania where they provided impoverished children food and medical care. From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly. Please join Amanda and I in praying for Jackie’s loved ones and the friends and family of her two staff members who also lost their lives in this tragic accident.”

 

 

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels 

Before serving in Congress, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse (2004-2010), where she became assistant floor leader and worked closely with then-Gov. Daniels.

 

“There could not be worse news. I’m heartsick at this tragedy. Jackie Walorski was a great public servant, a brave and constant ally for change during all my years in elected office, and a great representative of her district at both the state and national levels. I can’t say how much I’ll miss her.”

 

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Jackie Walorski. Jackie loved Hoosiers, her country and served with honor in Congress. My prayers are with her family as well as the families of Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson”

 

Brian Tackett settling into new role as Shelbyville Fire Chief

Forgive Brian Tackett if his new office is not exactly “settled.”

After 11 years serving as a Deputy Chief in the Shelbyville Fire Department, Tackett, a 1986 Shelbyville High School graduate, officially became the department’s Fire Chief Monday, replacing Tony Logan, who retired.

“I am excited,” admitted Tackett Tuesday morning. “I was very comfortable in that (deputy chief) job and I would have been happy staying in that job the rest of my career but as I’m in day two of this, there are some new challenges that gets your blood flowing again.”

Tackett joined the SFD at a time when there was a push to hire more local people to the department. Moving from firefighter to deputy chief was never part of the equation then, according to Tackett.

After more than a decade as a firefighter, Tackett served for eight months as a deputy chief under then fire chief Todd Anderson, a fellow 1986 SHS graduate, then was hired again as deputy chief by Logan.

“There are pros and cons to both sides of (being deputy chief),” explained Tackett. “Obviously, working 24 hour (shifts) you are up all night, you are always tired. The pro to this side is working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. so you kind of have a normal everyday life again, but there are also a lot more responsibilities. Your phone rings a lot after hours.”

Tackett served as one of two deputy chiefs within the department. Once Logan announced his retirement, Tackett and fellow deputy chief Danny Marcum both applied for the position.

“It was between Danny and I. We were both good with whoever got it,” said Tackett. “We work very well together. I told Mayor (Tom) DeBaun in the interview it was never a goal of mine to be chief but if he asked me to do it, I would be glad to do it. I would figure out how to do a good job at this just like I felt like I did a good job as deputy chief.”

As deputy chief, Tackett was responsible for department operations and maintenance – a role he intends to continue in as fire chief. Marcum oversaw the EMS side of things and will now supervise the fire and EMS crews.

Tackett has interviews set up next week with seven current members of the department that have expressed an interest in becoming deputy chief, with the main responsibility of being a training officer for SFD.

“For the time being, I am still going to be over maintenance but as I’m finding out this week, there are a lot of meetings to attend,” he said with a laugh. “I am still overseeing a lot of different things and correlating those into the deputy chiefs to take care of things.”

Logan left the fire department in good standing which prompted his somewhat unexpected retirement announcement last month. A new ladder truck and ambulances are already in the production stages with arrival dates in 2023. That allows Tackett to focus on areas of interest for him.

 

For more on Tony Logan's decision to retire, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/643382

 

“We used to have a lot of camaraderie around here,” he said. “We’re in the day and age where everyday life is a little bit different for everyone. We’re busier so there is not a lot of down time. We don’t have a lot of that get together time. I would like to figure out some way to bring that camaraderie back a little bit.

“A long term goal, we have the Blue River (Careers) Program for firefighter I and starting EMT but somewhere down the road I want to see a Cadet program from that to funnel some local kids into here. It’s very hard to find firefighters right now. The pool is shrinking. That could be one more pipeline I am hoping to get put into place.”

With a fourth firehouse in the works for the north side of the city, Tackett knows one day he will have serious staffing concerns to address.

“I haven’t been involved in that (discussion) a lot but it is my understanding it will be somewhere up around the casino,” said Tackett of a new firehouse in Shelbyville. “I hope that goes ahead because we certainly need it. It takes us 7-9 minutes to get to the casino. The problem with building a new station though is how to staff it.”

That is a concern for another time. For now, Tackett is getting settled in and putting his stamp on the fire department.

“I am pretty excited to get things going,” he said. “Every chief has some ideas and you have to try them to see if they work or don’t work.”

Bus and student safety needed as schools get underway

As students head back to the classroom this week in Shelby County and around Indiana, state and local law enforcement agencies are reminding motorists to stop for school buses or face the consequences.

 

Over the next couple of months, officers with many agencies will be increasing patrols to prevent stop-arm violations, speeding and other forms of reckless driving around school buses and in school zones.

 

Lt. Mike Turner with the Shelbyville Police Department says they are encouraging everyone to be careful and aware of their surroundings.

 

 

Turner says there aren't plans to actually ride the buses but that could happen should problems arise.

 

 

In April, thousands of bus drivers who participated in a one-day observational survey counted 2,041 stop-arm violations in Indiana. That one-day total, when multiplied by the number of school days, adds up to a potential 367,380 violations throughout the school year.

 

The newly released data comes from the National School Bus Illegal Passing Driver Survey, which is managed by the Indiana Department of Education in the state. The survey has been conducted annually since 2011 but was put on hold for the past two years due to the pandemic.

 

This year, collection took place on April 26, with 6,665 bus drivers participating from 195 school districts.

 

Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop when the overhead lights on a school bus are flashing yellow. Once the lights turn red and the stop arm extends, drivers are required to stop on all roads with one exception. On highways divided by a physical barrier, such as a concrete wall or grassy median, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop.

 

Turner notes some rules calling for traffic to stop for a school bus aren't obvious to all drivers.

 

 

Motorists should also be mindful of posted speed limits, avoid distractions and watch for children in or near school and residential areas. Planning ahead and allowing for extra time during each commute will help keep all road users safe.

 

Disregarding a school bus stop arm is a Class A Infraction. Violators could pay a fine of up to $10,000, have their license suspended for up to 90 days for the first offense or up to 1 year for the second.

 

Turner adds that student safety goes beyond just what happens with buses.  Police encourage the phrase, "see something, say something."

 

 

Nicole Terrell returns to Coulston Elementary where her administrative career started

Nicole Terrell was once in line to be a principal in the Shelbyville Central Schools system. A conscientious decision to put her goal on hold detoured that track.

On Wednesday morning, Terrell, now back on track, will greet the students at Shelbyville’s Coulston Elementary School as its new principal.

“I think (being principal) was always something I wanted to do,” said Terrell Monday afternoon from her new office at Coulston Elementary.
I was (an assistant principal) for six years then went back into the classroom. This was always a goal and I think, in life, sometimes those goals change.

“My goal was to be a mom and be there when my girls got into high school. They were very active so my role had to change. The mom role became No. 1 and all this went on the backside. Now, I am making a shift because I have a new goal and this is it.”

With her two daughters now firmly entrenched in classes at Indiana University, Terrell feels she is ready for her first principal’s job.

The 1990 Shelbyville High School graduate completed her education at Indiana State University and was hired in her hometown to teach physical education during the morning hours at Pearson Elementary and move over to Hendricks Elementary in the afternoon to teach third grade math, science and social studies. She initially shared a Hendricks classroom with Mary Harper, who just retired as the Shelbyville Central Schools superintendent.

More than a decade into her teaching career, Terrell was hired as Coulston’s assistant principal, where she worked for Jim Conner.

After four years at Coulston, Terrell became assistant principal at Hendricks which put her squarely in position for an available principal’s job.

With two daughters headed for Shelbyville High School, though, Terrell opted to return to the Hendricks classroom for what became a five-year stint. And a sixth year was in the planning stages when the principal’s position at Coulston became available.

“I didn’t give it a thought,” said Terrell. “My daughters asked me if I was going to apply for the position. I really hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought.”

With a new superintendent taking over, Terrell believed the time was right to see where her administrative opportunities were within the school system.

“Dr. (Matt) Vance was new. I wanted him to know there was more to me than just being a second grade teacher,” she said. “There was a lot I can offer that maybe he wasn’t aware of. What more can I lose?”

Terrell wanted Dr. Vance and the school board to know that she was interested in returning to the administrative side of education. And she knew it would be a unique interview opportunity at Coulston.

“A cool thing is they had some teachers on the interview committee which I thought was phenomenal,” she said. “With the amount of change that has happened here at Coulston, I thought it was really good to include them in the process.

“I remember walking in and they were floored that they got to interview me. I didn’t know which way it would go. I tried to be my authentic self. I don’t try to tweak or change it for anyone. People see through it; kids see through it. What you get is what you see. I felt very comfortable interviewing with them.”

 

 

With two decades of teaching experience and six years accumulated as an assistant principal, Terrell was the obvious choice to be Coulston’s next leader.

“Honestly, when I walked back in the first day after being hired, I told my husband (Sam) when I walked in it felt like I was home,” she said. “I felt like I had been on summer vacation. I knew the feeling when I walked in that door that I am where I am supposed to be. I have not looked back one time, even when I was packing up my classroom at Hendricks.”

With Terrell and new assistant principal Andrew Snow on board, Coulston has a solid foundation with strong local ties to the community in control.

“Being back in the trenches for five years, I know what it is like being a teacher,” said Terrell. “I know that day-to-day grind. Coming on now, I know those needs. I know the struggles that happen in the classroom. It’s real. I was there for five years. It makes me more cognizant of that coming in.”

Terrell believes her leadership style will represent those that have championed for her in the past like Conner and Pat Lumbley (former Hendricks principal).

“I learned so much from Jim Conner as an administrator. He allowed me to grow,” said Terrell. “He was always there for questions. Sometimes he let me make mistakes. He said if you don’t make them you will not know how to correct them. I appreciated that even when I was in the trenches.

“Having those different leadership styles of the different administrators I have worked for and even throughout my tenure, even as a student, I love that I can bring them all together and mold them into what I want to be because I don’t think there is one perfect style of administration. You have to pull from all different areas. That becomes what you make it and who you are going to be and how you are going to lead.”

Now 29 years into her educational career, Terrell admits Wednesday morning will be a little bit different now that she is the principal on the first day of school.

“I know I will be nervous on Wednesday,” she said. “I am probably more nervous about Wednesday afternoon because it’s that first day getting them home. If I can get all the kids where they need to be safely, then I can breathe.”

And she can focus on the job at hand.

“I am looking forward to seeing all those smiles,” she said. “I am looking forward to seeing our teachers’ faces seeing the kids coming back.”

Common Council approves new park impact fee

The City of Shelbyville Common Council approved a new park impact fee of $1,346 for each new residence built in Shelbyville.

The Park and Recreation Impact Fee was established in 2019 at $1,005 per each new residential building permit. That fee raised 3% yearly and sits at $1,098 in 2022.

With approximately 1,500 homes approved for construction in Shelbyville over the next five years, a population spike is anticipated and the parks department has a new list of project amenities needed that will be funded by the impact fee.

The impact fee may only be used on designated items to improve on a community’s parks deficiencies. All of the funds raised through the initial impact have either been spent or are earmarked for expense.

The new list of amenities that the park impact fee will fund includes pickleball courts, indoor basketball courts, park restrooms, community playgrounds, neighborhood playgrounds, trails/pathways, and park/open space areas.

The final approval of the $1,346 impact fee was approved 4-0 Monday night at City Hall during the city’s Common Council meeting. Councilwoman Joanne Bowen and councilmen Scott Furgeson and Thurman Adams were unable to attend the meeting.

New councilwoman Betsy Means Davis, who was sworn into the council’s 2nd Ward seat earlier in the day, voted in favor of the impact fee.

 

For more on Betsy Means Davis' selection to join the council, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/646003

 

Davis is replacing Nathan Willis, who resigned his seat after accepting a new job opportunity that will limit his time to serve on the council.

 

For more on Nathan Willis' decision to leave the council, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/645004

 

Willis, who was in attendance at the meeting Monday, was presented with a plaque for his service to the community.

The board also was introduced to Megumi Fujita, a teacher from Shizuoka City, Shelbyville’s sister city in Japan. She will teach English at Shelbyville Middle School during the 2022-2023 school year.

 

 

Fujita (photo, right) is the seventh exchange teacher from Japan to serve in the Shelbyville school system. She presented gifts to Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun (photo, left), who, in turn, gifted Fujita with an Indiana-shaped lapel pin, a handmade one-of-a-kind cherry ink pen and a copy of the book, “The Bears of Blue River.”

Blue River Community Foundation makes Early Learning facility announcement

Through data collected by both Early Learning Shelby County (ELSC) and Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) in recent years, it was realized that our community was and continues to be a childcare desert. The lack of high-quality, reliable childcare, specifically for children ages infant to toddler has created a massive barrier for young families who are considering making the move to Shelby County. The situation has also resulted in a lack of availability and reliability within our local workforce. In order to better address this community barrier, BRCF and ELSC solidified a strong partnership committed to combining our efforts and resources.  When Lilly Endowment Inc. offered BRCF the unique opportunity to submit a grant proposal for the GIFT VII Large-Scale Community Leadership Grant in 2018, an Early Learning Childcare facility became our top priority.

 

BRCF staff and Allison Coburn, executive director of Early Learning Shelby County, worked diligently for months putting together the research and supporting data for the project. Several other organizations including the City of Shelbyville, Major Health Partners, and Shelby County Development Corporation (SCDC) joined forces providing additional resources and support. 

 

MHP generously donated the land for the facility while the City and SCDC helped to build community support and financial contributions. With the support of a $150,000 grant from Early Learning Indiana, pre-development plans for the center including initial costs, renderings, and site plans, were developed and a strong application was submitted to Lilly Endowment Inc.  Although the Shelby County project was not chosen as a grantee, BRCF and ELSC continued in our efforts to raise funding to bring this essential facility to our community.  As luck would have it, the State of Indiana would offer an opportunity to apply for funding for the facility through their READI grant program in 2021.   With a robust application already developed for the shovel- ready project, the Accelerate Rural Indiana team of Shelby County/Shelbyville, Rush County/Rushville, Decatur County/Greensburg, and the City of Batesville submitted a grant application including $50M of regional projects to help the area retain talent and attract additional workforce.  Although the region did not receive the requested $50M, the group did receive funding to support $20M worth of projects with the $8M Early Learning facility included as an approved development. 

 

The new facility will be located next to the YMCA facility on Intelliplex Dr. Once fully operational, the center will have the capacity to serve 200 children from ages 0-3.

 

Eighty percent of brain development occurs before a child reaches the age of five and this center will focus on maximizing early brain development. The center has the immediate potential to alleviate population and workforce obstacles, but most importantly, it will significantly impact the future of the children that will attend. Bright Horizons, a national childcare provider, will be the facility operator. 

 

Blue River Community Foundation values the passion and dedication of Early Learning Shelby County, led by Allison Coburn. We recognize that their mission aligns with the Foundation’s goal of improving our childcare circumstances as a piece of the puzzle to attracting new residents and retaining current residents by creating a better quality of life in Shelby County.

 

In June, BRCF board members voted to provide additional support to the organization for the facility with a $100,000 pledge. Additionally, the Wortman Family Foundation for Shelby and Hancock Counties administered by BRCF committed to a 5-year, $125,000 pledge in February that was recently followed by a $50,000 contribution from the Beaty C-Tech Fund held at BRCF.  The combined $275,000 contribution will support ELSC in reaching their fundraising goal of $2M, the organization’s required financial contribution to the project.  The remaining $6M will be provided through the READI grant and a match from the City of Shelbyville.

 

 

Betsy Means Davis to fill Shelbyville Common Council seat

A new member for the Shelbyville Common Council was seated for Monday’s council meeting.

 

Betsy Means Davis was chosen in a brief caucus hosted by the Shelby County Republican Party Monday afternoon.  She will fill the vacancy left by Nathan Willis, a Republican who has represented the city’s 2nd ward, who submitted his letter of resignation.  Willis and his wife, Abby, are accepting offers to work as traveling respiratory therapists which will keep them away from the community for long periods of time.

 

 

Willis brought up the idea to Davis and then to the party of her interest.  She was the only candidate who filed for the position.

 

Davis had a quick turnaround.  Her first official council meeting a little better than two hours after the caucus.

 

 

Davis is a Shelbyville Middle School social studies teacher.  She cites former Shelbyville teacher, city councilman and state representative Roland Stine as one of her influences.

 

 

Emergency responders find missing girl unharmed late Sunday night

The Shelbyville Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Shelbyville Fire Department responded to the area of N. Riley Hwy and Michigan Rd  to check the area for a missing juvenile. 

 

Officers located the juvenile female.  She was unharmed.

 

As the case involves a juvenile, no other details are being released at this time.

State health department provides monkeypox update

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced Friday that a total of 45 monkeypox cases have been reported across the state between June 18 and July 28, including two pediatric cases. No additional information about the cases will be released at this time due to patient privacy.

To date, Indiana has received 3,232 doses of Jynneos vaccine. Due to limited vaccine supply, vaccines are initially being prioritized for close contacts of positive cases to prevent severe disease. Additional vaccine is expected soon, and eligibility will be expanded to groups at high risk for exposure as supplies increase. 

“Like many other states, Indiana has seen an increase in monkeypox cases over the past month,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Monkeypox does not easily spread through brief casual contact, but it’s important to remember that anyone can be affected if they are a close contact of a positive case. Hoosiers who believe they may have been exposed or who develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox are urged to contact a healthcare provider.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The illness typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about five to 21 days after exposure. Within one to three days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash. The rash may start in the mouth or any part of the body before spreading. Some people may only develop the rash. The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

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

To learn more about monkeypox, visit www.monkeypox.health.in.gov or the CDC’s monkeypox website. The CDC updates case counts Monday through Friday here.

Tysin Chesher, Aubrey Longwell prove too fast to beat at Derby Days

MORRISTOWN -- Tysin Chesher drew the unenviable task of facing the defending champion in his first trip down the hill in the 2022 Derby Days soap box derby race in Morristown.

Chesher made a statement, though, with a multi-car length victory over Carter Bell and was never defeated Saturday, finishing 5-0 to collect his first Derby Days title.

As soon as his No. 6 car stopped past the finish line, Chesher jumped out of the car and was mobbed by a pack of fellow racers ready to celebrate the championship.

The 74th annual Derby Days race, originated in 1947, pitted Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts in soap box derby cars racing down the U.S. 52 hill into downtown Morristown. There were 14 boys and 14 girls racing Saturday using a double-elimination format.

While Chesher dominated the boys race, Aubrey Longwell also went undefeated in the girls race to claim her first title.

Longwell opened her racing day with a victory over Kori Palmer and she followed that with wins over Loran Austin, Emelyn Rinzel, Zoe Graves and then Rinzel once again in the championship race.

 

 

The daughter of Andy and Ashley Longwell drove her blue No. 15 car to five straight victories to become the 13th girl to claim a Derby Days title. The first girls race was in 2000 and won by Kaili Turner. There was not a girls race from 2013-2016 and in 2020.

Longwell (photo above, right) sat at the starter’s line at the top of the racing hill Saturday afternoon feeling “a little scared” before her first race. Once she found the racing speed was similar to the North St. practice hill where all the racers had to qualify for Saturday’s main event, she proved too tough to beat.

With the win, Longwell takes possession of the champions’ trophy that is taller than her.

“I’ve seen it before,” she said with a smile.

While Longwell surprised herself with her championship performance, Chesher, the son of Dustin and Mikala Chesher, was much more “confident” coming into race day.

 

 

Chesher, who had a large support crew donning Chesher Racing T-shirts, utilized good advice to be the fastest down the hill.

“They told me to sit back and lean down to get more speed,” he said.

Chesher (photo above, left) followed up his win over Bell with victories over Beckham Walton, Austin Amburgey and Jasen Tweedy to get into the championship race where he would have to be defeated twice.

Tweedy lost to Alex Anderson in the loser’s bracket championship race but could not find enough speed to knock off Chesher.

“I am so proud of myself for what I’ve done,” said Chesher.

There were 50 total races Saturday between the boys and girls brackets. As the two championship races were prepared, the north and south racing lanes were identical in terms of victories – 24 winners from the north lane and 24 winners from the south lane.

Chesher and Longwell both won their final races from the north lane.

The Derby Days celebration started Friday night in Morristown with an Adult Derby Days race on North St. won by McKinley Kile.

 

 

Saturday’s schedule included the Paul O. Goble 5K run, a downtown parade (photo), soap box derby racing and a free concert.

Planning is already underway for next year’s 75th anniversary event.

ISP investigating officer-involved shooting in Greenfield; suspect dead

At the request of the Greenfield Police Chief, Detectives from the Indiana State Police are investigating an early morning officer-involved shooting that occurred in Greenfield.

July 31, 2022, at 8:41 a.m. officers from the Greenfield Police Department responded to the 700 block of Bobtail Drive for reports of a domestic issue in progress with reports of possible shots being fired. The 911 calls were coming from neighbors who were not directly involved in the incident. 

Prior to police arrival, it is alleged that a male subject, 56-year-old Darrin Baker of Indianapolis was outside of a residence when an adult female returned home. The subject allegedly fired a shot through the driver's side window of the vehicle the female was driving. He then forcibly removed the female from the vehicle and took her inside her house against her will. Baker was a known acquaintance of the victim.

At approximately 8:44 a.m. Senior Patrolman Jarrod Davis of the Greenfield Police Department and another Greenfield Police Officer arrived at the residence. They observed a broken window on the vehicle parked in the driveway and an open garage door. Officers entered the home through the open garage door, which led into the residence. Upon announcing their presence the Officers heard screams of a female in distress. Greenfield officers then encountered Baker inside the home who was actively assaulting the victim while armed with a handgun. Patrolman Davis discharged his weapon striking Baker, causing him to fall to the ground. Officers attended to the female victim while other officers began life-saving aid to Baker until paramedics arrived. No other officers discharged a weapon. Baker was transported to a local hospital and pronounced deceased a short time later. 

Patrolman Davis has been a police officer with the Greenfield Police Department for three and a half years. 

Indiana State Police Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators have spent the day examining evidence and processing the crime scene. Detectives are working with the Greenfield Police Department, the Hancock County Coroner and the Hancock County Prosecutor as they continue this investigation. 

 

 

Morristown ready for 74th edition of Derby Days

The biggest event in northeastern Shelby County returns to its July roots this weekend.

After no event in 2020 and a delayed event in 2021, Derby Days in Morristown kicks off today at 4 p.m. and continues Saturday with the Paul O. Goble Run, a downtown parade, the annual soap box derby race and a free concert.

“We are looking pretty good,” said Thomas Wright, a Derby Days event organizer. “It’s going to be a busy weekend.”

Check-in for the Adult Soap Box Derby race is 5 p.m. today with racing starting at 6 p.m. on North St. in Morristown.

Saturday’s Soap Box Derby Race features local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts racing down the State Road 52 hill into downtown Morristown.

The racing begins following the Derby Days parade at 11 a.m.

Entertainment continues throughout the day and culminates with Andrew Young performing on the main stage at 5 p.m. in front of Morristown High School.

“This is the 74th annual Derby Days weekend and it brings a lot of people back into town that maybe have moved out of town,” said Wright. “It’s a good opportunity for class reunions to happen. We have a car show so a lot of folks coming to town bring their classic cars in. We’ve got all these different events and activities that bring people to town, and we try to keep them in town all day long so we have activities going on throughout the day after the race.

“Then we have a big free concert that night in front of the high school. We are excited to bring everybody out and about in town.”

Saturday’s Derby Days race harkens back to simpler days. Now a unique event, Morristown has crowned a boys champion nearly each year since 1947.

 

 

“The racers are all either Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts here at our local troops,” explained Wright. “You have to be a member of one of those two organizations, you have to attend so many of the meetings to qualify to be a racer and then you have to do qualifications.”

Rookie racers had to complete 15 safe passes down the smaller North St. racing hill to qualify for Saturday’s event. Those racers with at least one year of experience had to complete five safe passes.

The North St. hill will be used for tonight’s adult race that features past event winners and parents of current and former racers.

 

 

Following the Derby Days parade Saturday along U.S. 52 in Morristown, the racers will ascend to the top of the hill (photo) for what should be fast trips back down to the finish line.

This year’s event features 14 girls and 14 boys with champions crowned through elimination races.

Adilyn Boring was the girls champion in 2021. Carter Bell won the boys race.

This year’s competitors slated for Derby Days racing are:

  • Kori Palmer in car No. 22
  • Lexi Lacy in No. 9
  • Emma Oster in No. 89
  • Emelyn Rinzel in No. 11
  • Natalie Wright in No. 10
  • Zoe Graces in No. 84
  • Aubrey Longwell in No. 15
  • Madison Richardson in No. 50
  • Kynzleigh McKinney in No. 17
  • Lilee Barr in No. 2
  • Bailey Rinzel in No. 3
  • Madilyn Carlton in No. 23
  • Loran Austin in No. 6
  • Addison Decker in No. 5
  • Beckham Walton in No. 1
  • Austin Amburgey in No. 9
  • Aiden Amburgey in No. 4
  • Tysin Chesher in No. 6
  • Mayson Sidebottom in No. 19
  • Keegan Coombs in No. 99 (2021 runner-up)
  • Carter Bell in No. 33 (defending boys champion)
  • Alex Anderson in No. 15
  • Deacon Dewitt in No. 35
  • Jasen Tweedy in No. 3
  • Brody Walton in No. 26
  • Kambdan McKinney in No. 18
  • Aiden Decker in No. 27
  • David Ogles in No. 0

Jacob Barrett honored with Goodwill Industries International's Achiever of the Year award

“I’m not a quitter, I’m a go-getter.” – Jacob Barrett

 

Jacob Barrett carries himself with an underlying sense of confidence bolstered by a strong family support system.

Goodwill Industries International recognized that character trait and requested he be nominated a second time for one of its national awards.

Barrett’s perseverance is easily described. He has overcome hearing and vision problems as well as learning difficulties and socialization issues just by being more determined not to give up.

Presented a certificate of completion in 2014 from the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and told by a counselor that obtaining a high school diploma was not an option, Jacob believed that was not good enough.

That’s when Goodwill came into his life.

“If you were drowning in the ocean, they are a lifeline,” said Barrett when asked what Goodwill means to him. “They are an incredible lifeline and life changer for many, many people. I can’t stress that enough. They have changed a lot of people’s lives just by caring and wanting to help people.”

Barrett was one of the first enrollees at Goodwill’s new Excel Center, a tuition-free high school for adults, in Shelbyville in 2016. He was determined to get a high school diploma.

That process was not easy, though. Barrett failed to complete a math course three times. What he didn’t do was quit.

“I am so proud of Jacob for having the perseverance,” said Michelle Barrett, Jacob’s mother. “A lot of people, if you don’t pass a test three times, how many will say I will take it a fourth time?

“Sometimes that is a lot harder than being somebody that is successful all the time. It is harder to fail and get up and do something again than always being successful.”

 

 

In 2018, Jacob donned the Excel Center’s green robe and cap and participated in a graduation ceremony where he received his high school diploma – all while maintaining and growing in responsibility at Shelbyville’s Goodwill store where he first learned about the Excel Center possibilities.

Now a full-time employee with benefits and a 401K, Jacob is enjoying the life he has created and looking at post-secondary educational opportunities.

Goodwill Industries International recognized Jacob had an amazing story to tell. Earlier this month, he received Goodwill’s 2022 Achiever of the Year award at the company’s Delegate Assembly in Toronto, Canada.

“This particular award, the Achiever of the Year, recognizes an individual who has overcome significant barriers to achieve and maintain employment,” said Jenny Kakasuleff, Marketing & Communications Manager for Goodwill.

Goodwill Central and Southern Indiana is one of approximately 160 entities within Goodwill Industries in North America. Each group is asked to nominate an individual for the award. At the urging of Goodwill, Barrett was nominated for the Achiever of the Year award for a second consecutive year.

“I’ve been with Goodwill for six years and this has never happened, they have never contacted me and said re-submit that person you submitted last year,” explained Kakasuleff. “This year, they contacted me and wanted me to re-submit Jacob, so I guess he was one of the top two or three last year and they selected another candidate. We re-submitted him and he rose to the top this year.”

Barrett was surprised at work by his family with the news he won the award.

“What’s going on? Am I in trouble?” were Jacob’s first thoughts. In fact, it was the opposite.

“I think Jacob is a very inspiring individual,” said Kakasuleff. “He has some challenges but he has never let anyone say, ‘No, you can’t do that,’ even when it came to graduating high school. He accepted a certificate of completion at the time but he knew he wanted to graduate from high school.

“When he learned Goodwill was opening an Excel Center I think he was one of the first students to enroll there. He took the math (assessment test) four times before he was finally able to pass it. So I think people are just inspired by his grit and perseverance and his desire to breakthrough all of his challenges.”

 

Jacob Barrett, second from left, of Shelbyville, recently received the Goodwill Industries International “Achiever of the Year” award in Toronto, Canada. Barrett was joined for this photo by Susan Sheets, second from right, of the Shelbyville Excel Center, and Anne Davis (far left) and Kent Kramer (far right), the leaders of Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana. 

 

The Barrett traveling party to Toronto included Michelle and her husband; Jacob’s father, Bryan Barrett and his sister; and his brothers, Lucas and Nathan, who traveled with his wife.

“Goodwill welcomed all of us with open arms,” said Michelle.

“Jacob’s most prominent qualities are his grit and determination. For Jacob, it’s not a matter of whether he can do something, but rather what steps will he take to get there,” said Kent Kramer, President and CEO of Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana, in a media release. “His resilience and ability to bounce back again and again after failure is laudable and something few are willing to do. He carries within him a deep-rooted sense of optimism and hope that he can overcome any challenge he chooses to commit to and work for.”

Jacob is employed as a Goodwill Production Specialist responsible for identifying and shipping high-value items to Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana’s ecommerce facility to support the growth of online sales. When he is not working, Jacob competes for Special Olympics in basketball, swimming, softball and corn hole.

“If you have special abilities, not every employer will accept you as you are,” said Michelle. “People sometimes want you to fit into the norm instead of being willing to meet you where you are at. Goodwill is an organization that meets people where they are at and lifts them higher up.”

So what does the Achiever of the Year award mean to Jacob?

“Don’t ever give up,” he said. “It shows I am a success story. Hard work pays off.”

Parks board frustrated by another vandalism report

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department recently received good news with regard to its water bill for the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center.

That was tempered by another act of vandalism in one of the city’s parks.

On Monday afternoon between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., the men’s bathroom at Sunrise Park was severely damaged, forcing the parks department to spend more funds on senseless repairs and consider options, which will cost more money, to protect the city’s parks and identify the individuals causing the problem.

Parks department director Rob Van Til informed the parks board Wednesday that upgrading the security camera systems, getting estimates for automatic locks on doors and even purchasing stainless steel bathroom fixtures is under consideration.

 

 

All may factor into the parks department’s 2023 operational budget, according to Van Til.

The parks department is asking for residents who utilize the city’s parks to help identify anyone acting suspiciously or potentially doing damage. They can contact the parks department at 317-392-5128 or call the Shelbyville Police Department.

A water leak was identified at the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center during its 2021 operational season. With the repair completed before the 2022 opening, the parks board was anxious to see the first water bill of the summer.

Van Til informed the board that bill arrived and was significantly less than a similar period in 2021. One board member estimated the facility was costing the department approximately $400 per day in 2021. The new bill reflects the cost at roughly $80 per day.

In other board business Wednesday:

  • Four benches have been installed at the pickleball courts at Kennedy Park.
  • Friday is the final day for youth summer camp at the parks department.
  • The most recent Music in the Park series drew nearly 400 people to Blue River Memorial Park. This was the second event in the series. The first event drew approximately 200 people on a night when inclement weather was in the forecast.

Indiana State Fair ticket discounts end today

The 165th Indiana State Fair opens Friday, July 29, and will continue through Sunday, August 21 (Fair is closed Mondays and Tuesdays). The Fair opens daily at 9 a.m.

  

The 2022 Indiana State Fair will feature fan favorites and new attractions for all ages. The 2022 Indiana State Fair is celebrating its automotive focused theme, Fun at the Speed of Summer - Celebrating Indiana's Automotive Excellence, presented by Tom Wood Automotive Group. 

 

Fairgoers are encouraged to act fast and buy tickets today to save up to 40%. Tickets are currently available to purchase online at IndianaStateFair.com. Discounts end today, July 28 at 11:59pm.

Bill Rasner elected to serve on board of directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children

A lifelong connection to Shriners has sprouted into a recent election victory and service in a national office with Shriners Hospitals for Children for a Shelby County man.

 

Shelbyville’s Bill Rasner explains.

 

 

Running for national office offers significant challenges and travel.  With two of the six board seats up for election Rasner captured the second seat by a scant four votes.

 

 

Rasner’s background and professional history led him to another responsibility as a board member.  He found out about that at his first meeting.

 

 

Serving on the board of directors for Shriners Hospitals for Children comes at a crucial time in the organization’s operation.

 

 

Rasner has served in several offices over the years.  One of those roles dealt specifically with the type of medical changes Shriners is now implementing across its sytem.

 

 

Years of involvement with Shriners didn’t mean Rasner was always seeking such leadership roles.  At first, he says he was just a volunteer looking to make a difference. Locally, Rasner served as president and treasurer for the Shelby County Shrine Club.  He was Potentate for the Shriners for Murat based in Indianapolis and continued on to become recorder and business manager for Shriners of Indiana.

 

For Rasner, the influence of Shriners has always been a factor for him and his family.

 

 

New Southwestern Elementary principal has school ready for fresh start

Beth Hoeing sees her first year as Southwestern Elementary School Principal as “new beginnings.”

Hoeing replaces Joshua Edwards, who was hired as the southern Shelby County school system’s superintendent prior to the end of the 2021-2022 school year. He spent nearly a decade as the elementary school principal.

A lifelong Franklin schools instructor, Hoeing has had the entire summer to prepare for her first school year as a principal.

“It’s been great,” said Hoeing of the transition. “The staff here is very helpful. They are always willing to help out. There is a lot of heart in the building, that love of Southwestern. Anytime I have a question, I can call or text someone and they instantly answer or come in to help.”

A Franklin High School and Franklin College graduate, Hoeing spent 13 years as an elementary school teacher in her hometown before becoming an instructional coach at Northwood Elementary School in Franklin.

“I not only wanted to impact students but I wanted to help teachers,” said Hoeing from her new Southwestern office Tuesday morning. “I wanted to impact teachers and help teachers address the realities of what was happening in their classrooms. It could be anything from instruction and assessment to behavior. I wanted to support the teachers.”

That role started Hoeing on her administrative track and led her to Southwestern.

“What attracted me to Southwestern was the small community,” she said. “The small community feel, the involvement, the families and the members of the community coming together and really being involved in the school.

“Someone told me this is the hub of Southwestern -- the school -- and I wanted to be a part of that.”

 

 

Hoeing was familiar with Southwestern’s tumultuous end to the 2021-22 school year and has spent the summer building relationships with the returning staff as well as filling open teaching positions.

“I have spent a lot of time with (the returning teachers),” said Hoeing. “They are in here often. It’s one of my favorite things about being in the building. The other day, I was sitting in here working and there were five of them out in the office just laughing and having a ball.

“I said, ‘You guys needs to go home. It’s summer.’ And they were like, ‘We don’t want to go home. This is fun.’ That has been exciting. They have been so open to new ideas. They are bringing new ideas to the table. It’s a very positive vibe in the building.”

Prior to the end of the last school year, the school system’s teachers association filed an unfair labor practice claim against the new superintendent and a school board member citing threats and intimidation following claims that students’ Individual Education Program (IEP) minutes were not being fulfilled.

The claim also stated a disciplinary matter for a teacher was handled without union representation for the teacher.

The claim was dismissed by the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board. Several elementary school teachers left the school system which presented Hoeing with her first major challenge.

“I was aware of (the situation) but it wasn’t a factor in my decision to come here,” said Hoeing. “The biggest factor was that small community. That is what I wanted. And the commitment and the heart that is in this district.

“I had the privilege of working with a teacher that taught here at Southwestern for years and something that always struck me was she said, ‘Once a Spartan, Always a Spartan.’ And she would share about her time at Southwestern and shared it with such pride and such love so I knew what was happening at this district was good and I wanted to be a part of it.”

With a week left of summer break, Hoeing has the building nearly fully staffed. New teacher orientation is Wednesday which has her excited for new beginnings.

Once that is complete, it will be time for the students to return to the building.

“I’m probably not more nervous than I’ve ever been in the past,” she said of what will be her first day as a principal. “I’m sure I will have that recurring nightmare I have every year where I’m late to work.

“We are prepared. We have that first day very organized and we are ready … as organized as we can be since we work with children. Sometimes that doesn’t exactly work out.”

Her goal is to be in every classroom that first short week of school so the students can learn more about her.

“I am going to spend a chunk of time in each classroom those first couple of days in school, reading that book to those students, meeting the students, making sure they know my face,” said Hoeing. “I will be in the cafeteria for lunch duty those first three days at least, being with the kids as much as possible so they start to learn who I am because they are used to Mr. Edwards. It’s a huge change for them.”

Hoeing is married to a Franklin police officer. The couple have two daughters who will be a junior and a freshman at Franklin High School this fall.

City councilman resigns 2nd ward seat, caucus Monday to name replacement

There is more change coming to the City of Shelbyville’s Common Council.

Nathan Willis, a Republican representing the city’s 2nd ward, has submitted his letter of resignation.

Willis and his wife, Abby, are accepting offers to work as traveling respiratory therapists which will keep them away from the community for long periods of time.

“If we are going to do this, we have to do it now,” said Willis via phone interview Tuesday morning.

The couple has a 3-year-old son, Finn, which affords them a window of opportunity to travel before he settles into a school system.

“It was a hard decision to make,” he admitted. “We talked with our family and everyone agrees that we will never get this opportunity again.”

Working as traveling respiratory therapists requires a multiple-month commitment to a location that could be anywhere in the United States.

“Typically it is 8-to-13 weeks and sometimes longer,” said Willis, who was excited to be able to travel with his family.

Willis is currently a respiratory therapist at an Indianapolis hospital.

“I really did enjoy being on the council,” he said. “This was one of the hardest decisions. It is unfortunate.”

Willis’ council seat is the second one vacated in 2022. Tyson Conrady, a Republican representing the 5th ward, resigned his seat in March after accepting a job offer in another community.

Conrady’s replacement, Thurman Adams, has yet to attend a Common Council meeting due to health issues. Rob Nolley, president of the council, believes Adams will be in attendance at the next scheduled meeting Monday night at City Hall.

Willis said he will be in attendance at Monday’s meeting as well for what will serve as his last meeting as a council member.

The remaining members of the council are Joanne Bowen (Democrat, 1st ward), Mike Johnson (Republican, 3rd ward), Scott Furgeson (Republican, 4th ward), Brian Asher (Republican, at-large) and Rob Nolley (Republican, at-large).

Nolley, also chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, has announced a caucus with precinct committee members Monday at 4 p.m. at Shelby County Republican Headquarters, 106 E. Washington St., to vote for a candidate to replace Willis.

Any eligible candidate will need to file a declaration of candidacy with the Shelby County Election Officer 72 hours prior to the caucus date and time.

Felony traffic stop performed on Hope man with alleged involvement in reported Rural King theft

A theft of ammunition from a Shelbyville store resulted in a Bartholomew County man being taken into custody.

 

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies received a report on Friday evening of an (alleged) theft at Rural King in Shelbyville.  It  included a very large amount of firearm ammunition.  A felony traffic stop was initiated when deputies observed the suspect vehicle traveling southbound on North Marr Road.

 

The suspect, John Cornett, 39, of Hope, was taken into custody without incident.  

 

The Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department says multiple cases of firearm ammunition, valued at more than $3,500, were in the backseat of Cornett’s vehicle.  Cornett was transported to Shelby County and released to the custody of the Shelbyville Police Department.  The ammunition was also turned over to SPD.

 

Duke Energy Foundation awards more than $175,000 in microgrants to support Indiana first responders; $5K to Shelby Co.

The Duke Energy Foundation is awarding more than $175,000 in microgrants to support 47 local emergency management agencies across the company’s Indiana service territory.

 

The funding is designed to help public safety agencies increase their resiliency to severe weather events and other emergencies through advanced preparation, planning, equipment and training. Each organization will receive up to $10,000 in funding.

 

Emergency management in Shelby County is among the counties receiving a grant.  $5,000 was awarded to Shelby County.  Neighboring Decatur and Rush counties received $2800 each.  Johnson County was awarded $6,341.

 

“At Duke Energy, we put safety first in everything we do – and we’re committed to helping our local emergency management agencies prepare to respond in any type of emergency situation,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “We know that successful emergency preparedness and recovery begins and ends at the local level. We appreciate our collaborative relationships with these key organizations in the communities we serve, particularly when storms bring power lines down or an emergency occurs.”

 

The grants will help fund search and rescue K-9s, the installation of tornado sirens, search and rescue programs for “at-risk” individuals, volunteer training, and various emergency preparedness and response programs.

 

During major emergencies and natural disasters, local emergency management agencies play a critical role in providing information, resources and support that Duke Energy relies on to speed power restoration for its customers.

 

 

 

New principal at Shelbyville High School aims to rebuild traditions, improve teamwork

Dr. Matt Vance moved Amy Dawson into a job she didn’t really want. Just over half a decade later, Vance turned to Dawson again to make her an offer she couldn’t pass up.

Dawson, the former Associate Principal at New Palestine High School, is the new Principal at Shelbyville High School. She has been a high school English teacher at Beech Grove and Southport high schools before embarking on her administrative career in the Rushville and New Palestine school systems.

“Working with Dr. Vance was part of it but I also think the community,” said Dawson on why she accepted the position. Vance is the new superintendent of Shelbyville Central Schools. “I think getting into a community seat, a county seat of a community is a big part.

“I think there are a lot of great resources in the community for here. I think there are so many great traditions at Shelbyville. I think it’s a great town. I like that it’s part of the (Hoosier Heritage Conference). I think there are a lot of good things you can do in this school. There are a lot of opportunities for this building.”

Originally from northwest Indiana, Dawson is a graduate of Lowell High School and Purdue University. Her first job teaching came at Beech Grove High School, which brought her to central Indiana. She spent five years at Beech Grove before a one-year stint at Southport then four more years back at Beech Grove.

Once Dawson finished her master’s degree, she was hired by Rushville High School as the assistant principal. The superintendent at the time was Dr. Matt Vance.

After three years at the high school overseeing curriculum and discipline, Vance asked her to take her skills to the struggling junior high school in the community.

“He saw some needs at the junior high and he said, ‘I’ve seen what you’ve done with some of the curriculum at the high school,” said Dawson. “He said, ‘I need that at the junior high.’”

Dawson was hesitant to accept the position.

“I like high school kids,” she explained. “I like seeing that transition from freshmen to seniors and how much they grow up and establish a path and become adults.”

Dawson remembers vividly sitting in Vance’s office and turning down the request. He insisted, though, he needed her at the junior high.

“I will be honest, those were two of the best years probably for me as a professional to learn from because we did so much great work as a team,” she said. “We were able to dive into data, the teachers were receptive, we had a great staff in that building.”

In her two years at the junior high, she helped bring the school’s state rating from a low C to a high B.

“That was because we had such a great group of people working together,” she said. “I probably worked harder in some of those two years there, just diving into everything we had to do, but I really enjoyed it with the teachers.”

 

 

The move to New Palestine brought her more administrative responsibilities and the opportunity to live and work in the same community. Dawson’s husband, Scot, is a Math teacher at New Palestine High School and is the varsity wrestling coach. The couple’s two children, Ellie, age 13, and Joey, 11, are in the New Palestine school system.

Dawson helped oversee a $50 million renovation project within the school system and wrote COVID-19 protocol that was administered during the pandemic.

After three years at New Palestine, becoming principal at Shelbyville was the next logical step in Dawson’s career. Her immediate goal is to complete the staff and start building relationships.

“Rebuilding traditions and teamwork,” said Dawson of her first steps as principal. “In our first teacher meeting we will talk about teamwork and traditions. I think coming together as a group, supporting each other … bringing all of that back in.”

While new to the school system, Dawson is not new to the educational challenges of central Indiana.

“I think a big part of it is building relationships,” said Dawson. “It’s not ignoring people. You have to talk to people and get to know them where they are. I am a people person. I like to talk to everyone.

“We have to take care of each other. We have to take care of the people who are in this building because if the teachers don’t love coming to work, the kids are not going to love coming to school.”

On August 3, Dawson will experience her first day one of a new school year as a principal. She readily admits that comes with a bit of nerves.

“I went home and told my husband the other night I am so tired,” she said. “It’s exhausting sometimes having to be the person that makes every decision, but it’s been great because I can lean on other people in the building and the secretaries have been awesome. And central office has been great.”

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