Local News

City Council to receive tax abatement statements; vote on EDIT payments


Monday evening the Shelbyville Common Council is due to receive compliance statements for tax abatements given to two local companies.


Knauf Insulation and PK USA have submitted documents required annually from all companies granted abatements on their property taxes by the council.


Abatements allow companies to phase in property tax payments on new investments over a period of time.


The annual statements are submitted by all companies getting tax abatements to show they're in compliance related to the amount of money they've promised to invest and the number of jobs created.


On Friday, the City Council's Tax Abatement Committee approved sending the Knauf and PK USA statements on to the full council with favorable recommendations.


Committee Chairman Rob Nolley (R-3rd Ward), who's also president of the City Council, said Knauf has exceeded its job commitment.


“And they're, they're doing well. They estimated 315 employees; they're at 384. And their estimated salaries for the abatement were $16.7 million; they're actually at $22.6 million. So I would say that they are in compliance,” he said.


Nolley and fellow Tax Abatement Committee member Councilman David Phares (R-At Large) voted to recommend approval of the Knauf statement to the City Council.


They also voted to OK the compliance statement submitted by PK USA, noting that while PK has a number of tax abatements, they've helped the company thrive.


Committee member Councilwoman Joanne Bowen (D-1st Ward) arrived late to the meeting, after the votes were taken.


Also on the City Council's agenda Monday evening are three amendments to the city's EDIT spending guidelines.


EDIT is the Economic Development Income Tax that everyone working in Shelby County pays.


Mayor Tom DeBaun is asking the council to approve a $300,000 payment from the city's EDIT fund for land the city Redevelopment Commission bought from the Presbyterian Church.


That property on East State Road 44, just past I-74, is to be the home of a manufacturing plant for Greenleaf Foods, making veggie burgers and sausages.


In addition, about 150 acres are available for economic development at the site.


Another amendment to the EDIT plan is a one-time payment of $110,000 for repair of a pond in the Southern Trace subdivision.


Drainage work done by the city inadvertently led to an erosion problem in the pond.


And the final EDIT plan amendment is to make a one-time payment of $25,000 to Nextsite LLC, the company trying to get retail businesses to open in Shelbyville.


The City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on Monday evening in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.


Shelbyville / Shelby County Animal Shelter putting finishing touches on presentation shelter

A new addition to the Shelbyville Shelby County Animal Shelter brings a nice look to the property and, it’s hoped, will mean more animal adoptions.


Shelter Director Keith Barrett says a donation a few years ago led to their special new structure that’s almost completed.




Barrett says the shelter will host a number of events and they hope it will mean even more adoptions.



Donations are a key element to what goes on at the shelter.  Often, it’s food and pet supplies.  For others, time volunteering at the shelter.  Barrett says monetary donations from those who believed in the shelter have been greatly appreciated.



Money donated by Tom Hoffman led to the fence that Barrett said was needed around the shelter.

Barrett jokes…maybe…that the new presentation shelter  is nicer than the former shelter from a few years ago….walls or not.



They hope to put finishing touches on the shelter soon.


Brown County SP awaiting water sampling results

The campgrounds, cabins and Abe Martin Lodge were still closed today, Wednesday June 26, at Brown County State Park; day use park activities are now extended to Thursday. If water production capacity and water sampling continue successfully, the campground, cabin and lodge may reopen for Thursday night guests. A determination is expected Thursday morning and DNR will provide an update to park guests and media.

Day use facilities and services have been open since Monday this week for sight-seeing, fishing, picnicking, hiking on open trails, visiting the nature center, and guided horseback rides at the saddle barn. Gates are staffed, but no admission is charged. Vault toilets are open, and bottled water and packaged snacks are available at the Country Store near the campground. Mountain bike and horse trails remain closed.

Abe Martin Lodge, pools, modern restrooms, and drinking fountains have been closed since Monday, June 17 due to the unprecedented amount of sediment that came into Ogle Lake along with torrential rains. Ogle Lake is the park’s water supply. The sediment increased turbidity in the lake and impacted the water treatment facility’s filters.

A team of DNR and IDEM staff and consultants have been working around the clock to produce enough potable water to reopen the lodge and campground. Two mobile, pre-treatment units are now filtering the water before it reaches the park’s treatment plant. Water production capacity has increased. Staff continue to flush water lines across the park, and the required water sampling is in process.

Opportunities are still available for campers and inn guests who prefer to do so to transfer to other state park campgrounds or inns where availability exists. 

Shelbyville's Enbi makes acquisition

Watermill Group, a strategy driven private investment firm, today announced that its portfolio company Enbi Group, a leading manufacturer of high-performance precision rollers, insulation, gaskets and sealing technologies, has acquired Pierce Industries. The acquisition brings expanded capabilities to Enbi’s customer base and positions the combined organization for strategic growth across all its end markets – including digital printing, packaging, ATMs and cash handling systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), aerospace, transportation and other tight-tolerance industries.


Located in Rochester, New York, Pierce Industries is an industrial roller manufacturer that specializes in remanufacturing and assembly, advanced welding, CNC machining, cylindrical roll forming and coating applications. The company gives OEMs a competitive advantage by using innovative methods, such as inertia friction welding and cylindrical roll forming, to reduce production times and material costs and improve product quality. Its world-class remanufacturing capabilities are known for breathing new life into worn or damaged complex subassemblies and reestablishing like-new performance, increasing the lifespan of products, reducing resource and energy consumption and creating customer cost savings.


Pierce Industries President & CEO, Richard Webb, commented on the acquisition: “It has been my pleasure to lead this innovative, service-driven organization. Since 1968, our talented employees have helped to create a company that enables our customers to achieve breakthrough results. In Watermill’s family of portfolio companies, I am pleased to have found a home for Pierce that shares our values, maintains a commitment to our employees and increases our capability for innovation and growth. Our early collaboration with Enbi has shown that together we can provide a set of products and services that neither business could have offered alone, enabling us to continue our 50+ year tradition of delivering creative solutions and unparalleled results that our customers have come to rely on.”


“Pierce Industries has reinvented the way OEMs weld and manufacture industrial rollers and repurpose worn machinery, strengths which are invaluable in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace,” stated Tracy Streckenbach, Interim CEO, Enbi, and Watermill Partner. “By linking Pierce’s innovation expertise with Enbi’s precision engineering leadership, we can bring new capabilities, solutions and opportunities to our combined customer base.”


Founded in Nuth, The Netherlands, and headquartered in Shelbyville, Indiana, Enbi’s manufacturing presence spans the US, Europe and Asia. Linking this global footprint with Pierce’s capabilities will enable the combined organization to bring a wider set of innovative solutions to customers around the world.


“Watermill is dedicated to giving our portfolio companies the entrepreneurial vision, operational guidance and capital they need to realize their full potential,” stated Julia Karol, Watermill President and COO. “Bringing together these highly skilled organizations demonstrates our deep belief in Enbi and our commitment to invest in the company’s exciting future.”


For Watermill, Grant Thornton provided tax due diligence, K&L Gates and Blais, Halpert, Lieberman & Greene provided legal counsel and Partners Environmental Consulting, Inc. provided environmental due diligence. M-One Advisory, LLC advised Enbi and Nixon Peabody LLP provided legal counsel.


About Enbi Group

A leading manufacturer of high-performance precision rollers, insulation, gaskets and sealing technologies, Enbi serves best-in-class OEMs in digital printing, ATMs and cash handling systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) as well as other industries in which exacting precision and quality are critical to end-product performance. The company serves a worldwide customer base from its headquarters in Shelbyville, Indiana as well as manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and Asia. To learn more, visit enbigroup.com.


About Pierce Industries

Located in Rochester, New York, Pierce Industries is an industrial roller manufacturer that specializes in remanufacturing and assembly, advanced welding, CNC machining, cylindrical roll forming and coating applications. The company provides custom products and services to a wide range of end markets, including digital printing, packaging, glass equipment, mining, laminating, converting, aerospace, transportation, and ATMs, cash handling, and mail sorting systems.


About the Watermill Group

The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that helps companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation. For more than four decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth.

INDOT workers involved in accident in Shelby County

Workers for the Indiana Department of Transportation were involved in an accident Wednesday morning, according to INDOT.


It happened on I-74 eastbound near State Road 244 late Wednesday morning.  


We’re still waiting for further details.


Shelbyville bank robber connected to multiple cases in three states

A man who robbed the Shelbyville Walmart Woodforest Bank on May 31 is wanted by the FBI in connection with four other cases.


The man suspected of robbing a Clinton, Tennessee bank is now wanted for questioning in four more robberies and a carjacking. The FBI is offering a reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.


The man, dubbed the “Big Box Bandit”, robbed the FSNB, a bank inside the Walmart in Clinton, Tennessee, in May.



A few days later, the same man entered another FSNB bank branch inside a Walmart in Kingsport, Tennessee, carrying a manila envelope. In both robberies, the man entered the banks and demanded money be placed in the provided envelope.


As FBI agents and local law enforcement agencies began piecing together clues, they noticed he had also robbed a bank inside a Walmart in Shelbyville, Indiana, and a standalone bank in Candler, North Carolina.


Most recently, the suspect is believed to have carjacked an individual in West Knoxville on June 21st and used that vehicle in a robbery of a check cashing business inside another Walmart in Chattanooga later that day.


The man has driven a blue, older model Ford Taurus and most recently a gold Chevrolet Trailblazer stolen from Knoxville during the robberies. The robber weighs between 180-190 pounds and stands approximately 5’8” to 5-9” tall. He wore a beard in some of the robberies and a goatee in others.


If you know this person, or have any information about the robberies, you are asked to call the FBI’s Knoxville, Tennessee Field Office at 865-544-0751, submit a tip online at https://tips.fbi.gov , or contact your local law enforcement agency.

City opens bids for biggest-ever street project; meets with condemned home's owners


Shelbyville is preparing for the city's largest-ever street overlay project.


Members of the city's Board of Works on Tuesday (file photo) voted to take under advisement bids from six contractors to do the project.


Mayor Tom DeBaun, who chairs the board, asked city Engineer Matt House the nature of the work.


“And Matt, how big is this overlay?” DeBaun said.


“It's the biggest in the history of Shelbyville,” House answered.


Board member David Finkel asked House what his cost estimate of the work was, and House replied it was $1.3 million.


Following the meeting, House said the city's largest overlay project prior to this was about $350,000.


The new overlay project will include 48 streets in the city. Work is to begin later this year and continue into next year, he said.


Grant funding through the state's Community Crossings program will cover half of the cost of the new project which must be finished by next July, said House.


Bids received Tuesday were:




Paul H. Rohe Co. Inc. – $1,680,369




Robertson Paving Co. – $1,526,615




Grady Brothers Inc. – $2,260,243




Midwest Paving LLC – $1,534,713




Dave Omara Contractor Inc. – $1,638,780




Milestone Contractors – $2,030,795




In other matters, the Board of Works has given property owners Lisa and Ronnie Cameron 2 weeks to work with the city's planning department and come up with a timeline for repairing a house they own at 651 W. Franklin St.


Appearing at the meeting, the Camerons told the board they bought the house to fix up as a rental property but have not had time to do the work.


The city has condemned the structure.


And the Board of Works approved an agreement with the Southern Trace homeowners association.


Drainage work done by the city lowered the water level in a retention pond at the subdivision which led to an erosion problem.

Bullet fired into Shelbyville home

Shelbyville Police are investigating a bullet that was fired through the front door of a home.


No injuries were reported.


About 10:45 pm Monday the Shelbyville Police Department received a report of shots fired in the 500 block of Howard Street.  Officers found that a bullet had been fired into a front door.  The bullet then traveled through the living room and struck the wall.  The bullet continued through the wall and through the next room coming to a rest after striking another wall.


At this time the Shelbyville Police Department is investigating where the bullet came from.  Detectives are also looking at the possibilities including that this could have been accidental.  Bullets can travel good distances after being fired and that makes it difficult to find an origin.  


Detectives sent it off to the Indiana State Police Lab for processing.  

Accident Monday morning closed SR 9, driver arrested for OVWI

A portable breath test came back as more than twice the legal limit on a driver involved in an accident that closed south State Road 9 Monday morning.


A fully-loaded semi-tractor trailer ran off of State Road 9 and crashed on its side Monday morning.  Shelbyville Police report Joey Grant, 44, of Indianapolis, was operating a Volvo semi that was carrying crushed vehicles from Petit's Auto Salvage in Shelbyville to another company in Hope.  Police report Grant explained that a Chevy Impala driven by on "old lady" abruptly stopped in front of him on the highway.  He swerved into the ditch and the load and vehicle fell over onto property of the First Church of the Nazarene.


Witnesses told police there was no other car involved and that the semi just got too far off the roadway.


Officers at the scene reported being able to immediately smell alcohol.  Medics began to assess Grant who declined treatment saying he was not injured. 


Grant complied with the officers request to perform a PBT which registered .19%.  Grant also failed field sobriety tests at the scene.  The police report indicates Grant agreed to be taken for a chemical breath test at the Shelby County Jail.  He was taken, under arrest for operating a vehicle while under the influence, to the jail.  Chemical breath tests resulted in insufficient samples and Grant consented to a blood draw at MHP which was sent to the Indiana State Department of Toxicology.


Grant was described as cooperative and courteous with officers.


County OKs street closings for Waldron fireworks; plans to create list of ash tree contractors


Waldron is preparing for its annual Freedom Festival to celebrate the 4th of July.


And the Shelby County Commissioners have approved closing some streets for the festival parade that's a highlight of the event.


Because streets on the parade route are county roads, the commissioners must OK the closings.


One of the festival organizers, Chad Williams, made the request to the commissioners at their meeting on Monday.


“I've come to the commissioners asking to close down a couple of roads that will be a part of, part the parade route, from the time of about 1:50 til approximately 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 6,” Williams said.


The parade begins and ends at Waldron High School. Line up begins at 12:30 p.m. and the parade starts at 2 p.m.


Waldron's Freedom Festival runs for two days. It features a pedal-tractor pull for the kids at 5:30 p.m. on July 5, followed by live music at 7:30 p.m. when Trent Moss is scheduled to take the stage.


Festivities continue all day on July 6, capped by Waldron's annual 4th of July fireworks show at about 10:15 p.m.


A full schedule of events is posted on Facebook at the Public Group page of Waldron Will. The online address is – www.facebook.com/groups/waldronwill


In other matters, the commissioners heard from Scott Gabbard about the pestilence killing ash trees.


Gabbard is director of the Purdue Extension office in Shelby County. He suggested creating a list of approved contractors for homeowners to use for their ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer.


“These trees are dying from the top down, and so, when you go to cut 'em down, there's the potential for not taking them down properly, that it may actually pose a hazard to the person cutting the tree down because the tops break down, fall straight down and cause bodily harm, but then beyond that, physical, structural damage,” Gabbard said.


John C. DePrez IV, the commissioners' attorney, said he'd work with the County Plan Commission to create a list of approved contractors for the ash tree work.


And at DePrez' request, the commissioners approved an amendment to the county's Public Defender ordinance due to a new state law.


The law requires that one of the board members now must be appointed by the state Public Defender Commission rather than by local judges.


A new member of the county Public Defender board won't be named by the state until one of the two current judge-appointees leaves, DePrez said.


The commissioners also approved renewing insurance on the county's property and vehicles at a cost of $370,664, a 6 percent increase.


Brady Claxton, the county's insurance agent (pictured), said the county was able to get a fixed rate for 3 years.


Following their meeting, the commissioners said there's no word yet on the cost of health insurance for county employees next year.


A few recent high-dollar claims have driven health insurance premiums up well above average.


Convened as the Shelby County Drainage Board, the commissioners said work is continuing on a drainage problem in Gwynneville.


The board also is looking into reports of water covering County Road 800 North near 700 West north of London.


And the commissioners are asking property owners to mow around intersections where high grass and weeds can make it hard to see on-coming traffic and can hinder the flow of drainage ditches.


Attorney DePrez will be sending a letter to a property owner on County Road 1100 North near New Palestine about that problem.


When there's a continuing obstruction, the county can go ahead and mow it, and bill the property owner for the work, including attaching the cost to the owner's property tax bill.

Milling, paving this week on Shelbyville's Montgomery and West Broadway streets

The City of Shelbyville has announced streets that are impacted by scheduled repairs this week.


The following areas will be lane restricted for milling on Monday, June 24:


Montgomery St, from Locust to Hodell


West Broadway, from Washington to West


West Broadway, from Tompkins to Harrison


Paving will be on Tuesday, June 25, with lane restrictions.

Eldorado Resorts to buy Caesars; Shelbyville, Anderson racinos

VICI Properties Inc. (NYSE: VICI) (“VICI Properties” or the “Company”), an experiential real estate investment trust, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement (the “Master Transaction Agreement”) with Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERI) (“Eldorado”) in connection with Eldorado’s proposed business combination with Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR) (“Caesars”). Per the terms of the Master Transaction Agreement, VICI Properties will acquire the land and real estate assets associated with Harrah’s New Orleans, Harrah’s Laughlin, and Harrah’s Atlantic City and modify certain provisions of the existing Caesars lease agreements for total consideration of approximately $3.2 billion in cash. These transactions will result in aggregate incremental annual rent of $252.5 million, for an implied capitalization rate of 7.9%. Eldorado will use the proceeds to partially finance its combination with Caesars, which will create one of the world’s leading and preeminent casino and entertainment companies. A summary of the key transactions contemplated by the Master Transaction Agreement are as follows:


  • VICI Properties will acquire all of the land and real estate assets associated with Harrah’s New Orleans, Harrah’s Laughlin, and Harrah’s Atlantic City (collectively, the “Properties”) for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $1.8 billion. Simultaneous with the closing of the acquisition of each Property, each applicable Property will be added to the Non-CPLV Master Lease Agreement. The Non-CPLV annual rent will increase at closing of the Property acquisitions by $154.0 million, for an implied capitalization rate of 8.5%
  • In consideration of approximately $1.190 billion and $214.0 million, the rent under the CPLV Lease Agreement and the HLV Lease Agreement will increase by $83.5 million and $15.0 million, respectively. The CPLV Lease Agreement and HLV Lease Agreement will be amended and combined into a single master lease agreement (the “Las Vegas Master Lease”). The Las Vegas Master Lease will operate under the existing CPLV Lease Agreement terms, subject to the additional lease modifications described below
  • All rent coverage floors under the existing Caesars leases (as amended to reflect the inclusion of the Properties into the Non-CPLV Master Lease Agreement and the creation of the Las Vegas Master Lease) will be eliminated
  • All existing Caesars leases will be modified to reflect a uniform parent guarantee from the newly combined entity
  • All existing Caesars leases will be extended such that, upon the closing of the merger, a full 15-year initial lease term will remain prior to expiration of the initial lease term
  • VICI Properties and Eldorado will enter into a put-call agreement, whereby the Company has a call right to acquire, and Eldorado has a put right to require that the Company acquire, the land and real estate assets associated with Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand (together, the “Centaur Assets”). The purchase price related to the put option from Eldorado would be an 8.0% capitalization rate (or 12.5x the initial annual rent). The purchase price related to the call option would be a 7.7% capitalization rate (or 13.0x the initial annual rent). The initial annual rent for the Centaur Assets would be the amount that causes the ratio of EBITDAR of the property to the initial property lease rent to equal 1.3x. The put-call agreement may be exercised by either party between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2024
  • VICI Properties will be granted rights of first refusal for whole asset sale or sale-leaseback transactions on two Las Vegas Strip properties, and a right of first refusal for a sale-leaseback transaction on Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. The first Las Vegas property will be selected among the following: Flamingo Las Vegas, Bally’s Las Vegas, Paris Las Vegas and Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, with the second property to be one of the previous four plus the LINQ Hotel & Casino.

Ed Pitoniak, Chief Executive Officer of VICI Properties, said, “Upon closing, this transformative transaction will deliver significant and immediate value to our shareholders, along with replenishing our pipeline of growth opportunities for years to come. Most fundamentally, we are buying high-quality real estate at a very attractive cap rate, yielding our shareholders immediate accretion at closing. We are significantly enhancing the quality, security and term of our leases with our main tenant. Longer term, we are restocking a pipeline of growth opportunities that will allow us to continue to grow well into the future. We are doing all this with a great new partner in Eldorado. We took a holistic, partnership approach with Eldorado to building the strongest combination of operating and real estate excellence in American gaming. The reason we believe in the transformative nature of this transaction is quite simple – it will increase the value of our real estate now and over the long term.”


Tom Reeg, Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado, said, “In partnering with VICI Properties, we can unlock embedded real estate value allowing both companies to advance their respective growth strategies. As we considered pursuing this strategic and transformative transaction, we were delighted to establish this important and meaningful partnership with VICI as it will be a critical factor in our ability to drive near- and long-term value from the proposed extraordinary combination with Caesars Entertainment.”


John Payne, President and Chief Operating Officer of VICI Properties, said, “Eldorado has a long history as a preeminent operator of U.S. gaming assets. Beyond that, they also have a proven track record that is unmatched in the industry today in integrating and improving results at acquired properties. We believe their vision and approach combined with the strengths of the Caesars platform, including the Caesars Rewards loyalty program, will bring a paradigm shift to the combined company, dramatically improving the long-term outlook of our largest tenant. The new company, to be known as Caesars, will be the largest domestic gaming operator in America, with an unrivaled national footprint, with what we believe is by far the best hub and spoke system in American gaming, and the best opportunity to capitalize on the popularization of sports betting.”

The foregoing transactions are subject to the closing of the Eldorado/Caesars combination, and such transactions and the Eldorado/Caesars combination are both subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Eldorado has publicly disclosed that it expects the merger to close in the first half of 2020.


The VICI transactions described above are expected to be accretive immediately upon closing and the Company intends to fund the transactions through a combination of cash on hand, equity and long-term debt financing.


In addition to this release, the Company has furnished a Transaction Overview presentation, which is available on our website in the "Investors" section, under the menu heading "Events & Presentations."


Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. is acting as financial advisor, Stifel provided a fairness opinion and Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP and Hogan Lovells US LLP are acting as legal advisors to VICI Properties in connection with the transaction. VICI Properties has obtained committed financing, subject to customary conditions, from Deutsche Bank AG.


About VICI Properties

VICI Properties is an experiential real estate investment trust that owns one of the largest portfolios of market-leading gaming, hospitality and entertainment destinations, including the world-renowned Caesars Palace. VICI Properties’ national, geographically diverse portfolio consists of 23 gaming facilities comprising over 40 million square feet and features approximately 15,200 hotel rooms and more than 150 restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Its properties are leased to industry leading gaming and hospitality operators, including Caesars Entertainment Corporation and Penn National Gaming, Inc. VICI Properties also owns four championship golf courses and 34 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the Las Vegas Strip. VICI Properties’ strategy is to create the nation’s highest quality and most productive experiential real estate portfolio. For additional information, please visit www.viciproperties.com

Hit-and-run results in death on I-465; ISP searching for vehicle

Sunday morning around 3:51 a.m. a trooper was called to investigate a single vehicle crash, with no reported injuries, on the ramp from I-465 eastbound to Harding Street (SR 37). When the trooper arrived he was told the driver of the car had left the scene on foot to get help and a passenger was remaining inside the car.


Just after 5:00 a.m., while the trooper was finishing the investigation and the vehicle was being towed, the passenger declined a ride from the trooper and chose to walk on the ramp toward Harding Street. The passenger was not under arrest or being detained for any reason, he was walking to a restaurant on Harding Street to await a ride. As he crossed the ramp he was struck by a vehicle believed to be traveling at a high rate of speed. That vehicle, described as a Kia Sol, fled the scene. The trooper on scene immediately rendered aid to the victim until medics arrived. Despite life saving efforts the male was pronounced deceased on the scene.


The vehicle that fled the scene, a  Kia Sol or similar style vehicle, drove south on Harding Street. The vehicle should have heavy front end damage. If you see any color Kia Sol in the area with front end damage please contact the Indiana State Police at 317-899-8577.


County gives initial OK to new building


The Shelby County Council has begun the process of constructing a new office building.


Members of the County Council unanimously have approved an ordinance allowing the county to issue up to $5 million in bonds to cover the cost.


Plans have been in the works for several years to relocate the county's probation department from its overcrowded space in the old Shelby County Court House, 407 S. Harrison St., to the new facility.


Starting in 2015, the county bought properties on West Polk Street across from the Court House and Court House Annex.


Buildings then were demolished and the site cleared to await construction of the new building.


County Council president Tony Titus said after the council meeting Tuesday evening that approving the bond ordinance is just the first step in that process.


“The ordinance just, all it does is allow us to move forward, go through the bonding process, so when we get our final numbers from the architect, then we'll move forward with the bond next month. So that's kind of the intent. The reason, we're trying not to waste as much time doing it so we can get it put out for bids and get the process moving so we can start it,” he said.


Titus said the County Health Department and Purdue Extension office, both now at 1600 East State Road 44, are to go into to the new building as well.


Eventually, he said, they'd like to move the Extension office to the County Fairgrounds, 500 Frank St., which the county owns.


In other matters, the County Council approved spending nearly $380,000 for new computer servers.


IT consultant Rob Nolley, who's also a member of the Shelbyville City Council, said the system would have more capacity than existing data banks to store records the county and city must keep.


Nearly 70 percent of those records are from the Sheriff's Department, Nolley said.


Also, the County Council approved $38,325 in matching funds to pay for the cost of hiring a new deputy prosecutor. The remainder is to be paid with grant funding.

Two injured in Tuesday Shelbyville crash

Two people were injured in a three vehicle Shelbyville accident Tuesday.


Shelbyville Police report Jacob Fritz, 36, of Indianapolis, explained that he was stopped in the turn lane on Progress Parkway to turn eastbound onto State Road 44 just before 9:30 am.  Fritz said a collision occurred in front of him and one of the vehicles was pushed into his.


The police report indicates Danielle Querry, 29, of Shelbyville, was in the far right lane westbound on SR 44 at Progress Parkway.  Querry told police the light was green and she didn’t see anything coming.  At the last moment she saw a Mitsubishi Outlander approaching and couldn’t avoid the collision.


The third vehicle was operated by Jordan Dunz, 27, of Shelbyville.  The police report states Dunz was driving northbound on Progress Parkway.  Dunz said she couldn’t see the traffic signal because of a semi in front of her.  Thinking the light was green she drove into the intersection at the crash occurred.


Querry sustained an injury to her abdominal area. 


Dunz was listed with a complaint of pain.


All three cars involved were towed from the scene.

East Washington Street project on track despite rain


Work to reconfigure East Washington Street is on schedule in spite of the seemingly endless rains.


City engineer Matt House reported to the Shelbyville Board of Works on Tuesday that construction crews are making progress on the street redesign.


“Before last week they had only lost one day to the rain. It was never too hard to stop it for a full day. I think yesterday (they) stopped at 2 or 3. So we're in good shape,” he said.


At House's request, the Board of Works approved a contract with Ratio Architects and engineering firm Butler Fairman Seufert for $31,000 to assess the work on East Washington Street.


The East Washington project is due to be finished this fall.


Remodeling the street is a prelude to Mayor Tom DeBaun's overall downtown redevelopment plan.


Last week, the city's Redevelopment Commission approved funding for the downtown plan, capping that spending at $19 million, about 15 percent less than the developers had proposed.


Developer Genesis Property Group is in the process of seeking bids on the downtown project.


In other matters Tuesday, the Board of Works (file photo) approved changes to the Shelbyville Fire Department's operating manual for ambulance service.


The changes are to strengthen the guidelines for transporting patients between hospitals.


Also, the board approved a request by Walmart to set up its annual charity collection for Riley Hospital on June 22 and 29.


Walmart volunteers will collect donations at Mechanic and Harrison Streets, and this year, also at the intersection of McKay Road and State Road 9.


And the Board of Works gave permission for the Healthy Shelby County Coalition to hold a yoga exercise class at the former Major Hospital site on West Washington Street which the city owns.


The yoga session is scheduled for the morning of July 13 as part of the coalition's annual diet-and-exercise collaboration with the weekly Farmers Market across the street from the hospital site.

Shelbyville Police investigating Friday evening stabbing

Photo from Jennifer Nicole 


Shelbyville Police are investigating a weekend stabbing. Just after 6:30 pm Friday, officers arrived at an apartment in the 800 block of Miller Ave and found one victim with a wound to his chest.


Shane Sirk told police he had been stabbed by John Sansing. Sirk said the men got into an argument after Sirk came to the resident to deal with childcare issues. Sirk said he was struck by an object as he walked upstairs where Sansing was located.


Shelbyville Police said Sirk was taken to the hospital for medical care and his condition is unknown as of this time.


Shelbyville Police say this is an open investigation.    

City gives final OK to POET tax abatement


A 100 percent property tax abatement for POET Biofuels has cleared the final hurdle.


On Monday morning, the Shelbyville Common Council approved a request by the South Dakota-based company for the first-of-its-kind abatement by the city.


POET plans to build a refinery to make ethanol on a nearly 145-acre site located on County Road 300 North about one-half mile west of Tom Hession Drive. The city recently annexed the area.


Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is a gasoline additive distilled from corn. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved increasing the amount of ethanol that can be added to gasoline from 10 to 15 percent for use in cars made since 2001.


POET's attorney, Stephen Schrumpf of the local law firm Brown, DePrez and Johnson, told the council the refinery would use more corn than is produced in Shelby County each year.


“Assuming that all of the farmers in Shelby County were to sell their corn to POET, that would have an economic impact of goods purchased in Shelby County of almost $70 million. (Annually?) Uh, annually, yes. Additionally, they will employ 45 employees with wages, just salaries, of approximately $45-to-$50,000, and then a benefit package on top of that,” he said.


POET asked the city to abate all personal property taxes on more than $105 million worth of equipment for 10 years, and abate nearly all of the property taxes on $75 million in real estate, also for 10 years.


The City Council's vote to approve the tax abatements was not unanimous.


As they had previously, City Councilmen Brad Ridgeway (R-4th Ward) and Jeff Wright (D-5th Ward) voted no.


Wright called the abatements “excessive.” Ridgeway said residents he's talked to also don't like the abatement package.


“No one's disputing about farmers; I have a lot of clients who are farmers. It'll be great for farmers; it'll be great for jobs. Nobody's disputing that. What we're disputing here, what I'm interested in, the majority of people I talk to, is the excess tax abatements. We're an attractive city; we have a lot to offer. And you just said yourself, we're going to be partners. Here's what the CEO of POET said, 'This is the right project in the right location at the right time.' I don't think they'd walk away if we gave them a standard tax abatement,” Ridgeway said.


Schrumpf noted that POET was considering a location in Ohio, and Ohio doesn't have any tax on personal property which was very appealing to the company.


He added that the project will mean a new water line run to the area to spur development.


Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun added that the state allows local communities to give even larger property tax abatements which the city won't do.


“The only comment I would add to that is, the state of Indiana stepped in and said, cities you have the ability to give a 20-year tax abatement, called a super-abatement, but I don't know that the state of Indiana has ever said, let us bear that burden. Typically, in every legislative session, the state of Indiana is saying, cities and counties, good luck. We have had numerous requests for 20-year abatements, and we've said from the beginning, no we will not consider that,” DeBaun said.


This was the second and final vote by the City Council on the POET tax abatements. Approval clears the way for the company to proceed.


POET expects to finish building the ethanol refinery by March, 2020.


In related matters, the City Council approved forms filed by eight local companies to show they're in compliance with the terms of their tax abatements. The companies are:


Nippon Steel


Plastic Moldings


Ryobi Die Casting




Ten Cate Enbi


Toray Resin


Triumph Fabrications


Yushiro (YUMA)


Bob Wortman surprised with presentation of Sagamore of the Wabash

Major Health Partners is putting final touches on its new MHP Intelliplex Professional Building, which will house the Sue Ann Wortman Nephrology Center. 


(Photo courtesy of Blue River Community Foundation)


Bob Wortman, owner of J.R. Wortman Co. of Morristown, was a key contributor with his  monetary gift to establish the nephrology center which will be named for his late wife, Sue Ann, who died in 2015.


In 2015, Wortman made a contribution to the Hancock Regional Hospital Foundation for its new cancer center,  that was added to the hospital campus in Greenfield.  The center is now called the Sue Ann Wortman Cancer Center.


Those are just two examples of how the long time Morristown resident and business owner has given back to his communities.


And two examples of why Wortman was recently granted the Sagamore of the Wabash.  Something he didn’t know was coming.









Downtown proposal moves forward with new price tag


Next stop for the plan to revitalize Shelbyville's downtown – getting a better idea of the cost.


On Wednesday, the city's Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved going ahead with the proposal by private developers.


But the commission put a cap on their request for public funding.


The developers want the city to put up millions of dollars in public funds to support the project, which includes building executive housing at the former Major Hospital site on West Washington Street and in the Methodist Building on the Public Square, plus extensive redesign of the square itself.


Genesis Property Group is asking the city for infrastructure, such as streets and sewers, a parking garage behind the Methodist Building (pictured), and a complete redesign of the Public Square.


At the noon-time public hearing in City Hall, several people asked questions about the proposal, including life-long resident, Brandi Wilson.


“So I just need to get a better understanding of where's the money coming from? Why we're doing this, I mean, I understand you guys want to bring in the high-powered people, but if they don't have something to come to, you know, besides the housing, and some street redesigns, what do we have to offer them?” she asked.


Redevelopment Commission member Sam Terrell replied that the idea is the project will draw both new residents, and new businesses and amenities to the downtown area.


He pointed to Franklin or Greenwood as examples of the potential for redoing the Public Square.


Another resident, Tom Lapinski, questioned if the city would actually lose parking spaces because of the development.


Mayor Tom DeBaun replied no, that wouldn't happen.


Responding to another question from Wilson, the mayor said property tax dollars would not be used to pay for the city's part of the project.


“So the money we would be using to fund this would be a combination of gaming money from the racino. Be a combination of TIF revenue, which is Tax Increment Financing, and then economic development money through, potentially, EDIT or some other means. We are not; we have no intention whatsoever, and we've said this openly from the beginning; we do not intend to impact general fund dollars, which are property tax dollars, that each one of us pays, myself included,” said DeBaun.


In addition, the mayor said Shelbyville is due to receive about $6.2 million from the state when the city takes over maintenance of State Road 9 from I-74 through the downtown where it becomes Harrison Street, a process called relinquishment.


That's not a done deal yet, the mayor said, but it's close.


After hearing from two other residents, the Redevelopment Commission voted go ahead and get estimates for the publicly-funded infrastructure, parking garage and redesign of the Square.


But the commission put a cap of $19 million on those items, which is 15 percent less than the $22.4 million the developers had requested.


City attorney Jennifer Meltzer, who's also director of the Redevelopment Commission, said now developer Genesis Property Group will seek proposals from contractors to do the work.


That will give the city a firm estimate of the cost.


Meltzer said there's no deadline at this point by which the city is to receive those proposals.

FBI conducting search at Shelby County home

The FBI initiated a search early Wednesday morning at a Shelby County residence.


Law enforcement personnel were on the scene at the home at 4333 East State Road 244, just off the I-74 exit, since the 6:00 am hour.  The property is owned by Robert Elliott.


Personnel clad in blue shirts with "FBI" in yellow letters have moved several boxes in and out of the home.  Some of the boxes long and narrow.



No information has been released about what prompted the search.



The same property has been involved in recent events involving law enforcement in the past two years.


Monday, October 23, 2017

A warrant service at a rural Shelby County home drew more of a police presence when the suspect failed to respond to law enforcement’s requests to come out.


The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department was serving a warrant to Mason Elliott at 4333 East State Road 244 Monday morning.  When Elliott, 23, of Shelbyville, failed to turn himself over initially, Shelbyville Police, with a negotiator, and a SWAT team were called to the scene and staged activities at the neighboring St. Vincent Catholic Church.


Shortly after, Shelbyville Police say that Elliott came out and surrendered to law enforcement without further incident.


Charges pending include dealing cocaine or a narcotic drug and two counts of invasion of privacy.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Gunshots were exchanged as a Shelby County burglary attempt was broken up.


Robert Elliott, 84, fired at two would-be masked burglars who were spotted on surveillance video. 

Jajuan Dinkins, 18, and Roan Walters, 20, were arrested after being found by authorities in a nearby cornfield.  They were seen on video using an ax to break into a barn door. 


A third suspect was later arrested in Marion County.

SCS prepares to open preschool and says farewell to David Adams


Shelbyville Central Schools is set to begin a new chapter in local education with the opening of the Golden Bear Preschool.


And the school corporation is set to close a chapter with the retirement of Superintendent David Adams.


Late Tuesday afternoon, members of the SCS school board toured the new preschool now under construction in the former Marsh Supermarket building at 1015 E. State Road 44.


There was noticeably less debris and dust in the facility, and following the school board meeting after the tour, new interim Superintendent Mary Harper said they were looking ahead to opening day.


“It is on track to open. It is on track to open. That one thing about the internet and the phones is maybe gonna push it back a week for registration, uh, but we are gonna be ready to go and, with kids in there by August the first,” said Harper (pictured).


The internet and phone issue Harper referred to came up during the tour of the new preschool.


Architects Schmidt & Associates told the school board that a problem with Comcast delayed installing the phone and internet lines, so they went with AT&T as the provider.


However, enrollment at the preschool has been so strong they've had to add another community classroom, Harper said.


She estimated total enrollment is about 225 students.


Excitement about the preschool opening was tempered a bit since Tuesday's school board meeting was the last one for retiring Superintendent David Adams.


At the end of the meeting, the board presented Adams with a rocking chair.


Adams' last day at Shelbyville Central Schools is Thursday.

Special public hearing on downtown project is Wednesday


At noon Wednesday, the Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission is due to hold a public hearing on a proposed plan to revitalize the city's downtown.


Mayor Tom DeBaun wants an estimated $22.4 million in public funding to support the plan put forth by three local developers.


Ron Kelsay of Genesis Property Group, along with Tim Barrick of Ratio Architects and Chris King of Runnebohm Construction Co., created the development proposal.


Their plan includes building executive homes at the old Major Hospital site on West Washington Street and townhomes across the street, along with upscale living spaces in the Methodist Building on the Public Square.


The $22.4 million in public funding requested in their plan would be used for infrastructure, such as sewers and streets, at the Major Hospital site, a parking garage behind the Methodist Building, and extensive renovation of the Public Square itself (artist rendering pictured).


City Attorney Jennifer Meltzer, who's also director of the Redevelopment Commission, said if the commission gives the OK, the city will seek bids to get firm cost estimates for those items.


The public hearing at noon today is to be held in City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., second floor.


County to look into pond causing waves with neighbors


A pond that disrupted a drainage tile apparently has created a ripple effect with nearby landowners in the western part of the county.


The matter is a case study on the many drainage issues faced by the Shelby County Commissioners.


On Monday, the commissioners, convened as the County Drainage Board (file photo), heard from Mark Stevens about flooding on his property.


Stevens lives on County Road 250 West, south of State Road 44 near the Johnson County line.


This was his second trip to the Drainage Board about the problem.


“I come here a year ago; I have a drainage issue there, and, uh, I'm not sure if it's the ditch or the lake that was built next to me improperly, but there is an issue there, and I need it addressed somehow. Every year that, that, my yard is, is more and more of a lake, and somehow it needs to be addressed,” Stevens said.


The Glen Denning county legal drain runs southwest through Stevens' property, and his neighbor's land along with other properties. The drain is several miles long and empties into Sugar Creek.


When the neighbor's pond was dug about 10 years ago, it disrupted the tile, and though another tile was put in around the pond, it hasn't done the job, Stevens said.


An assessment attached to property tax bills would need to be placed on the landowners served by the drain to generate funds to make repairs.


Legal drains like the Glen Denning are created when landowners ask the commissioners to do so and agree to be assessed payments for the cost and maintenance incurred by the county.


Payments are calculated based on the amount of land each person owns.


Members of the Drainage Board acknowledged Stevens' problem, but noted that one person owns the majority of the land in the watershed served by the Glen Denning legal drain.


The owners of the majority of land in the watershed, in this case, one person, would have to agree to the assessment for repairs.


Drainage Board members, and Stevens, noted that, with the price of corn as low as it is, farmers like the watershed's majority landowner would be hard pressed right now to pay an assessment.


The board will try to resolve the issue as soon as possible.


In other matters, the County Commissioners set July 15 as the date to open bids on tearing down a condemned house in Flat Rock.


The commissioners heard from County Sanitarian Robert Lewis who said the owner of the house at 3144 E. Vandalia Road has not made requested repairs.


Lewis will notify the owner of the pending demolition. The cost of removing the house will be passed on to the owner if there's no response to the notice.

Industry veteran Matthew Parrish named CEO of Knauf Insulation, Inc.

Knauf Insulation, Inc. (KINA), a leading manufacturer of glass mineral wool insulation, has announced that industry veteran Matthew Parrish has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of the company.


Parrish’s elevation to the position of president and CEO is part of a broader reshaping of the Knauf Group global leadership teams following the company’s recent merger with USG Corporation. He replaces Christopher Griffin, who was recently named CEO of USG Corporation. The two companies are going to continue to operate as separate entities.


“Matt is a dynamic, progressive leader with deep management expertise and a track record of delivering measurable results in our industry,” said Manfred Grundke, general partner of Knauf Group. “We have full confidence he will thrive in this new role while continuing the focus on developing and engaging the Knauf team to effectively execute the strategy that was set in motion under previous leadership.”


“Matt’s demonstrated ability to drive sustainable growth will continue to help Knauf lead the industry,” said Griffin, who served as CEO of KINA for three years and originally hired Parrish in June 2017.


Parrish joined KINA as vice president of Residential and Light Commercial Sales and has significant expertise in commercial excellence, product management, cross-functional diversification and talent development. With the industry changing at breakneck speed, Parrish is ready to hit the ground running.


“The norms of yesterday are not the norms of today,” Parrish said. “Customers are expecting more, and we need to recognize that and deliver. I’m convinced we have the right people to handle the ever-changing dynamics of our customers and our industry. And we have a winning strategy in place. We need to stay laser-focused on that strategy while being nimble and agile in our execution.”


Parrish has over 29 years of experience in the building materials industry with primary focuses in the disciplines of insulation and cement. He grew up just outside the Kansas City area in Missouri and received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.


“I look forward to bringing my cross-functional leadership style into this new role and carrying out the strategy set forth by my predecessor,” Parrish said. “KINA is and will continue to be a leader in sustainable thermal and acoustical glass mineral wool insulation.”


About Knauf Insulation North America (KINA)

KINA is a leading, family-owned global manufacturer of thermal and acoustical glass mineral wool insulation for residential, commercial, industrial, OEM and metal building applications. It’s KINA’s mission to challenge conventional thinking and create innovative solutions that shape the way we live and build in the future, with care for the people who make them, the people who use them and the world we all depend on.


In 2009, KINA launched ECOSE® Technology, a revolutionary formaldehyde-free binder that redefined how the industry viewed insulation, and has continued its commitment to leadership in sustainability by being the first glass mineral wool insulation brand to disclose all of its product ingredients through the International Living Future Institute’s Declare list, receiving Red List-free status with several of its products.

Public hearing on $22.4 million downtown plan set for noon June 12


The Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission has set the time for a public hearing on a proposed $22.4 million downtown renovation.


Commission members voted at their meeting Monday evening to hold the hearing at noon on June 12, according to city attorney Jennifer Meltzer. It will be the city's second public hearing on the project.


Speaking on Tuesday morning after the meeting, Meltzer, who's also the director of the Redevelopment Commission, said the city's still talking with the developers about the cost.


“The request for proposal that was received back in March is the request for proposal that we have. The (pause), that request has been and is continuing to be negotiated, and those numbers were the ones that were given to the public at the previous hearing. And those numbers have not changed and have not been updated,” she said.


Those numbers total $22,360,000 that the three developers – Genesis Property Group, led by Ron Kelsay, co-owner of the Riverfront Taproom; Tim Barrick of Ratio Architects; and Chris King of Runnebohm Construction Co. – have asked the city to contribute to the project.


Their request includes:



  • Infrastructure for executive homes at the former Major Hospital site on West Washington Street and townhomes across the street; 



  • Construction of a parking garage to support upscale living spaces in the Methodist Building, 23 Public Square;



  • Extensive remodeling of the Public Square itself, similar to what's happening now on East Washington Street.



The Redevelopment Commission's public hearing on the matter, at noon next Wednesday, is due to take place in Shelbyville City Hall, 44 W. Washington St.


In another matter, Meltzer said the commission Monday evening delayed a proposal to sell land on the city's east side to Greenleaf Foods SPC.


The company plans to build a facility on a 57-acre site on East State Road 44 just beyond Interstate 74 to manufacture vegetarian burgers and sausages, creating an estimated 460 new jobs. The site is part of a larger property owned by the Redevelopment Commission.


Meltzer said Greenleaf executives have been out of the country and unavailable to sign the necessary papers for the land sale. She expects to close on the deal by July 1.


County seeks funding for more bridge upgrades


County officials are set to ask the state for funding to begin the next round of bridge projects.


On Monday, the Shelby County Commissioners heard from Mike Obergfell, vice president of USI Consultants, their advisor on the bridge-improvement program (pictured).


He told the board that three bridge upgrades and repaving on Fairland Road are in the works, and he'll be applying for state funding to help the county cover the cost, starting with Bridge 12.


“We did an estimate on it and currently it's estimated at about $340,000, which, along with Bridge 10, Bridge 133 and County Road 400 North from I-74 to Fairland getting resurfaced, we're about $1.2 million which would mean about $925,000 in Community Crossings money,” Obergfell said.


Bridge 12 is on County Road 700 North just west of London Road spanning Sugar Creek.


Bridge 10 is on County Road 800 North one-half mile west of CR 800 West and crosses Snail Creek.


Bridge 133 is on County Road 600 East three-quarters of a mile north of CR 850 South and spans the Flat Rock River.


Community Crossings is the grant program from INDOT launched in 2013 to help counties improve their roads and bridges.


Shelby County qualifies for an 80-20 match in funding, with the state providing the 80 percent of the project cost and the county covering 20 percent.


In 2017, the county received more than $564,000 in funding through the program, according to INDOT's website.


Applications for the next round of Community Crossings grants will be accepted starting July 1.


In other matters, the County Commissioners approved a tax refund for Brian Mohr totaling $3,480.


The commissioners also approved a request by maintenance supervisor Frank Burch to have Pierce Tree Service trim hedges and trees on county properties at a cost of $3,500, same as last year.


And the commissioners heard from Mike Fahrbach, a sales representative for Constellation Energy, offering the county a way to lock in a fixed price for natural gas.


The commissioners asked county attorney John C. DePrez IV to review the proposal.

SR 44 closed near Ray's Crossing for two-vehicle accident

A serious two-vehicle accident has closed State Road 44 east of Ray's Crossing into the 7:00 am hour Monday.


Both lanes are closed as of this report.


Law enforcement and emergency personnel are on the scene.