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Drug Free Shelby County celebrates Indiana Tobacco Quitline anniversary

Drug Free Shelby County is celebrating the Indiana Tobacco Quitline (1-800-QUIT-NOW) 15th anniversary and its work to help Shelby County residents overcome their tobacco addiction and live healthier lives.

 

To mark the anniversary, the Quitline is offering four weeks of free nicotine patches and gum to anyone who enrolls, while supplies last.

 

Since it began in March 2006, the Quitline has helped more than 180,000 tobacco users quit tobacco through its free phone counseling, web-based service Web Coach and supplementary texting service Text2Quit.

 

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline plays an important part in helping all Hoosiers, including Shelby County residents, live healthier lives. Quitting tobacco use is one of the best actions a person can take to improve their overall health.

 

The Quitline boasts a quit rate of 43%, and Indiana’s adult smoking rate is 19.2%, down from 25.9% in 2011.

 

Smoking can increase the risk of severe illness with COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, the Quitline has been working to make quitting easier through new and improved service offerings. This includes Text2Start, a new and easier way for Hoosiers to connect with free counseling services, and the Individual Services program, which provides increased flexibility through a choice of quit tools.

 

“We are excited to reach this milestone of the Indiana Tobacco Quitline’s 15th anniversary,” said Miranda Spitznagle, director of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the Indiana Department of Health, in a media release. “We’re also proud that the Quitline has been able to launch these additional services and cessation tools at a time when Hoosiers who use tobacco need it most.”

 

For more information about the Indiana Tobacco Quitline and the new service offerings, visit QuitNowIndiana.com.

Congressman Pence believes solar, wind power decisions should stay at local levels

During his “Energy Week” tour around Indiana’s sixth district, U.S. Congressman Greg Pence touted his principles of keeping federal government out of the local decision-making process.

 

Pence (photo) toured Integrity Biofuels in Morristown Tuesday morning to discuss biodiesel as a viable alternative in the fuels industry.

 

At the conclusion of his tour, Pence spoke exclusively with the Shelby County Post on solar and wind energy projects in Indiana.

 

Northern Shelby County will soon become home to an 1,800-acre solar panel facility. The project was heavily-debated by county officials and those for and against “green energy” replacing prime farmland.

 

 

Residents of southwestern Shelby County are now debating the merits of a similar project that would turn farmland into fields of solar panels.

 

“It’s a state issue and really a county zoning issue, so I’ve tried to mind my own business and not get involved in that,” said Pence, who is from Columbus.

 

Property rights are the dividing issue. Energy companies are offering up large sums of money that can provide financial security for decades.

 

The downside is the removal of thousands of acres of farmland from the agriculture industry that powers the state, increased drainage issues in areas where water removal is already a problem, and decommissioning practices which have rarely been utilized.

 

“I’ve heard from all sides on that. It’s my property and I ought to be able to do what I want, and the other is let’s talk about what we do with the batteries,” said Pence. “I am a big federalist. I believe it ought to be at the county and state level instead of federal mandating what people can and can’t do.”

 

State government in Indiana could mandate what happens locally if House Bill 1381 is brought into law.

 

HB1381 has passed through the House of Representatives and will be read Thursday morning by the Senate Utilities Committee.

 

The bill authored by Rep. Edmond Soliday of Valparaiso could overturn “home rule” which allows counties, cities and towns the power needed for their own effective operation with regard to local issues.

 

The bill would allow commercial wind and solar companies to set default standards for items such as setback requirements, height restrictions, signal interference, sound level limitations, and decommissioning that could not be altered by local government.

 

The bill was created to ease the process for solar and wind  companies to spur development within the state. It passed through the House of Representatives, 58-38.

 

Hoosiers ages 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine

Hoosiers ages 16 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine, the Indiana Department of Health announced today. The expansion makes more than 1.3 million additional individuals eligible for vaccine.

 

“With this expansion in age group, more than 5.4 million Hoosiers are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “I encourage everyone who is eligible to sign up for an appointment so that we can take the next step toward putting this pandemic behind us.”

 

With today’s expansion, the state has now made COVID-19 vaccines available to every Hoosier for whom the vaccine is currently authorized. The state’s focus will remain on providing equitable access to vaccine and providing current and accurate information so that Hoosiers can be informed about their options.

 

Hoosiers scheduling appointments may experience waits during periods of high volume. Vaccine appointments will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 530 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Individuals age 16 and 17 are only eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine and should search for a site that lists PVAX or ask 211 for a site offering the Pfizer vaccine.

 

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

 

Appointments for the mass vaccination clinic being planned in Gary for April 7-June 2 will be opened later this week.

Ages 16 and above to be eligible for vaccine today; MHP has wait list available

Beginning Wednesday morning, Hoosiers age 16 and older will be eligible to schedule a vaccination appointment.

 

The Indiana Department of Health announced that more than 79,000 Hoosiers ages 30 to 39 signed up for their free COVID-19 vaccination on Monday, the first day of their eligibility.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

 

Locally, Major Health Partner's vaccination clinic has vaccinated 13,000 + individuals.  MHP is still calling people on the wait list to ensure they don’t waste any doses at the end of the day.  To get on the waitlist to receive the vaccine,  call (317) 392-DOCS (3627). 

Asphalt resurface, reconstruction begins next month along S.R. 44 in Johnson & Shelby Counties

Indiana Department of Transportation contractor Milestone Contractors L.P. plans to begin work next month on a $6 million asphalt resurface and roadway reconstruction project along S.R. 44 in Johnson and Shelby Counties.

 

The contract also includes bridge work at Sugar Creek Overflow located east of I-65.

 

Project phasing is scheduled as follows, weather permitting:

 

On/after Monday, April 5: Lane closures with flagging from east of Sugar Creek Overflow to S.R. 9 in Shelbyville for asphalt resurface, expected to continue through end of May

 

On/after Wednesday, April 14: Lane closures with flagging from east of S.R. 44/I-65 interchange to Sugar Creek Overflow for asphalt resurface, expected to continue through early September

On/after Monday, April 17: Traffic restricted to single lane in each direction at S.R. 44/I-65 interchange in Franklin for roadway reconstruction, width reduced to 11 feet, expected to continue through early August

 

Starting mid-June: S.R. 44 bridge over Sugar Creek Overflow (approximately three miles east of I-65) closed for 60 days for superstructure replacement project, detour to follow I-65, I-465 and I-74 to Shelbyville

 

Project limits for the roadway reconstruction project are just to the east and west of the I-65 interchange in Franklin, totaling 0.26 miles. Upgrades include new pavement, traffic signals, pavement markings, signage and guardrail.

The contract was awarded in February 2021 and has a completion date of June 30, 2022. Motorists are reminded to slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free in and near all work zones. All work is weather-dependent and schedules are subject to change.

 

Congressman Pence discusses future of biodiesel at Integrity Biofuels

U.S. Congressman Greg Pence recently participated in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing to discuss his concerns with the CLEAN Future Act.

 

This week, Pence is back in Indiana touring the sixth district he represents looking for specific feedback on how the CLEAN Future Act will affect business efforts in the state.

 

“We are getting out to the constituents as we’re moving toward a CLEAN Energy Bill, and we debated that last week, so we are trying to get input from people out here in the district and how it will impact them,” said Pence after a visit Tuesday to Integrity Biofuels in Morristown.

 

Pence met with Integrity Biofuels owner John Whittington and plant manager Guy Herrell to discuss how biodiesel is a viable fuel alternative.

 

“We were talking about the renewable energy sector and bringing him up to speed on our current status here,” said Whittington. “How we are well poised to continue taking advantage of renewable energy going forward, whether we are in production or a distribution point.”

 

Jeff Brown photos

U.S. Congressman Greg Pence (R-06), left, tours the Integrity Biofuels facility in Morristown Tuesday with plant manager Guy Herrell, center, and owner John Whittington.

 

Founded in 2006, Integrity Biofuels, 780 Industrial Drive, produces biodiesel fuel that can be used in most diesel equipment without modification.

 

The fuel can be used to reduce global warming gas emissions, reduce tailpipe emissions and is nontoxic, biodegradable, and suitable for sensitive environments, according to a company pamphlet.

 

“A nice thing about biodiesel that I have always liked is the plug-and-play,” said Whittington. “If the market conditions merit it and it makes sense, you can run it without changing your engine or any modification of your vehicle. And if it doesn’t, then you don’t. I like that choice.

 

“I think renewable fuels are here to stay and will be a part of our energy portfolio no matter what. It’s figuring out the happy balance of the economics as well as the other characteristics such as the cleaner burn.”

 

Pence, who is from Columbus, Indiana, understands that agriculture is a vital industry in the state, and as corn is crucial to the production of ethanol, soybeans are crucial to biodiesel production.

 

“I am learning more about biodiesel and am trying to figure out the difference between renewable and biodiesel and how those two things are going,” said Pence. “Our soybean farmers are the beneficiary of this and it’s a real great alternative.

 

“When we talk about electrifying the transportation industry, the technology and the distribution system isn’t there. It’s here as we see with the railroad tracks and the tanks. The distribution already exists for renewable and biodiesel.”

 

Pence assures that information he received Tuesday in Morristown will be taken back to Washington D.C. for more discussions.

 

“By meeting with the congressman, we can educate him a little with what we are trying to do here with our specific plans and new policy changes that may be coming into play,” said Whittington. “It seems like it is a hot topic again. It’s going to be part of our future energy choices.”

Board of Works approves clean up of two nuisance properties

The Board of Works and Public Safety extended the timeframe to clean up one property and approved commencing with the clean-up process at two more Shelbyville residences.

 

Three “orders to appear” were scheduled for Tuesday morning’s meeting at City Hall but no ownership representatives showed up.

 

Jeff Brown photo

The house at 605 W. South St. will be cleaned up by the City of Shelbyville and cost of the service added to the taxes for the ownership to pay.

 

Allan Henderson, deputy planning director for the City of Shelbyville, informed the Board of Works that the issues at 640 Main St. are being addressed. The board granted a one-week extension.

 

The board then ordered the clean-up process to start at 815 Morris Avenue and 605 W. South St. The cost will be added to the taxes for the property owners to pay.

 

The property at 815 Morris Avenue has been owned by Allen & Allen LLC of Shelbyville since June of 2015, according to the Shelby County GIS site.

 

The 605 W. South St. property has Safeguard Capital Partners LLC out of Florida listed as its owners.

 

In other business, the board approved a request to host an art show May 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the downtown parking garage.

Golden Bears still remember 1986 state title appearance at Market Square Arena

“We’re not here to start no trouble,

We’re just here to do the Shelbyville Shuffle.”

 

On March 29, 1986, Shelbyville High School basketball fans shuffled north to Market Square Arena in downtown Indianapolis to see how a magical season would play out.

 

Shelbyville’s only boys basketball state championship came in 1947. Thirty-nine years later, John Heaton’s squad came within one win of competing for a second title.

 

Sunday night, a text was sent out to those within that historic basketball squad reminding them all of Monday’s 35th anniversary of the school’s last Final Four appearance.

 

“That surprised me and we got a lot of nice responses,” said Heaton, now retired from coaching and still living in Shelbyville.

 

With an athletic and unselfish squad, Shelbyville took its community by storm in late 1985 and early 1986. And if not for two unfortunate postseason injuries, there was a real possibility William L. Garrett Gymnasium would sport two state championship banners.

 

Following its third straight sectional title, Shelbyville lost key reserve J.D. Lux during the Columbus North Regional after he crashed into the stage at one end of the court and broke a bone in his lower leg.

 

“That was definitely a moment on that run that was obviously disappointing to us,” recalled Heaton, now a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. “That made it a little more intense to pick up some of the slack.”

 

The Golden Bears rallied to reach the semistate round at Hinkle Fieldhouse of the now-defunct single class basketball tournament.

 

Shelbyville was paired up against New Castle, a team it defeated 75-73 in early January when Lux was a key component off the bench.

 

After that game, Heaton spoke with New Castle coach Sam Alford, who believed the two teams would meet again in the postseason.

 

That prognostication came true but Shelbyville would be without Lux’s services in the rematch.

“That scared us a little,” said Heaton. “That part of the game plan was gone. We had to make a few adjustments.”

 

Shelbyville prevailed 74-67 to set up an Elite 8 game against Warren Central, who defeated Connersville, 58-48, in the other semistate semifinal game.

 

Warren Central, a football powerhouse boasting consecutive state titles, included star quarterback Jeff George, but the Golden Bears were the better basketball team that night and prevailed 73-65.

 

Southridge, defending state champion Marion, Anderson and Shelbyville advanced to the Final Four.

 

“The Sweet 16 was a big deal for us but the Final Four was the ultimate chance to play for everything,” said Heaton.

 

Making the Final Four meant playing before a statewide television audience.

 

“There was a calmness,” said Heaton when asked if nerves were an issue that March 29 morning. “I think there was a lot of anxiety, maybe you can call that nerves. I would have been more frightened if I knew (Bryan) Harrell was going to go down in the first 2-3 minutes.”

 

Harrell, Shelbyville’s starting point guard, suffered an ankle injury early in the semifinal game against Anderson. The Golden Bears fell behind by as much as 15 points and trailed 52-41 after three quarters.

 

Harrell was able to get back on the court, get comfortable, and spark a fourth-quarter rally that led to overtime.

 

The Indians scored the only overtime point from the free throw line as opportunity after opportunity was squandered by both squads.

 

With time nearly expired, Anderson missed on a free-throw opportunity and Julius Denton snatched the rebound, turned toward Shelbyville’s basket and heaved a desperation shot that hit the backboard.

 

The dream run was over after a 70-69 loss.

 

Marion went on to win its second of three straight championships under head coach Bill Green. The roster featured Jay Edwards and Lyndon Jones along with several other players that went on to play college basketball.

 

Heaton believes the Golden Bears would have been a good matchup for Marion. Through a family member that coaches in northern Indiana, the Shelbyville coach created a detailed scouting report on the much-heralded Giants.

 

“The boys really wanted to play them because of their reputation,” said Heaton. “It was a challenge our guys deserved to try.”

 

Thirty-five years later, the “what if” discussion still takes place. If Lux and Harrell did not get injured, Shelbyville was a legitimate title contender.

 

“We’ve played that game several times,” laughed Heaton. “J.D. has played it individually several times, Todd (Anderson) has, well and all of us. It’s fun now. It was not fun then.”

 

The basketball program was further honored at the state tournament when Todd Anderson received the Arthur L. Trester Medal for Mental Attitude.

 

“We felt all along Todd was a strong candidate for that award,” said Heaton. “I know it meant a lot to him and to the players and the coaching staff as well.”

 

Through the entire season, the community embraced its Golden Bears.

 

Postseason tourney celebrations grew exponentially, local businesses were decorated with black and gold colors and a video created by the team inspired by the Chicago Bears’ Super Bowl Shuffle made the players seem larger than life.

 

“We’re not here to start no trouble,

We’re just here to do the Shelbyville Shuffle.”

Downtown construction project on track to finish in 2021

 The City of Shelbyville’s downtown redevelopment project, a three-year endeavor, is on track to be finished by the end of 2021.

 

The more than $20-million massive undertaking is reshaping the entire landscape of downtown Shelbyville with the goal of spurring pedestrian traffic to more retail, dining and entertainment establishments in and around the Public Square.

 

“We are working on the northwest and southwest quadrants as well as the centerpiece,” said Tom Davis of Genesis Property Development, who is overseeing the project for the city. “That will be done hopefully by the end of August. The other two quadrants will be built and done by the end of November.

 

“Those other two quadrants will go a little bit faster because this is where the majority of the work is. The center island is a lot of limestone and concrete work. That takes a little longer.”

 

The circular traffic pattern through the Public Square will no longer exist when the project is completed. Traffic will flow straighter through the downtown area around a center island which will contain the Joseph Fountain and the Bears of Blue River statue.

 

Quadrants will be built for all four corners of the Public Square and will include expansive sidewalks that can be utilized by stores and restaurants, greenspace areas and shelter areas.

 

The project started in 2019 with work along East Washington St. away from the Public Square. In 2020, West Washington St. received similar treatment and the downtown infrastructure work kicked off.

 

“We have a good jump on it. I don’t think we are way ahead but we definitely got a lot of stuff in the ground that people can’t see that is done,” said Davis. “Now you will start seeing the stuff popping out of the ground. I will say we are on track, I don’t want to say we are ahead of schedule.”

 

Davis expects the concrete base of the fountain to take shape in early April. Genesis has hired a fountain consultant to insure the integrity of the fountain is retained.

 

“We are really trying to do a top notch job on that,” said Davis. “It’s really going to look nice.”

 

The southwest quadrant already has sidewalk in place that will serve as the base for brick pavers. Once asphalt plants open for 2021, asphalt will be brought in to lay over the sidewalk and the brick pavers will follow creating a consistent look throughout the downtown area.

 

“Brick pavers are already ordered. They are ready to come,” said Davis. “We will start getting those in the next few weeks and first of April you will start seeing pavers going down.”

Man shot, another injured in Shelby County altercation

One man was shot, another injured in an altercation in southern Shelby County Sunday.

 

Shelby County law enforcement was called to the scene of what was initially reported as a shooting incident at 3225 East 875 South.  Tyler Meadows, 29, of Waldron, suffered a gunshot wound and was lifelined from the scene to IU Health Methodist.  Meadows was listed in serious condition as of this report.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department reports that Zachariah Jareski, 28, of Waldron was also treated at the hospital.  No further word was made available on his condition.

 

No information was released on the cause of the altercation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hoosiers 30 and older now eligible to sign up for free COVID-19 vaccine

Hoosiers ages 30 and older are now eligible to sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine, the Indiana Department of Health announced today.

 

This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to more than 840,000 additional Hoosiers.

 

Beginning Wednesday, Hoosiers age 16 and older also will be able to schedule a vaccine.

 

Vaccine appointments will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 530 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

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

City, downtown businesses trying to work together during major construction project

Year three of the downtown Shelbyville redevelopment project is taking its toll on local businesses.

 

The restructuring of the traffic pattern through the Public Square will be a year-long project. Started in late 2020, the goal of the project is to be complete in November of 2021.

 

That is no consolation to local restaurants, bars and other businesses located in downtown Shelbyville. Most are surviving but times are tough.

 

“It will be nice if we can make it,” said Cadillac Jack’s owner Mike Neice.

 

With construction in full effect in front of both Cadillac Jack’s, 29 Public Square, and Munchies, 39 Public Square, making enough money to pay the bills has become troublesome.

 

Both businesses, reliant on downtown parking and foot traffic, are struggling to get through the toughest phase of the construction project.

 

“If this continues the way it is we will physically not be able to stay open until August,” said Maryssa Huntsman, who along with Adam Tindall, own Munchies. “I’m pretty stubborn. I will take my money and keep dumping it in. I know that’s what you have to do as a business owner so I will continue to do it to make sure my employees are paid and my electric stays on.”

 

Jeff Brown photos

The downtown redevelopment project continues as businesses struggle to stay afloat. New sidewalks are poured along the southwest quadrant in front of Cadillac Jack's and Munchies to help ease access to establishments there.

 

Huntsman vented her frustration with the project March 15 at the Shelbyville Common Council meeting. While in favor of the “new look” downtown being created, her business has dealt with timing issues for work at her front door and traffic issues behind her building blocking access to a rear entrance.

 

“I don’t think anyone is maliciously doing it,” she said. “I think it’s more they are trying to get it done and not thinking about the collateral damage in the mean time.”

 

Genesis Property Development, 524 N. Harrison St. in Shelbyville, is managing the project that started in 2019 with the redevelopment of East Washington St. from the Public Square past Noble St. to the railroad tracks.

 

“Things are going really well,” said Ron Kelsay of Genesis. “We have had really good feedback from the city and, generally, very good feedback from most of the business owners.

 

“It’s a construction project and nobody is thrilled about construction other than getting to the end result. The process is not a happy thing for anybody. Our goal is to make sure we execute on the project, meet the timelines and come in under budget. And to the extent that we can, minimize the impact and pain on the businesses in the area.”

 

Genesis works in conjunction with Beaty Construction, the contractor, to inform the downtown businesses directly affected by the project.

 

“While nobody likes the actual construction itself, generally speaking, we’ve had great relationships with all the businesses. They understand what it is and see the end result and are excited about that and want to get there. They’ve been good to work with and cooperate with and understand what we’re working with,” said Kelsay. “We’re trying to make this the best we can. Usually, we have no issues working out a good solution for them that works, that gets them what they need.

 

“Is it ideal? Probably not exactly but it’s the best we can do. I feel like in the big picture, we’ve done a really good job of doing that.”

 

Munchies opened just over a year ago as the construction project was progressing along West Washington St. and COVID-19 was not yet an issue in the United States.

 

Bars and restaurants have suffered immeasurably due to COVID-19 restrictions, though. The difficulty in getting to downtown businesses has only exasperated the process.

 

The City of Shelbyville has worked in conjunction with Genesis to provide signage downtown outlining how to proceed to businesses and where to properly park.

 

“I know we have put up signage multiple times indicating that the parking lot at the (former) Chase (Bank) building is available to them and to Cadillac Jack’s,” said Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun. “Any signage put around downtown, we purchased.”

 

Kyle Henderson’s Allstate Insurance Company, 37 Public Square, has had difficulties with the construction project as well, but not to the degree of its neighbors.

 

“We’ve had three days we all went home because the gas fumes were so bad we were getting sick,” said Henderson. “We had concrete dust and gas in the office so we closed the doors, sealed the office and left.”

 

With Allstate promoting online services, foot traffic into Henderson’s office is minimized. And if paperwork needs to be signed, Henderson directs traffic to the building’s rear entrance on Jackson St. for quick service.

 

“It’s not as big a deal to me because Allstate is not taking cash payments,” explained Henderson. “I still have things to be signed so I have people go to the back door. I have it on a clipboard and go out (to Jackson St.) and have them sign it and go on their way.”

 

Beaty Construction recently completed the concrete sidewalk that runs in front of Cadillac Jack’s and Munchies to help with access to both establishments.

 

The downtown parking garage is available and is a short walk to any of the downtown businesses.

Cadillac Jack’s remains open three nights a week (Thursday-Saturday). Munchies, a family-friendly restaurant that also has a bar area, continues to serve lunch and dinner.

 

Both Neice and Huntsman are excited about the end result of the construction process that will create a pedestrian-friendly quadrant in front of their respective businesses.

 

“It will be beautiful,” said Neice. “I don’t want to go negative on anything. I know Munchies is struggling. I am struggling. We just have to keep looking forward and saying our prayers.”

 

A third round of pandemic relief is expected to be released in April which will help businesses suffering.

 

“It’s so beautiful,” said Huntsman of the renderings hanging inside her business of what the new downtown area will look like once construction is complete. “We will have more (outdoor) seating. As long as we can make it to that point, it will be extremely worth it.”

Tennessee woman arrested near POET, video surfaces on YouTube channel

Video of a Shelby County Sheriff arresting a 52-year-old Tennessee woman Thursday is drawing attention on a YouTube channel.

 

Sheriff Larry Lacy arrived on scene near POET Biorefining – Shelbyville, 2373 W. 300 North, to assist the Shelbyville Police Department, who responded to a call of a woman trespassing.

 

Officers asked the woman her purpose for being in the area and her response on video was “taking pictures.” Her car was parked on property owned by POET.

 

Later identified as Shelly Harrison of Nashville, Tenn., the woman refused to present identification to neither a Shelbyville Police Department officer nor Sheriff Lacy.

 

Harrison was taken to the Shelby County Jail and charged with Refusal to Identify and Criminal Trespass. She is awaiting a court hearing, according to a media release Friday from the Shelby County Sheriff Department.

 

Sheriff Lacy was later identified in the video for his involvement in the 2005 shooting of Richard Burton of Edinburgh.

 

Sheriff Louie Koch would not speculate if Sheriff Lacy was targeted by the YouTube channel in the video.

 

According to the media release, the video and actions of all parties are part of an ongoing investigation.

Columbus East student senior project supports Bartholomew Co. Sheriff's Reserve Division

A Columbus East High School senior has partnered with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office in an effort to raise funds for BCSO’s Reserve Unit.

 

The student, who wishes to remain anonymous, has worked with Columbus Car Wash, DirtBuster, located at 67 Johnson Blvd. on SR 46, to raise funds for BCSO’s Reserve Division.

 

The one-day event will be held:

DirtBuster

67 Johnson Blvd, Columbus

Saturday, March 27

7:00 am – 8:00 pm.

 

For every “ultimate wash” purchased, $5.00 will go to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy Program.  Donations will also be accepted on site or can be dropped off at the Sheriff’s Office or mailed to: 

 

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Reserve Division

543 Second Street

Columbus, IN 47201

 

Make checks payable to:  Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Reserves Division 

 

The Reserve program is a non-profit unit and, many times, these law enforcement volunteers use their own funds to purchase items.  The funds raised by members of the community, will be used to purchase equipment and supplies needed to serve residents and businesses in Bartholomew County.

 

Please stop in.  Get an “Ultimate” car wash at Dirtbusters.  Support this CEHS student’s Senior Project and your BCSO Reserve Unit. 

 

“I certainly want to (again) thank this CEHS student for his desire to support our Reserve program and I encourage residents to support this very worthwhile student project," said Commander Andy Riddle, BCSO Reserve Deputy Division.

 

“Our Reserve deputies are dedicated volunteers who are trained as deputy sheriffs in all aspects of law enforcement functions”, said Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Major Chris Lane.  “Our Reserves assist and augment our merit deputies with everything from road patrols to special events," added Major Lane.

 

 

 

'Music in the Park' returning to Blue River Memorial Park

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department has announced the return of its “Music in the Park” series for 2021.

 

There will be three free concerts held at Blue River Memorial Park, 725 Lee Boulevard, in Shelbyville. The series was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

On June 12, Gordon Bonham and Rob Dixon will perform blues and jazz music.

 

Heart & Soul, a Huey Lewis tribute band, will perform Aug. 7.

 

And Henry Lee Summer will conclude the concert series Sept. 11.

 

All concerts run from 7 to 9 p.m.

 

Beer gardens and wine will be available as well as food at all three concerts but the events are considered “family friendly.”

 

Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the concerts.

 

The free concerts are provided by the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department and Shelby County Tourism.

INDOT's SR 44 project to soon begin

The SR 44 / I-65 interchange reconstruction shall begin April 17 and be completed around the first week of August.

 

A 60-day road closure with official detour at SR 44 over Sugar Creek Overflow (located 3.37 miles east of SR 44 / I-65 interchange) has an anticipated start date of June 12 and continues through August 15 at the latest. This official detour will utilize I-65, I-465, and I-74. The unofficial detour (for local traffic) will be North CR 900 W, Range Rd., North CR 875 W, and to West CR 50 N.

 

The HMA patching and resurfacing work along SR 44 from east of the Sugar Creek Overflow bridge to 1.6 miles west of SR 9 South junction will start on April 5 and be completed by the end of May. This same work along SR 44 from east of the interchange reconstruction to west of the Sugar Creek Overflow bridge will start around April 14 and end in early September.

 

HMA operations will be completed under lane closures with flaggers, but it is important to note that some of this work does overlap the bridge closure with official detour.

Caesars Thursday ceremony breaks ground on $32.5 million expansion

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. held a groundbreaking today for a $32.5 million investment to expand and enhance the current casino gaming floor of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.

 

The expansion is projected to add more than 100 new casino jobs and millions to local and state gaming tax revenues.

 

Indiana Grand, located in Shelbyville, will add approximately 25,000 square feet to the north end of the casino making room for 100 brand-new slot machines and 25 more table games. Inside the new gaming floor and across the property, guests will enjoy significant updates to design and architectural features. 

 

 

Additionally, the expanded gaming floor will feature the WSOP Poker Room, a live Poker Room named for and carrying the spirit of the legendary World Series of Poker, the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world. The new WSOP Poker Room will include 20 tables and offer a premium experience with ways to qualify for WSOP land-based tournaments including the Main Event in Las Vegas. 

 

 

Wilhelm Construction of Indianapolis will begin work on April 1, with renovations set to be completed by the end of 2021.

 

Preliminary plans include:

  • A 5,000 square foot WSOP Poker Roomfeaturing 20 tables
  • A 20-seat video poker bar with 65” LCD overhead screens
  • New table games, slots and gaming chairs
  • New design elements throughout the gaming floor
  • New surface parking
  • More than 100 new jobs added to the work force
  • Millions in local and state gaming tax revenue

 

“This investment at Indiana Grand is a testament to our continued commitment to Indiana,” said Anthony Carano, President and Chief Operating Officer of Caesars Entertainment. “We are dedicated to enhancing and upgrading our operations at all of our locations, and we’re excited to start on several new phases of renovation and expansion in Shelbyville.”

 

“Since the implementation of table games in early 2020, we have looked forward to expanding our gaming operations,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Indiana Grand. “This growthwill allow us to accommodate more guests and add more talented Team Members to the Indiana Grand family, and with the addition of a state-of-the-art Poker Room, we will expand our casino offerings to include some of the most notable programs in the United States, including World Series of Poker.”

 

 

Mass vaccination clinics at IMS

The Indiana Department of Health is partnering with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IU Health to host a multi-day mass vaccination clinic at the speedway to protect Hoosiers from COVID-19.

 

The Indiana National Guard will support the operation.

 

The clinic will provide the single dose Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine and will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the following days:

 

  • April 1-3
  • April 13-18
  • April 24-30

Because the clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, only Hoosiers age 18 and older are eligible to be vaccinated at this site.

 

Registration is required in advance at https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. Appointments opened Wednesday afternoon.

 

Entrance will be through Gate 2 off 16th Street. All individuals are asked to wear a mask while being vaccinated.  

Russ Smith retiring after 34 years at Shelbyville High School

34 years ago Russ Smith became Shelbyville High School’s band director.  For many students, parents and more, their lifetime has only known one man in that position.

 

Soon, someone new will occupy that position.  Smith says it’s time to retire.

 

 

He says it’s not an easy message to listen to, even from your own mind and body.

 

 

After graduating from IU, Smith started his teaching career in Seymour before arriving in Shelbyville.  He says that start at SHS wasn’t entirely easy.

 

 

Smith says this past year dealing with Covid certainly offered its challenges but wasn’t a major factor in his retirement decision.

 

 

The longtime band director is proud of what band has to offer students.

 

 

Maple Leaf Foods completes purchase of Indianapolis plant

Maple Leaf Foods ("Maple Leaf Foods" or the "Company") (TSX: MFI) announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Greenleaf Foods, SPC,  completed its previously announced purchase of a 118,000 square foot plant in Indianapolis where it will be installing new equipment to increase the Company's tempeh production capacity to meet growing demand.  

 

Initial production at the plant is targeted to begin in the first half of 2022, and when fully operational, it will employ approximately 115 people.

 

About Maple Leaf Foods
Maple Leaf Foods Inc. is a producer of food products under leading brands including Maple Leaf®, Maple Leaf Prime®, Schneiders®, Mina®, Greenfield Natural Meat Co.®, Swift®, Lightlife®, and Field Roast™. The Company's portfolio includes prepared meats, ready-to-cook and ready-to-serve meals, snacks kits, valued-added fresh pork and poultry, and plant protein products. The address of the Company's registered office is 6985 Financial Dr. Mississauga, Ontario, L5N 0A1, Canada. The Company employs approximately 13,500 people and does business primarily in Canada, the U.S. and Asia. The Company's shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (MFI).

Road construction to impact Shelby - Johnson line traffic

A bridge deck overlay project is set to impact traffic along the Shelby – Johnson county line at I-65 this summer.

 

County commissioner Don Parker on the upcoming project on 900 West - 700 South.

 

 

Again, that project set to begin the first week of April.

Gov. Holcomb announces plan for all Hoosiers to be eligible for the vaccine March 31

Governor Eric J. Holcomb  delivered a statewide address to lay out the road ahead for Hoosiers in the fight against COVID-19.

 

“As we continue to isolate if you test positive, quarantine if you’re a close contact, and get vaccinated when you’re eligible, the light at the end of the tunnel becomes brighter and brighter,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It’s up to each and every one of us to do our part to stay on our course.”

 

Indiana’s current cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, and deaths have all dropped drastically since mid-January and nearly a million Hoosiers are fully vaccinated. The state plans to open vaccine eligibility to all Hoosiers 16 years and older on Wednesday, March 31, provided Indiana receives a large increase in the amount of vaccine as outlined by the federal government. Additional mass vaccination clinics will be scheduled for April and the state will implement a large employer vaccination program.

 

Starting April 6, decisions about venue capacity and social gatherings will be made by local officials. Customers in restaurants, bars and nightclubs will no longer be required by the state to be seated. Six feet of spacing between tables and other seating will still be recommended as is spacing between non-household parties.

 

The statewide face covering mandate will become a mask advisory on April 6. Face coverings will remain mandatory in all state buildings and facilities and in all vaccination and COVID testing sites until further notice. K-12 schools will continue under current requirements through the remainder of the 2020-21 school year. 

 

“When I visit my favorite restaurant or conduct a public event, I will continue to wear a mask,” Gov. Holcomb said. “It is the right thing to do. Hoosiers who take these recommended precautions will help us get to what I hope is the tail end of this pandemic.”

 

Local governments, private businesses and other entities may institute more stringent guidelines. The Indiana Department of Health will continue to provide county level, color coded metrics to provide easy to understand information about whether virus levels are increasing or decreasing locally.

 

The state public health emergency will be renewed for another 30 days, beginning April 1. This declaration allows the state to act quickly if conditions take a turn for the worse and allows the state to continue to access hundreds of millions of federal dollars to support Hoosiers recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.

Proposed subdivision gets rezoning approval from Plan Commission

With rezoning approval from the Plan Commission and pending approval from the Shelbyville Common Council, a new subdivision for the south side of the city is moving forward.

 

Forestar Group sought the rezoning Monday night of the 12.06-acre Sumerford property to single-family residential (R1) from business neighborhood (BN).

 

That property, combined with the adjacent 51.78-acre Fansler property, will become a housing subdivision featuring approximately 185 homes with starting prices over $200,000.

 

Forestar Group is currently developing Twin Lakes Estates in Shelbyville. With nearly half of the 105 lots already sold, Forestar is counting on the continued growth in the local housing market.

 

“The purpose is the continuation of our success in your city and the desire to continue to build single-family homes,” said Mark Mastrorocco of Forestar Group.

 

The company will develop the land and then turn construction of homes over to DR Horton (Westport Homes), the builder in Twin Lakes.

 

Former city councilman Brad Ridgeway, who lives in the Southern Trace subdivision which sits north of the properties, encouraged the Plan Commission to “get it done right.”

 

Ridgeway cited rushed housing subdivisions in the past with less than desirable traffic patterns. Speaking for several of his neighbors, Ridgeway said they are in favor of the project but do not want it rushed for the sake of adding more homes.

 

“You have the power to get it right now,” said Ridgeway. “It’s not a simple rezone because once you rezone it the process goes through and goes by very quickly.”

 

As the Southern Trace subdivision grew to the south in the early 2000s, Wilmington Boulevard ended with a stub road leading into farmland that was slated for development that never materialized.

 

The boulevard will be one of three entrances into the new subdivision with access points also coming off Progress Parkway and Amos Road.

 

The formal recommendation was passed unanimously. The common council will then vote on it at its next meeting April 5 at City Hall.

 

Forestar Group may now bring its plans for the land development to the Plan Commission at its next meeting on April 22 at City Hall.

 

During this meeting, the public may comment on the project.

Methodist Building renovation project currently in design phase

Construction work on the west side of the downtown Shelbyville redevelopment project has slowed the progress of renovating the Methodist Building.

 

Plans are still in place, though, to bring the tallest building on the Public Square back to life.

 

Design plans are being developed by an architect, according to Ron Kelsay of Genesis Property Development, 524 N. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.

 

“We had a little bit of a pause but we are moving forward with that again,” said Kelsay. “Some of it was COVID-19 and some of it was timing. The west side of the Public Square was torn up first and we didn’t want to complete our building with the construction (ongoing).”

 

The Methodist Building anchors the north corner of West Washington St. as it enters the Public Square but has sat vacant for many years.

 

Genesis purchased the building with the goal of creating retail space and corporate apartments in a downtown setting.

 

“We’ve modified a little bit what the development is going to look like,” explained Kelsay. “We are planning on the top two floors as corporate apartments, the second and third floors as office space, and the first floor either retail or a high-end office.”

 

Grover Center photo

The five-story Methodist Building is currently owned by Genesis Property Development in Shelbyville. The company is designing the building for retail and office space as well as corporate apartments.

 

Specific interest in building space caused Genesis to lower the number of floors with apartments to create more office space.

 

“We’ve had some people express interest in office space downtown so we realize there is a little more demand for office space,” said Kelsay.

 

The goal is to have the building open in the first quarter of 2022.

 

“We are in design right now and hope to get into construction in the fall,” said Kelsay. “We’ve already been in there doing some demo work and general preparation stuff. A lot of infrastructure work has already been done when we were doing the parking garage.

 

“While it was torn up we made sure we had all the utilities upgraded, water and electric into the building. A lot of that base work is already done. A lot has been going on, it’s just not exactly visible.”

 

Grover Center photo

Once the downtown redevelopment project is further along, renovation will commence on the century-old Methodist Building to bring it back to life.

 

The century-old building needs exterior work as well, including a new roof.

 

“We are targeting first of next year to be done with that,” said Kelsay. “We wanted to make sure the Public Square work was completed before we started trying to promote our building.”

 

Genesis Property Development is overseeing the downtown construction project which includes a new parking garage and restructured traffic pattern through downtown Shelbyville.

 

The entire project is scheduled for completion in late 2021.

Gov. Holcomb signs Executive Order to delay individual income tax deadline

Governor Eric J. Holcomb has signed Executive Order 21-07 to align the state of Indiana with the federal government and delay state individual income tax filings and payments from April 15 to May 17.

 

Last week, the U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to file and pay federal individual income tax until May 17.

 

The executive order also extends temporary licensing of health care workers for 90 days, allowing individuals who are not currently licensed to practice in Indiana to have a temporary license. This order applies to retired health care professionals, certain health care students and out-of-state health care professionals.

 

Health care professionals who are granted a temporary license to provide health care services in the state in response to this public health emergency must register with the Professional Licensing Agency via their website at www.in.gov/pla and EMS professionals must register with the Department of Homeland Security at www.in.gov/dhs.

 

Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/newsroom/executive-orders/

Hoosiers ages 40 and older to be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday

Hoosiers ages 40 and older will be eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, the Indiana Department of Health announced today. This expansion of eligibility to include those ages 40 to 44 will make the vaccine available to more than 400,000 additional Hoosiers.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available starting Monday and will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 450 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

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

MHP doctor warns diligence still needed to fully control COVID-19

The American way of life changed forever in March of 2020.

 

After months of following a new coronavirus strain that started in China and branched out worldwide, the United States was finally forced to deal with a pandemic – a first since the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918.

 

One long year later, the COVID-19 coronavirus has a vaccine in the administration process. Life may never return to the “normal” we knew, but life is moving on.

 

“We still have to consider it a marathon and although we can see the finish line we cannot afford to stumble now,” said Major Health Partners’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paula Gustafson. “We have to get across the finish line. We have to get people vaccinated. We still have to follow precautions. We still have a ways to go but we can see the finish line in sight.”

 

Jeff Brown photo

Wearing a mask proved to be a strong deterrent to contracting the novel coronavirus. An added positive effect to mask wearing is the low number of flu diagnoses currently in Shelby County, according to Dr. Paula Gustafson of Major Health Partners.

 

There is no end-all date for COVID-19, especially with virus mutations showing up worldwide.

 

“This virus is tricky,” admitted Gustafson. “Every time it moves person to person it has the opportunity to mutate. And then the mutations can again (put us) back to the drawing board as to what will work against this variant of the virus.

 

“The big race now is can we get enough people vaccinated and squelch this virus to the point we prevent transmission and don’t have to worry about these variants popping up here and there.”

 

Hospitals prepare for unique events like mass casualties and virus outbreaks but a real-life scenario quickly came to light last March which put the county’s only hospital into crisis mode.

 

“We were completely full at times,” said Gustafson. “We were looking for transfers. Other hospitals were looking for transfers. We were trying to find beds for people, trying to make sure we had enough medications on board.”

 

The pandemic put a tremendous amount of stress on hospital staff.

 

“I think one of the hardest things was when you have a lot of intensely ill people, the number of people required to care for them goes up,” said Gustafson. “Just to turn someone in a bed if they are on a ventilator can take up to six people. And having that staff available and everyone having to dress in what looked like hazmat suits to go in the room … it was very labor intensive.”

 

Like many hospitals, finding protective gear (PPE) for the staff was difficult.

 

“We tried to stay by the exact hospital standards and those standards are one N95 mask per (patient) encounter,” she said. “But suddenly N95 masks were as scarce as hen’s teeth. There were not any to be found. So we had to re-use them by putting them in for cleaning.

 

“That was scary because we had no idea how infectious or how deadly this was at the start of the pandemic. My hat goes off to all my colleagues who, even knowing there was a lot of personal risk and knowing that we didn’t exactly have every PPE we would have liked to have, made it through it.”

 

As the pandemic grew, the community rallied around its front line workers. Donations of various types of PPE started arriving at MHP. Local restaurants provided meals for the staff. And a “feel-good” event was organized in the hospital parking lot that brought people out to honk their car horns, wave at the hospital staff and show encouragement.

 

“I think it was welcome and it really did help to know the community was backing them and supporting them, even if it was giving meals or giving them a clap and saying, ‘Hey, thanks for all your work.’ It really did help a lot,” said Gustafson.

 

Jeff Brown photo

The term "social distancing" became standard lexicon in 2020 courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

As of March 19, Shelby County is listed by the Indiana State Department of Health as having 4,683 positive cases of COVID-19 and 93 deaths attributed to the virus.

 

This past year has taken a toll on Shelby County Health Department director Robert Lewis. What started with meeting after meeting led to a full court press of educational messages about hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing.

 

“It has been wearing on all of us,” admitted Lewis.

 

The process of teaching the community that wearing a mask is important and then the follow up work of contact tracing after a person is diagnosed with COVID-19 left many frustrated.

 

“It was a lot of phone calls and education last March and April,” said Lewis. “You can’t get people to wear masks and we are the bad guys for trying to educate people. Then you have spikes (in cases) and we are the bad guys all over again.”

 

Shelby County’s nearly 5,000 positive cases landed in the middle of its surrounding counties.

 

Decatur (2,736) and Rush (1,666) had fewer cases while Hancock (7,574), Bartholomew (7,596) and Johnson (16,737) were higher.

 

The data breakdown for those in Shelby County contracting COVID-19 is fairly balanced. Only 14% of those affected were age 70 or older. Of the six remaining age groups: 0-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, and 60-69, the contraction rate was between 12-15% in each age group.

 

Fifty-four percent of Shelby County’s positive cases were female.

 

The positive cases reported early were low because testing was limited. As testing expanded, Shelby County saw many more positive cases.

 

On Dec. 8, 77 positive cases were reported – the most for a single day in the last 12 months. On Nov. 25, there were 76 cases and three more days had at least 70.

 

Nineteen were reported on Christmas day and 43 more were added to the list on New Year’s Eve.

There were never more than three COVID-related deaths listed on any given day in Shelby County. That happened three times – Oct. 25, Nov. 18 and Jan. 2.

 

“Was it bad? Yes,” said Gustafson. “I do reflect back and say we are very fortunate. It could have been a lot worse.”

 

With more data, the knowledge base increased with regard to how COVID-19 works. And that data will help hospitals should a future situation arise.

 

“I think we have a better handle on how infectious it is,” said Gustafson. “We know how to protect ourselves against it with PPE and hand washing. We know how effective it is that wearing a mask and social distancing drops numbers very quickly.”

 

Major Health Partners opened its facility at Intelliplex Park in January of 2017, leaving its outdated facility near downtown Shelbyville. That move helped the community tremendously in fighting the virus.

 

“I don’t know if we could have social distanced in the other (hospital),” said Gustafson. “It would have been really hard.

 

“We have a vaccine clinic that runs now six days a week. We couldn’t do that in our old facility. There was no room for that. Being able to provide that service to this community is phenomenal. It would have been much more difficult had the pandemic hit five years ago.”

 

The virus has been fought from the national level all the way down to small communities. Local hospitals banded together to keep communication channels open to share information.

 

“We’ve learned you can’t do it in isolation,” said Gustafson. “You need your community. You need to be on board with everybody in the community and with all your neighboring hospitals. You have to have links opened up and you have to be willing to work with each other and share. You can’t hoard.

 

“If you have somebody who has expertise in an area then you lend it to a hospital. We had nurses going different places. The key thing is it’s a big team effort from everybody. You just can’t do it in isolation.”

 

Jeff Brown photo

COVID-19 forced the Strand Theatre in Shelbyville to shut down for much of 2020. While the pandemic is weakening, there are not yet any scheduled events for 2021. 

 

So when will it all be over? There is no date on a calendar where life will be declared normal again.

 

“I think they talk about we won’t be feeling really comfortable until we get herd immunity,” said Gustafson. “That is somewhere around 70% of the population in the United States. The (Centers for Disease Control) is tracking that very closely. That’s what we do with other infectious diseases. We make sure we have herd immunity. I don’t know that date but we are hoping we can get every adult that wants a vaccine vaccinated by May. And that is a possibility.”

MHP hosts vaccine clinic at SHS for teachers, spouses

Many in Shelby County and beyond have gone thru the MHP Medical Center for a coronavirus vaccine.  On Thursday, a one-shot Johnson and Johnson dose was administered at a one-afternoon clinic at another venue.

 

A clinic for Shelby County teachers and eligible spouses was held at the Shelbyville football fieldhouse Thursday.

 

RN, Director of Education, Dawn Millitzer.

 

 

Millitzer says more of the one-shot Johnson and Johnson might mean more pop-up, or drive thru clinics.

 

 

Plus, she notes that the Johnson and Johnson is a better choice for some who are allergic to current other versions available in Shelby County.

 

 

As for the clinic at MHP, Millitzer says it’s quick and easy.  The longest part of the appointment is waiting after you get your vaccine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tax Day for individuals extended to May 17: Treasury, IRS extend filing, payment deadline

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced today that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021.

 

The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

 

"This continues to be a tough time for many people, and the IRS wants to continue to do everything possible to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic, while also working on important tax administration responsibilities," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.

 

"Even with the new deadline, we urge taxpayers to consider filing as soon as possible, especially those who are owed refunds. Filing electronically with direct deposit is the quickest way to get refunds, and it can help some taxpayers more quickly receive any remaining stimulus payments they may be entitled to."

 

Individual taxpayers can also postpone federal income tax payments for the 2020 tax year due on April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This postponement applies to individual taxpayers, including individuals who pay self-employment tax.

 

Penalties, interest and additions to tax will begin to accrue on any remaining unpaid balances as of May 17, 2021. Individual taxpayers will automatically avoid interest and penalties on the taxes paid by May 17.

 

Individual taxpayers do not need to file any forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the May 17 deadline can request a filing extension until Oct. 15 by filing Form 4868 through their tax

professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. Filing Form 4868 gives taxpayers until October 15 to file their 2020 tax return but does not grant an extension of time to pay taxes due. Taxpayers should pay their federal income tax due by May 17, 2021, to avoid interest and penalties.

The IRS urges taxpayers who are due a refund to file as soon as possible. Most tax refunds associated with e-filed returns are issued within 21 days.

 

This relief does not apply to estimated tax payments that are due on April 15, 2021. These payments are still due on April 15. Taxes must be paid as taxpayers earn or receive income during the year, either through withholding or estimated tax payments. In general, estimated tax payments are made quarterly to the IRS by people whose income isn't subject to income tax withholding, including self-employment income, interest, dividends, alimony or rental income. Most taxpayers automatically have their taxes withheld from their paychecks and submitted to the IRS by their employer.

State tax returns

The federal tax filing deadline postponement to May 17, 2021, only applies to individual federal income returns and tax (including tax on self-employment income) payments otherwise due April 15, 2021, not state tax payments or deposits or payments of any other type of federal tax. Taxpayers also will need to file income tax returns in 42 states plus the District of Columbia. State filing and payment deadlines vary and are not always the same as the federal filing deadline. The IRS urges taxpayers to check with their state tax agencies for those details.

Caesars Entertainment invests $32.5 Million for expansion, enhancements at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Strengthening its commitment to Indiana, Caesars Entertainment, Inc. shared plans today for a $32.5 million investment to expand and enhance the current casino gaming floor of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. The expansion is projected to add more than 100 new casino jobs and millions to local and state gaming tax revenues.

 

Indiana Grand, located in Shelbyville, will add approximately 25,000 square feet to the north end of the casino making room for 100 brand-new slot machines and 25 more table games. Inside the new gaming floor and across the property, guests will enjoy significant updates to design and architectural features. 

 

Additionally, the expanded gaming floor will feature the WSOP Poker Room, a live Poker Room named for and carrying the spirit of the legendary World Series of Poker, the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world. The new WSOP Poker Room will include 20 tables and offer a premium experience with ways to qualify for WSOP land-based tournaments including the Main Event in Las Vegas.  

 

Wilhelm Construction of Indianapolis will begin work on April 1, 2021, with renovations set to be completed by the end of 2021. 

 

Preliminary plans include:

  • A 5,000 square foot WSOP Poker Room featuring 20 tables
  • A 20-seat video poker bar with 65” LCD overhead screens
  • New table games, slots and gaming chairs
  • New design elements throughout the gaming floor
  • New surface parking
  • More than 100 new jobs added to the work force
  • Millions in local and state gaming tax revenue

 

“This investment at Indiana Grand is a testament to our continued commitment to Indiana,” said Anthony Carano, President and Chief Operating Officer of Caesars Entertainment. “We are dedicated to enhancing and upgrading our operations at all of our locations, and we’re excited to start on several new phases of renovation and expansion in Shelbyville.”

 

“Since the implementation of table games in early 2020, we have looked forward to expanding our gaming operations,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Indiana Grand. “This growth will allow us to accommodate more guests and add more talented Team Members to the Indiana Grand family, and with the addition of a state-of-the-art Poker Room, we will expand our casino offerings to include some of the most notable programs in the United States, including World Series of Poker.”

 

Additional details on new hospitality, entertainment, and culinary offerings are anticipated in the coming months, subject to City and Indiana Gaming Commission approval. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com/indiana-grand.

 

 

About Caesars Entertainment, Inc.

Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) is the largest casino-entertainment company in the U.S. and one of the world's most diversified casino-entertainment providers. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, in 1937, Caesars Entertainment has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions. Caesars Entertainment's resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah's®, Horseshoe® and Eldorado® brand names. Caesars Entertainment offers diversified amenities and one-of-a-kind destinations, with a focus on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of impeccable service, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars Entertainment is committed to its employees, suppliers, communities and the environment through its PEOPLE PLANET PLAY framework. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com/corporate.

 

About Indiana Grand Racing & Casino
Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR), holds multiple awards for customer service, entertainment, gaming, dining, and diversity. Located in Shelbyville, Ind., Indiana Grand features more than 2,100 of the latest slots and table games in addition to a one-mile dirt racecourse and a seven-eighths mile turf course providing live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year. Simulcast and sports wagering is also offered year-round at Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub located on the casino floor as well as a Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub located in Clarksville, Ind. For more information, please visit www.IndianaGrand.com. Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing at racetracks and 21 or older to gamble at sports books and casinos. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (1-800-994-8448) ©2021 Caesars License Company, LLC.

Gov. Holcomb announces Sullivan as Secretary of State

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced Rep. Holli Sullivan will serve as Indiana’s 62nd Secretary of State.

 

“I’m thrilled Rep. Holli Sullivan has accepted this new leadership role for I know she will serve Hoosiers with the same intellect, integrity and energy she brought to the General Assembly,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Secretary of State Sullivan hits the ground running, building on the remarkable work Hoosiers have come to expect from the office during Connie Lawson’s historic tenure.”

 

Sullivan was sworn in as Secretary of State today by Chief Justice Loretta Rush. She follows Secretary Connie Lawson, who notified Governor Holcomb in February that she would submit a formal resignation once a successor was ready to serve. Lawson is the longest serving Secretary of State in Indiana history.

 

"I want to thank Secretary Connie Lawson for her decades of public service and Governor Holcomb for this opportunity to serve Hoosiers," Sullivan said. "I look forward to building on Indiana's record of free, fair, and secure elections to make sure every eligible voter can vote and every legal vote is counted.”

 

Sullivan has served portions of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties as a state representative since 2014.  Sullivan serves as Budget Subcommittee Chair on the House Ways and Means Committee, where she oversees the creation of the state’s biennial budget. She also serves as vice chair of the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee, is a member of the House Elections and Apportionment Committee and a member of POWER, the House's bipartisan women's caucus. She also serves as the current vice chair of the Indiana Republican Party.

 

During Sullivan's tenure in the Indiana General Assembly, she worked with the Secretary of State’s office to pass legislation funding critical local cybersecurity improvements in time for the 2020 elections. She’s also worked with the office’s auto dealer services division to modernize Indiana Code through legislation.

 

Sullivan began her career in management at General Motors, where she oversaw more than 100 employees in the auto giant’s paint division. Then holding a similar role for Toyota’s Indiana manufacturing operation, she supervised production quality and staffing across the company’s Hoosier plants. From there, Sullivan launched her own consulting firm, Onward Consulting, and began working with the University of Southern Indiana at the school's Center for Applied Research.

 

Sullivan earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and has continued her education in business management at Lindenwood University.

Board of Works addressed traffic flow issues along Mechanic Street

The downtown redevelopment project has put added strain on side roads near the Public Square.

 

Mechanic Street to the north of the downtown area is one of those roadways facing increased traffic flow.

 

On Tuesday at the Board of Public Works and Safety meeting, the board agreed 3-0 to add signage to slow down car speeds and limit parking spaces.

 

The board will post 20 miles per hour speed limit signs on East Mechanic St. from Harrison St. to Vine St. and extend “No Parking” zones at Mechanic St. and Pike St.

 

Additional stop signs could be added along Mechanic St. at a later date, according to the board.

 

The board also issued an order to appear to the owner of Circle K convenience store at 1005 N. Riley Highway. A large amount of debris and trash has gathered at the property.

 

Beth Corley, manager of the Public Utility Office, informed the board her department is moving out of City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., and into the former Bradley Hall building at 17 Public Square, effective April 5.

 

The office will close at City Hall on March 31 and April 1 to facilitate the move.

 

Parking is available on W. Washington St. or in the city’s new parking garage to visit the Public Utility office.

 

The deposit box behind City Hall on Jackson St. for paying bills will not be moved, according to Corley.

Hoosiers age 45 and older now eligible for Covid-19 vaccine

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 45 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 415,640 Hoosiers.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Individuals seeking an earlier appointment are encouraged to look at openings in surrounding counties.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 400 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

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

Columbus woman arrested on numerous theft charges

A year-long investigation has resulted in the arrest of a Columbus woman for theft from an Edinburgh business.

 

Troopers from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post arrested a Bartholomew County woman on numerous theft charges after a year long investigation by the Indiana State Police-Special Investigations Section.

 

The investigation began in January 2020 when officials with Central Marketing Transport-Edinburgh contacted the Indiana State Police when they discovered numerous unauthorized purchases that were made by a CMT employee. 

 

During the investigation, detectives discovered that Jennifer L. Matlock, 42, of Columbus, who worked as a recruiter for the company from 2013 until 2020, had used a company credit card to make numerous unauthorized personal purchases while employed with CMT. 

 

The investigation further determined that Matlock had stolen over $230,000 from the company from 2014 to 2020 as a result of these unauthorized purchases.  Matlock allegedly used the company’s credit card to purchase gift cards from multiple businesses in Bartholomew, Johnson, and Marion Counties over a six-year period.  She then used the gift cards for personal purchases.

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, a Bartholomew County warrant was issued for Jennifer Matlock on four felony counts of theft.  Matlock was arrested Monday morning without incident and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where she was incarcerated.  Additional charges may be forthcoming in this case.

Shelbyville Police respond to injury at apartment; man taken to MHP

Shelbyville Police responded to an apartment in the 100 block of West Broadway to what was initially called in to authorities as a stabbing.

 

No name has been released as of this report but police did confirm that one man was taken from the scene by medics for medical treatment at MHP.

 

The Shelbyville Police Department stated that there is no danger to the public related to this incident. 

 

This does remain as an ongoing investigation.  No other details are being released at this time.

Local business owner vents frustrations with construction project to city council

Maryssa Huntsman voiced her frustration with the Shelbyville Common Council Monday morning about a perceived lack of communication surrounding the downtown redevelopment project.

 

Huntsman, owner of Munchies at 39 Public Square, says her business is struggling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneous construction project in downtown Shelbyville.

 

She detailed at least five occasions where access to the restaurant, both the front door on the Public Square and the rear access door that leads into the bar area, have been blocked.

 

“The frustration and everything we are feeling … communication would have solved that,” she told the common council. “There has been a lot of disconnect.”

 

The massive redevelopment project is altering the traffic pattern through the downtown area and that has caused headaches for all businesses located within and around the Public Square.

 

Huntsman has publicly stated her support of the project but does not believe the city, the project management company (Genesis Property Development) or the construction company (Beaty Construction) have communicated when there will be issues affecting the restaurant, now just over one year old.

 

“I can’t get excuses on letterhead and pay my light bills,” said Huntsman. “I have huge business losses at no fault of my own.”

 

Power was cut in October to the quadrant of the square that houses both Munchies and Cadillac Jack’s. Huntsman shared the disappointment of not having  Christmas decorations visible in her quadrant while the other three quadrants were well lit. She believes it gave the look that the restaurant was closed.

 

“It was dark,” said Huntsman, who feels that has added to the business frustrations.

 

Mayor Tom DeBaun said work is close to completion in front of Munchies and discussed with the council setting up a meeting with officials from Genesis and Beaty to improve communication and not limit business production.

 

“We are trying to work with (the project) but feel like we are getting a lot of resistance,” said Huntsman.

Proposed apartment complex facing resistance from local residents

A petition to expand Martinique Village Apartments is facing resistance from local residents concerned about the density of the project, added traffic to the area and drainage issues.

 

Christian Investments, LLC, owner of Martinique Village Apartments and the adjacent vacant land to the south of the complex located at 1451 W. McKay Road, is seeking to build more apartments.

 

Jeff Brown photo

Christian Investments, LLC, is proposing a new apartment complex to sit directly south of Martinique Village Apartments but neighboring residents are opposing the project citing traffic and drainage concerns.

 

Prince Alexander Architecture, LLC, created a site plan that included 96 new apartment units. The project was discussed March 9 at the Shelbyville Board of Zoning Appeals meeting.

 

The board was concerned about the number of overall units for the parcel of land and made a recommendation that the unit total be limited to 50.

 

“That almost cut the project in half,” said Chad Christian, owner of Christian Investments. “Initially, I was not very happy with regard to that.”

 

Whether the project is still financially feasible is yet to be determined, according to Christian, who is allowing the architectural group to handle the project which still needs to have the land rezoned from two-family residential to multiple family residential.

 

That petition will be heard at the city’s next Plan Commission meeting on March 22 at City Hall at 7 p.m. The petition is online at the Plan Commission website as are several letters of concern from area residents.

 

Currently, the property has one access point to W. McKay Road, a heavily-traveled thoroughfare that gets congested when both Shelbyville Middle School and Shelbyville High School have families and students arriving and departing the schools.

 

With a housing development in the same area expanding and a convenience store/gas station in development at the corner of W. McKay Road and Miller Avenue, Christian believes it is time for the city to address the traffic issue with wider roads.

 

“I think the city should play a large part in this,” he said. “I feel they should consider widening those roads. Wider roads would solve that (traffic congestion) problem.”

 

The project plan is to add apartments to the area that fit in economically with other residences in the area.

 

“It’s been a little misleading, but we are building good buildings,” said Christian. “This is not low income housing. These are market value apartments. I am not trying to develop low income housing.”

 

Christian Investments purchased the Martinique apartments approximately a year ago and started upgrading the facility.

 

Both buildings have new roofs while new porches and steps have been added with more upgrades in the planning, according to Christian.

 

“Slowly but surely we are making progress there,” said Christian.

MHP Incident Command updates; MHP Medical Center visitation changes

VA Vaccine Clinic for veterans:

 

  • VA patients may schedule for their vaccine by calling 317-554-0000.  Listen for the COVID-19 vaccine scheduling prompt.
  • The Shelbyville office is administering the Johnson and Johnson vaccine on Thursday's from 9:00 am-2:00 pm.
  • The Indianapolis main VA campus is administering the Moderna vaccine, for any patients who wish to receive it instead of J & J.
  • Currently the Shelbyville office is scheduling for the week of April 8.

 

MHP Medical Center visitation hour changes

 

Effective: Wednesday, March 17

 

Inpatient/Emergency Department/ACC:  2 designated visitors permitted for any non COVID patient.  No restrictions on hours. 

 

COVID Positive patients who are end of life:  This will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but visitors may be limited to spouses and adult children preferably. 

 

COVID positive or presumed COVID - positive or aerosolization patients:  No visitors allowed.

 

Maternity Care and Surgical Services:  no change from current visitation restrictions. 

Indiana teachers can now get Covid vaccine at any state site

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Indiana educators up to grade 12 and other school support staff can now sign up for a free COVID-19 vaccine at any Indiana vaccination clinic.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eligible individuals include teachers and staff in pre-K through high school, childcare centers, Head Start and Early Start programs, along with licensed childcare providers, including center-based and family care providers. Classroom aides, bus drivers, janitors, counselors, administration staff, cafeteria workers and substitute teachers also are eligible.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

 

Appointment availability varies by site, so individuals seeking an earlier appointment may need to look at openings in nearby counties. If an individual already has an appointment scheduled but finds an earlier appointment, please call 211 to reschedule.

 

Vaccines also are available at Kroger and Meijer stores, but those must be scheduled through the retailers’ websites.

 

In addition to teachers, Hoosiers age 50 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to render medical assistance, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Hoosiers with specific conditions, such as sickle cell disease or cancer, that put them at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 also are eligible and will receive a unique link to schedule a vaccine once their healthcare provider submits their information to the Indiana Department of Health. To find a complete list of those who are currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

 

Eligibility will be expanded as more vaccine becomes available.

Veteran Health Indiana to begin vaccination clinics at Shelbyville

Veteran Health Indiana will begin COVID-19 vaccination with the single-dose Janssen vaccine the week of March 15, at Bloomington, Indy West, Martinsville, Shelbyville, Terre Haute, Wakeman, and West Lafayette VA Clinics.

 

Veterans age 18 and older who are enrolled in VA health care can call 317-988-4899, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to schedule a vaccine appointment at their local community VA clinic or at the Indianapolis VA Medical Center. Walk-in appointments are not currently available. Only the Janssen vaccine will be offered at the clinics.

 

“After many months, we are thrilled the Janssen vaccine is now available to offer at our community VA clinics,” said Director Laura Ruzick. “Because the vaccine only requires normal refrigeration, this facilitates distribution in the more rural areas of Indiana.” 

  

In clinical trials in the United States, the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 72% efficacy in preventing confirmed moderate to severe COVID-19 cases and 85% efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19 disease 28 days after it was administered.

 

To enroll in VA health care, new patients should contact the Indianapolis VA Medical Center’s Health Benefits Unit at 317-988-4310 or enroll on-line at https://www.va.gov/health-care/.

  

Visit VA’s website link at www.va.gov/health/ or www.indianapolis.va.gov for COVID-19 and VA health care resources.

Mark Nigh resigns Shelby Eastern Schools board position

Mark Nigh told the story Wednesday night of his family’s history of serving in education in Van Buren Township in northern Shelby County.

 

Nigh’s great-great-grandfather was elected Trustee of Van Buren Township after he returned from fighting in the Civil War. The trustee was considered the same as today’s superintendent, according to Nigh.

 

Nigh continued with similar stories of his great-grandfather, his grandfather, and his father – all who served in educational advisory capacities. The call to serve is strong in the Nigh family.

 

On Wednesday at the Shelby Eastern Schools board meeting, Nigh submitted his letter of resignation, or as he called it his “letter of retirement.”

 

“I have served on probably 10 boards in my lifetime but the school corporation … the school board has been the most challenging and, I think, the most worthwhile,” said Nigh.

 

Serving 12-plus years as a board member, Nigh believes the time is right to move on now that a suitable replacement, with Nigh family ties, is ready to serve.

 

Andrew Hawk, Nigh’s son-in-law, was sworn in Wednesday at the monthly school board meeting and will fill Nigh’s seat at the April meeting.

 

“This is an opportunity having not grown up in this community to be more a part of it … to be more involved,” said Hawk. “I am the only person in the family that has not gone to Morristown (schools).

“This is my opportunity to be a part of the school system, serve and make sure not only my kids but the kids at Waldron have the opportunity to succeed.”

 

Jeff Brown photos

Andrew Hawk (right) reads his oath to serve on the Shelby Eastern Schools board Wednesday night as Superintendent Dr. Todd Hitchcock (left) watches on. Hawk is filling the seat vacated by his father-in-law, Mark Nigh (top photo), who is retiring from service.

 

Hawk and his wife, Carmen (Nigh), have three children who will be in all three Morristown schools (elementary, junior high, and high school) in the fall.

 

Nigh intended to retire after 12 years of service but there was no opponent in the most recent election so he agreed to stay on and represent Van Buren Township.

 

“On all the other boards I’ve served on, some had term limits. Twelve years is enough. I believe in term limits,” said Hawk. “And I’m at the point I am having trouble keeping up with the technology. It’s time to let the next generation come up with new ideas and make things happen.”

 

Nigh has been a bus driver with the school system for 45 years and he has a goal to reach 50 years. While he will not serve on the board, he will still be available to provide knowledge of school history and past board decisions when needed.

 

“I have appreciated getting to know Mark not only in his role as bus driver but on two different boards I serve with Mark on,” said Superintendent Dr. Todd Hitchcock at the board meeting. “He deeply cares about the community he serves and I greatly appreciate that.”

PK USA workers in Shelbyville eligible for Trade Adjustment benefits

On March 4, 2021, PK USA in Shelbyville became eligible to apply for benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.

 

TAA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and assists workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade.

 

Any worker laid off from PK USA, a manufacturer of automotive parts, on or after July 24, 2019, or any worker scheduled to be laid off before March 4, 2023, may be eligible to apply for TAA benefits.

TAA services and benefits include:

 

  • Training—pays 100% of all required training costs
  • Income support—up to 130 weeks of income-support payments
  • Job-search and relocation allowances—reimbursement of 90% of allowable costs to travel to a job-search activity or relocation for new employment
  • Wage subsidy—for workers age 50 and older up to $10,000
  • Health care tax credit—IRS tax credit of 72.5% of qualifying monthly health care premiums

For more information about the TAA program, please visit https://www.in.gov/dwd/taa/, call 317-385-1965 or email TradeActPetitions@dwd.IN.gov.

Area legislators honor Shelby County farm

Area legislators recently announced the latest local recipient of the Hoosier Homestead Award, which recognizes farms that have been owned and maintained by the same family for 100 years or more.

 

Represented by State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) and State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville), the Shelton farm in Shelby County received a Sesquicentennial Award from the Indiana State Department of Agriculture last week.

 

“It is family farms like this that make Indiana a strong competitor in the agricultural circuit," Crider said. "I commend the Shelton farm for their historic accomplishments and for all they do to better Indiana and our local communities.”

 

"Maintaining a family farm through generations helps preserve our state's rich agricultural history," Eberhart said. "I congratulate the Shelton farm for the many years they have dedicated to agriculture and look forward to seeing their continued success."

 

The Hoosier Homestead Award Program honors families that have made significant contributions to Indiana agriculture. The program, instituted in 1976, recognizes the impact these family farms have made on the economic, cultural and social advancements of Indiana. In the past 45 years, more than 5,800 farms have received the honor.

 

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for at least 100 consecutive years and consist of more than 20 acres or produce more than $1,000 of agricultural products per year. The award distinctions are Centennial, Sesquicentennial and Bicentennial – for 100, 150 and 200 years respectively. 

Nineveh man dies in police-involved shooting after leading pursuit and firing at police

The suspect in a multi-agency pursuit was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon after fleeing and firing on officers during the pursuit.  

 

Around 11:40 am Wednesday, Brown County authorities contacted neighboring agencies and requested officers be on the lookout for Martin Louis Douglas Jr., 30, of Nineveh. Authorities advised Douglas was despondent and may be armed. Douglas was reportedly driving his Ford pickup truck eastbound towards Bartholomew County and possibly intended to harm one or more acquaintances.  

 

An officer with the Columbus Police Department soon spotted Douglas’s truck Bartholomew County and attempted to stop the vehicle; however, Douglas refused to stop and fled from the officer. Other officers soon joined in the pursuit, including troopers from the Indiana State Police Versailles Post and the Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department. The pursuit continued on area roads in southwest Bartholomew County and northern Jackson County, where Jackson County deputies also joined in the pursuit. 

 

Douglas was reported to be driving erratically and at high speeds and had successfully avoided tire deflation devices. The pursuit continued south of Columbus, where the truck eventually struck a tire deflation device. Douglas then stopped in the roadway and fired approximately fifteen rounds from an AR-15 style rifle at pursuing officers.  Officers then returned fire. Investigators believe at least three police vehicles were struck by rounds from Douglas's weapon in the altercation, including two Columbus Police Department vehicles and an Indiana State Police SUV. Douglas then continued driving north and entered a cornfield, stopping his truck several hundred feet off the roadway. 

 

Officers surrounded the truck, and the Columbus Police Department SWAT team arrived a short time later. The South Zone Indiana State Police (ISP) SWAT team also responded to the scene as officers attempted to negotiate with Douglas.  

 

Around 5:30 pm Wednesday, and after an approximately five-hour standoff, Douglas exited his vehicle and picked up a second AR-15 style rifle from a box in the rear of his truck. ISP SWAT team members then fired and struck Douglas.  Douglas was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner's office, and ISP Sellersburg Post detectives and crime scene technicians were called to investigate.  

 

No officers were injured in the incident.

Parks department asks for help keeping parks "trash free"

The upswing in temperatures this week signals spring is nearing.

 

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department wants to remind all that enjoy the city parks help keep them clean.

 

Shelbyville parks have been “trash free” since 2014 in part to its residents cleaning up after a visit.

With a “you bring it in, you take it out” mentality, Shelbyville’s parks will continue to be a clean environment to enjoy.

 

The parks department continues to accept applications for summer staff including softball concession workers, recreational softball league umpires, aquatic center employees, day camp counselors and parks maintenance.

 

Job applications are due by March 17.

 

 

The parks department will not host its annual Easter Egg Hunt this month because of lingering COVID-19 restrictions. There is still an opportunity to see the Easter Bunny, according to the parks department.

 

On March 27 at Kennedy Park in Shelbyville, the parks department will host an Easter Bunny Drive-By event from noon to 2 p.m. that will allow children to see the Easter Bunny.

 

Each child present will receive a goodie bag from the Easter Bunny.

 

The parks department will host Daddy-Daughter Night on April 11 and Mother-Son Night on April 18 with a “Game Night” theme. Each event runs from 6 to 8 p.m.

 

Pre-registration ($25 per couple, $8 per additional child) is required.

 

Shelby County Girls Softball leagues are accepting registrations through April 30.

Leagues are available for 6-and-under, 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U.

 

Registration cost is $35 per child for 6U and $75 per child for ages 7-14.

 

Spring registration continues until April 9 for adult summer softball leagues. There are men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues available.

 

Shelbyville Parks Department’s preschool registration is open for the 2021-2022 school year.

Classes are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:50 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for children ages 3-4 and Monday through Friday from 8:20 a.m. to 11 a.m. for ages 4-5.

 

Go to www.shelbyparks.com for more information or call 317-392-5128.

Law enforcement's hi-risk traffic stop in Shelby Co. catches suspects in Greensburg armed robbery

A string of armed robberies at AT&T and Verizon stores may get connected following four arrests Monday night.

 

A hi-risk traffic stop by Shelbyville and Shelby County law enforcement followed a reported armed robbery at the Verizon store in Greensburg.  Greensburg Police Chief Brendan Bridges says law enforcement up I-74 heard the dispatch of the armed robbery and that prompted the eventual traffic stop and arrests.

 

Alexander Umphrey, 24, of Indianapolis, was taken to the Decatur County Jail.  Three teens, ages 17, 16 and 16 were taken to the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center.  They are charged with robbery (Level 3), theft (Level 6), intimidation, possession of a firearm without a license, and interfering with reporting a crime.

 

Three males with firearms were reported inside of the Greensburg Verizon store during the robbery.  They forced the employees into a restroom.  No one was injured in the incident.

 

Chief Bridges says search warrants are being served today as the investigation continues.  He says it’s possible the suspects can be tied to other such armed robberies that have happened in Shelbyville and other communities.

 

 

Triton Central Elementary School principal submits resignation to pursue business opportunity

With an intriguing business opportunity at hand, Triton Central Elementary School principal James Hough submitted his resignation letter to superintendent Chris Hoke.

 

That resignation was accepted Monday night by the Northwestern Consolidated Schools board.

 

“It was a hard decision. One I prayed about with my family but a door opened up in January and I thought, ‘Let’s try something different,’” said Hough Tuesday morning.

 

Hough is joining his sister, Edie Horan, to form a new real estate company based out of New Palestine and Greenfield.

 

“My dad and my brother worked together for 60 years and we envied the relationship they had,” said Hough. “We want that great partnership.”

 

To have that, though, Hough must walk away from 28 years devoted to educating youth.

 

“In all the places I’ve had the pleasure to serve, he is the best elementary principal I’ve served with,” said Hoke. “He has a genuine love for the kids that shows in everything he does.”

 

By announcing his resignation now, he will continue to serve as principal through June 30, the school system will have ample opportunity to find his replacement.

 

Hoke expects to make a recommendation to the school board by early May.

 

“I am optimistic we will find a good candidate but he or she will have big shoes to fill,” said Hoke.

 

Now that the announcement is official, it finally feels “real” to Hough who had no problem controlling his emotions at the school board meeting Monday. He did admit Tuesday it was very difficult writing his resignation letter.

 

“The hard part will be missing those relationships I’ve had over the past eight years,” he said. “These kids are like my own kids and I will struggle with that the most.”

 

Hough and his wife, Tobi, have eight children that have attended Triton Central schools. That will not change, according to Hough, who will still be present at sporting and school events when his children participate.

 

“Triton Central is the best school corporation I’ve worked in … and I’ve worked in five,” said Hough. “I wanted to give them time to look for somebody.”

 

While Hoke labeled it “sad” that Hough was leaving education, he understood the decision.

“He is a teammate and an employee but more than anything he is a friend,” said Hoke. “It’s sad for us but I am happy for him. He wants this next opportunity.”

Building of a new Shelby County bridge aided by impressive delivery of 125-foot concrete beams

The construction of a new bridge in Shelby County is a feat of impressive driving.

 

An old bridge on CR 500 North between 700E and 775 E is being replaced by a new structure. 

 

County Commissioner Chris Ross says the delivery of the 125-foot long concrete beams to the bridge site was something to see.

 

 

From that point, it was a just a few hours before the beams were in place.

 

 

Ross says the new structure will give area drivers safer, wider and more convenient travel across Little Blue River on the Shelby – Rush county line.

 

 

 

 

Shelbyville Police report uptick in cars passing stopped school buses

Drivers ignoring school bus passing laws and driving through the stop arms. The Shelbyville Police Department says they have realized an increase.

 

Lt. Mike Turner talks about one particular location.

 

 

Turner says a social media message didn’t end the situation.

 

 

He says they are now stepping up information at the site and patrols of the area.

 

 

Turner says cameras continue to be a discussion for buses. 


 

A measure in the state legislature would allow police to send a citation to the registered owner of a vehicle who illegally passes a stopped school bus without an officer directly witnessing the violation.

 

Current law requires a law enforcement officer to identify the driver of the vehicle and recommend that person be charged.  The measure would allow for stop-arm cameras to spot the violations.

Parks department extends lifeguard, camp counselor application deadline

Trisha Tackett knew the impact the decision would have on the community.

 

There was just too much COVID-19 data suggesting keeping the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center closed in 2020 was the right thing to do.

 

“That was one of the hardest decisions in my 26 years here,” said Tackett, assistant director of the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department. “There were so many tears. I knew how hard it would be for the community … for the employees that have been with me so long. I felt bad for our board (of directors).”

 

Tackett has no plans to feel that way in 2021. The parks department is currently taking applications for lifeguards for the aquatic center and camp counselors for its popular summer day camp program.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “Things are looking a lot different than last year.”

 

Deadline to fill out an application for lifeguard and day camp counselor has been extended to March 17. Tackett knows the pandemic cost the parks department quality employees who had to find other options of work but she believes filling staff needs will go smoothly.

 

“I know this will be a rebuilding year for us,” said Tackett. “I know several kids that worked for us had to move on.”

 

Lifeguard applicants must be at least 15 years old and completed lifeguard certification. The American Red Cross (redcross.org) offers lifeguard training courses, according to Tackett.

 

“I think it’s a great job for kids. It helps them learn responsibility, it gets them a paycheck and teaches them how to budget money,” said Tackett.

 

The Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center in Shelbyville is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend.

 

The parks department also is looking for swim instructors. If you are interested in applying, contact Tackett at the parks department at 317-392-5128 or ttackett@cityofshelbyvillein.com.

 

 

The parks department’s Day Camp program runs from June 1 through July 30. After a one-year hiatus, the program returns but with COVID-19 safety protocols in place.

 

“This is another program we are excited to have back,” said Tackett. “I know the impact we make in the community on these kids.”

 

The camp is a weekly option for parents. New this year, though, is a limit on campers per week.

 

“We have not done that in years,” she said. “That will take parents by surprise.”

 

Normally, camp is unlimited. With COVID-19 still present, the camp will be limited to 80-85 per week.

 

“We still have to take these extra safety precautions,” said Tackett.

Former Franklin College president to be tried in Wisconsin

The former president of Franklin College will stand trial in Wisconsin for child sex crimes.

 

Thomas Minar, 57, faces 12 counts of possession of child pornography, using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and exposing a child to harmful narrations.

 

Franklin College fired Minar shortly after the arrest.

 

If a jury finds Minar guilty, he could receive a maximum of more than 68 years in prison.

 

Meijer looking for teachers to vaccinate

Meijer is partnering with the Indiana State Teachers Association on plans for a series of COVID-19 vaccine clinics at Indiana stores this week.

 

Meijer says it will hold a dozen clinics and give 10,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine to pre-registered teachers and school staff in grades pre-K to 12 by the end of the week.

 

Teachers and staff will be asked to verify their school affiliation and have proper ID when pre-registering through Meijer’s vaccine registration process. Teachers can also register by texting "ISTA" to 75049.

 

Over the last few weeks, Meijer has given more than 25,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses at stores in Indiana.

Shelton and Kehl farms receive Hoosier Homestead honors

 Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch and Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director Bruce Kettler presented 51 Hoosier Homestead Awards to families at the Indiana State Museum in recognition of their commitment to Indiana agriculture.

 

To be named a Hoosier Homestead, farms must be owned by the same family for more than 100 consecutive years, and consist of 20 acres or more, or produce more than $1,000 in agricultural products per year.

 

“For generations, each of the families honored today have been committed to Indiana, to agriculture and to their families,” Crouch said. “The past year has been challenging in many ways but our agriculture industry remains strong. Hoosier farmers are a big reason why Indiana remains the 10th largest farming state. I was grateful to have the opportunity to present this award to these historic farming families.” 

 

Families are eligible for three different distinctions of the Hoosier Homestead Award, based on the age of the farm. They can receive the Centennial Award for 100 years, Sesquicentennial Award for 150 years or Bicentennial Award for 200 years of ownership. 

 

Since the program's inception in 1976, more than 5,800 families have received the award.

Two families were recognized with the Bicentennial Award during the ceremony; the Weinantz farm from Bartholomew County was established in 1820 and the Hall farm from Orange County was established in 1818.

 

“The Hoosier Homestead program is a testament to the resiliency of our Indiana agriculture industry,” Kettler said. “Each of these families have played a significant role in the heritage of our state and I am certain their legacy will continue for years to come.”

 

Rush

Kehl

1845

Sesquicentennial

       

Shelby

Shelton

1864

Sesquicentennial

 

 

Mitsubishi workers in Franklin eligible for Trade Adjustment benefits

Mitsubishi Climate Control in Franklin became eligible to apply for benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.

 

TAA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and assists workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade.

 

Any worker laid off from Mitsubishi Climate Control, a manufacturer of automotive parts, on or after Aug. 5, 2018, or any worker scheduled to be laid off before Feb. 24, 2023, may be eligible to apply for TAA benefits.

 

TAA services and benefits include:

 

  • Training—pays 100% of all required training costs
  • Income support—up to 130 weeks of income-support payments
  • Job-search and relocation allowances—reimbursement of 90% of allowable costs to travel to a job-search activity or relocation for new employment
  • Wage subsidy—for workers age 50 and older up to $10,000
  • Health care tax credit—IRS tax credit of 72.5% of qualifying monthly health care premiums

For more information about the TAA program, please visit https://www.in.gov/dwd/taa/, call 317-385-1965 or email TradeActPetitions@dwd.IN.gov.

Over 2000 vaccinated in eight hours at IMS mass clinic

The Indiana Department of Health announced  that 2,589 Hoosiers received a free COVID-19 vaccine during the first eight hours of the state’s inaugural mass vaccination clinic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

 

A total of 4,200 people scheduled appointments to receive vaccines at the speedway on Friday. Appointments continue until 10 p.m. Friday. The clinic runs through Monday, and all appointments are booked.

 

The mass vaccination clinic is the first offered by the Indiana Department of Health. Additional clinics are scheduled March 12-24 at Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg, March 20-21 in Gary and March 26-27 at the University of Notre Dame.

 

Nearly 400 vaccination sites are available around the state. Hoosiers age 50 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to render medical assistance, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

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

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

 

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

 

Photo provided

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Registration ongoing for Future Tiger Athletics baseball leagues

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

2021 SCUFFY Drive is underway with Wednesday's virtual kickoff

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

 

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

 

Builders Lumber & Hardware - $8, 947.60

 

CoreVision - $3, 420.00

 

Coulston Elementary - $1, 535.00

 

First Financial Bank - $3, 080.00

 

Major Health Partners - $50, 652.13

 

McNeely Law - $20, 006.63

 

Runnebohm Construction - $24, 758.24

 

Ryobi - $41, 000.00

 

Shelby County Co-Op - $1500.00

 

Stephenson Rife - $11, 501.60

 

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

 

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Jeff Brown photos

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Councilman questions assisting Duke Energy with new training facility

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Free FAFSA aid this Sunday

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

SCUFFY 2021 drive to kickoff Wednesday

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

But outside of that, it’s drive time.

 

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The clinic schedules are as follows:


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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Shelby County Drug Free Coalition staging virtual learning series

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

The meeting runs from 10 to 11 a.m.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Missing Super Bowl ring could be in Greensburg

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

ACLU files suit against Knightstown related to police department Facebook posts

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Former Bartholomew Co. Sheriff Hill passes away after illness

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

 

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

 

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

 

Arrangements are pending at Jewell Rittman Funeral Home, Columbus.

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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