Local News

Steven Ray Hessler to be sentenced Friday for 1980's rapes, home invasions

A Greensburg man convicted of 19 Class A Felony counts in relation to several brutal home invasion attacks in Shelby County is scheduled for sentencing Friday.


Steven Ray Hessler was convicted after an 8-day jury trial of two counts of rape, six counts of unlawful deviate conduct, seven counts of burglary resulting in bodily injury, three counts of criminal deviate conduct, and one count of robbery – each as a Class A felony. 


The charges stem from a series of home-invasion sexual assaults from 1982-1985.


In all, Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen is asking for 420 years in prison.

City proclaims April Second Chance and Reentry Month

The City of Shelbyville’s Department of Behavioral Health & Justice Equity has announced plans for Second Chance and Reentry Month activities in April.

Nationally, April is recognized as the month to highlight efforts and activities for residents who are reentering the community from justice involvement and incarceration, and those who are celebrating recovery from drugs, alcohol, or behavioral addictions.

On Tuesday at the city’s Board of Works and Public Safety, Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun read a proclamation announcing the inaugural Second Chance and Reentry Month in Shelbyville.

“We are committed to second chances from the earliest stages of the justice system, including diverting individuals from arrest and incarceration into treatment and programming, and providing job training and educational opportunities regardless of past criminal involvement or substance abuse,” stated DeBaun.

Behavioral Health & Justice Equity Director Michael Daniels will coordinate community activities to raise awareness and involve the community in changing hearts, minds and lives.

  • For the entire month of April, Behavioral Health & Justice Equity (BHJE) is partnering with the Shelby County Public Library, 57 W. Broadway St., which will have a special display section of books focusing on issues of criminal justice, incarceration, and recovery including compelling first-person narratives of people who have been caught up “in the life,” and have found their way out to success, stability, and sobriety.
  • On April 11 from 5 to 6 p.m., there will be an opening reception at City Hall, 44 W. Washington St., for an art installation titled “Judge Softly.” The installation will consist of two-and-a-half dozen pairs of shoes, decorated by women incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail, depicting their journeys through incarceration and addiction and their future walks through freedom and sobriety. BHJE is partnering with the Shelby Art Guild Association to produce this exhibit, which will remain on display through April 30.
  • On April 21 from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., BHJE will partner with Three Sisters Books & Gifts, 7 Public Square, to present a lunchtime discussion regarding fair chance licensing policy, and the challenges that licensed individuals (barbers, beauticians, healthcare workers, real estate professionals, and others) face when dealing with license suspension, revocation, or reinstatement refusal due to a criminal conviction.
  • On April 28 from 1 to 4 p.m., BHJE will partner with WorkOne Central Indiana and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce to host a Second Chance/Fair Chance Job Fair at the Chase Bank building, 49 Public Square. More than a dozen employers from across Shelby County will attend, ready to interview and hire individuals who may have prior criminal histories or who are in recovery from addictions.

All events are free and open to the public. Residents are encouraged to attend and experience a changed view of what it means to have a criminal or addiction history, and what the future can be with the elimination of stigma and bias.

For more information on these events, or on reentry or recovery efforts in Shelbyville, contact Daniels at 317-398-6624, extension 300 or mdaniels@cityofshelbyvillein.com.

Indiana extends FAFSA filing deadline, encourages students to file ASAP

The original filing due date for the 2022-2023 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) was set for April 15, 2022. However, that is a national holiday and the offices will be closed. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education has extended the filing deadline to April 18, 2022.


Despite the extended deadline, students are encouraged to file at FAFSA.gov as soon as possible to ensure maximum financial aid consideration. As financial aid funding will only be available on a first-come, first-served basis following the April 18 extension.


State financial aid programs such as the 21st Century Scholarship and the Workforce Ready Grant require students to have a current FAFSA on file in order to maintain their scholarship and grant funding and the FAFSA is required for most financial aid programs.


The number of Hoosiers filing a FAFSA has steadily declined over the past several years. The overall FAFSA filing rate as of March 18 is down 15.2 percent from the same date in 2021. For the state’s high school class of 2022, the number of FAFSA filings is down nearly 3 percent. Each year, Hoosiers who don’t file the FAFSA miss out on millions in federal financial aid, including $65 million for the class of 2021.


“Filing the FAFSA remains the number one way for students to take advantage of the available federal, state and even some merit-based scholarships,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “The Commission and our college and community partners will be available in the weeks leading up to the April 18 deadline, helping students and families file the FAFSA and access financial aid.”


The Indiana Commission for Higher Education and INvestEd have partnered up to host two Facebook Live events to inform Hoosier families learn about the FAFSA and have a chance to ask questions. Families can log on to Learn More Indiana Facebook (facebook.com/LearnMoreIN)  on Saturday April 2, 2022 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM and Wednesday, April 13, 2022 from 6:30 PM to 7:30 pm


The Commission  will be hosting additional FAFSA events around the state. A calendar of events is available at www.learnmoreindiana.org.

Shelby County Development Corporation awarded Duke Energy grant

Duke Energy is awarding nearly $120,000 in strategic grants to 26 economic development groups to spur new jobs and investment across Indiana.

Shelby County Economic Development Corporation was the beneficiary of a $5,000 grant.

“Duke Energy is working hand in hand with our local and regional economic development partners to accelerate growth and job creation in the communities we serve,” said Eric Schneider, director of economic development for Duke Energy Indiana. “We’re proud to support these organizations, each of which plays a critical role in marketing Indiana’s communities to attract businesses and enhance the quality of life for our customers.”

The funding is through Duke Energy’s Partnership Program, which supports organizations that increase awareness of a community or region’s economic development strategies and product availability. This may include tours and special events to promote business sites and communities; marketing campaigns and promotional materials; and website development and updates.

“Shelby County’s highly skilled workforce, affordable utilities and central location make it a really attractive area for large manufacturing operations,” said Brian Asher, executive director of the Shelby County Development Corporation. “Duke Energy’s support will help fund an advertisement in The Japan Times that coincides with our travel to the country this fall to attract additional jobs and investment to our community as we visit the headquarters of several Japanese companies with facilities in Shelbyville.”

Since the program was established in 2017, Duke Energy has contributed nearly $600,000 in grant funding to organizations that are helping create vibrant economies in Indiana.

To qualify for program consideration, each applicant submitted a plan that would have a direct impact on their community’s economic growth. These awards help local and regional economic development organizations fund marketing and strategic efforts in the communities they serve. Amounts varied depending on the size and scope of the project.

This year, grants were awarded to the following organizations;

  • Accelerate West Central Indiana Economic Development -- $5,000
  • Carroll County Economic Development Corporation -- $5,000
  • Cass County Economic Development -- $4,200
  • City of Batesville -- $5,000
  • City of Madison Economic Development -- $5,000
  • East Central Indiana Regional Partnership -- $5,000
  • Gibson County Economic Development Corporation -- $5,000
  • Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance -- $5,000
  • Greater Lafayette Economic Alliance -- $5,000
  • Greater Lafayette Commerce -- $5,000
  • Greencastle/Putnam County Development Center -- $5,000
  • Grow Wabash County -- $5,000
  • Hancock Economic Development Council -- $2,500
  • Indy Partnership -- $5,000
  • Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation -- $5,000
  • Knox County Indiana Economic Development -- $5,000
  • Lawrence County Economic Growth Council -- $,5000
  • Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership -- $5,000
  • One Dearborn -- $5,000
  • Owen County Chamber & Economic Development Corporation -- $1,745
  • Pike County Economic Development Corporation -- $5,000
  • Shelby County Development Corporation -- $5,000
  • Southwest Indiana Development Council -- $5,000
  • Terre Haute Regional Airport -- $5,000
  • Vermillion County Economic Development Council -- $1,200
  • Vermillion Rise Mega Park -- $5,000

Second COVID-19 vaccine booster available to Hoosiers at higher risk of severe outcomes

Hoosiers age 12 and older who have weakened immune systems and individuals age 50 and older who received a booster dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least four months ago are eligible for a second booster following authorization Tuesday from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) is advising vaccine providers that they can begin administering second boosters of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to individuals who qualify to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. In addition, the CDC says that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.


Booster doses have been shown to increase protection from hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 and the Omicron variant of the virus.

Pyatt Builders gets concept plan approval to expand Twelve Oaks subdivision

The second phase of the Twelve Oaks subdivision on the city’s southwest side will include larger lots and less overall homes.

Pyatt Builders had its concept plan approved Monday night at City Hall by the Plan Commission.

Twelve Oaks was originally approved to have 296 homes. The first phase of the project includes less than 100 and phase two never came to fruition.

Pyatt Builders is proposing to build 148 homes in phase two – a reduction of nearly 25% from the original concept.

Phase one has property sizes ranging from 4,500 to 7,000 square feet. In phase two, the lot sizes will start at 6,000 square feet and average over 7,000 square feet.

The approval moves the timeline forward with city common council approval still to come. Land preparation could start as soon as late summer or early fall of this year.

House construction would follow in the spring of 2023.

In other Plan Commission business, the board approved a resolution to create a new TIF (tax increment finance) district near the Porter Center.

City attorney Jennifer Meltzer explained that by removing the land adjacent and behind the Porter Center, which currently has a mixed-use development project in place, it will ease the clerk-treasurer’s office and the attorney’s office when reporting is required for payment on developer-backed bonds for the specific project.

The land would be removed from the city’s current Riverfront TIF district.



The Plan Commission also was presented with an updated look on the proposed mixed-use development project that will include the former Coca-Cola bottling plant (photo), 405 N. Harrison St., located next to the Porter Center.

Birge & Held took ownership of the Coca-Cola building Monday afternoon and is negotiating with the city to purchase land behind the Porter Center that will be included in the project.

The front portion of the Coca-Cola building, created in 1936, will be modernized and then used for commercial development such as a restaurant or brewery.

The back half of the building will be amenity space for small business opportunities and lead to a four-story apartment complex with 168 total units.

The proposal states there will be 36 studio apartments, 96 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units. The range is price is $705 per month for studio apartments to $1,075 per month for the three-bedroom units.

Parking for the units will be located underneath the H-shaped apartment structure which will be connected to the Coca-Cola building.

The $34 million project is slated for building permit approvals in August which could lead to immediate work on the site.

The goal is to complete construction in May 2024 with leasing to immediately start.

Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership increasing efforts for bus, student safety

The Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership which is comprised of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Shelbyville Police Department will be out in full force this spring to ensure that students remain safe when traveling to and from school. Over the next couple of weeks, officers will be positioned along bus routes and in school zones where they will be on high alert for stop-arm violations, speeding and other forms of reckless driving.


The overtime patrols are part of the state’s Stop Arm Violation Enforcement (SAVE) program and funded with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grants administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).


“Every time you see a bus, slow down, be ready to stop and watch for children,” said Sheriff Louie Koch. “Ifthe overhead lights flash red and the stop arm extends,you are required by law to stop. Under no circumstances, should you speed up in an attempt to beat the bus. That’sbeyond reckless and puts every child boarding orexiting the busin danger.”


The department joins more than 200 police agencies for the spring enforcement campaign, as part of an ongoing effort to prevent reckless driving in school zones and around buses. Last year alone, more than 2,700 drivers were cited for stop-arm violations by Indiana law enforcement, according to ICJI.


To address this, officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols in the morning and afternoon hours along routes identified in cooperation with local bus drivers and school transportation officials.


“School buses have several highly visible indicators to let drivers know when to stop,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “The only way you’re going to miss those—the activated stop arm and flashing lights—is if you’re on your phone or not paying attention to the road. That choice can be deadly.”


As part of the campaign, the department is urging motorists to slow down, pay attention to the road and to never pass a bus that has its red lights flashing and stop arm extended. This applies to all road with one exception. On highways divided by a physical barrier, such as a concrete wall or grassy median, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop.


It’s also important when approaching a school bus to be prepared to stop. Plan ahead and factor in extra time during each commute for school bus stops.


“You’ll never regret playing it safe, but you will regret driving past a stopped bus and injuring someone’s child,” said Robert Duckworth, ICJI Traffic Safety Director. “These are people who have their whole lives ahead of them. No hurry is worth the possibility of robbing someone of their future or a family of their child.”


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

Hoosier Lottery announces resolution for $20 Golden Jackpot Fast Play launch

Tickets showing a winning combination will be paid in full.


The Hoosier Lottery announced Friday that it will honor claims filed for winning tickets of the $20 Golden Jackpot Fast Play game after completing its investigation of the issue arising during the March 20, 2022, game launch. 


Starting Monday, March 28, players will be able to complete one of two processes regarding $20 Golden Jackpot Fast Play tickets sold on Sunday March 20th. The processes are as follows:


If player Has a physical ticket: 

  • Fill out a claim form at HoosierLottery.com
  • Provide copy of valid Government Issued Photo ID
  • Present ticket at Lottery Prize Payment Centers or mail to: Hoosier Lottery Prize Payment, 1302 N. Meridian Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN  46202.

There will be a process to review tickets and players will not leave with a check. If the ticket and claim form are valid, player will be mailed a check in the coming days.  


If player no longer has ticket:

  • Fill out an affidavit form at HoosierLottery.com
  • Provide a copy of valid Government Issued Photo ID 
  • Mail affidavit to: Hoosier Lottery Prize Payment, 1302 N. Meridian Street, Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN  46202.

Affidavit will be processed 180 days after the March 20 date the ticket was issued -- September 16, 2022. If a player's claim is determined to be valid, a check will be mailed shortly after affidavit processing.


"Throughout this investigation, it has been our main goal to identify the specific issue and provide a reasonable remedy for our loyal players," Hoosier Lottery Executive Director Sarah M. Taylor said. "We believe strongly in providing fun and entertaining games for our players. In this circumstance, the execution of the game did not rise to the high expectations we set for the Hoosier Lottery."


Players of the Fast Play game experienced difficulty confirming their winning tickets soon after the game's launch. Lottery officials immediately began an investigation and communicated with players to retain their tickets.


The Hoosier Lottery is also working with the gaming system vendor to prevent this issue from arising in the future.

BBB releases study on cryptocurrency scams

The Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Indiana released a new scam study today: Cryptocurrency scams: BBB study finds lack of regulation and consumer education results in dramatic increase in fraud and financial losses.


The study examines the many facets of cryptocurrency and the variety of ways criminals are exploiting the cryptocurrency market to steal from investors and victims of common scams. Read the full study here.


Cryptocurrency is a form of digital money whereby encryption technology can enable anyone anywhere to send and receive payments. It does not exist in a physical form such as paper money, but as lines of computer code, supported by a decentralized computer system known as blockchain and stored in a “crypto wallet.” Bitcoin, developed in 2009, is the most popular form of cryptocurrency, available for purchase at tens of thousands of Bitcoin ATMs and increasingly accepted as payment in certain retail transactions. Ethereum is the second most common cryptocurrency and is centrally involved in the increasingly popular non-fungible tokens (NFTs), digital assets such as pictures or music that are purchased with cryptocurrency as an investment. Critically, cryptocurrency operates outside the traditional banking system and is not subject to the same protections as bank deposits or credit card transactions.


A Warsaw man reported receiving a WhatsApp message purporting to earn him 30% profit by trading crypto futures. The message directed him to a phony website requesting that he transfer money from his bank to the crypto exchange, then send the crypto funds to the phony website link.


“Once they get it, it’s gone,” the victim said. “Many people have lost thousands of dollars. Beware and never respond to WhatsApp chats from a stranger.”


Reports from victims of large financial losses to cryptocurrency related scams are skyrocketing. In 2021, BBB received more than 2,400 complaints with monetary losses of nearly $8 million involving cryptocurrency companies. BBB Scam Tracker reports about crypto scams numbered more than 1,200 in 2021 and likewise totaled nearly $8 million in losses. Scam Tracker reports to BBB tripled between 2019 and 2021, and reported losses tripled over the last two years.


Cryptocurrency has some key traits that make it attractive to scammers: It is relatively unregulated and difficult to recoup once lost; it is wildly popular, fueled in part by celebrity endorsements; and it is not well understood by the general public. The study states that the cryptocurrency market offers new opportunities for tried-and-true investment frauds such as Ponzi schemes and fraudulent ICOs (initial coin offerings), particularly given the development of new currencies and the lack of protections that government regulation has made available to more traditional investors.


BBB Scam Tracker data shows that cryptocurrency scams most commonly originate on social media, with the FTC noting that 25% of crypto fraud reported in 2021 began on social media. Scammers may impersonate a victim’s friends to tell them about their success in crypto investing, or they may make Facebook posts promising big gains.


Tips to avoid cryptocurrency scams:

  • Guard your wallet. If you buy cryptocurrency, the security of the wallet is of prime importance. If you lose the key, then your funds are gone permanently.
  • Look carefully at email addresses and website addresses. Phishing scams often try to trick people into logging in and then capture the log in credentials. Those then can be used to steal money. Looking for an exchange with an internet search engine may lead to fake sites which advertise and impersonate real companies. Be especially careful when viewing these on a phone.
  • Do not pay for products with cryptocurrency. Be careful if someone asks you to pay with Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. No one with the government will ever ask for this form of payment.
  • Beware of fake recovery companies. Scam companies sometimes claim that they can recover stolen money – for a fee. These are usually scammers.
  • Watch out for fake reviews. Scammers often create fake reviews for their own companies.
  • Be wary of celebrity endorsements. It can be tempting to rely on a prominent figure who has invested in cryptocurrency. But those endorsements are often not authorized and even if they are, the celebrity may be paid for the effort and may not know more about it than you do.
  • Be careful about claims made on social media. This is the most commonplace for people to encounter investment scams.
  • Be wary of “friends” who reach out to you on social media and tell you how they made money with cryptocurrency. Accounts are frequently compromised. Call your friend by phone to see if it is really them.
  • Only download apps from Google Play or the App Store. Trusted app stores do not eliminate the threat of app scams, but they do offer a basic level of protection. Be careful with apps. Some contain malicious software.
  • Do not believe promises of guaranteed returns. No one can guarantee how an investment will perform.
  • Seek help and support. Cybercrime Support Network offers a free, confidential support program for romance scam survivors.



Shelbyville's 1947 state championship team remembered on 75th anniversary

Don Chambers still remembers the food he ate on state championship day, the white linen sheets at the hotel they rested at between games and the downtown Shelbyville bonfire that was part of the celebration.

Time has passed on Shelbyville High School’s only state championship basketball team – 75 years to be exact – but his memory is still fresh of the Golden Bears’ magical run in 1947.

On the 75th anniversary of the title, Chambers (photo) was one of several guest speakers Tuesday night at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville to commemorate the championship.

One of two surviving members of that Golden Bears squad, Chambers entertained the crowd in attendance for the Community Treasure Series event presented by the Grover Museum. A retired engineer from Chrysler in New Castle, Chambers still works there at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Chambers twice walked away from the microphone on the Strand’s historic stage after pronouncing he was finished only to return with more memories.

A junior on the squad, Chambers was the sixth man, or first one off the bench, and played a vital role in Shelbyville’s semifinal and championship game victories.

Chambers also is recognized as the final player to score in Shelbyville’s 68-58 win over previously-unbeaten Terre Haute Garfield in the championship game, which set a record for most points by a winning and losing team, at Butler Fieldhouse, now known as Hinkle Fieldhouse, on the campus of Butler University.

The Golden Bears wore their traditional white uniforms but they were trimmed in red recalled Chambers. Two sets of uniforms, one white and one red, arrived for the season when supply chain issues were complicated. Shelbyville wore the red uniforms until a particularly disheartening loss to Rushville caused head coach Frank Barnes to shelve them. The Golden Bears continued to wear the white uniforms and went back to their traditional black uniforms for road games.

There is a color painting of the team hanging at the high school commemorating the state championship team. Chambers mentioned that the trim on the uniforms was painted gold instead of red to reflect the school colors.

Chambers also was sporting his state championship ring – the first given out in a change of policy by the Indiana High School Athletic Association. The team did not receive individual trophies, although a local community fund was later created to provide trophies to the champions – as well as watches and belt buckles, according to Chambers.

Barnes’ team started three African-American players which bothered some communities Shelbyville played. That led to the Golden Bears being dubbed the “Black Bears.” Certainly not an endearing term for a team that was later lauded for the way it handled racial tension in the late 1940s.



William Garrett, who went on to play at Indiana University, is the most well-known member of the Golden Bears. The high school gymnasium at Shelbyville now bears his name. As part of the presentation Tuesday, video clips were shown from March 22, 1947, that included Garrett milling around with the state championship trophy, which was on display Tuesday at the Strand Theatre (photo).

The remainder of the roster included William Breck, William Breedlove, Louie Bowers, Loren “Hank” Hemingway, Emerson Johnson, Marshall Murray, Donald Robinson, Donald Burwell and Chambers.

Hemingway, who was not in attendance Tuesday, is the only other surviving member of the team.

Frank Barnes was the head coach and Arthur “Doc” Barnett was the assistant coach.

Also in attendance Tuesday was Garrett’s nephew, James Garrett Jr., a 1977 graduate of Shelbyville High School. He thanked everyone in the community for keeping the memory of the state championship team alive.

“We thank you all for coming out this evening. We thank the community of Shelbyville,” said Garrett Jr. “I was speaking with my cousin just this past weekend. I told Lori it is phenomenal the way the Shelbyville and Shelby County community remembers 1947 and that state championship team. I and my family cannot thank you enough for the memories, for embracing that state championship team and keeping that forever vigilant in this community.”

Garrett Jr. was born on Feb. 26, 1959, just days before his well-known uncle led Crispus Attucks to the boys basketball state championship as a head coach.



Gary Long (photo, at microphone) was seven years old when Shelbyville won its state championship. He spoke Tuesday of the reverence of that team and how it shaped his future as a two-time Paul Cross Award winner and 1961 team captain of the Indiana University basketball team under the leadership of Branch McCracken.

“I was 7 years old when Shelbyville won the state. I was downtown for the parade that was going through downtown and those Shelbyville basketball players were up on top of fire trucks … you talk about an inspiration for a 6- and 7-year-old to want to become a Shelbyville Golden Bear,” said Long. “To me, that’s the reason I’ve had such a great life for 82 years. It has a lot to do with that basketball team.”

INDOT to close State Road 44 in Rushville for emergency structure replacement

The Indiana Department of Transportation will close a portion of State Road 44 in Rushville for an emergency structure replacement. 


A culvert has failed under the road and to avoid damage to the roadway, INDOT will close a portion of SR 44 about a mile west of S.R. 3 for an emergency replacement.


The closure will happen on or after Monday, March 28. The road will reopen by the end of April. 

Voting for the May 3 primary begins in two weeks

Absentee voting will begin in the lobby of the Shelby County Courthouse on Tuesday, April 5.


Voting hours will be Monday through Friday starting April 5, to April 29,  during the hours of 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.  The Shelby County Courthouse will also be open for voting on Saturdays, April 23, and April 30, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, and Monday, May 2, from 8:00 am to noon. 


Voters may also vote at the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 23, from 8:00 am to 3:00pm, and at Moral Township Fire Station on Saturday, April 30, from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm.


Anyone wishing to vote at the Shelby County Courthouse is asked to please use the west entrance off the parking lot. Absentee voting will be conducted on the first floor.


April 21, is the deadline by 11:59 pm for the Circuit Court Clerk to receive an absentee ballot application from an applicant requesting delivery of an absentee ballot by mail. Applications may be submitted to the Circuit Court Clerk in person, by fax, by mail or by e-mail. 


For questions regarding the Primary Election to be held May 3, the public can call the Voter Registration Office at 317-392-6324.

General Motors names Ryobi Die Casting a 2021 Supplier of the Year

General Motors recognized Ryobi Dye Casting as a 2021 Supplier of the Year.

GM recently celebrated honorees at its 30th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony in Phoenix, Arizona.

GM’s Supplier of the Year award recognizes global suppliers that distinguish themselves by exceeding GM’s requirements, in turn providing GM customers with innovative technologies and among the highest quality in the automotive industry.

This year, GM recognized 134 suppliers from 16 countries with the Supplier of the Year distinction.

This is the third time Ryobi has received the award.

Ryobi is pleased to again receive this significant award. This is in no small way an acknowledgement of the dedication and hard work of our amazing team, states Ryan Willhelm, President and Chief Operating Officer.

“This year’s Supplier of the Year event was special not only because it’s the 30th anniversary of the program, but because it provided us with the opportunity to recognize our suppliers for persevering through one of the most challenging years the industry has ever faced,” said Shilpan Amin, GM vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain. “These top suppliers showed resilience and reinforced their commitment to pursuing sustainability and innovation. Through our strong relationships and collaboration, GM and our suppliers are poised to build a brighter future for generations to come.”

A global cross functional team selected the 2021 Supplier of the Year winners based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Global Purchasing and Manufacturing Services, Customer Care and Aftersales and Logistics.

Ryobi Die Casting (USA) was founded as a die-casting company in Japan in 1943 and brings 79 years of world class die casting and light-weight expertise to the North American market.

Ryobi Die Casting is well known as a valued partner for complex aluminum powertrain and structural die castings. Ryobi has two North American manufacturing locations: Shelbyville, Indiana, and Irapuato, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Shelbyville senior becomes recipient of Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

With one ring of his cell phone, Braydon Povinelli’s future changed direction.

In December, the Blue River Community Foundation awarded the Lilly Scholarship to Triton Central senior Corbin Maurice. Povinelli, a Shelbyville senior, was a finalist for the full-ride scholarship to an Indiana college or university.


Corbin Maurice's scholarship award presentation https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/609167


Once Maurice opted to attend an out-of-state school, he informed the BRCF that he would be declining the scholarship, making it available once again.

“I wasn’t expecting it all,” said Povinelli. “I was driving home from school and I got a call from the Blue River Community Foundation. Julie Alvis told me about it. I was shocked and happy at the same time.”

Povinelli had yet to make a college choice. Indiana University was the only in-state school he was considering. Now, with the full-ride scholarship in place, he knows exactly where his future is headed.

“So I am going to IU now,” he said.

Povinelli will major in Biology with a pre-med track that will lead to medical school where he wants to become an Anesthesiologist.

The expense of medical school will be eased by the full-ride scholarship for his undergraduate degree.

“It will help me out really with medical school after college because it is a lot of money,” he said.

This is the first time a Shelby County recipient has declined the Lilly Scholarship, but it is not unusual for it to happen, according to Alvis, the foundation’s communications and scholarships director.

“Declining the award is not uncommon throughout the state each year,” she said via e-mail.

With that decision made, Povinelli can focus on his chess game. The reigning Indiana state chess champion will defend his title on April 22 in Indianapolis.

“I’m a little nervous. I’ve got standards I want to uphold for myself,” he said.



Povinelli has competed in several tournaments in recent months and is testing his own skill set in an attempt to repeat as state champion.

“I am trying to hone in on my weaknesses and study my own games,” he explained. “I am working on my tactics … short combos that win pieces. I’ve noticed I’m not so great at these so I am studying and getting better.”

Povinelli surprised the field to win the 2021 state title. There is no underdog status for him in the 2022 tournament.

“The field is going to be really tough,” he said. “I’m not going in expecting to keep my title. It’s not likely I keep the title but I have a chance.”

The high school senior also has approximately two months left as a Golden Bear. He has some final advanced placement tests to take which will determine his college workload and then graduation.

“I have AP exams in early May. I am studying for those to earn college credits,” he said.

And he now knows those college-earned credits will be headed south with him to Bloomington.

One killed, another injured in Friday SR 44 head-on crash

A Shelbyville man was killed in a Friday accident on State Road 44 near the Shelby - Johnson county line.



The Shelby County Sheriff's Department responded to the scene just before 7:00 pm Friday in the 8300 block of West SR 44.  A Dodge Caravan being driven eastbound by Javier Torres, 34, of Shelbyville, crossed into the westbound lanes.  The Caravan struck a westbound Chevy pickup head-on. The Chevy truck was being driven by Kellen Lawson, 18, of Shelbyville.


Torres was pronounced dead at the scene. Lawson was transported to IU Methodist in stable condition.


There were no passengers in the vehicles.

Death investigation continues into body found next to casino parking garage

Shelby County authorities are investigating a death at the Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino parking garage.


The Shelby County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to 4300 N Michigan Rd to assist law enforcement just after midnight on Friday.  On arrival, investigators had identified an approximately 40 year old deceased white male next to the parking garage.


Currently, law enforcement is awaiting results from the Indiana State Police Laboratory to assist in identification of the deceased. An autopsy is scheduled for
this weekend to determine the exact cause and manner of death, in addition to assisting in determining events leading up to the death.

Multiple agencies are involved in the investigation and assisting in reviewing video footage of the event. Anyone with information about the event should contact Detective Newman at 317-392-5119 or Deputy Joy Adams at 317-421-7587 Optio

Asher announces campaign to be Shelby County Recorder

Christina Asher has announced that she is seeking the office of Shelby County Recorder.

Asher, a Republican, is the owner-operator of the West Side Pub & Grub LLC. The Shelbyville High School graduate attended the Boyd School of Travel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has spent her entire career in the hospitality industry.

“I hold a deep sense of pride for Shelby County,” said Asher in a media release. “I have a vested interest in the prosperity and future of this community and I feel I can best demonstrate that public dedication by seeking public office.”

The life-long Shelbyville resident is married to Scott Asher, the clerk-treasurer for the City of Shelbyville. The couple have two children: Chris, 25, and Lauren, 22.

“I look forward to the opportunity to represent and serve the constituents of my community,” she said.

Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau honored at Indiana Tourism Awards

The Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau was honored recently at the Indiana Tourism Awards.

The Indiana Tourism Association featured tourism businesses deemed creative, innovative and maximized investment during its annual tourism conference in Noblesville.

Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau was recognized for Best Specialty Item for marketing budgets under $300,000.

The Indiana Tourism Association named Visit Hendricks County Executive Director Jaime Bohler Smith as its member of the year. The award is presented to members “who stepped forward and provided exemplary service and leadership to the industry and the association.”

Other award winners were:

  • Best Advocacy Initiative – Hamilton County Tourism Inc.
  • Best Cooperative Partnership – Indiana Foodways Alliance
  • Best Culinary Focused Marketing Campaign – Hamilton County Tourism Inc.
  • Best Digital Marketing Campaign – Visit Madison Inc.
  • Best Leisure Travel Marketing Campaign – Visit Bloomington
  • Best Event/Festival – Falls of the Ohio State Park
  • Best Specialty Item (marketing budget over $300,000) – SoIN Tourism
  • Best Visitors Guide (marketing budget under $300,000) – Visit Wabash County
  • Best Visitors Guide (marketing budget over $300,000) – Elkhart County, IN CVB
  • Best Tourism Website – Visit South Bend Mishawaka
  • Best COVID Marketing Campaign (marketing budgets under $300,000) – Visit Madison Inc.
  • Best COVID Marketing Campaign (marketing budgets over $300,000) – Elkhart County, IN CVB

(photo: Indiana Tourism Association Executive Director Carrie Lambert, left, presents the Best Specialty Item award to Rachael Ackley, center, Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau Executive Director, and Nisha Ciarletta, Operations Manager for Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau.)

New superintendent given authority to hire staff

Southwestern Consolidated Schools has a new superintendent. Now, it needs a new elementary school principal.

The school board met Thursday night and voted to give new superintendent Joshua Edwards, who was nominated for the position just eight days earlier, the authority to hire staff as needed.

Edwards is serving a dual role of superintendent and elementary school principal. He is in his ninth year as principal in the school system.

With authority now, Edwards can find his replacement as principal. The job has been posted by the school system. The goal is to present a candidate to the board during its April meeting.

Edwards is not currently working under a superintendent contract. Those details are still being worked out.

City announces heavy trash cleanup week in late April

The City of Shelbyville will again have heavy trash cleanup the last week in April.

The Street Department has announced the 2022 collection week will be April 25 through April 29. All heavy trash will be collected on your normal trash collection day.

The city will not pick up loose trash. All trash must be in a bag or a box.

All wood and metal must be separated into neatly-stacked piles. There will be a wood truck, a metal truck and a trash truck running the routes.

Large, heavy furniture also will be collected during this time period. There is a limit of no more than two mattresses with box springs per stop.

There will be no recycling or yard waste collection during this week.

There will not be a fall heavy trash cleanup week. 

For more information on what is considered heavy trash and if it can be collected, contact a street department representative at 317-392-5169.

ISP detectives investigating after motorist shot on I-70 near Post Road

A woman was shot while driving a  car in an Indianapolis incident.


About 2:30 pm Thursday, the Indiana State Police responded to reports of a vehicle being shot at on I-70 westbound at the 89.6-mile marker, which is between I-465 and Post Road. Upon arrival a 21-year-old adult female from Grant County was located inside of that vehicle with injuries consistent with a gunshot wound.


She was transported to a local hospital and at the time of this release, her condition was not known.  An adult male was also in the vehicle, but he was not hit by gunfire.


Preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives determined the adult female was driving a passenger car on I-70 when they were allegedly shot at by someone in another vehicle.  After being hit by gunfire, the driver drove onto the inner shoulder where her vehicle struck and came to rest against the center wall.


At this time investigators do not have a description of the suspect or the suspect vehicle. Anyone traveling in the area of I-70 between I-465 and Post Road around 2:25 p.m. who may have witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Indiana State Police at (317) 899-8577 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).


The investigation is ongoing and there is no further information to release at this time.

SCS students requesting pajama pants, backpacks to be allowed in school

Student handbook updates for Shelbyville High School and Shelbyville Middle School sparked prolonged discussion Wednesday night at the Shelbyville Central Schools monthly board meeting.

Shelbyville High School assistant principal Bri Kompara and Shelbyville Middle School assistant principal Wes Hall presented potential guideline updates to the board after meetings with students, teachers and department heads in both buildings.

“The need for this is more to update the guidelines … but also are specific to current trends we are seeing in our buildings,” said Kompara.

Kompara and Hall, who will become SMS principal this summer when current principal Ryan Mikus becomes the school system’s Director of Student Accountability, requested that length, fit and style of clothing must be worn so that all students’ chest, back and stomachs are covered by opaque material. And all articles of clothing intended for use as undergarments must not be visible at any time.

“We’re hoping to put some values into the dress code as well on to the students and some pride in Shelbyville High School and Shelbyville Middle School,” said Kompara.

Superintendent Mary Harper stressed individual body size must be respected and an inclusive environment with respect to the students must be created.

“We have to decide where we want to pick our battles here,” said Harper. “I think students can dress appropriately for school without us trying to be the clothing police.”



The two assistant principals, who were representing their respective buildings, also are requesting an updated guideline to allow appropriate pajama pants in the learning environment.

“That is input from a lot of our students,” said Kompara. “We have to sit back and think if students are wearing sweat pants is that really impacting their ability to learn and is that really impacting the teacher’s ability to teach? Is it disrupting the learning environment?”

Board president Curt Johnson sought clarification for the need to remove the policy on pajama pants from the handbook.

“The students’ arguments right now are that plaid sweat pants and pajama bottoms are in (style),” said Kompara.

A secondary discussion started on the policy of no backpacks in SHS and SMS classrooms. At the start of the current school year, students were not allowed to carry backpacks from class to class.

“The students want the backpacks back at the high school level,” said Kompara.

The policy created for the 2021-2022 school year allowed students to carry a cinch bag no larger than their school-issued iPad. The intent was to clean up classrooms cluttered with larger backpacks and reduce what students were carrying from classroom to classroom.

Identifying what a properly-sized cinch bag was proved confusing for parents, though.

“There was a lot of is this OK? Is that OK?” explained Hall. “We saw an uptick in Trapper Keepers. It’s not a bag. You could define it as a satchel. For us, it was hard to have those conversations with parents.”

Administrators ran into students not wanting to use lockers, or not even being able to use combination locks.

The no backpack policy was enacted also to limit ways for contraband to move around the schools. The effect has been minimal according to Kompara and Hall. Kids just find more creative ways to stash materials.

“As an administrator, what I would like is either no backpacks or yes backpacks. No bags or yes bags because when we see language like no bigger than the size of an iPad it becomes really gray and really hard to enforce,” she said. “We are spending a lot of valuable time talking with parents and students whether this bag is appropriate when really we could be doing other work to curb some behaviors we are seeing, being proactive instead of reactive when major discipline happens.”

The school board wanted more information from the assistant principals before approving the guideline changes.

All of the proposed guideline changes are for the 2022-2023 school year.

Franklin student, 17, killed in Tuesday crash

A Franklin High School student was killed in a one-vehicle Johnson County accident Tuesday.


It happened just after 3:00 pm.  The driver, Colton Alexander Leeper, 17, of Franklin, was northbound on Hurricane Road, north of Early Wood Drive (300N), in his a 1995 Chevrolet Suburban. A witness to the accident told deputies that the Suburban crossed the center line in front of her, then the driver attempted to gain control, although while doing so left the roadway.  That caused the vehicle to roll over.


Emergency personnel from the Needham Fire Department and Seals Ambulance Service responded to the scene. Leeper was transported to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he succumbed to his injuries Tuesday evening.


The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office was in communications with administrators of the Franklin Community School Corporation as well as the father of Colton Leeper. 

SCUFFY gets permission for annual intersection collection points

The Shelby County United Fund For You (SCUFFY) annual roadblock collection drive will take place April 30 in Shelbyville.

Alecia Gross, executive director of SCUFFY, appeared before the City of Shelbyville’s Board of Works Tuesday morning requesting permission for the annual roadblock fundraising drive.

SCUFFY will have a trio of collection points including the traditional one at the intersection in front of the home of SCUFFY, 126 N. Harrison Street.

Volunteers will collect financial donations from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 30 at the intersections of Mechanic St. and N. Harrison St., Colescott St. and S. Harrison St., and Progress Parkway and Lee Boulevard.

SCUFFY is a non-profit organization that supports 13 member agencies serving Shelby County.

The 2022 fundraising goal is $875,000. More than $337,000 has been raised so far.

For more information on SCUFFY, go to www.scuffy.org.

Shelbyville Middle School hosting wheelchair basketball fundraiser tonight

Shelbyville Middle School Principal Ryan Mikus and his staff have shown over the years that they will go out of their comfort zone to help students.


Fundraising events have included camping out on a bus around town to camping on the school’s roof in winter weather.  Tonight, it’ll be wheelchair basketball.


Mikus says tonight’s event highlights Kaiden Schaf, an eighth grader at SMS.



Mikus says he might have to make guarding Kaiden during tonight’s game someone else’s assignment.



Shelbyville Middle School staff has had some practice time.  They’re hoping it pays off with a competitive game tonight.



The SMS principal runs down what you need to know to attend tonight’s fundraising event that begins at 6:00 pm at the Middle School gymnasium.





Public asked to help with road rage investigation

Authorities in Bartholomew County are asking the public's assistance on a possible road rage incident.


On Saturday, March 12, approximately 12:18 p.m., Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the area of 325 W between Georgetown Road and 200N due to a serious accident.


The accident is being investigated as a possible road rage incident with a black Dodge Challenger leaving the scene.


Deputies are asking for anyone with information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to contact:  Bartholomew County Dispatch 812-379-1689.

75 years: Shelbyville Golden Bears 1947 boys basketball state title to be celebrated

The 1947 Shelbyville Golden Bears are now legend more than memory to many fans of high school basketball.  The 75th anniversary of that team's boys basketball state championship will be celebrated next week.



The Strand Theatre will host a program on Tuesday, March 22.  


John Hartnett talks about the preparations for the event.



Tom Barker has worked with the Indiana High School Athletic Association to preserve years of film.



David Finkel serves on the Shelbyville Central School Board.  He also operates The Strand Theatre.  He says you'll hear the call of that historic game.



Hartnett notes the '47 Golden Bears were important beyond what happened on the basketball court.



The event is Tuesday, March 22.  It begins at 7:00 pm and is free to the public to attend.



Shelby County voting center sites formalized for Primary Election Day

There will be 10 voting centers in Shelby County for Primary Election Day on May 3.

Voting in 2022 in Shelby County can be completed at:

  • Moral Township Fire Station, 8333 N. Frontage Road in Fairland
  • Fairland Town Hall, 105 S. Walnut St. in Fairland
  • Morristown Methodist Church, 222 S. Washington St. in Morristown
  • Intelliplex Conference Center, 2154 Intelliplex Drive in Shelbyville
  • Shelby County Fairgrounds, 500 Frank St. in Shelbyville
  • West St. Methodist Church, 629 S. West St. in Shelbyville
  • Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, 3718 E. Blue Ridge Road in Shelbyville
  • Crossroads Community Church, 475 Progress Parkway in Shelbyville
  • Waldron Methodist Church, 202 W. Washington St. in Waldron
  • St. George Lutheran Church, 10931 South 600 West in Edinburgh

Voters in May will be setting the ballot for General Election Day on Nov. 8.

Greg Pence is running again for United States Representative for District 6. He is being challenged by fellow Republican James Dean Alspach. On the Democrat ballot, George Thomas Holland and Cynthia Wirth are competing for a November ballot spot.

Four Republicans are seeking the Indiana State Representative District 47 seat. They are Luke Campbell, Robb Greene, Scott Strother and John Young. There is no Democrat candidate filed.

Eight Republicans are vying for the ballot spot for District 54. Heather Carie, Cory Criswell, Nansi Custer, Joshua Gillmore, Melissa Meltzer, Betsy Mills, Bobbi Plummer and Gayla Taylor are seeking the ballot spot to go against Democrat candidate Nan Polk.

In District 73, Bob Carmony, Edward Comstock II and Jennifer Meltzer are vying on the Republican ballot. There is no Democratic candidate.

Locally, Christina Asher and Jessica Pile are on the Republican ballot for Shelby County Recorder.

For the North District seat with the Shelby County Commissioners, incumbent Chris Ross is being challenged by Jason Abel on the Republican ticket.

The Republican ballot for the Second District seat of the Shelby County Council features incumbent Ben Compton against challenger Kyle Barlow. David Hudson is the only Democratic candidate to file for the seat.

Shelby Co. Fair Board to reorganize as three officers resign

The Shelby County Fair Board will reorganize at a meeting Monday after three board officers resigned this week amidst a disagreement.


Shelby County Fair Board president Jeff Pruitt was one of those who decided an ongoing difference of opinion led him to believe it was time for he and two fellow officers to step down.



Pruitt talks more about the issues that were on the table.



The debate over those issues and over potential change in camping charges escalated on Tuesday.  Pruitt says those concerns and his personal situation right now made this the right decision.



It seems likely that 2ND Vice-President Jennifer Thopy will move into the role of president for the fair board.  Openings will need to be filled for the two vice-presidents and secretary.


The Shelby County Fair is scheduled to begin June 13.



Teachers association files unfair labor practice claim against Southwestern school system

On the same day the Southwestern Consolidated Schools board nominated its next superintendent, the teachers association filed an unfair labor practice claim with the Indiana Education Employee Relations Board.

At its February 9 meeting, the school board accepted the resignation of superintendent Curtis Chase, who took a position with the Rush County school corporation.

During a medical leave in 2021, Southwestern Elementary School principal Joshua Edwards filled in admirably, according to the board. On Wednesday, 28 days after the resignation, the board nominated Edwards to become superintendent.

Many teachers, staff members and alumni were frustrated with the lack of transparency in the process and penned an open letter to the school board citing distrust with its decision-making process. In the letter, they requested the superintendent position be posted statewide, they wanted the utilization of a university-driven consulting service to identify qualified candidates, and they wanted to include parents and other stakeholders in the interview process.

Following Wednesday night’s meeting, Doug Gaking (photo, left), president of the Southwestern Consolidated Classroom Teachers Association, held a press conference in front of Southwestern High School to lay out the pattern of behavior that led to the unfair labor practice (ULP) claim.

“What might be hard for some people, I’ve been dealing with this for about two years and been aware of what’s been happening and haven’t been able to talk to a lot of people about it,” said Gaking following the press conference. “Now, a lot of people are just starting to realize what’s been going on and processing that. I think that will be a tough time for our community as we all try to figure out how to navigate this.”

The unfair labor practice claim included two names: Southwestern Elementary School principal Joshua Edwards and school board member Jerry Drake.

A case manager will be assigned by the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board (IEERB) to handle the claim, according to Chad Hunter (photo, second from right) of the Indiana State Teachers Association, who was in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting.

“The teachers are working through all the legal processes that they have available to them under Indiana code,” said Hunter. “We need the support of the community. We need the community to start asking the school board some tough questions about the way they are administering affairs here at Southwestern.”

Gaking cited a complete lack of transparency in hiring a new superintendent. He also stated public notification of an impending school board meeting was done improperly, the open superintendent position was never posted locally or statewide, then also detailed instances within the elementary school of threats and intimidation, first started when Individual Education Program (IEP) minutes for students with special needs were not being completed.

“When they brought these concerns to the elementary building principal through the building discussions process, in accordance with Indiana code, the principal responded to the entire staff with threats and intimidation,” said Gaking. “Over the next few years, other teachers would face further threats, screaming and pounding fists on desks in response to trying to have their concerns about students’ needs addressed.”

Gaking added other instances where a teacher was denied union representation for a meeting over a disciplinary matter and a teacher was asked to attend a parent meeting only to find the principal and a school board member present instead.

“This is one of many instances where board members have had inappropriate levels of access to the building during the school days,” said Gaking, who is the music teacher at Southwestern Jr./Sr. High School.

Gaking brought many of these issues to Chase’s attention in the fall of 2021 as well as the school board in executive session, which is not open to the public. He believes Chase made an effort to improve the situation but was met with resistance from the board.

“Each of the counts I’ve addressed here are included in the ULP we filed this morning citing multiple Indiana code violations for each count,” said Gaking. “The ULP has been shared with all school board members and the school corporation’s lawyer in advance of today’s board meeting.

“I would like to reiterate that we have repeatedly brought our concerns to administrators and board members through the proper processes over the last few years. Instead of any rectification of these serious matters, we have only received further threats and violations of our rights.”

Now in his eighth year as the teacher association president, Gaking is unsure what lies ahead in the final two months of the school year.

“I wish I knew … I wish I knew,” said Gaking. “Everyone is a little anxious right now. It’s probably going to be a stressful time.”

Columbus man killed in three-vehicle crash

A Bartholomew County crash killed one and injured two others Thursday morning.


About 7:30 am, deputies responded to a personal injury crash in the 2000 block of North State Road 46. Upon arrival, Captain David Steinkoenig and Hope Town Marshall Matt Tallent located a victim partially ejected from the vehicle, later identified as Kevin Burton, 50, of Columbus. Burton later passed away from his injuries while on scene.


Based on witness statements it appears that an SUV being driven by Tammy Janes 53, of Hope, was traveling southbound on State Road 46 just south of its intersection with State Road 9 along with Burton who was operating a pickup truck and was following behind. As those two drivers were traveling down the roadway the SUV being driven by Tracy Toddy, 32 of Hope, allegedly crossed the center line for an unknown reason. 


Again based on witness statements, Toddy’s vehicle struck Janes’ vehicle on the driver’s side rear bumper and then continued into the oncoming lane and struck Burton’s vehicle. After the collision Burton’s vehicle came to rest on its side with Burton entrapped underneath the vehicle. 


Janes was uninjured.  Toddy was flown north to Methodist for unknown injuries and Burton was pronounced deceased on scene.


The investigation for the accident is still ongoing.


Assisting agencies at the scene included Columbus Regional Hospital EMS, Columbus Fire Department, STAT Flight, Clay Township Fire Department, Hartsville Fire Department, Hope Police Department and the Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office.

Southwestern nominates Joshua Edwards to be next superintendent

Joshua Edwards got a trial run as interim superintendent during the 2021 school year when he filled in for superintendent Curtis Chase, who was out on medical leave.

On Wednesday at the Southwestern Consolidated Schools board meeting, Edwards was nominated to become the school system’s next superintendent.

By a vote of 6-0-1, Edwards was selected as the candidate. Board member Derrek Tennell, who was chosen to fill a vacant board seat just last week, abstained from voting since he was not involved in the search process.

Contract details must still be finalized before the move becomes official. Edwards is currently Southwestern Elementary School’s principal.

“As time goes and you see things and like to keep moving forward, I just want to help out the corporation,” said Edwards, now in his ninth year at Southwestern Elementary School. “I love it here. My daughter goes here. We have so many good family and community members. I am really excited to be a part of this.”

Once the contract details are worked out, Edwards will resume the role he handled in 2021 as interim superintendent and elementary school principal. He expects to fully transition to superintendent once the school year concludes and the process to hire a new elementary school principal will begin.

Edwards admits it will be difficult to leave the students at the elementary school level but the compact campus will allow him to visit the building frequently.

“I love the campus and the community,” he said. “It is small enough you can still visit the buildings. I love that we are all on one campus and I can still see everybody.”

Chase’s resignation was accepted at the school board’s February meeting. He took the position of Director of Operations for the Rush County school system.

In other board business Wednesday:

  • Approved paying NetTalon $44,493.03 for the installation of a security system in the fieldhouse
  • Approved paying Huston Electric $18,980 for a new intercom package system at the high school
  • Approved the purchase of IP cameras from Lucide IT for replacement of security cameras at the high school and elementary school at a cost of $115,838.99

INDOT reminds drivers of North Split closures ahead of Big 10 Championship

he Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is reminding motorists to plan ahead for travel related to the upcoming Big 10 Men's Basketball Tournament. Routes to Gainbridge Fieldhouse may be impacted by work being performed as part of the North Split Reconstruction interchange closure.


Exits currently open to traffic on the north side of the downtown inner loop:

  • I-70 westbound Meridian Street/Pennsylvania Street exit
  • I-70 westbound MLK/West Street exit
  • I-65 southbound MLK/West Street exit
  • I-65 southbound Meridian Street exit
  • I-65/I-70 C/D exit ramp to Michigan Street

Exits currently open to traffic on the south side of the downtown inner loop:

  • I-70 to West Street exit
  • I-70 to Illinois Street/Meridian Street exits
  • I-65 northbound to Washington Street exit

Southbound I-65 and westbound I-70 can be accessed from Washington Street.


Vermont Street is scheduled to close on March 14 for MSE retaining wall installation and will remain closed through late March. Throughout the duration of this closure, eastbound traffic will be directed to New York Street while westbound traffic will be rerouted to Michigan Street.


Other current closures include:

  • Alabama Street: Closed under I-65 between 11th and 12th Street through mid-March. Northbound traffic will be detoured up Fort Wayne Street to Central Avenue while southbound traffic will be redirected onto 16th Street to Central Avenue.
  • Michigan Street: Closed under I-65 between Davidson Street and Pine Street through mid-March. Westbound traffic will be detoured to Washington Street throughout the duration of the closure
  • Market Street: Closed under I-65 between Davidson Street and Pine Street through late-March. Eastbound and westbound vehicular and pedestrian traffic will be detoured to Washington Street throughout the duration of this closure.
  • 10th Street: Closed under I-65 and I-70 between College Avenue and Highland Avenue through mid-April. Eastbound and westbound traffic will be detoured to 16th Street throughout the duration of this closure.
  • Lewis Street: Closed between 13th and 16th streets through mid-March. Throughout this closure, vehicular traffic will be detoured to 13th Street, Roosevelt Avenue, Commerce Avenue and 16th Street. Bicycle and pedestrian traffic will be detoured to the Monon Loop.
  • Ohio Street: Closed under I-65 between College Avenue and New York Street through late-March. Eastbound traffic will be detoured to New York Street throughout the duration of this closure.

INDOT encourages drivers?to slow down, exercise caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones.? 


For up-to-date project information, visit northsplit.com or text “NORTHSPLIT” to 468311. Follow the North Split project’s progress on social media at:? 

Kyle Barlow announces campaign for election to 2nd District County Council Seat

Kyle Barlow, a 4th generation farmer from Hendricks township, has announced his election campaign for the Second District seat of the Shelby County Council.

The May 3rd Republican primary will mark Barlow’s first run for an elected position in Shelby County government. Barlow has previously served his community as Treasurer of the Marietta Volunteer Fire Department and as the Chairman for the Hendricks Township Advisory Board.

Over the past two years, Barlow has worked at both the local and state level of government to improve the quality of life and overall safety for Shelby County residents.

Barlow says he is running for office because he wants to be a part of a local leadership team that listens to Shelby County residents.

“I want to work collaboratively with constituents to make our county a better place in the future," he said in a media release. "It is critical to listen to people’s concerns, share information, and be present and actively participate during meetings. I truly want to be a positive influence for the future of Shelby County.”

Barlow believes the County Council needs to retool its use of tax abatements.

“I think we need to research all companies thoroughly. We need to look at their numbers, and their potential impact for Shelby County," he said. "We need to ensure we are bringing in businesses that are the best fit for Shelby County. Not all growth is good and not all growth is bad, but we must be smart about how we use the tax abatements. This is especially true when a company brings few or no permanent jobs.”

Barlow wants to see the Shelby County Council lead efforts to improve communication, transparency, and access to information for the public. Barlow believes council-appointed members of the Plan Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals should be selected through an open application process using best practices seen in other counties. 

Barlow holds degrees from Purdue University in Ag Systems Management and Ag Business.

Barlow’s wife, Rachael, is a 5th grade teacher in Greenwood. Their children, Kaden and Madelyn, are students at Southwestern in southern Shelby County.


Four county election candidates discuss government transparency, responsible growth at Fairland event

The talking points for the 2022 election cycle in Shelby County are well established.

Transparency and communication in county government and responsible growth within Shelby County were part of the discussion Saturday afternoon at a meet the candidate event hosted by the Northwest Shelby County Concerned Citizens Coalition at the Fairland Volunteer Fire Department.

Four candidates took part in the question-and-answer session and met with many interested attendees.

Jason Abel, who is running for the Shelby County Commissioners’ North District seat, Kyle Barlow, candidate for Shelby County Council Second District, Michael Daniels, candidate for Shelby County Council Third District, and Linda Sanders, the Shelby County Council Fourth District representative answered submitted questions for an allotted time period to help voters get a better understanding of how they think.

Two more candidates, Leigh Langkabel, Shelby County Council First District representative, and Brett Haacker, Shelby County Council Third District representative, were unable to attend due to prior commitments. Langkabel did submit answers to questions which were read by the event host, Lisa Wojihoski-Schaler.

Sanders, a republican, has been an elected official since 2007. She will be unopposed in the May election.

“We need to get back to being civil and talking and respecting people,” said Sanders as she concluded her remarks.

Abel (main photo), a Shelbyville firefighter/paramedic, will run against fellow republican and Shelby County Commissioner incumbent Chris Ross.

“My mission accomplished moment for this campaign is 20 years from now, my kids, wherever they may be, decide they want to come back to the community and put down roots,” Abel said. “That, to me, is a measure of success. If they have the same opportunities to make the same decisions that my wife and I were fortunate enough to make, that to me is responsible growth.

“If you put the pieces in place to make people want to come back here and live here and put down long-term roots, that is responsible growth.”



Barlow (photo, above), a farmer from western Shelby County and front line proponent against solar farms taking over prime farm land in the southwestern part of the county, wants proposed projects to be better investigated before given a stamp of approval and a tax abatement.

“We seem to be very focused on industry right now in this county,” said Barlow. “Responsible growth, if you are going to have the jobs you have to have a place for people to live. And you need to have the farms to still feed them.

“Irresponsible growth, in my opinion, is voting things through before we ever look at the company … we vote it through because a handful of people think it is the best. We are at a crossroads right now as to how we want to develop this county. If we just go with industry and how we are doing it, I am afraid we are going to lose out on getting people in here.”



Daniels (photo, above) works for the City of Shelbyville as the Behavioral Health & Justice Equity Director. A Shelbyville High School graduate, he moved back to his hometown in 2021 to take a position within city government.

“I want to see a Shelby County that people want to move home to like I did,” said Daniels. “I want to see a Shelby County where it’s a wonderful place to live, work, play and raise a family. That’s the bottom line. That’s why I came home and I think that’s what we owe not only our current voters but our future voters … to be able to have that kind of a county.”

Sanders was the only incumbent up for reelection to partake in Saturday’s discussion.

“We truly want responsible growth and in order to have responsible growth you have to look at your entire county as what is going to work well for us,” said Sanders. “You have to have the right balance of parks, and the right balance of your homes and work, and times are changing so responsible growth is taking a look at not being stuck in one area.”

All of the candidates agree that transparency needs to be improved in county government. Meeting agendas and past meeting minutes should be readily available online and various meetings should have a live streaming element for viewing.

In addition, decisions that are made by elected officials where an apparent conflict of issue seems evident should be addressed.

“I’m a firm believer that you need to pay attention to the guidelines and if there is a perceived conflict of interest, it is always best to recuse yourself,” said Sanders. “Even though by law you don’t have to if you are not directly benefitting from it, it still just doesn’t look right. There are times you need to step back.

“I think we have issues where we are not transparent … I think we need to do a better job on educating. There are a lot of times where you can’t talk in public about certain things, however we still need to let people know what is going on.”

Daniels praised the city’s ability to live stream meetings through Facebook Live to improve accountability.

“I work for the city and I report directly to the mayor,” said Daniels. “The city does some things really well. We live stream all the meetings whether it’s the city council, board of works, the parks department … you can go crazy watching city meetings streamed online. We could do a better job of publishing those agendas before those meetings.

“The county can do a better job just in general of publishing those meetings before they happen, live streaming the meetings and then publishing the minutes of the meeting after they happen.”

Barlow is running for the county council seat currently held by Ben Compton, a fellow republican.

“There is a lack of transparency,” stated Barlow. “Information is not easily found. I do think being public business, it should be out there.”

“I believe meetings should be live streamed,” continued Barlow, who along with his organized group to campaign against solar farms in Shelby County, pushed for county meetings to air live through Zoom.

Abel again stated his view that future voters, future residents of Shelby County will be his prime concern when making decisions.

“As far as who does a holder of a political office answer to? There are two constituents: One, the voter, and two, the future generations,” said Abel. “We are the stewards of this community. That’s who a politician needs to answer to.”

Rushville man killed in SUV - tractor-trailer crash

A fatal crash in Rush County Sunday with an SUV that drove into an oncoming tractor-trailer.


Rush County authorities responded to the 4000 block of South SR 3 at 9:30 am Sunday.  A vehicle fire and entrapment was first reported by 911 callers after the head-on collision.  A driver at the scene stopped and managed to put out the fire.  The Rushville City Fire Department and Rushville Township arrived but lifesaving measures were unsuccessful as Kevin Neuman, 25, of Rushville, was declared dead at the scene.


The driver of the semi, Darnell Nesbit, 33, of Huntsville, AL, did not sustain serious injuries.  He stated that he attempted to avoid Neuman but was unable.


The Rush County Sheriff's Office says Nesbitt totally cooperated with law enforcement while giving a blood sample for toxicology.  The report on both parties is pending at this time.


The county's accident reconstruction team is continuing with its investigation.  Anyone with information can contact the RCSO at 765-932-2931.



Wrong-way interstate driver crashed in Shelbyville, fled on foot, found asleep

A report of a wrong-way vehicle on the interstate led to a short pursuit for Shelby County law enforcement and then a crash into a Shelbyville dental office.


The sheriff's office received calls of a vehicle eastbound in the westbound lanes of I-74.  As deputies responded they were alerted that the car was near the 113 mile marker and continuing on I-74 in the wrong direction.  Deputies paralleled the car from the westbound lanes and the car eventually left the interstate onto State Road 44.  A short pursuit followed but the suspect vehicle was lost.



It would be found a short time later involved in a crash at South Tompkins and West Broadway involving another vehicle.  One vehicle went off the street into the Caring Family Dentistry office, 125 West Broadway.  The other vehicle ended up against the outside wall of a nearby home.



The suspect ran from the scene.  He was located later, asleep, outside of a residence at 629 South West. 


Initial charges against Micheal Rinthalukay, of Ohio, include Level 6 felonies of criminal recklessness and fleeing law enforcement in a vehicle.  There's no word at this time if alcohol or other substances were involved.


No injuries were reported.



Greensburg man convicted of Shelby Co. crimes involving rape and home invasions

A Greensburg man was convicted of Shelby County crimes from nearly 40 years ago.


Steven Ray Hessler was convicted after an 8-day jury trial of two counts of Rape, six counts of unlawful deviate conduct, seven counts of burglary resulting In bodily injury, three counts of criminal deviate conduct, and one count of robbery – each as a Class A felony.  The charges stem from a series of home-invasion sexual assaults from 1982-1985.


Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen says Hessler had the residents of Shelby County on edge for several years with his daring night-time attacks – generally waking his victims in the middle of the night, wearing a ski mask or legging to cover his face, and holding a gun or knife.  Many of the victims were tied up – others were not – as he stole cash and other certain items before sexually assaulting the women. 


In his final local assault, he struck a male victim several times with a gun, resulting in that victim being in a coma for months, and then a rehab facility for several more months, learning again to talk and to walk with a cane (though he fell daily, and for years now has been confined to a wheelchair).  The local attacks stopped in the late 1980s.


The prosecutor notes that Hessler was generally very cautious, wiping down the scene and taking items that he had touched with him.  But he did leave some DNA at one scene (though DNA was not then yet used for forensic investigations).  At the recommendation of retired Indiana State Trooper Mike Kolls (who worked with the original task force investigating the attacks), some of the DNA was sent to Parabon Nanolabs, who specializes in geneological DNA identification.  Parabon also solved the Golden State Killer case with this technology. 


Parabon sent back results that caused put a focus on Hessler and one other person.  Eventually, the prosecution was able to obtain Hessler’s DNA sample from an envelope he licked to send in a utility payment, and it matched the DNA at the scene. 


It was also found that Hessler had been convicted of a rape in Decatur County in the late 1980s (when the Shelby County attacks stopped), and received a 20-year sentence.  He was released from the Department Of Corrections about two months befthey would have had his DNA and a match years ago.


The prosecution was made more difficult because a previous task force had arrested and charged another local man with the first few of the attacks.  Further investigation confirmed his alibis for the evenings of certain attacks, as well as other information that led to dismissal of the case but this still created an additional hurdle for the prosecution to address in the trial.  Another suspect came up in trial as well – Michael Kenyan (aka – the “Illinois Enema Bandit”), who had committed a series of attacks similar to in the late 1970s, and who had been released from prison before the Shelby County attacks began.  Frank Zappa even wrote a song about him, which was brought up during the trial.  The Shelby County Prosecutor sent officers out to Arizona, where Kenyan lives now, to obtain DNA, interview Kenyan, and perform a forensic examination of his computer.


After receiving the DNA results matching Hessler to the DNA at one scene, they executed a search warrant at Hessler’s residence in the early morning hours on August 17, 2020, where they found photographs stolen from one victim and computers which showed that Hessler had been tracking down two other victims. He had even downloaded a Google Earth streetview photo of one victim’s house in Georgia.  Law enforcement also located certain coats that matched coats used, with ski masks in the pockets, and various specific items that matched items used in various of the attacks.


The most recent detectives to work (and solve) the investigation are Shelby County Sheriff’s Detective David Tilford and Indiana State Police Detective Paul Baker, but without several prior investigators doing things correctly, they would have still been unable to prove the case.


Landwerlen says the biggest credit goes out to the victims, who bravely testified despite having received death threats during the attacks.  These attacks have had profound impacts on their lives – always fearful if someone looks at them, and living in a recurring state of fear.  Landwerlen says he truly hopes these verdicts will bring them some sense of closure.  


Landwerlen was assisted in the prosecution of the case by Chief Deputy Prosecutor Scott Spears and Deputy Prosecutor Brandon Robinson.  Coordinating the trial also proved to be quite a task, as 27 witnesses were called – some as many as six times, and whittled thousands of pieces of possible evidence down to just over 300 exhibits actually admitted.  Witnesses had to be flown in from as far as Florida and Georgia, as well as a Secret Service computer technician from the east coast. 


Hessler will be sentenced on April 1, at 10:00 am, at which time he faces up to 50 years for each offense.  Landwerlen says he intends to seek a sentence sufficient to ensure that he dies in prison – never to hurt anyone again.

Banquet honors Shelby County's agricultural history, present and future

The agricultural community of Shelby County gathered Wednesday night at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino to honor the past, present and future of the industry.

Scott Gabbard, Purdue Extension Director of Shelby County, hosted the event that featured Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch, the director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture, Bruce Kettler, and keynote speaker Peter Goldsbrough, a retired professor from Purdue University.



Gabbard presented Kate Spegal (photo, right) and Kiara Heagy (photo, left) as the 2022 scholarship recipients.

Spegal, the daughter of Todd and Allison Spegal, will graduate from Triton Central High School in 2022 and plans to attend Purdue University to study Animal Science.

Spegal is a member of the National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student Council, Mentor/Mentee Program and Spanish Club. She also competes for TC’s soccer and track and field teams.

Heagy, the daughter of Mandy Swain, will graduate from Waldron High School in 2022. She plans to attend Purdue University where she has been accepted into the pre-veterinary program.

Heagy is a member of the National Honor Society, FBLA and FFA. She currently works at Top Dog Boarding Kennel.

Past recipients of the scholarship are:

  • Ethan Wendling and Hannah Everhart (2021)
  • Emma Engel and Abigail Gabbard (2020)
  • Stewart Douglas and Broc Kissell (2019)
  • Abigail Eck and Danille Bassett (2018)
  • Hannah Leap and Luke Schonfeld (2017)
  • Justin Platt, Brooke Settles and Katie Settles (2016)
  • Laura Crosby and Ben Swinford (2015)
  • Sara Monhollen and Kathryn Peterson (2014)
  • Joshua Crafton and Andrew Zobel (2013)
  • Sarah Everhart and Melanie Lewis (2012)
  • Brandon Fix and Kylie Verseman (2011)
  • Alexis Zobel and Anthony Comstock (2010)
  • Cody Hurst and Abby Nortrup (2009)
  • Rebekah Nortrup and Michelle Steinbarger (2008)
  • Whitney Carson and Jacob Tobias (2007)
  • Megan Fix and Anna Verseman (2006)
  • Mary Fix and Matthew Tobias (2005)
  • Kimberly Chapman and Bradley Muldoon (2004)



The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Bruce T. Batton (photo), who did not realize he was being honored until he arrived at the banquet room.

Batton is a lifelong farmer and Shelby County resident. He graduated from Morristown High School where he was involved in FFA, student government and athletics.

Batton married Wanda Canada in January of 1967 and they started their farm with milk cows, beef cows, corn and soybeans. By the mid-70s, the focus narrowed to corn and soybeans.

Batton worked with his father, Roger, and brothers, Bill and Brian, to comprise Batton Farms. At one time, the family farmed over 4,000 acres in Shelby County and Hancock County. During this time, the family was closely aligned with Funk Seed Corn where they conducted test plots and hosted Funk’s Field Days.

Batton started the girls softball program in Morristown and kept score for boys basketball games for over seven years. He has served on the Shelby Eastern Schools board, been the Morristown Alumni President and served on the Hanover Trustee Advisory Board.

He continues to foster the future of farming by hiring high school kids to work on the farm. He teaches them how to operate the machinery, exposes them to farm techniques and mentors them to gain an appreciation for farming.

Batton is the seventh recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, joining Harold Tennell, John Carson, George Crosby, Edwin Yarling, Darrell Linville and Gerald Gray.

People's Convoy passes through Indiana

“Let Freedom Roll,” the phrase seen on many a sign, truck, and tractor-trailer at the Ted Everett Farm Equipment lot, at 11998 IN-39, Monrovia, IN, where the Trucker Convoy had come to rest along their route through Indiana.


Visitors to this mini festival could be heard protesting with the truckers. Many stating they have the right to make their own choices. One woman, wishing to remain anonymous, compared it to the ‘my body, my choice’ abortion rights movement. She said if a person believes a woman has the right to choose what is okay for her body when it comes to pregnancy and abortion options, then women and men both should have the right to choose if genetic manipulator is injected into their bodies. Those in the crowd around her agreed with her statements, adding in their own similar thoughts.


During an announcement to a crowd of supporters, a man called out from a makeshift stage. “We stand with all freedom fighters. Whether they are Americans, our brothers and sisters in Canada, the Ukrainians, if they are fighting for freedom, we are standing with them.” Cheering erupted from the crowd.


There were vendors at the makeshift festival selling their wares; however, many were actually giving out food and American flags for free. Kerri Cruz [Pictured left; Debby Dyer on the right], in response to the question of why she wasn’t charging for her meatball subs, stated, “That is not what this is about. This is about freedom.” Her comment caught the attention of a retired military-turned-truck driver, who asked if he could hug the ladies.



The convoy left Monrovia Thursday morning. The convoy is heading to 64279 Wintergreen Rd, Lore City, Ohio. If you are interested in tracking the convoy, they will be taking I-70 E to 465 N to I-70 E to 270 S to I70 E to Exit #186.


You can also track their movement or donate to their cause by visiting thepeoplesconvoy.org.


Debby Dyer


Michael Ewaldt


Shelbyville firefighter approved to fill vacant seat on Southwestern Consolidated Schools board

The Southwestern Consolidated Schools board filled its vacant position Tuesday at a special meeting on campus.

Shelbyville firefighter Derrek Tennell was chosen from a pool of applicants and will sit in his first scheduled monthly meeting on March 9.

“I’m a third generation graduate of the school and I have a son that is here in kindergarten so I am trying to do what is best for the community,” said Tennell following the meeting.

Before Tennell was nominated and approved unanimously, the board was asked what hiring criteria it used to make its selection.

Board president Jim Emerick stated a candidate had to put the students, staff and community first in decision making and he went on to say each candidate brought something specific that set them apart.

Derrek and his wife, Kristan, have two young sons, Avery and Rocky.

He credits his community experience, board experience serving a non-profit and being a union representative within the Shelbyville Fire Department as positives he can bring to the school board.

“Honestly, it was the right time for me and my family to commit the time to do it,” said Tennell.

In other board business Tuesday:

  • The board approved a base salary raise of $5,000 for school nurse Rebecca Vise;
  • The board, upon the recommendation of high school/junior school principal John Tindall, approved the hiring of Logan Shuppert to serve as a social worker for the school system. Shuppert will help alleviate the strain on the school’s counseling services, according to Tindall. The position will be evaluated on a year-to-year basis to determine its need.

Shelby County Commissioner Chris Ross announces re-election campaign

Chris Ross, Shelby County Commissioner, North District, has announced his re-election campaign. 


Ross will appear on the Republican Primary ballot on May 3, 2022.


“Serving the people of Shelby County as North District Commissioner has been one of the great honors of my life,” said Ross, a sixth-generation Shelby County resident.  “Over the past several years we have made great progress, and I want to do my part to see it continue.” 


“As a county, we’ve made significant investments in our roads, bridges, and infrastructure, while keeping taxes low.  We’ve focused on planning to support responsible growth that will benefit the people of Shelby County for generations to come.”


“I made it very clear when I first ran for County Commissioner, I thought our future was very promising. Without the hard decisions we’ve made, we would not have realized the progress and success we’ve had over the last eight years.”


Those planning efforts and investments in county infrastructure have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment and the creation of hundreds of new jobs in Shelby County. 


“I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished together.  I’m excited to continue to support the responsible growth and progress we’ve seenduring my term as commissioner,” said Ross.


Ross, a life-long resident of Shelby County, is a 1979 graduate of Morristown High School with an Agri-Business degree from Vincennes University. 


He is married to Kim Ross and they are the parents of daughter, Kate, and late son Cole.  


He serves on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Shelby County, the Hanover Township Cemetery Board, and was a founding member of the Morristown Boys and Girls Club.


Ross chairs the county’s Finance Board and is the commissioner representative for the Shelby County Plan Commission, Drainage Board, Recycle District, and Ambulance Board.

Dead woman found along I-70

A death investigation for Indiana State Police after a body was found along Interstate 70.


Just after 7:30 Tuesday morning the Indiana State Police responded to a report of a person laying in the gravel on I-70 westbound, in the cross-over at the 93.1 mile marker, approximately one-half mile east of the German Church Road overpass.


Upon arrival troopers located an African-American female in her early 20’s.  The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.


Indiana State Police detectives are investigating her death as a homicide and an actual cause and manner of death will be determined by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.


At this time investigators do not have a description of any suspect or suspect vehicle. Anyone traveling in that area during the early morning hours of Tuesday, who may have either witnessed this incident or vehicles turning into or out of the cross-over is asked to contact the Indiana State Police at (317) 899-8577.



Hawk completes IHSAA trifecta after working Class 4A basketball state championship game

Carmen Hawk spent all day Saturday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse letting the anticipation build toward her first assignment as an official in a basketball state championship game.

The Morristown native was one of three officials selected to work the Indiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A girls basketball state championship game between Franklin and Noblesville.

“During the introductions I stood there and looked up and took it all in,” she said. “There were almost 10,000 people there. It was maybe the biggest game I will ref in my career.”

With the assignment, Hawk (photo, right) has now completed the trifecta of working IHSAA state championship events in all three seasons.



On June 9, 2018, Hawk was an umpire in the Class 4A softball state championship game between Decatur Central and Lake Central. Decatur Central won 5-2 at Bittinger Stadium on the campus of Purdue University.

Five months later, Hawk was assigned the Class 3A volleyball state championship game between New Castle and Northview. New Castle won 25-22, 25-20, 25-14 on Nov. 3, 2018, at Worthen Arena at Ball State University.

But basketball is a headlining sport in Indiana and Hawk was honored to be part of the state championship day at the home of the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever.

“The fans are not right on the court so I couldn’t hear individuals yelling. That was a big difference,” said Hawk. “The first quarter, it was a lot of up and down. The kids wanted to run and we let them play. There were not a lot of whistles.”

Ashlynn Shade, a University of Connecticut recruit, scored a game-high 31 points to lead Noblesville to a 76-52 victory Saturday night.

“She is amazing,” said Hawk of the Noblesville junior. “If she was 6-2 or 6-3 she would be one of the best players in the country. She may be already.”

Hawk learned of her assignment to a state championship game on Feb. 19 – the day she worked the Class 2A semistate championship game in Jasper between Forest Park and University.

The three official crew selected included Scott Arthur (photo, center) and Kevin Lewis (photo, left) -- both worked semistate games at Jeffersonville that same day.

Arthur was the lead official in Tecumseh’s 54-42 win over Waldron while Lewis worked Silver Creek’s 64-54 win over Chatard.

While watching the Class 3A state championship game Saturday night, Hawk received a phone call from her daughter, who showed up unexpectedly at Gainbridge Fieldhouse with several of her volleyball teammates to cheer her on.

“I screamed. It was the only time I was in tears (all day),” said Hawk.

Hawk, who got her officiating license not long after she graduated from Morristown High School, is excited about a new initiative to entice high school students to pursue officiating. Those interested can work junior high and middle school contests with a licensed official and be paid for the experience. Hawk’s two oldest children have expressed an interest in following in mom’s footsteps.

While Hawk has worked lower level NAIA and Division III women’s basketball games and softball games in the past, she found the college experience very time consuming with the amount of travel involved.

“I’ve found my niche at the high school level,” she said. “I’ve now made it to the state finals in all three sports. I want to focus now on new officials, especially women officials, and mentor them.

“And I would love to work more state finals.”

The basketball officiating season is not yet over for Hawk, though. She was assigned to Class 3A, Sectional 29 this week at Connersville that features two state-ranked boys basketball teams in the host Spartans (18-6) and Greensburg (20-4).

Columbus man sentenced to over 27 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting children in Indiana, California

A Bartholomew County man was sentenced to over 27 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child and attempted sexual exploitation of a child.

According to court documents, Jordan Fields, 21, of Columbus, Indiana, sexually exploited children in Indiana and California, and admitted to other acts of exploitation against unknown minors. Fields first came to the attention of federal authorities in the fall of 2020, when law enforcement in California notified authorities in Indiana that Fields had engaged in sexually explicit Snapchat communications with a 13-year-old boy in California.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation and executed a search warrant at Fields’ home on Nov. 13, 2020. Fields was initially arrested on state charges of child solicitation and possession of child pornography. A team from the Indiana State Police, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI reviewed evidence seized from Fields’ home, and Fields was arrested on federal sexual exploitation charges in March of 2021. 

Fields admitted to communication with multiple underage boys online and admitted to receiving child sexual abuse material through Snapchat and Omegle. Fields pled guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child for his victimization of three southern Indiana children.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers made the announcement.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff Office investigated the case. The Indiana State Police, the Bartholomew County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Magnus-Stinson ordered that the defendant be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 20 years following his release from federal prison and ordered Fields to pay $10,000 each to four minor victims.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina M. Korobov who prosecuted this case.

In fiscal year 2019, the Southern District of Indiana was second out of the 94 federal districts in the country for the number of child sexual exploitation cases prosecuted.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc

Pyatt Builders presents concept plan to finish Twelve Oaks subdivision

Pyatt Builders is proposing the completion of the Twelve Oaks subdivision on Shelbyville’s southeast side.

Originally created in 2001, Twelve Oaks’ 296-lot subdivision was approved but never completed.

The original builder failed to finish Phase I in the early 2000s. Arbor Homes agreed to finish Phase I but the additional land east of the subdivision was never developed.

Pyatt Builders, currently building The Pointe at Central Park subdivision behind Kroger off Saraina Road, brought a concept plan before the city’s Plan Commission Monday night at City Hall. The presentation was informal to discuss ideas and potential changes to the plan with a formal public presentation at the commission’s next meeting on March 28.

The conceptual plan for Phase II of Twelve Oaks includes 148 homes on larger lots than were used in Phase I. The current Twelve Oaks subdivision has less than 100 homes on 5,000- to 7,000-square-foot lots.

Pyatt is proposing lots at a minimum of 6,000 square feet and larger with a price point for homes ranging from $225,000 to $300,000.

“The market is still good. There are still buyers,” said Pyatt Builders representative Paul Claire. “We are interested in still building in this area.”

Many of the lots at The Pointe at Central Park are sold, according to Claire. The price point there is $225,000 and up.

Phase II also would connect to the south to the new Lewis Creek subdivision that will be built by M/I Homes beginning this year and will have access points off both Progress Parkway and McKay Road.

Shelby Co. Emergency Management Director Ryan Hansome to take post in South Carolina

Shelby County will be on the lookout for a new Emergency Management director. 


Ryan Hansome informed the county’s commissioners during Monday’s meeting that he’s accepted a new position.



Hansome says the post he’s held in Shelby County since May of 2015 has allowed him to grow in the profession.



Hansome will begin at the new post on March 21.