Local News

Successful job fair closes out Second Chance and Reentry Month in Shelbyville

Michael Daniels had no idea what to expect from Thursday’s Second Chance Job Fair at the former Chase Bank in downtown Shelbyville.

But as men and women kept filing out with job applications and information, as well as job offers, Daniels couldn’t help but feel tremendous satisfaction.

“I am really excited about this,” said Daniels, the city’s Behavioral Health & Justice Equity Director. “We have more than two dozen employers. I know we’ve seen close to 50 people who have come in today looking for work. We just talked to a lady that came in, filled out an application, did the interview and is starting work tomorrow (Friday). We are really excited about that.”

The job fair was the final event in the city’s Second Chance and Reentry Month. The goal was to highlight efforts and activities for residents who are reentering the community from justice involvement and incarceration or are celebrating recovery from drugs, alcohol or behavioral addictions.

“We hear all the time people say they can’t find work and we hear from employers who say they can’t find people,” said Daniels. “One of the things that government can do well is convene things. Being able to host this and bring folks together, and that we are able to do this with an eye toward bringing employers on board, and in this case, knowing that many of the folks who came out today may have a criminal background or may be in recovery. And for our clients to know, they are welcome at this event.”

As part of Second Chance and Reentry Month, the Shelby County Public Library created a special display of books focusing on issues of criminal justice, incarceration and recovery. There also was an art showcase at City Hall depicting shoes decorated by women incarcerated in the Shelby County Jail or already in recovery. Each pair of shoes were created with the mindset of how that person felt while in jail or addicted to drugs while the other shoe was the opposite – how it felt to be out of jail or in recovery.

“I think we’ve been able to raise some awareness and maybe, hopefully, paint a little bit of a different picture of who folks are,” said Daniels. “When the average person says I know what people in jail look like or I know what an addict looks like, I think we’ve been able to put a different face on that this month and that was our whole goal.”

Daniel has been working from his City Hall office just over six months now. The Shelbyville native has been impressed with the support he has received as he delves deeper into the community’s issues.

“I did this work in a large democrat metropolitan county for a decade-and-a-half before I came home,” he explained. “I’ve learned that the problems are the same, the only difference is the scale.

“I’ve been incredibly, pleasantly surprised by the lack of partisan opposition or lack of partisan bickering in general. I think folks recognize that this work is important and transcends politics. I was expecting, quite honestly, much more of a buzzsaw than I have gotten so far. I think what we discovered is lots of folks are very interested in this work but across various departments it’s always someone’s third or fourth job to think about these things. By bringing me in where it’s my full-time job everyday to come in and think about these things, it enables us to coalesce all of that into one office.”

The next issue on Daniels’ agenda is homelessness.

“We will be working toward the summer on some grant applications due in the fall and taking a hard look at what homelessness in town looks like,” he said. “What’s the magnitude of that and what are some of the solutions to that.”

Purdue and Duke Energy to explore potential for nuclear power source for campus

Purdue University and Duke Energy have announced a plan to jointly explore the feasibility of using advanced nuclear energy to meet the campus community’s long-term energy needs.

With interest rising worldwide in new technologies that are reliable and carbon-free, Purdue and Duke Energy intend to study power produced through Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), a move that may be unprecedented for a college campus and a potential fit for Purdue’s energy needs.

According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, SMRs are among the most promising emerging technologies in nuclear power. Significantly smaller than traditional nuclear power plants, an SMR could meet current and future needs for Purdue’s West Lafayette campus as well as provide excess power to the state’s electric grid.

Home to one of the nation’s top nuclear engineering programs and a national leader in energy innovation that is scalable and sustainable, Purdue and its experts are uniquely qualified to evaluate this “giant leap” toward a carbon-free energy future.

“No other option holds as much potential to provide reliable, adequate electric power with zero carbon emissions,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “Innovation and new ideas are at the core of what we do at Purdue, and that includes searching for ways to minimize the use of fossil fuels while still providing carbon-free, reliable, and affordable energy. We see enough promise in these new technologies to undertake an exploration of their practicality, and few places are better positioned to do it.”

Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar said, “Duke Energy is leading this industry’s biggest clean energy transformation worldwide, and exploring technologies such as this is important work to help get us there. Nuclear provides reliable energy and can complement other carbon-free energy sources, such as solar and wind. As the largest regulated nuclear plant operator in the nation, we have more than 50 years experience with safe, reliable operations. We can share that experience with one of America’s premier engineering schools to see what this technology could do for its campus as well as the state.”

Purdue is currently powered through the Wade Utility Plant, which is a combined heat and power system that uses steam to provide heat, electricity and chilled water that is used to cool facilities. A new Duke Energy plant on campus also provides thermal energy in the form of steam to Purdue, while also supplying Duke Energy’s Indiana customers with electricity. Approximately 50% of campus electricity is purchased from Duke Energy.

Michael B. Cline, Purdue senior vice president for administrative operations, said, “This effort provides a timely opportunity for Purdue to work with our partners to explore whether nuclear energy can be a practical and affordable option to meet our long-term needs.”

Advanced nuclear technology is still under development, and nationally Duke Energy is involved with industry groups, reactor technology companies, and leading research universities such as Purdue that are exploring deployment of this advanced nuclear technology.

SMRs are revolutionary in part because of their modular nature. They can be prefabricated off site, thereby saving money and time in construction. And Purdue is at the forefront of this technology by pioneering, developing and verifying the steel-plate composite construction used in SMRs at the on-campus Bowen Laboratory through the Center for Structural Engineering and Nuclear Power Plants, which is led by Amit Varma, Purdue’s Karl H. Kettelhut professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Bowen Laboratory of Large-Scale CE Research.

“Steel-plate composite technology is fundamental to successfully deploying SMRs within budget and on schedule,” said Varma. “We have the world’s pre-eminent team and facilities to conduct the testing, analysis, design, and construction demonstration to actualize the potential of this technology.”

The exploration, including a series of meetings and joint studies, will begin in the coming weeks.

Purdue’s graduate nuclear engineering program is ranked among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Nuclear engineering students are able to learn from and conduct research using PUR-1, the first and only nuclear reactor in the state, and the first and only US NRC facility to be licensed for a fully digital instrument and control system. University reactors used for teaching and research are all far too small to power a campus community.

Duke Energy operates the largest regulated nuclear fleet in the nation, with 11 nuclear units at six plant sites in North Carolina and South Carolina. These plants generate nearly 11,000 megawatts of reliable, carbon-free electricity, about half of the electricity needed for its Carolinas customers, with production costs among the lowest in the nation. In 2021, the nuclear fleet matched its record capacity factor (a measure of reliability) of 95.7% and avoided the release of more than 50.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Waldron tennis organizing three county tourneys into cancer fundraiser event

Waldron High School’s girls tennis program has organized three simultaneous Shelby County tournaments into a county-wide fundraiser event for the Shelby County Cancer Association.

The Shelby County Girls Tennis Tournament and Shelby County Baseball Tournament run simultaneously at Southwestern High School on May 7. Additionally, the Shelby County Softball Tournament is the same day at Triton Central High School.

All proceeds from a silent auction, raffles and donations will be presented to the local cancer association.

“There will be lots of stuff there. We will have a donation table, baskets for silent auction and a bunch of other stuff too,” said Waldron senior tennis player Nichole Garner. “We hope to get the whole county involved and make it a county-wide thing.”

The Shelby County Tennis Tournament starts at 9 a.m. on May 7 at Southwestern. The host Spartans will face Waldron in the opening semifinal match.

Triton Central will take on Morristown in the second semifinal with the championship match following in the afternoon.

“There are a lot of people in this county that have been affected by (cancer), this is a good way to show that the county sticks together even with our rivalries in sports,” said Waldron senior Mackenzie Shaw. “We stick together and come together to fight something like this.”

The silent auction will only take place at Southwestern High School. There will be a donation station at Triton Central High School during the county softball tournament as well as snow cones for sale with proceeds going toward the fundraiser.

The Shelby County Softball Tournament starts at 10 a.m. with the host Tigers taking on Morristown. The winner will face Waldron in the championship game approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the semifinal contest.

Southwestern does not have a softball program.

The Shelby County Baseball Tournament at Southwestern starts at 9 a.m. with Triton Central taking on Morristown. The second game is tentatively scheduled to start at 11 a.m. with Waldron facing the host Spartans.

The championship game follows later in the afternoon.

“Even with the rivalries, we still bond together and do special things like this,” said Waldron senior Megan Bogemann.

Donations are already being accepted for the fundraiser event. Gift cards and gift baskets are being accrued as well.

Waldron’s spring fundraiser event is now in its sixth season, according to Waldron tennis coach Chelsea Platt.

“This is the first year for the county-wide event,” she said.

The event also serves as a community-service project for the Waldron tennis players.

“I think they learn a lot of communication skills and learn to talk to different people and how to be invested in something that gives back to the community,” explained Platt.

To donate to the event, contact Platt at Chelsea.platt16@gmail.com or contact any Waldron girls tennis player.

Southwestern hires Beth Hoeing as new elementary school principal

With the recent elevation of Josh Edwards to Superintendent of Southwestern Consolidated Schools, a void was left as Principal of Southwestern Elementary School.

On Wednesday at a special Southwestern school board meeting, Northwood Elementary instructional coach Beth Hoeing was named as Edwards’ replacement as principal of Southwestern Elementary School.

Northwood Elementary School is part of the Franklin school district. Hoeing is a Franklin High School and Franklin College graduate with a master’s degree from Ball State University. She has been with the Franklin school system for 16 years – 12 years as a classroom teacher in grades 1-4 and four years as an instructional coach.

Hoeing and her husband, James, a lieutenant with the Franklin Police Department, have two daughters.

Hoeing’s official start date is July 1. Keith Grant will remain Southwestern Elementary’s interim principal through the end of the school year.

Hoeing was introduced at Wednesday’s school board meeting following her recommendation from a 12-member hiring committee.

“She was the No. 1 choice for the entire committee. She was the top one,” said Edwards Thursday morning. “We knew when she came in … her professionalism and her ability to show a positive personality, and her leadership qualities were strong. We are very excited to have Beth with us.”

There were 19 applicants for the position and 11 were interviewed, according to Edwards.

“It was a really strong candidate pool,” he said.

In other board business Wednesday:

  • Approved a one-time $300 stipend for school corporation bus drivers to assist with rising fuel costs.
  • Approved the purchase of a new electrical panel for Southwestern Junior/Senior High School from Siemens for $64,720.
  • Approved the purchase of a new riding lawnmower not to exceed $17,000.
  • Approved Southwestern Elementary School third grade teacher Ashley Fivecoat as IREAD3 Remediation Teacher as well as the school system’s new Title I Coordinator/Corporate Testing Coordinator/Curriculum Director.

The Title I Coordinator was eliminated prior to the 2021-2022 school year, according to Edwards. A pair of first grade teachers were given the responsibilities but it proved too much for them to handle effectively while still maintaining classroom duties.

“To do it right, we have to have someone time-dedicated,” said Edwards. “We gave it a shot but it turned out to be a little bigger than we thought.”

Edwards described Fivecoat as an “outstanding educator” who also serves as a technology coach within the school system.

Red-tailed hawk in Johnson County among raptor species with avian influenza

Avian influenza has been confirmed in two wild raptor species in Indiana, according to the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW).


Diagnostic testing on the raptors was done at Purdue’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, where the birds tested positive with the (HP) H5N1 strain that is circulating in North America.

The individual raptors that tested positive were one bald eagle each from Starke and Miami counties, and a red-tailed hawk from Johnson County.

Since the beginning of the year, avian influenza has been detected in raptors in multiple states.

In light of spring turkey hunting season, Michelle Benavidez Westrich, a DFW wildlife health biologist, said that the current H5N1 strain has not been detected in wild turkeys, and she does not expect that to happen.

“While wild turkeys are presumed susceptible, the likelihood of wild turkeys catching this disease is very low; it has never occurred in Indiana,” she said.

As always, meat harvested from wild birds in the state, as long as it is handled properly and cooked to an internal temperature of 165F, does not present a food safety risk.

Avian influenza has been detected in various wild water birds in multiple states this year. A redhead duck collected from Dubois County by the USDA tested positive for the H5N1 strain earlier in 2022. The DFW is partnering with USDA-Wildlife Services to increase surveillance efforts throughout the state. People who see waterfowl or raptors that are dead or appear sick are asked to report them using the DNR online reporting tool: on.IN.gov/sickwildlife.

Additional information about avian influenza in wild birds, bird feeder care, and more advice on how you can help prevent the spread avian influenza and other bird diseases is at bit.ly/3vRh7dX.  


Get a taste of competition chili at the Indiana State Chili Championship Saturday

Shelbyville's Knights of Columbus #822 will host the Indiana State Chili Championship on Saturday.


33 competitors are expected to offer their best chili in this qualifying event for the 2022 International World competition.


Chrissy Atwood says visitors to the event get to taste test.



Atwood explains how the event comes to be held in Shelbyville and the added bonus that proceeds from the public's taste testing goes to the host site.



Atwood outlines the types of chili that will be amde available.



Atwood says the smell at the K of C will leave no doubt that it's a chili cookoff.









Golden Bear Golf Outing registration open for 2022 event at The Legends Golf Club

The Shelbyville Golden Bear Golf Outing to benefit the boys basketball and football programs will be held July 16 at the Legends Golf Club, 2555 Hurricane Road in Franklin.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m.

The participation cost is $75 per golfer or $300 per foursome.

Major event sponsorships available include Outing Sponsor ($1,500) and Nine-Hole Sponsor ($750).



Additional sponsorship opportunities include Beverage Cart Sponsor ($500), Driving Range Sponsor ($500), Longest Drive, Closest-to-the-Pin and Longest Putt sponsors at $300 each and hole sponsorships at $500, $250 and $100 levels.

Additional donations for the event will be gratefully accepted.

The 2021 event was very successful with 46 teams and numerous sponsors participating to raise essential funds for the Shelbyville High School basketball and football teams.

To register or receive additional information, please contact basketball coach John Hartnett at jahartnett@shelbycs.org or (317) 512-1509, or assistant football coach Drew Parsley at daparsley@shelbycs.org or (317) 364-7270.

Photo: The 2021 Golden Bear Golf Outing champions were from left: Andrew Craft, Jess Willard, Ryan Claxton and Aaron Haehl (not pictured).

City updating residential, non-residential landscaping standards

The City of Shelbyville’s Plan Commission moved forward a petition to annex a Miller Avenue residence into the city and granted approval for a new storage building to be erected at 950 W. Washington Street.

Adolfo Patino, owner of 2127 S. Miller Avenue, is dealing with septic tank issues every time it rains. His petition to be annexed into the city will allow the residence to connect to city utility services, including the sewage system.

A favorable recommendation was granted to move the petition forward to the city’s Common Council.

Randy Robinson, owner of 950 W. Washington Street, had a site development plan approved Tuesday to create a new storage facility at the property that formerly housed Paxton Trucking.

Existing buildings on the property were created in 1977. One is currently being demolished due to it being in poor condition. Robinson wants to build a 6,000-square-foot building that will house personal items such as antique cars.

The site development plan was approved and will move on to the Common Council for approval.

Adam Rude, the city’s plan director, discussed with the Plan Commission updates to landscaping standards that are being created. Current landscaping standards were created in 2012, according to Rude, and are now outdated in some respects.

The goal is to increase the quality of the standards. Their purpose is to:

  • Increase planting standards
  • Enhance aesthetics and environmental health of the community
  • Enhance aesthetics around ponds, utilize natural measures to deter geese
  • Encourage and incentivize plant preservation
  • Ensure maintenance of landscaping once planted
  • Encourage plant diversity for a more natural look

The standards are being created for residential and non-residential areas.

The standards for ponds is new, according to Rude. The goal is to improve aesthetics and use natural deterrents to not attract protected Canadian geese to local ponds.

Parking lot landscaping standards also are being updated.

No formal action was taken at the Plan Commission meeting Tuesday at City Hall.

The timeline is to introduce an ordinance at the Common Council meeting on May 16. A public hearing for input will be held at the next Plan Commission meeting on May 23.

The final reading and adoption of the new standards will occur at the June 6 Common Council meeting.

Strawberry Festival returning to downtown Shelbyville on June 3

Shelby Senior Services’ annual Strawberry Festival is returning to downtown Shelbyville on June 3.

The Strawberry Festival will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 3 at the Public Square in the newly-redeveloped downtown area.

Strawberry Shortcake and ice cream will be available for $7.

Approval for closure of a portion of the downtown square was given Tuesday morning by the Board of Works and Public Safety at its weekly meeting at City Hall.

The City of Shelbyville also is planning a downtown celebration that day that will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony celebrating the completion of the three-year project.

In other board business Tuesday:

  • Approved a handicap parking space on the south side of James Street, located near the Shelby County Fairgounds.
  • Approved a request to remove a parking space on Jackson Street behind the residence at 45 W. Washington Street for the construction of a 3-car garage.
  • The board was briefed by Michael Daniels, the city’s Behavioral Health & Justice Equity director, about a Job Fair Thursday at the Chase Bank building on the Public Square. Several local businesses will be attendance from 1 to 4 p.m. offering jobs with competitive salaries and benefits. No registration is required to attend.

Knauf Insulation celebrates recycling & sustainability achievements

Knauf Insulation, Inc. has expanded upon its sustainability commitments over the past 12 months by supporting recycling initiatives and incorporating circular economy principles across its six U.S. manufacturing facilities.


As a company that uses 500 million pounds of recycled glass in its manufacturing process per year, Knauf is deeply invested in improving glass recycling rates through efforts such as:


  • An employee recycling program launched on Earth Day 2021 has collected 42,000 pounds of glass which will go back into its manufacturing process.
  • Support of “Just Glass,” a glass recycling pick-up service run by Justice Industries, a nonprofit in Nashville, TN, that creates job opportunities for individuals with barriers to traditional employment (homelessness, addiction, domestic violence).
  • Partnerships with education and advocacy groups Glass Recycling FoundationCircular Indiana, and others to be announced later this year. Knauf sponsored and hosted an event with Circular Indiana in the fall of 2021 that convened Indiana state legislators, manufacturers, economic development organizations, and other stakeholders to discuss supply chain issues involving recycled materials.
  • A new program with the Shelby County Recycling District in which all glass collected at the Shelby County Transfer Station is used in the manufacturing process at Knauf Insulation.
  • Introduction of the “Knauf Krusher” – a fun, hands on way to turn bottles into glass cullet and educate the community on the importance of glass recycling.
  • An expansion of its Albion, Michigan plant will utilize an additional 64 million pounds of recycled glass per year, recovered in part through the state of Michigan’s Bottle Deposit Law.

Raising the awareness about glass recycling is very important to Knauf Insulation. Not only do we divert 50 tons of recyclable glass from the landfill every hour but the use of recycled glass has additional environmental benefits, lowering the amount of energy necessary for manufacturing and reducing the amount of raw minerals that need to be mined.


“As we look to the future it will be necessary for every organization and individual to assess the environmental impact that they have and take action to reduce the overall impact,” said Chris Mahin, Vice President of HSE and Sustainability at Knauf Insulation. “Knauf Insulation believes that sustainability is an ongoing process that must be improved. We are committed to continually pursuing alternatives for energy, raw materials, and packaging.”


Globally, Knauf Insulation has committed to the following objectives by 2025:


  • Reduce embodied carbon of its products by 15 percent compared to 2019
  • Reduce its carbon footprint by at least 25 percent
  • Collect 25 percent of waste generated by customers on job sites and recycle it back into its manufacturing process
  • Reduce our virgin plastic film packaging by more than 25 percent.

Commitment to local youth lifelong passion for Mark Tackett

Spring brings welcome warm weather and a resurgence of green fields throughout Indiana.

It also signals the return of outdoor youth sports and, consequently, Shelby County Babe Ruth Baseball board president Mark Tackett overseeing the youth baseball complex on Shelbyville’s west side.

“We have experienced significant growth in our program over the past few years,” said Tackett as he was busy making preparations for the start of the 2022 season. “We have right at 550 players registered for this summer, which is the most ever. We have even added a new league to accommodate the growth.”

Tackett, 52, is a 1988 Shelbyville High School graduate who has dedicated much of his effort and energy over many years to the service and support of the Shelby County community and its people.  

He is beginning his seventh year as league president. He started coaching at the Babe Ruth park in 2009 when his oldest son, Caden, began playing. He joined the board one year later.

“Matt Haehl was president and asked me to become a board member and I was happy to do it,” said Tackett. “My brothers and I were around baseball parks quite a bit while we were growing up so it has always felt comfortable to be involved here.”

Tackett is the fourth born in a family of six children of David and Anna Tackett. He lived on Grandview Drive in Shelbyville and recalls a childhood full of activity and fun.

“There were many kids around the neighborhood and we were always playing baseball or football in the field next to Standard Register (now Taylor Communications),” he recalled. “I spent much of my time during those years at the Boys and Girls Club. My older brothers coached me there and I think that is where I developed an interest in being involved in sports.”



Tackett (photo) became an active coach and volunteer at the club during his junior high school years and continued that participation throughout high school. His efforts and achievements at the Boys and Girls Club were rewarded with a Donald Brunner Leadership Award and, in 1986, he received the Ken Self Scholarship and was named Youth of the Year.

“The Club has been an important part of my life and I am very honored to have received those awards,” said Tackett.

He worked at the Muncie Boys and Girls Club during his four years as a student at Ball State University. Following graduation, he worked for three years as program director for the Clinton County Boys and Girls Club in Frankfort.

“I had a great Boys and Girls Club education from my involvement in Shelbyville and Muncie, so the job at Frankfort was a good fit,” he said.

Tackett worked for Shelbyville native Bill Wheeler in Frankfort.

“Bill was someone I knew from my youth in Shelbyville. He was always eager to help people and I appreciate all he did for me,” said Tackett. Wheeler died in 2003.

Tackett returned to Shelbyville in the fall of 1997 and accepted a position at the Shelby County Probation Department working with juveniles. Today, his job at probation entails supervising and interacting with adults and conducting regular alcohol and drug assessments.

Tackett’s basic Babe Ruth duties include operation oversight, fundraising and general management, however he finds himself serving in a variety of other capacities as well.

“We have an excellent board,” said Tackett. “We work well together and are all willing to do what is necessary to be successful.”

He is especially pleased with the growth and development of local youth baseball.

“We have added 14 teams in the last three years and constructed new batting cages. A few years ago, we started a fall league on Sundays,” he explained. “We truly appreciate the support we receive. Eagle Scout Lance File built a new shelter house for us as his project last year. When we need sponsors, some business or individual is quick to help.”

The league also annually awards three or four scholarships to graduating seniors who are Babe Ruth alumni, continuing a practice that began in 1998.

Tackett’s community participation extends beyond his extensive role with Babe Ruth. He is a board member for CASA, a child advocate group that is a proponent for children in need of social and government services. He has coached junior high baseball and continues his part-time work at the Boys and Girls Club officiating and coaching during the winter months.

“I have done something at the club every year since I returned home from Frankfort 25 years ago,” said Tackett.

Tackett credits board members, coaches and volunteers who came before him with establishing a strong foundation for local youth baseball.


(Photo provided: Seven-year-old Mark Tackett (right), aided by coach Todd McLane, recovers from a bad hop during a T-ball game at the old Boys Club baseball field).


“I remember people like Dave Wright and Jim Sleeth doing so much at the ball park,” said Tackett. “I played Little League for the Coca-Cola team when it was still held at Sunrise Park and my coaches were Terry Nicholson and Harry Shadley. Todd McLane coached me in T-ball at the Boys and Girls Club when he was still in high school. All these people made a positive impression on me.”   

Inspiration has been in abundant supply throughout his life for the married father of three boys, however he cites his mother’s example as the primary factor for his long-term community commitment and dedication.

“I recall my mother was always ready to be of assistance when we were kids,” he said. “She would pick up kids who did not have rides and take them to their games or practices, she would volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club and the Babe Ruth Park. She was the first female Babe Ruth coach and board member as well.

“She gained a great deal of respect for her efforts. She taught me that there may be a limit to the money you can give, but not to your effort.”

For Mark Tackett, that has been a lesson well-learned.    

(Main photo: Mark Tackett with his three boys: Cael (standing), Caden and Grant)


Shelbyville Heavy Trash Cleaup is same day as your regular trash pickup

The City of Shelbyville is holding heavy trash pickup next week.

Street Department supervisor Dave Fannin discussed the upcoming week with the Board of Public Works and Safety.  Fannin asked residents to separate their items before placing them out on the day of their normal trash pickup.



All trash must be clearly organized to assist with the collection process.



The city absorbs the excess fuel costs, dumping costs and potential employee overtime costs for this one-time a year service.


There will be no recycling or yard waste pickup next week while heavy trash is being handled.





Road rage incident results in charges, loss of job

A Shelby County man has been terminated from his job and charged in Rush County following what’s been described as a road rage incident.


The Rush County Sheriff’s Department says Gary Bow, of Shelbyville, turned himself in to the Rush Couunty Jail on Tuesday.  A warrant had been issued for Bow for criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, impersonating a public servant law enforcement officer and reckless driving.  The first two charges are Level 6 felonies.


On Saturday, April 16, the Rush County Sheriff’s Department says that Bow and a Rush County citizen were in the area of State Road 3 and 900 North when Bow passed a semi-tractor and then began brake checking him.  The two drivers stopped and had an exchange of words.  The Rush County Sheriff’s Department says the semi-tractor driver claimed Bow brandished a firearm at him and that Bow then yelled that he should arrest the semi driver.  Bow then drove away.


Bow was employed with the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department Jail Division as a detention deputy.  He was off-duty at the time of the incident.  He has since been terminated from that position.


Shelbyville Central still debating policy, wording for handbooks for middle and high school

Shelbyville Central still needs handbooks approved for its middle and high school for the upcoming school year.  Those particular handbooks were denied passage at Wednesday’s school board meeting.


With several policy handbooks on the agenda for approval, school board member David Finkel requested that the books be considered and voted upon separately instead of as a single agenda item.  With that, Finkel made a motion, seconded by board member Jim Rees, that the handbooks for the middle and high school be denied.


The board voted 4-2 to approve that motion.  Board president Curt Johnson was not present with a death in the family.


Board members told the Shelby County Post that there continues to be debate about not just policy, but in some cases simply the wording of policy, on various points in the handbooks from student clothing to use of backpacks inside the school building.


Other handbooks for virtual programs, transportation, elementary and elementary athletics received unanimous approval.


The board also approved the continued use of Chartwells as the schools’ food management company.  The board was pleased to only have a reported six percent increase in the contract for the next school year.

Shelby County Post adding John Hartnett Jr. as contributing writer

The Shelby County Post announces the addition of John Hartnett Jr. as a contributing writer to the local online news resource.

The veteran historian will contribute news and sports stories with strong local ties for readers of the Shelby County Post.

Hartnett Jr. retired in 2020 after a 40-year career at the J. Kenneth Self Shelbyville Boys and Girls Club. His service to the community include past president of the Indiana Boys and Girls Club Worker’s Association, Shelby County Babe Ruth Baseball board of directors, Shelbyville Central Schools Building Committee, the Indiana Alliance of Boys and Girls Clubs, Shelby County Drug Free Coalition and Shelby County United Fund For You (SCUFFY).

Hartnett Jr. is a member of the Shelbyville High School Alumni Hall of Fame and received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award in 2021.

In addition, Hartnett Jr. worked as a sports announcer for WSVL/WOOO Radio covering Shelbyville High School football and basketball games from 1983 until 2000.

Hartnett’s father, John Hartnett Sr., was a founding partner of WSVL Radio in 1961 and served as the station’s general manager for 28 years.

WSVL/WOOO now operates under the WSVX banner as GIANT fm Real Radio.

“John Hartnett Jr. is a living historian of Shelbyville and Shelby County events with unmatched memories of Shelbyville High School athletic history,” said Jeff Brown, news editor of the Shelby County Post. “He is a terrific storyteller with dedicated research to back up his words that readers will truly enjoy. The Hartnett family name has strong roots in this community and an even stronger bond to the history of this radio station.”

Hartnett Jr. and his wife, Karen, a registered nurse for IU Health, have been married for 32 years. They have two sons, Derek, a financial professional in Fort Myers, Florida, and John Aaron, a Shelbyville High School teacher and varsity boys basketball coach.

John Hartnett Jr. is an assistant coach with the Shelbyville boys basketball program.

The Shelby County Post is the digital news source for GIANT fm Real Radio. The website www.shelbycountypost.com is updated daily with news and sports stories and obituaries from around Shelby County as well as podcasts from aired presentations such as local football and basketball games and weekly programming such as Chamber Chat.

The Shelby County Post operates without a need for subscription. There is no pay wall to navigate or limited number of stories available to read.

Shelbyville Police report March 18 death at casino parking lot was accidental

The Shelbyville Police Department has released the following information regarding a death investigation at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino:


On March 18, 2022, officers responded to the Indianapolis Caesar’s Horseshoe Casino in response to a male who had fallen from the parking garage top floor.  Officers and medical personnel arrived, and it was determined that the male was deceased.  The male was identified as Kenneth Walters from Terre Haute, Indiana.


The Shelbyville Police Department investigated the incident in coordination with the Shelbyville Fire Department, Shelby County Connors Officer, Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office, and Indianapolis Caesars’s Horseshoe Casino. 


The investigation has concluded, and the autopsy results have been finalized.  The cause of death was ruled an accident. 


All parties involved worked hard on this case.  We want to thank everyone involved for their time and effort on the case.

Indiana State Capitol Police concludes Statehouse vandalism investigation

The Indiana State Capitol Police has concluded its investigation into the vandalism which occurred inside the Indiana Statehouse on Sunday, March 27, 2022, in which four juveniles were identified as the alleged perpetrators of the incident.


Detective Charles Meneely’s investigation has revealed that at approximately 3:45 pm, Indiana State Capitol Police Officer Wiley Mimms had entered the Statehouse through the north doors when he heard multiple voices coming from the area of the Rotunda.  As he approached that area and began to communicate to his dispatch via radio, he heard people running towards, and then out of the west door.


While giving chase on foot, Mimms noted the description of the three girls and one boy.  He was eventually able to find them walking along Indiana Avenue just south of Michigan Street where they were detained and later released to responsible adults.


The four, a boy (13 years of age), and three girls (12, 13 and 14 years of age) all from Indianapolis had entered the Statehouse through the west door on the second level at approximately 1:54 p.m.  They damaged the door to the point where they were able to open it and enter the building, which was closed to the public at the time.


Once inside, the juveniles allegedly vandalized the Indiana House of Representatives Chambers on the third floor with graffiti, damaged several electronic items and personal property of other persons at this location.  They threw a wooden bench from the third floor Rotunda railing which shattered on the second floor, vandalized the Statehouse Tour Desk on the second floor, damaged a sculpture at the Statehouse Tour Desk, and tampered with an art display on the second floor.  Additional damaged property included miniature national flags and miniature state flags on display on the desktops of the Indiana State Representatives assigned desk space inside the House Chambers.  Initial estimate of the damage is in excess of $17,000.


During this investigation, the four juveniles were interviewed by Meneely in the presence of their parents.


Detective Meneely has submitted his investigation to the Marion County Prosecutor Juvenile Division for review and to request the following charges:

  • 12-year-old female
    • Institutional Criminal Mischief, Criminal Trespass, Theft and Resisting Law Enforcement
  • 13-year-old female
    • Institutional Criminal Mischief, Criminal Trespass, Resisting Law Enforcement and Flag Desecration
  • 14-year-old female
    • Institutional Criminal Mischief, Criminal Trespass, Theft and Resisting Law Enforcement
  • 13-year-old-male
    • Institutional Criminal Mischief, Criminal Trespass, Theft and Resisting Law Enforcement

Final charges will be determined by the Marion County Prosecutor Juvenile Division.

Taste of Shelby County will showcase downtown Shelbyville renovation

The City of Shelbyville will test its newly-renovated downtown Public Square on June 10 during Taste of Shelby County.

The bicentennial event runs from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. in downtown Shelbyville with food, wines and brews from local chefs, food crafters, vinters and brewers as well as entertainment for patrons.

The Board of Works and Public Safety approved a road closure plan Tuesday morning at City Hall for the event.

The Public Square will be closed to traffic beginning at 8 a.m. on June 10 to allow for preparation of the event. Harrison Street will be closed from Franklin Street to Jackson Street.

At 3 p.m., East Washington Street will be closed to Noble Street and West Washington Street will be closed to Tompkins Street for final preparations.

Banks in the downtown area will be asked to close drive-through service at 4 p.m.

Entertainment for the event includes Polkamotion on the event stage, the Southern Indiana Taiko Japanese Drums, Silly Safaris shows, art on the circle, a cruise-in car show and a Human Hamster Ball Course.

In other board business Tuesday, street department supervisor Dave Fannin discussed the upcoming “Heavy Trash Collection Week.”

Residents can spring clean and put additional trash curbside for pick up next week on their regularly-scheduled collection days.

Fannin asked residents to separate wood and metal materials from other trash. The city will have wood collection and metal collection trucks running in addition to normal trash collection trucks.

All trash must be clearly organized to assist with the collection process.

“We have 1,500 stops a day,” said Fannin. “We can’t organize trash and pick up loose trash.”

The city absorbs the excess fuel costs, dumping costs and potential employee overtime costs for this one-time a year service.

“We know this is an integral service,” said Fannin. “We have no problem doing it but we have to know our limitations.”

Silver Alert: Victoria Rush, New Whiteland

The New Whiteland Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Victoria Rush, an 18 year old white female, 5 feet 2 inches tall, 150 pounds, red hair with hazel eyes, and last seen wearing a tie dyed shirt and tan pants.


Victoria is missing from New Whiteland, and was last seen on Monday, April 18, at 1:30 am.


She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance. 


If you have any information on Victoria Rush, contact the New Whiteland Police Department at 317-535-5858 or 911.

2022 SCUFFY Art Contest winners unveiled

Loper Elementary fifth grader Chloe Boggs is the Grand Prize winner of this year's SCUFFY Art contest. She is the daughter of Neal and Tabitha Boggs.


“Chloe’s art really popped – she did amazing reproductions of the agency logos and had clean lines. Lots of students had creative and well-done art, but Chloe’s piece was simply outstanding,” said SCUFFY Executive Director Alecia Gross.

The Grand Prize winner receives a new bicycle.


First place winners from each school in Shelby County received a $20.00 Wal-Mart gift certificate and first, second and third place received ribbons. Those prizes were sponsored by five generous community donors who have an interest in the arts and youth: Boys and Girls Club, Wal-mart, Brammer & Yeend, Girls Inc. and Shelby County Players.


The SCUFFY Art Contest is open to all Shelby County children in grades 4 and 5 from each school in the Shelbyville Central, Southwestern, Northwestern and Shelby Eastern school districts, as well as in the category of private schools/homeschools – giving great incentive for children, and schools, to participate.  A panel of three judges reviewed all of the artwork submitted and selected the top picks.


Loper’s art teacher Eric Sutton said that his students spent about five weeks developing and executing their artwork. As part of the project, Sutton discussed with his classes each of the SCUFFY agencies and the role they play in supporting our community. He then displayed the theme and agency logos and talked about the main idea for the poster. This year’s theme is “SCUFFY: A Recipe for Community Success.”



SCUFFY’s 68th drive helps support its twelve member agencies: The Arc of Shelby County, Boy Scouts, Boys Club, Cancer Association of Shelby County, Project Clothes for Kids, Girls Inc., Girl Scouts, Head Start, Meals on Wheels, The Salvation Army, Shelby Senior Services, Turning Point, and USO of Indiana.


All of the winning artwork will be featured on SCUFFY’s website (www.scuffy.org) and via social media (Facebook: Shelby County United Fund; Twitter and Instagram @scuffy3). 


Shelbyville High School senior creating lasting legacy through Tree Trot 5K

It took disappointment to enlighten Stefanie Howard.

The talented Shelbyville High School senior cross country and track and field distance runner felt failure at not breaking the Golden Bears’ cross country record in the fall of 2021. Putting her name on the record board was to be about her lasting legacy.

When she didn’t accomplish the goal, she was forced to reconsider that legacy which includes being a back-to-back semistate-qualifying cross country athlete.

“I was feeling rejection and failure for awhile,” she said. “Then I was like, ‘You know what?’ A record means nothing in the grand scheme of things. My name could be replaced in a couple of years. It really means nothing. It’s not like my name would be there forever. I wanted something more than just my name on a record board so I came up with the idea for a 5K race.”

Howard is the lead organizer for the Tree Trot 5K Run/Walk that will take place Saturday at Blue River Memorial Park, 725 Lee Boulevard, in Shelbyville.

The 5K starts at 8:15 a.m. and is a fundraiser event to purchase big trees that will be planted along the cross country course at Blue River Memorial Park, which serves as home for Shelbyville’s cross country program and is a host site for high school, college and amateur events.

When the idea was presented to her to purchase trees for the course, Howard was excited.

“That is perfect!” she said knowing the trees will eventually provide shade along the course for runners and contribute to the local watershed.

Once planted, Howard will have the legacy she so desired. After graduation, she can return to the public course and monitor the tree growth knowing she brought them there.

“A few years ago, I volunteered at a tree trot and I took a tree home and it is still in my dad’s backyard,” said Howard. “It’s growing strong and growing so fast.”

Age group winners Saturday will have the same opportunity as they are presented with potted tree saplings. The top three overall finishers will receive homemade medals.

Age groups are 10-and-under, 11-15, 16-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-80, 80-and-over.

Pre-registration is $30 (T-shirt included) and ends Thursday. Go online to http://getmeregistered.com/TreeTrot5k to sign up.

Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at the Blue River Memorial Park shelter house. The cost is $35. T-shirts are not guaranteed.

For those who opt to walk the “Tree Trot,” a member of Master Gardeners, a local environment advocate group, will lead an informative overview of the Little Blue River watershed at the park.

In a few months, Howard will be headed to California for college but she knows there will be plenty of opportunities to return home to run at the Blue River Memorial Park course.

“I know the Jacob James 5K is in the summer (June) and I will definitely try to race that every year,” she said.

And rather than have her name on a record board, Stefanie Howard will have a visible legacy of large trees towering over future cross country runners competing in Shelbyville.

Now that’s a lasting legacy.

Common Council approves interlocal agreement with Shelby County Recycling District

When residents cannot remain compliant with city codes and are provided ample opportunity to rectify nuisance complaints due to excessive trash and debris, the city cleans up the property and assesses the cost to homeowner’s property tax.

At Monday morning’s Common Council meeting at City Hall, an interlocal agreement was approved with the Shelby County Recycling District to provide a trash dumpster at a designated nuisance property so the homeowner can clean up within a specified time frame without city resources being utilized.

The city would pay the Recycling District, the compliance board for Shelby County, and then assess the expense to the homeowner’s property tax, thereby saving city manpower.

City of Shelbyville street commissioner Doug Hunt was asked how many times the city has cleaned up a Sunset Drive repeat offender. He stated it has been at least four times in recent years.

Ten races featured on 20th season opener at Horseshoe Indianapolis

A total of 10 races kick off the 20th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing Tuesday at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

The card, which begins at 2:30 p.m., features nine Thoroughbred races capped off with one Quarter Horse race.

The racing program is showcased by a $38,000 allowance slated as the sixth race on the card. A full field of 12 will enter the gate for the five-furlong race with Flying Samurai and 2021 leading jockey Marcelino Pedroza Jr. leading the charge as the early morning line favorites. The five-year-old First Samurai gelding makes his 2022 debut from post 10 at odds of 3-1 from the Robert Dodds Jr. Stable.

“We were very pleased with the number of entries we had for opening day,” said Eric Halstrom, Vice President and General Manager of Racing for the Shelbyville facility. “Our entire team has been working hard to prepare for this year’s meet under the new name of Horseshoe Indianapolis. We hope to build on the success we had last year, and we welcome several new faces to our team, which will only enhance our racing program.”

One of the new faces is the recognizable voice of track announcer John G. Dooley, who has provided the race calls for several hundred Grades Stakes over his career and is the current track announcer at Fair Grounds.

Brian Arrigoni also will add his unique racing analysis to the daily Thoroughbred program, specializing in multi-race wagers including the Pick 5, which is very popular with racing fans nationally due to the 11.99 percent takeout.



Both Dooley and Arrigoni will join longtime racing analyst Rachel McLaughlin and Quarter Horse racing analyst Martha Claussen for complete coverage of the racing season.

Arrigoni will be highlighted by “Pick the Ponies with Arrigoni,” a special handicapping contest for opening day. The contest will feature selections for the Pick 5 in races 5-9 with the top three handicappers sharing the $350 prize money. The contest is open to all players both on-track and online.

Four of the top five jockeys from 2021 are scheduled to ride on the opening day card. Pedroza Jr., DeShawn Parker, Sammy Bermudez and Joe Ramos, who finished first through fourth, respectively, in the standings will ride in Indiana this year. Randy Klopp, 2021 Leading Trainer, also is back and will saddle seven for the opening day card.

The 20th season of live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing begins Tuesday and extends through Nov. 23. Live racing is conducted at 2:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday with Thursday post times set for 3:30 p.m.

A total of 12 Saturdays will feature live racing in 2022 highlighted by the 28th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby on July 9.

Portion of READI funding to be used on three local projects

The City of Shelbyville will receive $5,750,000 of the $20 million allotted to Accelerate Rural Indiana as part of the state’s READI funding.

The money has been earmarked for three local projects: infrastructure needs for the proposed Porter Apartments project, a new indoor sports complex at Blue River Memorial Park, and an early learning center to assist getting young children school ready.

“Right now, it’s not been bad,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun of the process to effectively divvy up $20 million within the four communities and three counties that comprise Accelerate Rural Indiana. “As a group we’ve sat down and parsed through these projects. It’s been pretty agreeable. There hasn’t been any territorialism.”

The Regional Economic Acceleration & Development Initiative (READI) delivered $500 million to 17 regional groups from around the state. Accelerate Rural Indiana consisted of the cities of Shelbyville, Rushville, Greensburg and Batesville as well as Shelby County, Rush County and Decatur County.

The maximum award for each proposal was $50 million. Accelerate Rural Indiana received $20 million. How to delineate that money throughout its overall proposal that included 40 prospective projects in the region was the next step.

For each project, there is a READI funds request, a public matching of the READI amount and a private funding amount.

“A lot of it was need,” said DeBaun of selecting the right projects that should proceed in each community. “For the early learning center, it was easy to figure out. We’ve been talking about that for awhile.

“The sports complex, we have a group that is interested in contributing as well as operating. We own the land clearly so it was a timing issue. Porter Apartments was another where they wanted to pull the trigger quick. We know the infrastructure need is there and we are already in the process so it was easy to do. We need the people downtown and we need the apartments.”



An Indianapolis-based developer has purchased the former Coca-Cola bottling plant (photo) near downtown Shelbyville as well as land behind the facility to create a mixed-use development that will include an apartment complex near the former site of Porter Pool.

The total cost of the project is $29,500,000. The READI funds ask is $250,000 to be used for infrastructure in the area and will be matched with public funding. The private funding is $29 million.

For more on the project: https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/626786

The proposed indoor sports complex at Blue River Memorial Park, 725 Lee Boulevard, will include basketball and volleyball courts as well as a turf field section for a multiple sports usage facility.

The READI funds ask is $2.5 million which will be matched with public funding. The private funds commitment is $16 million.

The final design of the facility is not yet complete, according to DeBaun, but will be at least 100,000 square feet and will allow for competitions in several sports.

“Depending on the layout, there is potential for expansion,” said DeBaun.

The goal is to start construction in 2023 and be complete in the second quarter of 2024.

 A new early learning center would be built in Intelliplex Park near Major Health Partners’ Wortman Nephrology Center, 2460 Intelliplex Drive.

The $8 million project includes $3 million in READI funding, $3 million in public funding and $2 million in private funding.

DeBaun said the city would enter in an operator agreement with Bright Horizons to run the facility that would be for children age five and younger.

The goal is to break ground in 2022 and have the facility open in 2023.

Waldron Football hosting fundraiser golf scramble

Waldron football, spearheaded by Corey Barton, has been pushing for 8-man football in the state of Indiana.

The Class A school system in southeastern Shelby County could be a vital test program in the fall to see if an alternative style of football is amenable for smaller schools not offering football as a fall sport.

Waldron will be included in a pilot season of 8-man football offered by the Indiana Football Coaches Association with the support of the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

The next step is how will teams be funded. Equipment, uniforms, field rental or preparation and officials will not be covered by the school system during this pilot season.

Barton (photo) estimates the season will cost approximately $19,000. Fundraising efforts are already underway.

On May 15, Waldron Football will host a fundraiser golf scramble at Blue Bear Golf Club in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Registration is $300 per team of four. The event is capped at 18 teams.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. on May 15 with the event starting at 10 a.m. Lunch and prizes are included in the registration fee.

All proceeds for the event go toward Waldron Football.

For more information or to register for the golf scramble, call 317-512-7795.

165th Indiana State Fair unveils revved up theme for 2022

As the Indiana State Fair revs up for 2022, it will dedicate the theme for this year’s event to Celebrating Indiana’s Automotive Excellence, presented by Tom Wood Automotive Group.

The 165th Indiana State Fair will open July 29 and continue through Aug. 21.

Each spring the unveiling of the Indiana State Fair’s annual theme is one of its most anticipated announcements.



“For 2022, we are planning something very special, a monumental year to bring Hoosiers back together at this beloved summer tradition,” said Cindy Hoye, Indiana State Fair Commission Executive Director. “We are so thankful to the Tom Wood Automotive Group for embracing this theme and partnership – we are putting the pedal to the metal and building momentum to get ready for FUN at the speed of summer!”

Indiana’s rich automotive tradition is a signature source of pride for Hoosiers, and the Indiana State Fair looks forward to celebrating Indiana’s worldwide recognition for its automotive history and contributions to the industry. Fairgoers can expect to see iconic celebrity cars from movies and books, in addition to world-class classic car collections showcasing Indiana-made vehicles, and so much more.



“We are proud to sponsor this year’s Indiana State Fair – ‘Fun at the speed of summer,’” said Jeff Wood, President of the Tom Wood Group. “We’ve been family-owned and locally-operated serving Hoosiers since 1967. We are honored to share in the celebration of Indiana’s Automotive Excellence highlighting the rich history and traditions of the automobile. It supports our motto of family, service and community.”

The Indiana State Fair is planning to bring back fairgoer favorites including carnival rides, fun and wacky fair food, 4-H competitions, free entertainment, and much more.

For complete details and tickets to the 2022 Indiana State Fair, go to www.indianastatefair.com.

Photos courtesy of Indiana State Fair.

Gov. Holcomb announces tax refund on its way to all Hoosiers

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced today that Hoosiers should expect to begin receiving their promised $125 Automatic Taxpayer Refund in the coming weeks, resulting in a 12 percent cut in the average Hoosier’s annual income tax liability.


“I’m beyond thrilled that this spring and summer we are returning money back into the hands of Hoosier taxpayers, where it belongs,” Gov. Holcomb said. “Our conservative fiscal leadership and pro-growth policies makes this tax refund possible for all Hoosier households.”


The Governor first announced in December that an estimated 4.3 million taxpayers will receive a $125 refund after they file their 2021 taxes. An estimated $545 million will be returned to Hoosiers. After the tax-filing deadline passes on April 18, the Department of Revenue in conjunction with the Auditor of State’s Office will begin issuing the refunds via direct deposit or by mailing a paper check.


Refunds will begin in May through direct deposit for residents who have filed their income taxes and provided their banking information on their return. Direct deposits are expected to continue through July.


Paper checks will be issued beginning in late July and continue through August, with the goal of completing the refund statewide by Sept. 1.


Residents do not need to take any action to receive the refund. The refund is in addition to and separate from any refund Hoosiers may receive after filing their 2021 state income tax returns.


Hoosiers can visit the Department of Revenue website for information about when to expect to receive the direct deposit or paper check.

City Hall art display showcases emotions of addiction, incarceration

The visual is subtle yet shocking.

A shoestring knotted into a noose defines Brittany’s addiction and lost feeling of self worth.

In recovery over a year now, Brittany (photo, kneeling), who created the striking art piece now on display at City Hall, has her life back on track with a much brighter future ahead after 14 years of addiction.

On Monday at City Hall, 44 W. Washington St. near downtown Shelbyville, Michael Daniels (photo, far right), the city’s director of Behavioral Health & Justice Equity, hosted an open house for a new art exhibit that helps celebrate Second Chance & Recovery Month in Shelbyville.

“What we wanted to do was put a holistic and humanizing face on what reentry and recovery month looks like,” said Daniels.



Daniels partnered with the Shelby Art Guild Association to put together the project. Shoes donated by the Hope House Thrift Store in Greenfield were taken to the Shelby County Jail.

Women incarcerated were asked to select a pair of shoes, provided with craft supplies and tasked with creating a visual display of the two sides of addiction.

“We wanted to do a visual representation,” said Daniels. “We asked the ladies to decorate one shoe that represented how they felt when they were addicted and incarcerated … kind of at their low point; and the other shoe to represent what they felt like when they were in sobriety, when they were not incarcerated, when they were free in the community. Each one has a dark and a light shoe, or a low point and a high point shoe.”



Brittany walked up the stairs into the main lobby of City Hall Tuesday night and saw the shoes she decorated front and center on a wooden bench.

“When I was in addiction, I felt like I was dying,” she explained to the small group in attendance. “So I put the noose on there. On (the other shoe), Love, Grace. I felt alive. I had peace and joy.

“In my addition, people would call me a junkie. I was sick. I was not loved. I felt lost.”

Women involved in The Bridge, a recovery and restoration program in Shelbyville, also participated in the art project. A total of 11 pairs of shoes were decorated.

They will remain on display at City Hall this month then moved to the Art Guild, 5 Public Square, where they will continue on display and available for purchase. The proceeds will benefit the Art Guild.

Brittany, last names were omitted from the art project, remembers her addiction starting when she was eight years old. Both her grandfather and uncle committed suicide from alcohol, she stated.

“I just drank one day and from that moment I instantly knew why I loved it and hated it at the same time,” she explained. “And from there, it spiraled up. I was looking for a way out.”

While she spoke, she kneeled down and touched the shoe with the noose dangling down. That tactile feeling of desperation still resonated within her.

As she grew older, knee injuries led to pain pills. And when that didn’t take away the pain, she turned to heroin.



Brittany is now involved with The Bridge and has been clean for over a year.

“At the beginning, I think they were a little … it’s something different,” said Daniels of meeting with the incarcerated women. “At the end, they were really excited that this was something that the city was behind and it was going to be displayed at City Hall. We heard over and over that people cared enough to put my artwork at City Hall.”

Mayor awards certificates of accommodation to city employee, private contractor

Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun awarded Certificates of Accommodation to a city employee and a private contractor Tuesday morning at the Board of Works meeting at City Hall.

During a recent residential cleanup of a fallen tree, a parks department employee suffered a serious arm injury from a chainsaw that was being utilized.

Fellow parks department employee Rodney Holmes quickly applied a tourniquet that ultimately saved the man’s injured arm and potentially his life.

Chris Adams, who owns a landscaping business, lived down the street from the cleanup site and heard the chainsaw. Moments later he heard screaming and he proceeded to the site where he helped with securing the injured man as emergency medical personnel arrived.

With work still to be done on site, Adams brought his own work equipment down and finished the job. Adams has not asked to be reimbursed for his work which also earned him recognition Tuesday morning.

In other Board of Works business:

  • Police chief Mark Weidner received board approval to offer Caleb Davis conditional employment with the police force. The 27-year-old is a U.S. Coast Guard veteran from Connersville.
  • Fire chief Tony Logan received board approval to hire Brandon Ross, who has come through the Advantage Shelby County program to be a firefighter and is currently in the paramedicine program.
  • Nuisance property clean-up extensions were granted to residences at 1327 S. Harrison St. and 1317 S. Harrison St. Both are under new ownership and had representatives at Tuesday’s meeting to discuss the clean-up process.
  • Nuisance properties at 54 E. Mechanic St. and 34 E. Mechanic St. will be cleaned up by the city and fees will be applied to taxes at those residences where violation notices have been delivered.
  • Approval was given to Val Phares, owner of Pudder’s restaurant, 18 Public Square, for a sight plan for outdoor seating in front and in the rear of the restaurant.
  • Approval was given for a crane to set up in downtown Shelbyville Friday morning to assist with the replacement of a five-ton air conditioning unit on top of 28 Public Square.
  • Approval was granted for a “Cross Walk” Friday through parts of Shelbyville. First Church of God Shelbyville will stage the cross walk at Walgreens, 1010 E. State Road 44, and travel west down Broadway to Vine St. and continue on Washington St. through the Public Square and on to Colescott St. and Miller St. to the church located at 1815 S. Miller St.

INDOT to host public hearing April 27 for reconstruction project on S.R. 252 in Edinburgh

In partnership with USI Consultants Inc., the Indiana Department of Transportation will host a public hearing for a roadway reconstruction project on State Road 252 in Edinburgh on April 27 at the Edinburgh High School cafeteria (300 Keeley St., Edinburgh, Ind.).

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about the project and provide official comments to the project team.

As proposed, the just over $6 million project includes pavement replacement along S.R. 252 between U.S. 31 and I-65, a small structure replacement east of U.S. 31, and replacement/expansion of sidewalks along S.R. 252.

The project aims to enhance safety along the corridor and reset the service life of the roadway. The contract is currently scheduled to let to contractors in fall of 2024.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. to allow the public time to view displays and interact with project personnel before the meeting. A formal presentation will begin at 6 p.m. Project information will also be posted on the INDOT Seymour District webpage prior to April 27 and can be viewed any time.

Questions and comments may be submitted in-person at the information meeting or via email to Susan Castle (susanc@metricenv.com) with Metric Environmental.  All comments are requested by end of business on May 11. 

INDOT will follow current CDC health guidelines at the meeting.

Miss Shelby County 2021 and Miss Hancock County 2020 with top 10 finishes at Indiana State Fair Queen pageant

It's been more than two years since an Indiana State Fair Queen was crowned.  The wait ended this past weekend.


Alyssa McKillip is Miss Indiana State Fair 2022.  The queen of Wabash County 2020

was selected over more than 100 other contestants.  Some counties this year had more than one representative because some had fairs in 2020 during the pandemic while some did not.


The Indiana State Fair Queen is expected to promote the Indiana State Fair by traveling over 6,500 miles during June and July to over 40 county fairs to promote the upcoming Indiana State Fair, July 29 – Aug. 21, 2022.  


Among the Top 10 finalists:

The Queen’s Court:

1st Runner-up – Sydney Dunkin, Miss Vigo County 2020

2nd Runner-up – Kalyn Melham, Miss Delaware County 2021

3rd Runner-up – Grace Brenneman, Miss Elkhart County 2021

4th Runner-up – Emma Yarber, Miss Posey County 2021


Other finalists, in no particular order:

Jordyn Wickard, Miss Hancock County 2020

Julia Prickett, Miss Shelby County 2021

Kelsey Kendall, Miss Marion County 2020

Keyton Romero, Miss Howard County 2021

Jenna Zeider, Miss Pulaski County 2021

New Pal man convicted for not paying child support

A Hancock County man has been convicted in Shelby County of failing to pay child support.


Skyler Ayers, 34, of New Palestine, was convicted after a jury trial of the offense of Felony Non-Support, a Level 6 felony. Ayers has been up to $7,251.63 in arrears in his Shelby County child support case, and has never made a voluntary payment. His only payments have come from the Shelby County Prosecutor's Office intercepting his taxes, and from bond money.


He will be sentenced in the Shelby County case on April 28.


The case was prosecuted by deputy prosecutor Vicki Atkins.


Ayers is also wanted for failure to appear for another child support case in Green County, and is also wanted for failure to appear in two cases in Marion County.  One is for arson and theft of a handgun, the other for possession of meth and identity deception).

Easter Bunny hosts community event at Kennedy Park

For the first time since 2019, Shelbyville’s Parks and Recreation Department hosted an Easter Egg Hunt.

On a chilly Saturday afternoon at Kennedy Park, the Easter Bunny arrived promptly at noon on a Shelbyville fire truck to the delight of a large gathering of children and their families.



The hunt for multi-colored eggs soon followed. Over 20,000 eggs were available for local children to collect and turn in for a treat bag.

The Easter Bunny posed for pictures and face painting stations and barnyard animals were available for entertainment.



“This is so cool,” said new parks department director Rob Van Til. “I’ve been a part of a lot of these different things but nothing this big. Even with the weather, look at all the people out here despite the cold and snow and sleet we had this morning. This is an awesome opportunity to get to interact with our community.”

Van Til became parks department director in January after working for the YMCA in Greensburg for several years.

“Shelbyville as a community is a really good place to work,” he said as children continued to chase down eggs in the outfield of the softball diamond at Kennedy Park. “I’ve met a lot of nice people already and I look forward to continue the good relationship the parks department has with the community through our special events and our parks.”



The parks department is already planning for summer camp and is counting down to the opening day for the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center in May.

“I am really excited to see what our summer looks like and learning how everything goes … summer camp and the pool and all the fun stuff we will be doing outside,” said Van Til. “We are working diligently on the pool and I am excited for another full summer.”

Shelby County Chamber of Commerce celebrated 'Simply the Best' as awards gala returns following pandemic

"Simply the Best" was the theme for the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce as it celebrated a special night with the Chamber Awards Gala.


About 250 people attended the event that had been on hold during the pandemic.  It was held at Horseshoe of Indianapolis Racing & Casino Friday.


Among the honorees:


"Dick Kitchin" Volunteer of the Year, Amy Larrison



Shelby County Community Lifetime Achievement, Peter Deprez




John A Hartnett Sr. Business Person of the Year, Angie Steineker




Golden Pineapple Customer Service, Deborah Potter




Golden Pineapple Outstanding Educator, Annette Creed




Outstanding Citizen of the Year, Noah Henderson




Three nominees were named for the award of Non-Profit Champion:  Court and Child Advocacy Group (CASA), Indiana Federation of Business & Professional Women of Shelbyville and Rotary Club of Shelbyville.


Non-Profit Champion, CASA




Three nominees were named for the award of Small Business Champion: Cossairt Florist & Greenhouse, McNeely Law and Sharp Trophies by Mack.


Small Business Champion, Cossairt Florist & Greenhouse




Three nominees were named for the award of Large Business Champion:  Brazeway, Major Health Partners, Penske Logistics


Large Business Champion, Major Health Partners































































Southwestern superintendent contract moves forward without opposition

On the job nearly one month now, Josh Edwards can now be paid as the superintendent of the Southwestern Consolidated Schools system.

On Tuesday, the school board held a public meeting to allow for questions regarding the proposed superintendent contract.

There was no public comment so the meeting was quickly adjourned.

Edwards, who is going from Southwestern Elementary School principal to superintendent, officially became superintendent on March 9. His contract reflects him working 81 school days this year and then the following two years until June 30, 2024.

Edwards will be paid $29,595.78 for the remainder of this school year and then have a salary set at $95,000 for the following two years.

The contract can automatically be extended at the end of the first year plus 81 days (June 30, 2023) and each year thereafter for a period of three years. The rolling three-year contract begins July 1, 2023, and continues each year thereafter unless the school board provides a formal notice in writing on or before Jan. 1 of the school year in which the board wishes to terminate the contract.

In his ninth year as principal in the southern Shelby County school system, Edwards served as the interim superintendent for eight months during the 2020-2021 school year in the absence of superintendent Curt Chase, who was out on medical leave.

Edwards does not have a superintendent’s license but is enrolled to start his certification in late May. His contract stipulates if he acquires his license during the term of the contract, his salary automatically increases to $105,000 per year.

Edwards needs 30 credit hours to receive his superintendent’s license. He believes it can be accomplished in 18 months if he doubles up on classes, which is his plan.

“To get some on-job training was good but I also want the knowledge, not just for the license,” said Edwards after Tuesday’s meeting. “I want to know why that is the way it is and what’s the philosophy.”

After the meeting, new interim elementary school principal Keith Grant visited with the board.

Grant was a longtime educator at Indian Creek in Trafalgar, Indiana. He recently retired but was asked to come to Southwestern by Edwards, who worked with and coached wrestling with Grant several years ago.

Edwards said the interview process for his full-time replacement at the elementary school will begin next week.

“The idea is to get someone secured for next school year to ease them into it,” he said.

Bartholomew Co. Sheriff's Dept. asks for public's assistance in home invasion case

Bartholomew County law enforcement is investigating a reported home invasion with injury and asking for the public's assistance.


About 8:00 am Wednesday, deputies along with detectives responded to a call regarding an alleged home invasion resulting in physical assault of a female victim between the intersections of South 400 West /  Deaver Road and South 400 West / West 450 South. 


During the investigation, the victim stated that the suspect displayed a firearm. The victim also displayed signs of injuries. 


Deputies have been in the area searching for evidence since the call was received this morning by foot and by the use UTVs. BCSO has also reached out to surrounding agencies for any relevant information to similar crimes that have occurred. 


The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for assistance if they observed any suspicious vehicles and/or persons in the area during the hours of 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 


Contact Detective Dane Duke at 812-565-5928 with any information no matter how seemingly insignificant. Information can remain anonymous upon request. 



Genesis Property Development purchases another downtown Shelbyville building

The City of Shelbyville purchased the former Chase Bank building in downtown Shelbyville to control future development of the cornerstone structure.

Fifteen months later, the city is selling the building (photo), 49 Public Square, to Genesis Property Development which oversaw the downtown renovation project.

The December 2020 purchase, which included the parking lot behind the nearby Knights of Pythias building, was for $260,000 according to city attorney Jennifer Meltzer.

The bid to purchase the Chase building was opened Monday night at the Redevelopment Commission meeting at City Hall. Genesis’ bid of $295,000 was accepted. The purchase agreement does not include the parking lot which the city wants to keep under its control.

“We are working with a partner who will occupy a small part of the building, largely the office space on the second floor,” said Ron Kelsay of Genesis Property Group, which is based in Shelbyville. “On the first floor, in conjunction with some of what the city wanted to do with the building, (we will) create some incubator space for new startup businesses, which would consist of some smaller independent offices and a shared conference room.

“If you look inside the building, the first floor opposite the (bank) teller’s side, is already a bank of offices. That space is really already set up perfectly for the incubator type of space. The other half, we will convert into space for lease or offices for retail.”



There is still design work to be completed but Kelsay believes work will start soon to go in conjunction with the larger renovation project happening at the Methodist Building (photo), 23 Public Square, which is also owned by Genesis.

“The whole impetus of what is going on downtown and the city’s investment,” said Kelsay when questioned about the interest in purchasing the Chase building. “Years ago when we had discussions with the city about redevelopment of the Public Square, which they already had in their plans and in their sights, combined with what we wanted to do with the Methodist Building, it was always our thought process as a developer that once things get going, once the public portion invests in something, it creates an opportunity to where as a developer it now makes sense to invest in something that without the downtown, it’s hard to make that kind of investment and commitment in what it costs to remodel an old building like that when you have an old downtown that isn’t really attractive to people and people don’t want to come to.

“Now the tables have turned. With the incredible downtown and all the events that are planned, it creates a sort of incentive and reason for investment in all these old buildings.”



The Redevelopment Commission also opened a bid for a parcel of land located behind the former Coca-Cola bottling plant (photo) and the Porter Center, which houses the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce and the Shelby County Tourism & Visitor’s Bureau.

Birge & Held Asset Management LLC, offered $131,950, the required minimum bid, for the parcel. That bid was accepted.


For more on the Birge & Held project, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/626786


The Indianapolis-based company already owns the Coca-Cola building, 405 N. Harrison St., which it is redeveloping and the additional parcel will become apartments that will be part of a mixed-use development project.

First Financial awards $50,000 grant to Greensburg Inclusion Park

First Financial Bank (Nasdaq: FFBC) is providing a $50,000 grant to support the creation of the Greensburg / Decatur County Inclusion Park, a future resource that will be welcoming for all individuals, including those with physical and intellectual disabilities. 


“First Financial is proud to join the effort to build this exciting addition to Greensburg and Decatur County,” said Roddell McCullough, chief corporate responsibility officer for First Financial Bank. ”We share the same spirit of volunteerism and inclusion that is driving this project to create a treasured place of joy for the community.” 


The Greensburg Inclusion Park will offer interactive equipment and accessible playsets to create a sensory-rich environment that encourages children of all abilities to develop physically, socially and emotionally.  


Construction of the park could begin as early as next year. 

Stolen car suspect fled police Monday near Horseshoe Indianapolis

A stolen car suspect was the focus of a pursuit late Monday night in Shelby County.

Shelbyville Police report that a vehicle believed to be stolen out of Anderson was spotted at the Pilot gas station near Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino.  Officers attempted to stop the vehicle and the driver fled leading a pursuit that advanced to the casino property where the suspect got the vehicle stuck.  The driver exited the vehicle and took off on foot.  Officers attempted to locate the suspect but were unable.  

The investigation of the suspect and the stolen vehicle is now being handled by the Anderson Police Department.  

Suspect in "Days Inn" cold case murders, assault identified

More than 30 years after three young women were murdered, and another brutally assaulted, the man responsible has been identified using investigative genealogy. This is a unique method that can generate new leads for unsolved homicides, as well as help identify unknown victims.


Harry Edward Greenwell was identified through this method as the person responsible for the four attacks. Greenwell died in 2013 at the age of 68 in New Albin, Iowa. Greenwell had an extensive criminal history ranging from 1963 to 1998.


Dubbed the I-65, or Days Inns murders, Greenwell robbed and murdered three young women, and left a fourth for dead, in a series of attacks at hotels in Kentucky and Indiana. 


The cases Greenwell has been connected to include:

  • February 21, 1987 - Vicki Heath was murdered at the Super 8 Motel in Elizabethtown, KY
  • March 3, 1989 – Margaret “Peggy” Gill was murdered at the Days Inn in Merrillville, IN
  • March 3, 1989 – Jeanne Gilbert was murdered at the Days Inn in Remington, IN
  • January 2, 1990 - Jane Doe was sexually assaulted at the Days Inn in Columbus, IN

Following the murders, the Indiana State Police lab matched ballistic evidence linking the Gill and Gilbert murders. The ISP Lab further connected the Heath and Gilbert murders, and the sexual assault of the Columbus victim, through DNA analysis.


In 2019, the Indiana State Police requested the assistance of the FBI’s Gang Response Investigative Team (GRIT). Since these crimes were committed, many investigative and scientific techniques have either improved or been created through new advances in technology. One of these methods is Investigative Genealogy and combines the use of DNA analysis with traditional genealogy research and historical records to generate investigative leads for unsolved violent crimes.


This technique involves uploading a crime scene DNA profile to one or more genetic genealogy databases in an attempt to identify a criminal offender's genetic relatives and locate the offender within their family tree. Utilizing this process, a match was made to Greenwell with a close family member. Through this match it was determined that the probability of Greenwell being the person responsible for the attacks was more than 99 percent.  


Agents in the Houston FBI Field Office provided invaluable assistance in solving the case.


“Our family is extremely grateful to all of the agencies, along with agency partnerships, who have committed to keeping these unsolved cases at the forefront for more than 33 years, and who have worked tirelessly to bring these cases to resolution for all who have suffered from these crimes,” said Kimberly (Gilbert) Wright, daughter of Jeanne Gilbert.


“Indiana State Police investigators work diligently every day, in close collaboration with our state and federal law enforcement partners all across Indiana and beyond our state lines, to help solve senseless crimes like this one, no matter how many days, months or even years have passed since the crime occurred”, said Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter.


“These cases did not go unsolved all these years because of a lack of investigative inactivity - investigators continuously tracked leads across the country and did everything they could to identify the person responsible for these crimes,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “Now, through technological advances and strong, collaborative partnerships we were able to identify this person and, hopefully, start to bring closure and healing to the families of Vicki, Peggy and Jeanne; as well as the surviving victim.”


"This case represents the generational dedication of the Elizabethtown Police Department and the forward thinking of our detectives when science and law enforcement was in its infancy. Our detectives take each case personal, and they work diligently, never giving up that one day their case will see closure,” said Elizabeth Deputy Chief of Operations David Fegett. “We hope and pray this multi-agency collaboration will help bring long overdue closure to the families and friends of Mrs. Heath and the other victims."

City announces comprehensive effort to combat fentanyl overdoses

Michael Daniels briefed the Board of Works and Public Safety Tuesday morning about the start of a harm reduction campaign in Shelby County aimed at curbing the alarming rise of overdose deaths due to fentanyl.

Over the last 15 months, 90% of all drug overdoses in Shelby County are due to fentanyl, a powerful opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin. The drug is being mixed into heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, Oxycontin, Roxycontin and benzodiazepines.

In an effort to quell the death count, Daniels, the City of Shelbyville’s Behavioral Health & Justice Equity Director, will now distribute free naloxone, fentanyl test strips, and Deterra disposal bags from his second floor office at City Hall.

Naloxone counteracts all opiates, including fentanyl, while the fentanyl test strips will quickly determine if opiates are laced with fentanyl.

Daniels stressed this campaign is to keep people from dying.

“Our department cautions that there are no safe ways to use drugs,” said Daniels. “Fentanyl is being found in everything, everywhere across the county and it is fatal.”

There will be no questions asked of anyone requesting naloxone or fentanyl test strips and names will not be logged. The city is not paying for the naloxone or fentanyl test strips, which are specifically provided by Overdose Lifeline.

“As an ex-police officer, I was against giving out prophylactics to try and do away with AIDS and against needle exchange for heroin and other drug users until I realized that no matter how many people were involved, if it would save one life it was worth it,” said Board of Works member Bob Williams, a former mayor and police chief of Shelbyville. “I am glad to see we are progressing in this direction.”

Daniels believes relationships can be formed in the process to assist those desiring rehabilitation and recovery assistance.

As for the police department response, Shelbyville Police Chief Mark Weidner says there is progress in identifying how the fentanyl is getting into Shelby County.

“We are trying to keep on top of who is the main dealer and work those cases accordingly,” said Weidner Tuesday morning. “It’s a retroactive thing but there are some long looks now that if you can prove that someone furnished the drugs that killed someone they can be charged.”

There is not a quick fix to the problem, though, according to Weidner.

“There are things that have to be done at the exact right time but we’re getting there,” he said.

Residents can report supplies tainted with fentanyl anonymously by calling CrimeStoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

City police officers as well as county sheriffs carry naloxone while on patrol. There also are naloxone distribution boxes located in Shelbyville at 26 W. Broadway St., near Fire Station No. 1, and at 105 N. Vine St.

“This is the first step in what we expect to be a comprehensive harm reduction strategy both for prevention as well as a response to stop the surge of overdose deaths we are seeing in our county,” said Daniels. “And, equally importantly, to connect people to care before they get to that particular point so we can get them treatment.”

To get resources for rehabilitation and recovery, contact Daniels at 317-398-6624, extension 300 or email him at mdaniels@cityofshelbyvillein.com.

“This is a bold step for us as a community. We talk about harm reduction, this isn’t something people discuss very often,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun, also a member of the Board of Works. “We talk about treatment or we talk about prosecution but we sometimes fail to realize there is an element of our community that will continue to use regardless of those efforts of treatment or prosecution. I know this is a delicate topic but it is one I appreciate you (Daniels) taking proactive steps on.”

Farmers Market moving back to downtown Shelbyville

The Shelby County Farmers Market is returning to downtown Shelbyville.

With the completion of the downtown redevelopment project, the Farmers Market, a Saturday morning staple of downtown Shelbyville for many years, will return there in 2022.

At Tuesday morning’s Board of Works and Public Safety meeting at City Hall, the location for the Farmers Market and dates and times were approved.

The Farmers Market will run on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning May 21 and concluding Sept. 24 on the west side of the downtown square.

The construction project moved the Farmers Market from the downtown circle west down Washington St. to the lot across from the former Major Hospital.

Vendors will now line West Washington St. from the downtown square with the grass portions of the square also being available.

Early morning set up of vendor tents will be allowed along West Washington St.

Shoppers are encouraged to park in the parking garage which has street access to West Washington St. There are several other parking options within the downtown vicinity.

Two more events requested road closures from the Board of Works Tuesday.



The St. Joe Festival returns May 12-15 to the St. Joseph Catholic School lot, 127 East Broadway St.

Portions of Center St., Hendricks St. and Noble St. surrounding the school lot will be closed the evening of May 10 to allow for set up of the amusement rides and will be reopened on the morning of May 15 after clean up is completed.

Representatives of the Moose Lodge, 224 East Jackson St., requested a road closure along East Jackson St. at its location for a Community Day celebration on May 21. The road would be closed for approximately 24 hours beginning at noon on May 21.

First Merchants Corporation to complete merger of Level One Bancorp, 17 Michigan locations

First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ: FRME) and Level One Bancorp, LLC (NASDAQ: LEVL) have finalized a merger of the two companies.


Following regulatory approvals last month, the companies consummated their legal closing through a cash/stock transaction effective April 1, 2022. As previously announced in late 2021, Level One Bank will also merge with and into First Merchants Bank.


Headquartered in Farmington Hills, Michigan, LEVL operated 17 banking center locations in the Michigan area, all of which will remain part of the First Merchants franchise. Since its founding in 2007, Level One Bank grew into one of the largest community banks in the state with total assets of $2.52 billion, total loans of $1.65 billion, and total deposits of $2.04 billion as of December 31, 2021.


“Like First Merchants, Level One achieved a solid reputation for a deep-rooted commitment to community banking, and we are excited they have chosen to become the newest member of the First Merchants family,” said First Merchants CEO, Mark Hardwick. “The LEVL franchise helps us to contiguously extend our presence in Michigan, leveraging the vision of First Merchants to enhance the financial wellness of the diverse communities we serve.”


“Our merger into First Merchants provides tremendous benefits to customers, shareholders and communities as we look forward to continuing the exceptional customer service, local responsiveness and strong community engagement that has defined Level One since its founding in 2007,” said Level One CEO, Patrick J. Fehring. “First Merchants is the perfect partner to continue our legacy of service excellence.”


First Merchants will have assets of approximately $18 billion and will remain the second largest financial holding company headquartered in Indiana. The combined company, doing business as First Merchants Bank, will complete its integration during the third quarter of 2022.


The company will have 126 banking offices across Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.


Primary early voting begins Tuesday

Final preparations are being made for the beginning of early voting for the May 3 primary.


Early voting begins Tuesday at the Shelby County Courthouse.  Election official Jeff Sponsel notes that on May 3 the county will have vote centers.  It doesn’t necessarily make handling the election easier especially since early voting centralizes voters for the next several weeks anyway.



He says they are readying equipment for opening tomorrow.



Sponsel says it seems like there are plenty of days to vote before the primary but he understands why they may be needed in this day and age.






Rush Co. contractor arrested on warrant for theft, fraud

A Rush County warrant for theft and fraud has landed an owner of a local construction company in jail.


The Rush County Sheriff’s Office says Warren Stephen, owner and operator of W. Stephen Affordable Construction, was taken into custody for theft and home improvement fraud.  The charges stem from complaints of several individuals who claim Stephen received money to start jobs but failed to return to complete the contracted work.


The Rush County Sheriff’s office stated via press release that Stephen would ask for approximately half the money up front.  After receiving the money he would fail to return to the job site at all, or would do just a minimal portion of the work and then not return.  Stephen would then stop communicating with the victims.


Stephen has been advertising his business through Facebook and other social media platforms for construction jobs. 


Hessler sentenced to 650 years for brutal 1982-85 Shelby Co. home invasions, rapes (audio)

Victim after victim addressed the large audience in the Shelby Circuit Court Friday during the sentencing hearing for Steven Ray Hessler. 


Hessler was given 50 years on each of 19 counts by Shelby County Circuit Court Judge Trent Meltzer.  Meltzer called the crimes horrific and monstrous while admitting he didn’t have the right words to describe them.  Six of the counts will run concurrently equating to an aggregate of 650 years in prison.  Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen had requested 420 aggregate years.


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.


The victims spoke to anxiety, depression, physical ailments, impacted relationships and more that Hessler’s assaults left on their lives and the lives of family members over nearly 40 years.  One victim spoke of sending her son away to live with his father because she felt she couldn’t keep him safe.  Several spoke of the fear that never left their lives.  Fear of a family member walking up behind them that they didn’t realize was there.  Others explained not being able to be home alone, having windows that were open and having their decisions today, decades later, impacted by the memory of their fateful run-in.


The Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office met with the media after spending time talking with and answering questions of the victims and family.  Landwerlen was asked about potential unaccounted victims.



Hessler remained quiet throughout the sentencing hearing.  He occasionally spoke with his attorney or replied to questions from Judge Meltzer.  He declined an opportunity to speak and didn’t look at victims who testified even when they called for him to.




Pile announces campaign for Shelby County Recorder

Jessica Stucker Pile has announced her campaign for Shelby County Recorder. Pile will be on the ballot in the May 3 Republican primary election. 


Pile is currently in her sixth year serving as First Deputy to the Recorder. Before her current position, Pile worked in the County Assessor’s office for eight years. 


Pile says she is running for County Recorder because she understands the critical role the Recorder’s office plays in the lives of Shelby County residents.  “A poorly managed Recorder’s office creates delays in closings on property purchases and can create ownership disputes,” Pile says.  “Additionally, problems due to failure to maintain public records may not be noticed for years and can create legal complexities for county residents long after a real estate or other transaction has occurred. For these reasons, the County Recorder must have the experience needed to manage the Recorder’s office competently.”


Pile says her career in county government over the last fourteen years has provided her with a thorough understanding of the duties of the Recorder’s office and the Recorder’s role in interfacing with local attorneys, title companies, and financial institutions to serve Shelby County residents effectively.  


 “Shelby County residents need and deserve a County Recorder who has a deep understanding of the responsibilities of the office and the details that keep it running smoothly,” Pile says. “If elected Recorder, I’m confident that I will be able to provide Shelby County with an efficiently and effectively run Recorder’s office from my first day on the job.”


Pile is a lifelong Shelby County resident and a Triton Central High School graduate. Pile’s husband, Chris Pile, is an apprentice lineman for RushShelby Energy. The couple has a blended family of five children.