Local News

Morristown ready for 74th edition of Derby Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

That’s when Goodwill came into his life.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parks board frustrated by another vandalism report

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

In other board business Wednesday:

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

Indiana State Fair ticket discounts end today

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


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


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

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

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


Shelbyville’s Bill Rasner explains.



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



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



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



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



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


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



New Southwestern Elementary principal has school ready for fresh start

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Willis is currently a respiratory therapist at an Indianapolis hospital.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dawson was hesitant to accept the position.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beyond the Label Autism Services to open a new clinic in Rushville

An open house in Rushville this weekend will celebrate the expansion of Beyond the Label (BTL) Autism Services.


Beyond the Label, a leading provider of specialized treatment for autism and developmental disabilities with a clinic in Shelbyville, is adding a new site with a clinic at 613 Conrad Harcourt Way in Rushville.


During an open house on Saturday BTL will have games, crafts, refreshments, and prizes.  Visitors can stop by any time between 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm to meet the BTL team and ask questions about ABA services.


Founder of BTL Melissa Poe , DBH, BCBA, says they've served some clients in Rush County.  This site will allow for more.



Families in Rush County with loved ones on the autism spectrum will now have much-needed access to quality Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services performed by a compassionate, caring staff. This new clinic will offer BTL’s patients a spacious, secure, and private environment for treatment. 



BTL has partnered with rural communities for nearly a decade to fill the service gap Rush County has faced without a primary ABA provider. ABA therapy aims to improve socially significant behaviors by usingscientifically based principles and procedures, helping patients thrive and reach their full potential.


Currently, BTL offers treatment and family support primarily in homes across Central and Southeastern Indiana, as well as a clinic-based model for families in or surrounding Shelbyville. A steadfast commitment to helping patients and their families develop the skills needed to thrive in a natural and lasting way has led to its continued success over the past nine years.


“I believe we are all called to do purposeful work in life,” added Poe. “Our true calling isn’t necessarily the work itself, though. It’sthe way these individuals with autism mold and shape us each day into kinder, gentler, more compassionate human beings. We are ecstatic to serve Rush County and help lead the way of learning together in rural Indiana.”


If you are interested in enrolling in Beyond the Label’s services, visit www.btlautism.com to fill out a registration form. Employment opportunities are also listed on the website under Career Opportunities.



About Beyond the Label Autism Services

Beyond the Label Autism Services is a behavior support training center based in Shelbyville, Indiana. It was founded in 2013 to cultivate effective Applied BehaviorAnalysis (ABA) treatment as outpatient services for families touched by autism and other developmental disabilities. Its mission is to pinpoint treatment that moves past its patient’s diagnosis and maximize their potential through in-home or in-community services across central and southeastern Indiana. BTL also offers a clinic-based model for families in or surrounding Shelbyville, Indiana, and soon-to-be Rushville, Indiana.

New SCS superintendent excited for upcoming school year

Dr. Matt Vance has been attending Shelbyville Central Schools board meetings since his hiring earlier this year. On Wednesday, the new superintendent of Shelby County’s largest school system “officially” participated in his first meeting.

“I’m basically three weeks in now and it’s been a fast start,” said Vance after the meeting. “It’s one of those things where the way it works, you end one job June 30 and start a new job on July 1. I was hired back in February and it’s been a great transition the last few months because of the time factor.”

Vance (photo, far right), the former superintendent of Rush County Schools, replaced the retiring Mary Harper, who served the Shelbyville school system for nearly four decades.

“I’ve worked a lot with Mrs. Harper and her staff,” said Vance. “It’s been a great transition. It’s like anything else, you go from school district to school district and it might be the same thing, but they do things differently. It’s learning the ropes.

“We have a great staff here. My start has been very enjoyable and very much appreciated.”


For more on Dr. Matt Vance's hiring, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/619107


With just under two weeks until the start of the 2022-2023 school year, Vance’s first major task is to get staff finalized at each of the school system’s six buildings.

The last point of business for the school board Wednesday night was to allow Vance to hire staff without waiting for board approval since the next scheduled meeting will occur after the school year starts.

“It’s very tough. It is a statewide problem,” agreed Vance of the difficulties of hiring qualified teachers. “I think it’s a national problem. I was in Florida a couple of weeks ago and there was a story about a big school looking for a lot of teachers.”

Vance informed the board there were still seven full-time teaching positions to be filled within the school corporation. According to the school system’s website, Shelbyville Middle School is seeking a language arts, a math and a physical education teacher as well as a math teacher that would split time between the middle school and high school.

Shelbyville High School has a language arts teaching position available and is seeking a counselor. Hendricks Elementary still needs a second grade teacher and Coulston Elementary needs a third grade teacher and a music instructor.

“Our principals have done a great job of getting out and trying to find the best candidates,” continued Vance. “I don’t want to lower expectations of course. You absolutely try to find the best you can but everyone is competing. It really is a game even though it shouldn’t be. I say all the time I am amazed how the number of applicants, and I’m beginning my 28th year, and it’s amazing how over the years the number of (teaching) applicants have gone down.”

Vance expressed confidence to the school board that every effort was being made to have all the positions filled before the first day students arrive on Aug. 3.

“It’s a real concern. I hope it gets better soon,” said Vance. “I think we all need to work to sell the profession but it’s very difficult. We’re not in the best of shape but not in the worst. I don’t know what the next week-and-a-half is going to bring. That’s what makes me nervous.”

The upcoming school year is shaping up as a transitional year for the school system. Not only is there a new superintendent, there will be three new principals.

Amy Dawson was recently hired as Shelbyville High School’s principal. Wes Hall was promoted from assistant principal to principal at Shelbyville Middle School prior to the end of the 2021-2022 school year. And Nichole Terrell was recently hired as Coulston Elementary’s new principal.


For more on Wes Hall becoming SMS principal, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/635934


“It’s exciting I think,” said Vance. “It’s one of those things where every time you make a change, you know something is going to be different, there will always be changes that some people will like and some wish we did the old way.

“I think the way we will lead is we’re not going to make changes just to make changes. We will lead us to what’s best for our school community and what’s best for our children. That is one thing, we have a committed team of administrators and a committed staff all the way around that are here for the kids. We have a great school corporation here. What can we do to make it better? That is the goal we all have.”

Shelbyville Central Schools board approves new school year lunch prices

Shelbyville Central Schools students will once again have to pay for lunch during the school day.

On Wednesday at the SCS board meeting, lunch prices for the 2022-2023 school year were approved.

Elementary students will pay $2.50 per day for lunch; middle school and high school students will pay $2.60. The adult lunch price is $4.60.

All lunches must be purchased at the cost unless a student qualifies for reduced price or free lunches. Families must apply with the school system to qualify for reduced fee or free lunches.



“After two years, and I’m a parent too, we all got used to (free lunches),” said new superintendent Dr. Matt Vance after the meeting. “Personally, I was surprised (the program) got extended last year. It was a great situation for all of us but our principals are putting that information out.

“If you are not part of the free lunch program we are back to paying for lunches. I know that will be some adjustments for families.”

All students will still have the option of a free breakfast daily. Purchasing an additional breakfast is $1.30 per elementary student, $1.40 for middle and high school students, and $2.50 for adults.

In other board business Wednesday:

  • An agreement was approved between the school system and Nexus Mental Health LLC to provide mental health services to all students referred by SCS.
  • Approved the Personnel Report that included the resignation of former Shelbyville High School principal Brent Baker, the retirement of Shelbyville Middle School music teacher Myra Crosby, the transfer of Nicci Sargent, Coulston Elementary School assistant principal to SMS assistant principal, the transfer of Meredith Hall from Coulston music teacher to SMS music teacher, the transfer of SMS physical education teacher Jason Bass to SHS assistant principal, and the transfer of Andy Snow from SCS Director of Virtual Instruction to Coulston assistant principal.

Kroger to assume control of Penske warehouse facility in Shelby County

Control of a Shelby County warehouse is transitioning to new management.


Penske Logistics Field Human Resources Director Doug Howell provided a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice to the Department of Workforce Development and City of Shelbyville.  In that notice, he notes that Penske has performed warehousing services for Kroger for several years at the facility at 4301 North 125 West.  Kroger has informed Penske that it will take over operation of the facility on September 11.


Penske Logistics has 517 employees at the facility.


Howell writes in the WARN notice that individuals (shown in the attachment below) will be permanently laid off by Penske but that they understand that there will be opportunities for continued employment with Kroger.  The notice reads that Kroger and Penske will communicate a transition plan and direction on applying for employment with Kroger.








Shelbyville Central school board member serving on ISBA Legislative Committee

A Shelbyville Central School Board member has been appointed to the Legislative Committee of the Indiana School Board Association (ISBA).


Shelbyville’s David Finkel is one of 20 school board members.  Two come from each of the ISBA’S ten regions.



The purpose of the Legislative Committee is to direct the development of the annual legislative priorities and foundational statements that will guide the Association’s advocacy efforts in the coming year.

The recommendations issued by the Legislative Committee will be presented to the ISBA Delegate Assembly for approval during the annual Fall Conference, October 3-4 at the Indiana Convention Center.

Carthage man shot and killed in I-70 road rage incident; arrest made

An arrest has been made in a road rage shooting incident that resulted in the death of a Carthage man.


Indiana State Police say an adult male, who was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on I-70, is deceased after being shot on Monday by a person in box truck.


Just after 5:00 pm Monday, troopers from the Indianapolis District were called to the scene of a shooting that occurred on I-70 eastbound near Post Road. 911 dispatchers received information that the victim was being driven from the scene of the shooting to a medical facility near I-70 and Mt. Comfort Road in Hancock County. Medical personnel from the facility came outside and attempted life saving measures on the victim, unfortunately the male was pronounced deceased a short time after arrival.


The victim was identified as Eli Hickerson, 30, of Carthage.


Preliminary investigation by state police detectives has determined the victim was a passenger in a Ford Focus that was traveling eastbound on I-70 near Post Road. Shots were allegedly fired by the driver of a white box truck at the Ford Focus, striking Hickerson at least one time. It is believed this began as a road rage incident.


Detectives worked throughout the night following several leads. On Tuesday morning, detectives arrested Dion Kimbrough, 22, of Indianapolis, and served several subsequent search warrants related to this crime. At the time of the arrest Kimbrough was wearing a GPS monitoring device on his ankle and prior to being booked into the Marion County Jail a felony arrest warrant was discovered for an unrelated crime.. He is being held in the Marion County Jail on the probable cause charges of murder and possession of a handgun by a serious violent felon.


Indiana State Police Indianapolis District Commander, Lieutenant Josh Watson, said, "This arrest is a result of an extraordinary effort by our detectives, troopers and other assisting police agencies who have worked tirelessly through the night. They diligently investigated the crime scene, gathered intelligence information and followed each lead meticulously, resulting in the arrest of the person we believe is responsible for this senseless act."


This case is the 37th interstate shooting that troopers and detectives from the Indianapolis District have investigated so far in 2022. 65 interstate shootings were investigated by ISP in the Indianapolis area in 2021. 


Local family purchases downtown Shelbyville restaurant and bar

Bryan and Kim Rice wanted to own their own bar. It just so happens a restaurant came with fulfilling that dream.

On June 12, the Rice family took ownership of Pudder’s in downtown Shelbyville, purchasing the restaurant and bar from Val and Alicia Phares.

“We did not want a whole restaurant. We wanted to buy a bar,” said Bryan Rice. “We tried to buy a couple of other places here in town and none of it worked out. This worked out, and it has been so easy and smooth – a very smooth transaction.”

Familiarity with the prior owners was key. Over two decades ago, Val Phares called Bryan about helping out at the St. Paul Tavern he owned.

“I had no clue what I was doing but I said, ‘Yeah, I would help,’” said Bryan. “We worked down there, but not a lot.”

“He was bartending and I was cooking,” said Kim. “We were just trying to learn.”

A few years later, Scott and Christina Asher opened West Side Pub & Grub in Shelbyville and asked the Rices for help.

“We painted and helped clean up,” said Bryan. “Then they asked if we would be interested in bartending one day a week. Then that went to two days, three to four, then to five. We learned a lot over there.”



Bryan and Kim eventually found their way back to helping the Phares family at Pudder’s, which opened in the summer of 2019. That’s why they got the first option to purchase.

The initial call came early in 2022 but Bryan never gave it much thought. A second call in May forced Bryan and Kim to give it serious consideration.

The ability to keep Pudder’s locally owned has been favorably received by both the staff and fan base of the restaurant and bar, located at 18 Public Square.

“A lot of customers have come in and said they were glad we bought it because we’re local, and not someone coming in and changing everything and bringing their own stuff in. We are local.”

Bryan is a Shelbyville graduate who works by day in the transportation business. Kim is a Triton Central graduate who works from home for a mortgage broker. Both arrive at Pudder’s in the late afternoon to check in with staff, assist where needed and strengthen their grasp on the business.

“There haven’t been any hiccups really,” said Kim of the ownership change. “The employees are great. They are working it. They are doing it. They are asking us things and we ask what can we do better?”

There are no plans to change the name of the restaurant which is a reference to Alicia Phares’ childhood nickname. The menu will not be altered either.

“The only thing changing is who owns the place,” said Bryan. “Val and Alicia were very hands on with us. We’ve talked to them every day since mid-May. They have been very helpful.”

Val and Alicia Phares were excited to purchase a restaurant in downtown Shelbyville, even as a massive downtown redevelopment project was getting underway.

Nearly three years later, they wanted to scale back their commitment and had the perfect family to take over the day-to-day operations of the business.

“I call it the full circle,” said Kim. “We started with Val and Alicia, but we didn’t work with them on a daily basis. Scott and Christina worked at (St. Paul Tavern), so they learned from Val and Alicia, so when they opened (West Side) up we learned from there and now we’re back here with Val.”

Now,  with the downtown redevelopment project complete and the effects of the pandemic scaling back, Bryan and Kim see a bright future for Pudder’s, which wants to be a must visit place during downtown events.

“I would like to see even more going on down here,” said Bryan. “When they shut the circle down and put everybody on the circle, you only have a couple of places to eat down here. It loads this place up. I know they have food vendors (for the events) but we still have a lot of business.”

With the restaurant industry still in recovery from the pandemic, the Rice family seriously weighed their options before agreeing to purchase Pudder’s.

“I thought about it a lot,” admitted Bryan. “We talked on a Wednesday, agreed on Thursday and signed the paperwork on a Monday. We were here the week before and talked to the staff. We’re here every night learning how everything runs, but for two weeks I thought we were being stupid.

“Right now, I wouldn’t look back right now. It’s been amazing. The staff, Val and Alicia, the community has been awesome. I wouldn’t change a thing. There is no going back now.”

Emergency clean up order approved for nuisance property in Central Park subdivision

The City of Shelbyville will immediately clean up the property at 931 Olmstead Court.

At Tuesday morning’s Board of Works meeting at City Hall, an order to appear for the owner of the property was bypassed because of sanitary concerns with debris that is attracting flies to the Central Park subdivision.

The property is owned by SFR JV-2 Property LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company with an address in Tustin, California, according to the Shelby County GIS map, accessible through the city’s website.

Troy Merrick, the city’s code enforcement officer, asked to have the property cleaned up immediately to provide relief for the neighbors. Trash and debris has been collecting for some time, according to Merrick, and is blocking the sidewalk in the neighborhood.

An emergency order to clean up the property was approved.

Merrick also asked for an order to appear for the owner of the property at 626 W. South St. due to excessive debris at the residence. That order to appear was approved.

The Board of Works approved changing the traffic flow on the 200 block of W. Jackson St. to one way. While Jackson St. in the area is one way, the 200 block was not. Mayor Tom DeBaun was unsure why that portion of Jackson St. was never converted to one-way traffic.

Also, stop signs will be added at the intersection of Franklin St. and Elliott St. to create a 4-way stop where visibility is hampered.

The board signed a lease agreement with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to lease the boat ramp at Sunset Park to the DNR.

The boat ramp is in need of repairs and the DNR has expressed an interest in doing the work once a lease agreement was in place.

The board then approved a fire contract to provide services to Addison Township which is outside of the city limits.

Genesis gets annexation, rezoning approval for proposed industrial development project

A European-based company wants to build its United States headquarters in Shelbyville.

Ron Kelsay, of Genesis Property Development, delivered more details of a proposed project to the Shelbyville Common Council Monday morning as part of its request to annex and rezone an approximate 33-acre parcel of land located just east of Shelbyville along State Road 44.

“It is still a project in development but I can tell you the proposed facility that would go into that location is an agricultural-based manufacturing facility,” explained Kelsay. “It will use crops grown exclusively in Indiana and farms throughout Indiana, including hopefully some in Shelby County and Marion (County).”

While the design of the facility is not yet complete, Kelsay anticipates several buildings will sit on the property totaling upward of 250,000 square feet.

“We have no plans in this project to build huge concrete warehouses as you see in other communities,” stated Kelsay to alleviate concerns that was part of the project.

The as-yet-named company is looking at an initial investment of $70 million that will include utilizing downtown Shelbyville office space and residential options.

“One of the reasons they picked Shelbyville is because it is a rural agricultural community but also a city that is growing and has a lot of great things going on,” said Kelsay. “One thing in particular that caught their attention was the downtown redevelopment. They were really impressed with the investment Shelbyville did with their downtown, with space for the community and its citizens.”



Genesis Property Development, located in Shelbyville, currently owns the Methodist Building (photo) and the former Chase Bank building on the downtown Public Square and is now in the process of purchasing the Knights of Pythias building. All three buildings will potentially be used by this company.

“This company needs facilities to house some employees and office space and we already have agreements with them for the Methodist Building, the Chase building and we are finalizing plans to purchase the Knights of Pythias building,” said Kelsay. “It’s not directly tied to the plan but its part of them coming to Shelbyville and bringing their corporate headquarters. That is a huge portion of all the vacant buildings in downtown Shelbyville. It’s a huge investment to bring those fantastic old buildings back to life.

“Those types of developments are expensive and risky because they are old, and in some cases historic buildings, it is very difficult to find someone willing to come in and take that risk and make that investment in those types of buildings. This is an opportunity, in addition to everything else mentioned, to have a partner come in and invest in the community. It’s the final piece in what the city was trying to achieve with the downtown in terms of bringing people in and revitalizing downtown and making it a great gathering space for citizens.”

The annexation and rezoning of the property for industrial development was approved 5-0. Councilmen Nathan Willis and Thurman Adams were not in attendance at the meeting.

Golden Bear golf benefit tournament another success

Participants in the annual Shelbyville High School Basketball/Football Golf Benefit Saturday enjoyed a beautiful afternoon as well as the opportunity to reunite with old friends, former Golden Bear teammates and numerous supporters.

“We enjoy so much support from numerous sponsors and players who make this event a priority for their summer,” said Shelbyville boys varsity basketball coach John Hartnett Jr. “We are very thankful to everyone. I really look forward to seeing everyone each year.”

The quartet of John Southworth, Jerrie LeClercq, Richard McGaha and Chad Jones (photo, from left to right) took first place honors in the 37-team scramble competition held at The Legends Golf Club.



Southworth, a former Golden Bear golf standout and 2009 Shelby County Golfer of the Year, was also one of the Closest to the Pin winners.

Other award recipients included Jared West (Closest to the Pin), Geoff Gerline and Luke Engle (Longest Drives), and Shelbyville football assistant coach Josh Teague (Longest Putt).

The Law family once again served as event sponsor. Nine-hole sponsors were Cagney’s Pizza King, Scott Ferguson, Joe and Theresa Harlan, KNAUF Insulation, Zotec Partners, Bruce Van Cleve, Pudder’s, “Z” Shirts and Jim Kamleiter.

KNAUF and Corevision sponsored lunch for the golfers.

“I am so pleased with the tremendous response we have received the past two years,” said co-coordinator and assistant football coach Drew Parsley. “Coach (Brian) Glesing and I want to express our appreciation to all the people who make this benefit a success each year.”

The event also was dedicated to the memory of former Golden Bear athlete and 2011 graduate Gary Oldham (photo below), who died in an auto accident earlier this year.   


Kylie McCrory joins Shelby County Chamber of Commerce as New Events And Special Programs Coordinator

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce has created a brand new full-time position, Events and Special Programs Coordinator.

This position was created so that the Chamber team can devote more time and attention to community events while continuing to build relationships with members.

The Chamber is delighted to announce its decision to hire Kylie McCrory to fill the newly created position.

After graduating a semester early from the Early College program at Center Grove High School in Greenwood, Indiana, McCrory received academic honors, technical honors, and graduated early from Center Grove High School before attending college at the University of Miami in Oxford, Ohio. After completing her freshman year on campus, she returned to Shelbyville and transferred to Penn State University’s World Campus to pursue her bachelor’s degree in marketing.

“I want to make an impression on this city that will survive my time here,” McCrory said.

She is thrilled to win the opportunity to start a whole new role in the Chamber and come up with new ideas for the Chamber so it can continue to thrive.

“My goal is to try to achieve a broader, more diverse membership here in Shelby County, without alienating established business members. I’m especially excited about a fall fundraising event that we’re currently working on. I can’t wait to announce it to our members and the community – it will be a very popular event,” said McCrory.

Her father is well known in the county, Johnny McCrory, the news and sports director at GIANT fm radio.

“I constantly hear about how everyone loves my dad and the things he did for this community,” she said. “It makes me proud to hear all the positive feedback.”

She sees him as her role model as she begins to navigate her position as Events Coordinator.

“Kylie is a wonderful addition to our Chamber family,” said Donna Christian, Executive Director of the Shelby County Chamber. “I look forward to seeing her thrive in this position. With her intelligence and passion for detail, we will see many great things come from her work here at the Shelby County Chamber.”

Columbus man driving stolen Johnson Co. truck chased, caught by officers

A Columbus man who has been arrested multiple times in recent years was taken into custody again after leading law enforcement on a pursuit Thursday morning.


About 8:00 am Thursday, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Matt Bush observed a vehicle at the intersection of 10th and National Road where it appeared the driver was visibly nervous and attempting to conceal his face. 


Deputy Bush ran a routine check of the license plate, which revealed that the plate was stolen out of Bartholomew County. The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but it fled from the Walmart parking lot and traveled through the south part of Columbus. During the pursuit, the driver drove through a bean field and onto a sidewalk. 


On Gladstone Avenue and McKinley, the driver later identified as Dominique Nichols, 27, of Columbus, fled on foot. Nichols did not put the stolen truck in park and it rolled into a fence of a residence causing minor damage. 


After a short foot pursuit, Nichols was apprehended. Further investigation revealed that not only was the license plate stolen in Bartholomew County the truck itself had been stolen in Johnson County. 


Nichols was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital for jail clearance due to him allegedly ingesting methamphetamine. 


Nichols is being held on the following charges: Resisting law enforcement in a vehicle, resisting law enforcement on foot, leaving the scene of an accident, theft of a vehicle, theft of a license plate and reckless driving. 


“This is yet another example of a career criminal putting the community at risk by their reckless actions,” said Sheriff Matt Myers. “Mr. Nichols has been arrested nine times in Bartholomew County alone since 2018.” 



Parks board recommends new recreation impact fee

The City of Shelbyville established a Recreation Impact Fee in 2019 to create a fund that would spur additional parks and recreation development as projected city population numbers rose.

The fee was assessed to each new home being built. In 2019, the initial fee was determined based on a complicated mathematical formula to be $1,005 per new home. That fee rose 3% each year since its inception.

With initial goals for spending the impact fee being met, the city is weighing a new impact fee schedule that will meet new goals.

On Wednesday at the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department board meeting, a favorable recommendation was given to a $1,346 impact fee that would be forwarded on to the Shelbyville Common Council.

Once the council approves, the Plan Commission will have a public meeting on the impact fee before the council makes a final vote. The impact fee would go into effect six months after the second vote approves the fee.



The impact fee is based off current cost estimates needed to fund projected future infrastructure, reasonable revenue streams and the forecast for residential building permits being approved.

Shelbyville currently has several subdivisions being built by multiple home developers. The city is projecting 1,644 new residential building permits will be applied for over the next 10 years.

The impact fee can only be used on designated projects. In 2019, those areas of need were identified as softball diamonds, park shelters, multi-use trails and pathways and park/open space areas.

All funds still in the original impact fee account are earmarked to be spent.

The new priorities in 2022 are pickleball courts, indoor basketball courts, park restrooms, community playgrounds, neighborhood playgrounds, trails and pathways, and park/open space areas.

The proposed impact fee of $1,346 is comparable to other communities with impact fees including Avon ($1,227 in 2022), Bargersville ($1,580 in 2021), Danville ($1,117 in 2021), Fishers ($1,667 in 2020), Franklin ($870 in 2016), Greenfield ($1,313 in 2019), Greenwood ($1,590 in 2020) and Noblesville ($2,118 in 2019).

In other news from the parks board meeting, the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center will be open weekly for two more weeks. The center also will be open Aug. 6-7 and Aug. 13-14 before closing down for the season.

The annual “Doggie Day” at the pool will be Aug. 14 from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Music in the Park series returns Saturday night with Midnight Rider, an Allman Brothers concert experience, performing at Blue River Memorial Park, 725 Lee Boulevard in Shelbyville. There is no admission fee for the concert which starts at 7 p.m.

Food, beer and wine will be available for purchase at the park.

The 24th Annual Shelby Shifters Car Show is Sunday at Kennedy Park, 309 Coffey Lane, in Shelbyville. The car show starts at 8 a.m.

Shelbyville Fire Chief Tony Logan retiring at end of month

Tony Logan graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1981 with no clear cut plan for life. One day he happened upon a house fire and was impressed with how the Fairland Fire Department handled it so quickly.

“I pulled over to watch, I had never seen anything like that in my life,” said Logan. “The Fairland Fire Department pulls in and they looked like a bunch of ants – everyone just started doing stuff. The next thing you know the fire was out. I told my wife that was pretty cool.”

Logan, through a meeting with a family member of his wife, became a Waldron volunteer firefighter. A chance meeting with a retired Shelbyville firefighter eventually led him to applying for a full-time position in his hometown.

He was hired Feb. 2, 1985.

Now, nearly 37-and-a-half years later, Logan is bringing a close to his career as firefighter, deputy chief and fire chief of the Shelbyville Fire Department. He will officially retire from service on July 29.

“I don’t have any plans. I just decided enough is enough,” said Logan from his fire chief’s office at station No. 1 in downtown Shelbyville. “I have been thinking about it for six months, to be honest. If I think back and look at it, it’s not any particular thing. It’s not because of this incident, or whatever.”

Logan saw himself serving 20 years as a firefighter then pursuing other interests. But the deputy chief position was offered to him, a position he held for approximately seven years. Logan has served as fire chief for 10-and-a-half years now.



“I want to see what else is out there,” said Logan. “There is nothing wrong with this job. It’s a great job. Tom (DeBaun) has been very good to me and so have a lot of elected officials and appointed officials. They’ve been very good. The department is in a good place. It’s time to do something different.”

Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun believes the fire chief’s position can be filled internally. Interviews will be conducted immediately.

“I was caught off guard,” said DeBaun when asked about Logan’s retirement announcement . “He and I had discussions about him leaving when I retire.

“I started to get a sense he was looking ahead. He has a granddaughter turning one year old and he wants to do other things.”

The timing just felt right to Logan, who will help with hiring his replacement and participate in upcoming budget meetings at the request of DeBaun.

“I’ve been here a long time when it comes to management stuff,” said Logan. “We’ve made some good progress on things, we’ve got some replacement programs and budgetary stuff lined out to make things go more smoothly.  I think the department is in a good position and in a good direction where it’s headed.

“I don’t think the timing could be better as far as that’s concerned. My goal is not to leave it in a position where it’s not better than when I got here. I think it is better. I feel good about that.”

While serving as a Shelbyville firefighter, he had side businesses and rental properties to manage. The move to deputy chief altered his daily routine, though, which took him off most emergency calls.

“I was 20 years on and eligible for retirement,” he explained. “I always planned on doing something different, not being a firefighter anymore.

“I was asked to be a deputy chief, come to a whole different level and work on budgets, work on maintenance and work on a lot of stuff that is different than what I was doing out in the field.”

That role made him, for the first time, seriously consider being fire chief.

“Then this position came along and it’s a whole different level,” continued Logan. “Guys talk about going on calls all the time, I don’t go on very many calls. My thing is doing budgets and personnel issues and all the stuff behind the scenes. I tell people my job is to get them (firefighters/paramedics) their tools and equipment they need to do their job.”



Ironically, Logan has a display in his office of the various fire department badges he has worn over his career. The only badge missing from the collection is the one he really wanted.

“I never saw myself as chief,” he said. “That was never, ever a goal of mine. My goal, honestly, was battalion chief … that is the guy that runs the shift. I have 21 people on shift right now, they work a 24-hour shift and go on all the cool calls and manage their people. That’s the job I always wanted and never had.”

Logan was the department’s deputy chief on that frozen February night in 2007 when Knauf Insulation, the city’s largest employer, caught fire.

“Knauf was probably the most challenging,” admitted Logan. “We’ve had other ones that have been frustrating, but Knauf was probably the biggest challenge I’ve seen in my career.”

The fire destroyed office space, warehouse storage and a laboratory with hazardous materials.

“The temperature that night was 17 below (zero),” recalled Logan. “The fact that Indiana American Water Company ran out of water … things were frozen. We called for several tankers to haul us water.

“We sent some guys to the hospital that day. It could have been way worse. That fire was very challenging. The thermal cameras didn’t work at Knauf because they had multiple layers of old buildings. The fire got way ahead of us before we were able to consider stopping it. It was all baffling for awhile. That one was very challenging.”

Logan has spent the last two years managing a staff working on the front lines battling COVID-19. That has presented its own unique challenges.

“I spent a lot of time in the mayor’s office talking about what we were going to do,” he said. “We were waiting on press releases and decisions.

“It was a tough couple of years. The guys were pretty good about changing up pretty quick. We put policies in place to minimize how many people went into somebody’s house.”

Firefighters and medics masked up to protect themselves in COVID-suspected cases. Upon return to the firehouse, equipment was sanitized as best as possible.

“If it was a COVID call, we would only commit a minimum amount of people,” he said. “We came back and sanitized the vehicles. We bought all kinds of sanitizing stuff. We bought a fog machine and would go through and spray special stuff and spray throughout the buildings and trucks.

“On calls, we were very cautious. We still are now.”

During his career, Logan has seen more modern technology enter the firehouse, managed  a complete renovation of station No. 1 and station No. 3 at the water tower. And a brand new station No. 2 was built on the city’s southeast side.

“We’ve got three really nice fire stations,” said Logan. “This one here is a lot nicer than the old one. Station two is a really nice building. The water tower is basically all brand new again and it was built in 1985.”

And there are plans being developed to build a fourth fire station to service the city’s and county’s northern regions.

“I’ve been working with the architect even today for a potential location,” he said. “We’ve got a few sites picked out.”



Once August rolls around, Logan can finally spend time not thinking about the firehouse, a luxury he has not had in nearly two decades. He would like to travel but is not sure how far his wife will allow him to go from their granddaughter.

“I have a feeling I will go back and do something,” said Logan. “I will probably stay out of the fire protection stuff. I want to see what’s out there. I would like to take a little time out. I’ve converted a school bus into an RV and my wife and I have been doing a lot of camping.”

But as he stops worrying about the day-to-day needs of the fire department, there will be a void to fill without being at the firehouse on a daily basis.

“I will miss the people,” he said. “I will miss the challenges of it. How do we get more manpower? How do we get new equipment? How do you do this? How do you do that? How do you mitigate issues with the union?

“You are always thinking about this place. But it all comes down to missing the people.”

Local Zeta Lambda chapter of Delta Theta Tau Sorority presents donations to The Strand, Shelby Co. Public Library

The local Zeta Lambda chapter of Delta Theta Tau Sorority recently gave monetary donations to numerous community organizations. Profits generated every year during the sorority-sponsored Gift & Hobby Show and its two annual Crop & Craft events are returned to the community in various ways including scholarships to a senior in each of the Shelby County high schools and to a post graduate, and stipends to multiple community organizations.


The Shelby County Library and The Strand Theatre were among the community recipients this year. Veanna Kessler, chairman of the sorority’s philanthropy committee, recently presented checks to Janet Wallace, director of the library, and to The Strand directors Steve Frazee, left, and David Finkel, right.


Health department launches back-to-school immunization campaign

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has partnered with local health departments and other healthcare entities across the state to host back-to-school immunization clinics this summer as part of a statewide public awareness campaign to help families easily access required and recommended school immunizations prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year.


The Start Smart campaign includes a map showing dates, times and locations of community immunization clinics. The map can be found at https://startsmart.health.in.gov/. The clinics are open to children ages 5 and older. Families will not be charged at the site of the clinic but should provide insurance information if available.


“Over the last two years, immunization rates for diseases like measles, mumps and chicken pox have fallen 10 percent across Indiana, which puts children at greater risk of highly contagious, yet highly preventable, diseases,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “While many parents already have appointments scheduled with their child’s pediatrician, we know that some may be having difficulty with access. These community clinics bring the services to areas with the greatest need to help ensure every child is protected before they walk into the classroom.”


IDOH is also mailing letters to parents of children whose state immunization records show they are behind on a required immunization. A list of immunizations required for school can be found here.


“Immunizations are an essential part of keeping students healthy, and we encourage every family to take advantage of these local opportunities to get their children caught up and take one important task off their back-to-school checklist,” Dr. Box said.

Weekend pursuit ends with arrest of Wisconsin man

A Wisconsin man led troopers on a pursuit through two counties before being taken into custody on multiple charges.


The incident began at approximately 8:45 am Sunday when Master Trooper Gary Thalls observed a 2009 BMW passenger car traveling northbound on I-65 near the 51 mile marker in Jackson County in excess of 100 miles per hour.  Trooper Thalls attempted to catch up to the vehicle, but the car accelerated in an attempt to elude him. 


Senior Trooper Korry Clark observed the same vehicle traveling northbound near the 60 mile marker in southern Bartholomew County at speeds well in excess of 100 mph.  Troopers observed that the registration plate on the vehicle was being intentionally concealed.  Trp. Clark and Trp. Thalls both activated their emergency lights attempting to get the vehicle to stop.    


The driver of the vehicle, Jacob G. Wroblewski, 21, of Hales Corner, Wisconsin, fled from the troopers northbound on I-65 before exiting at the 64 mile marker and heading eastbound on County Road 450 South.  Wroblewski turned northbound on US 31 before soon entering Columbus.  With the assistance of the Columbus Police Department, the vehicle was stopped on US 31 (National Road) and 25th Street.  Wroblewski and the two passengers in his vehicle were taken into custody without further incident.  Both of the passengers were soon released. 


Wroblewski was arrested on preliminary charges of Resisting Law Enforcement in a Vehicle, Level 6 Felony, and Reckless Driving, Class A Misdemeanor.  He was incarcerated in the Bartholomew County Jail pending his initial court appearance.  Wroblewski may face additional charges and citations related to the incident.

Man killed when pinned between two trucks in Johnson Co. crash

One man was killed and three others injured in a Johnson County crash Monday morning.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a crash in the 3000 block of West Olive Branch Road, west of St. Rd. 135 just after 9:00 am. Deputies found a delivery truck, contracted for Home Depot, in the eastbound lanes where it appeared a delivery was being made at a residence. A pickup truck heading eastbound struck the rear of the delivery truck, and pinned one of the delivery workers between the trucks. He was pronounced dead on the scene. The other two delivery workers were injured and transported to Eskenazi and Methodist hospitals, as well as the driver of the pickup truck. 

The driver of the pickup truck told deputies he was unable to see the delivery truck stopped in the road because of the rising sun blinding him.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office does not believe intoxication or unsafe driving were factors. 

A report will be forthcoming upon confirmation of notification to next of kin.

Local DJ was well-known country music personality

As country music began to gain momentum on the airwaves in the 1970s, WSVL-FM’s Ann Williams grew to become a well-respected member of that genre’s radio community. Her enthusiasm and dedication created a loyal audience and established 97.1 as one of central Indiana’s primary country music stations.

Williams was the morning host who welcomed Shelby County’s earliest-rising radio listeners to the new day for 11 years, from 1968 until 1979.

“She had a tremendous knowledge of country music and was one of its greatest promoters,” said fellow station broadcaster Jack Boyce. “She received widespread recognition from the country music industry and became well-known, even in Nashville.”



WSVL-AM, 1520 (operating today as WSVX and also as 96.5 FM) and WSVL-FM, 97.1, were radio stations owned by Shelby County Broadcasting, Inc. that served the Shelby County area beginning in 1961 and 1964, respectively. Both stations provided news and sports coverage with 1520 programming primarily dedicated to the city of Shelbyville and 97.1, which enjoyed a wider scope due to its more powerful signal, directing service more to Shelby County and outlying areas.

Williams would arrive at the station at 4:30 a.m. following her drive to work from the Greensburg area and “turn on the power,” as she would say.

“In those days, radio stations had to have a person with a first-class radio license on site,” said Boyce. “Ann was already a ham radio operator so that was an advantage. She could turn the station on and run program as well. She served two important functions.”

The FCC eliminated the requirement for an on-duty Radio Telephone Operator License First Class in 1981. However, up to that time, the “first phone” license was an extremely important credential.

She would start the day with the 5 a.m. state and national news and then launch into country programming that was simulcast on both stations until 6 a.m. She would continue sending out country tunes on the fm side throughout the morning until her shift ended at 11:30 a.m.

The cramped fm studio featured a microphone, console board and vinyl records of the 45 and 78 variety that lined the walls, at times spilling over to the floor. Williams always kept a copy of the weekly Billboard Magazine in the studio so as to keep listeners updated concerning current country music hits and up and coming songs and artists.

“Ann developed quite a following,” stated former WSVL salesman and announcer Mark Risley. “She was very popular because she was an expert and had a genuine love for country music. People really appreciated that. She had a wide audience of dedicated listeners.”



Williams (photo) had a smooth, rural-flavored delivery with just enough of an accent to let the listener know that he or she was tuned to a country station. She played the country stars of the period with a playlist that included: Johnny Cash, Emmy Lou Harris, Bobby Bare, Freddy Fender and The Blackwood Singers. She would also reach back to her classic collection for selections from artists such as Narvel Felts, Ray Pillow, Stonewall Jackson, Stoney Edwards and even Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

She received regular calls for requests from listeners. Major Hospital nurses working the late shift routinely called.

“One nurse likes for me to play Hoyt Axton’s, ‘You’re the Hangnail in My Life,’” said Williams in 1975. “I get a lot of calls for Donna Fargo and recently people have been requesting newer performers like Pure Prairie League and Jesse Colter.”

Pure Prairie League and Colter would be at the forefront of the “crossover” artists who would have success in both country and pop music.

Country music was generally heard on radio via live performances at venues such as barn dances and hayrides in the 1920s and 1930s. Radio stations that catered to country music fans emerged in the late 1940s and early 1950s. These were generally located in smaller towns or rural areas and the music programming was part of a general format that also included news, sports and other local happenings.

Larger markets began to refine the country music format in the 1960s. Many believe country music became fully accepted in urban America in 1973 when New York’s WHN became an all-country music station.

WSVL-FM was ahead of its time in a couple of ways.

First, it became an all-country station beginning in 1964. The country music wave that would result in a proliferation of such enterprises was 10-20 years in the future.

And second, WSVL-FM featured a female DJ as its primary representative. There were a limited number of women broadcasters at the time and even fewer in leadership roles.

Risley and WSVL employees did not give much thought to the idea that Ann’s position within the organization could be groundbreaking. Risley said: “I don’t think it ever really dawned on us that she was unique or that it was something out of the ordinary. She was just extremely capable and qualified.”

Williams enjoyed steady success and earned respect in country music circles. She and Boyce (main photo) were given the opportunity to travel to Nashville to broadcast two days of WSVL morning shows from Opryland in June of 1972 and 1973.

“That was truly a remarkable experience,” said Boyce. “WSM Radio provided the studio and Ann was in her element. We saw numerous country music stars and Ann chased several of them down and persuaded them to join us on the air. We were able to feature our local sponsors as well. Ann had traveled to Nashville a few times. I could not believe how many performers she knew.”

Valerie Freeman was WSVL traffic manager during Ann’s time at the station.

“I answered the phone one morning and the voice said, ‘Yes. This is Charley Pride. Is Ann Williams available?’ I, of course, thought it was some joke but it was really Charley Pride,” said Freeman. “He talked to Ann for 10-15 minutes. I know he called her at least one other time at the station.”

Pride was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Williams was nominated for Small Market On-Air Personality of the Year and received a “Mr Dee-Jay USA Award” from Opryland.

Shelby County Broadcasting sold WSVL-FM to Emmis Communications in 1980. The powerful 97.1 signal in the Indianapolis market offered the potential for significantly greater earnings. WENS-97.1 became the first Emmis station. President and CEO Jeff Smulyan would develop Emmis into a major media empire with radio, television and publications that would include Indianapolis’ WIBC and New York’s WFAN.

97.1 FM currently operates under call letters WLHK and is once again a country music channel. In June, Emmis announced the sale of its Indianapolis radio holdings, including WLHK.

Williams left WSVL in 1979. She and her husband moved to an area of Tennessee where they had owned land for many years. She later worked as a DJ for Tennessee stations WAMG and WHIN. Ann died in 2018 at the age of 87.

Many Shelby County residents remember Ann Williams and the heart she gave to the country music she played for her listeners. I am sure many of her former listeners think of Ann Williams whenever they hear a country song. I know I do.   

Linne's Bakery and Cafe has new owners

There are now new owners of a Shelbyville downtown business.  Many would call the business a staple in their daily diet.


Linne's Bakery and Cafe posted the following announcement on the business Facebook page:


Good evening friends of Linnes Bakery and Moore...

I want to share my heart with you, our very loyal and faithful customers/friends.

I want to thank you for your support these past 38 years that I have owned and operated this wonderful and very well established bakery. The Linne family created a rich heritage for me to take on into another 4 decades of fine made from scratch pastries. We've added a "deli" featuring our made from scratch salads. Plus a good selection of grilled sandwiches.

My wife, Diane, has developed an extensive line of decorated cookies. She once told me that "I can't do that. I don't know how to decorate". I just asked her to do her best and I think she went well beyond her best. She has supported me these past 29 years.

We have had a host of excellent employees whose loyalty was far beyond my wildest dreams.

Now comes the time in my life that I must retire. I am 74 but don't feel it. If anyone knows how I am supposed to feel at 74 please let me know.

The church that we go to has a wonderful group of people who pray and know how to pray. I shared the desire to retire and sell the bakery. Many people have looked at it but there was something that always didn't seem to fit. So our praying friends joined Diane and me praying for the one that God wanted to assume ownership. He brought along to us Zach and Tami Reardon. We have been in negotiations for a couple of months. We reached a very amicable agreement and this afternoon the deal for them to purchase Linne's Bakery and Moore was finalized.

I am no longer a part of this great downtown anchor business, it now belongs to Zach and Tami.

Please continue to give them the faithful support that you have given me, my wife Diane and our kids Ben and Beka these past 38 years.

So many have wondered and have asked this question "they're not going to change the 'recipes' are they? I reassured those who asked and now I am telling you folk that "nothing will change" customer service will remain the same. But most of all the friendly atmosphere/party atmosphere will remain the same.

I am staying on as a "consultant" and teaching the importance of quality products at a very fair price. I will be here through the end of the year assisting and giving direction in quality pastry baking and serving.

So please remain loyal to them and come in to greet them whenever you have a chance.

With this I will close and share this one last thought. I thank my gracious and wonderful God in heaven for allowing me to participate in downtown business here in the city of Shelbyville.

I have met so many wonderful people and I am blessed immensely.

My love to the city of Shelbyvlle and the wonderful people who live here.

Thank you

Bill Moore, CMB

Diane Moore

Ben Moore

Beka Thomas

Shelby Co. law enforcement officers join six states to combat speeding

The Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership is joining law enforcement officers from six states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin) on July 27 in this year’s NHTSA Region 5 high visibility Speed Awareness Day enforcement campaign.


This campaign is an effort to address the drastic increase in speed and hazardous moving violations that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Speeding is involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities nationwide. NHTSA statistical projections for 2021 shows traffic deaths grew by 10.5% to 42,915. This also represents the highest number of fatalities since 2005 and the highest annual percentage increase in the recorded history of data in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).


In 2020 there were 5,413 fatal injuries in the six-state region with 1,668 (30.8%) being speed related fatalities. Traffic crashes that result in death due to speeding are higher in the summer months. The highest fatalities occur between June to September.


Speeding is more than just breaking the law. The consequences are far-ranging:

  • Greater potential for loss of vehicle control.
  • Reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment.
  • Increased stopping distance after the driver perceives a danger.
  • Increased degree of crash severity leading to more severe injuries.
  • Economic implications of a speed-related crash; and
  • Increased fuel consumption/cost.

“One of the most concerning aspects of speeding is the increased stopping distance.”  “A vehicle traveling at 30 mph will need about 110 feet to come to a complete stop.” “In comparison, a car moving at 60 mph will need over 300 feet to stop, this is almost the entire length of a football field!” said Sheriff Louie Koch.


According to the NHTSA, drivers who speed are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as not wearing a seat belt, drinking, and driving, or using a cell phone while driving.


The speed awareness campaign has a twofold approach: to combine increased, zero-tolerance enforcement with effective communication to road users on the importance of obeying the speed limit. High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) is a proven countermeasure for reinforcing driver compliance with posted speed limits.


The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness and save lives. There is no reason to speed, it is unnecessary and endangers everyone on the road. It may get you there a bit faster, but if you obey the speed limit signs, you will most likely arrive alive.

Woodland Village is safe from proposed industrial development project

The residents of Woodland Village learned Wednesday that their mobile home park is in no danger from pending industrial development on the city’s east side.

Genesis Property Development, representing an as yet named business client, petitioned Shelbyville’s Common Council to annex into the city and rezone approximately 33 acres of farm land which includes the five-plus acres of Woodland Village.

After a long discussion period resulted in a unfavorable recommendation from the city’s Plan Commission on June 27, Genesis Property Development’s Ron Kelsay appeared before the council Wednesday night at City Hall asking for an amendment to the petition stating the Woodland Village acreage would not be rezoned for industrial development and thereby be protected from the project.

All of the 33 acres in question is currently zoned for agriculture use which means the mobile home park is not zoned correctly. Once the annexation is approved the land will be rezoned to General Industrial for Genesis’ project while the Woodland Village property will be rezoned to MP, the appropriate zoning for a mobile home park.

The annexation and the rezoning were not addressed at Wednesday’s meeting. Only the amendment to the petition that would exclude Woodland Village from the industrial rezone was approved.

Kelsay explained due to a non-disclosure agreement with the land owner, prior discussions with the residents of Woodland Village did not take place before the most recent Plan Commission meeting. He went on to explain that there never was an intent of displacing the residents, several are disabled and living on a fixed income.

“Because of a non-disclosure (agreement) we had with the seller in terms of the park and the residents, there was concern that if the deal didn’t go through, they didn’t want to upset tenants which seemed very reasonable,” said Kelsey. “So we didn’t have any discussions with the tenants or discuss it in general. I don’t think it’s an issue anymore.”

Genesis’ project is contingent on the property being annexed into the city for water and sewage use. With Woodland Village also coming into city limits, access to water and sewer would be offered to the residents.

With concern for the Woodland Village residents quelled, neighboring property owners then addressed their concerns for an industrial project in the area.

Questions arose over traffic issues, drainage, noise pollution and use of the site all together which Kelsay addressed after the meeting in a one-on-one interview with the Shelby County Post.

“There were a number of factors,” said Kelsey of why this particular land was being purchased for development. “One was size of the property. This particular property is larger than many others so that came into play.

“Probably the biggest reason I tried to explain in the Plan Commission meeting, which is really complex because it involves tax law, east of I-74 is located in an ‘Opportunity Zone’ which is designated by the federal government to incentivize investment in low income areas as identified by census tracts.”

Residents questioned why other property along E. State Road 44 such as the Greenleaf property or a nearby tract of land owned by the Redevelopment Commission or vacant property along Tom Hession Drive that is earmarked for industrial development could not be utilized.

“This particular company (Genesis’ client) invests in opportunity zones,” continued Kelsay. “So when you look at the map and overlay that against properties that are for sale, what zoning is available and those things, it really limits down what works.

“To be perfectly honest, people talk about the Greenleaf (property) and even the other parcel that the RDC owns, we would love to have those … I would be interested … we would buy them but they are not for sale. We’ve asked. You can’t buy what is not for sell.”

Kelsay maintains his client’s anonymity and details of the proposed project are imminent.

“Part of it is because a lot of that stuff is in development,” he said. “Some of it is that the project is still confidential. The company has not made an announcement yet. Often times the way these things work is it is confidential then once they get the big picture done, in this case annexation, then once you move to the next step when you have to submit the specific project, it still has to go back through tech review and the Plan Commission which is usually where you get the specific details of what is it? How big is it? What will it do? That usually comes later.”

Kelsay did not envision the future of Woodland Village taking center stage so soon when annexation was just the very first step of the deal.

“With regard to the mobile home park, when we put together a purchase agreement with the seller to buy the property, one of the things they asked was a non-disclosure with regard to the park because they had some concerns, which I understand and think are legitimate, if for some reason if this deal didn’t go through they didn’t want to upset the residents,” explained Kelsay. “They were concerned about the people that live there. They didn’t want them to move out. So we tried to honor that.

“More than anything, that probably just backfired at the Plan Commission because internally with our group not a lot of that had been discussed because it wasn’t on the radar. The first stage of what we are looking to do is going to be back in the farm field. We weren’t planning on doing anything in the area with the mobile home park. So the questions came up and not only were we in a non-disclosure not to talk about it but we hadn’t had much discussion internally because it wasn’t on the radar. This was something we would have dealt with some time down the road.”

Kelsay anticipates the petition’s request for annexation and rezoning to come before the next Common Council meeting which is set for 8:30 a.m. on July 18. He anticipates an announcement from his client to come within the next 30 days.

“I think they are getting close,” he said. “It’s possible it could be at the next meeting but we are on their schedule.”

In other board business Wednesday, the council approved a 20-year tax abatement with Meridian, who will install high speed internet fiber throughout Shelbyville.

The high speed fiber lines will be buried underground or run along poles where needed to bring access to every home and business in the city.

The project is slated to begin later this year, according to common council president Rob Nolley.

The council also approved moving money from its racino fund to pay for its portion of a transfer station being built that will eliminate the need to take recycling and waste to Morristown.

The transfer station is a joint project between the city, county and recycling district that will be “more economical” according to Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun.

Funeral services are this weekend for former Shelbyville fire chief Robert Buckley

A former Shelbyville fire chief and long time member of the department has passed away.


Robert W. Buckley, of Manatee County, Florida, formerly of Shelbyville, passed away on July 3, 2022.  He was 81.


The Shelbyville Fire Department posted the following message along with Buckley's obituary information on its Facebook page:


It’s with great sadness we share the passing of our beloved former Fire Chief, Robert Buckley . Chief Buckley was greatly respected and loved . Please keep his family in your prayers.


Buckley graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1958 and attended Ball State University from 1958-1959.  He joined the United States Air Force Reserves on June 13, 1963, and was discharged on May 21, 1969. He was stationed at Bakalar Air Force Base in Columbus, Indiana as a Fire Protection Specialist.  On September 1, 1967, he received the Commander’s Achievement Award for that year. 


He joined the Shelbyville Fire Department on January 1, 1964, and retired on September 16, 2000, serving 36 years.  He served in all permanent ranks within the department.  He was Fire Chief from September 14, 1983 – January 1, 1992.  Prior to joining the department in 1964, he was a volunteer firefighter for Shelbyville and received the Good Government Award in 1963 alongside Allen Benfield for saving two children from a burning home.  He also received awards from the American Legion and Fraternal Order of Eagles throughout his career. 


He was also appointed Special Deputy with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department on January 1, 1964, for a term of four years.


Funeral service and visitation details can be seen in the Obituary section of the Shelby County Post.

School systems working diligently to fill vacant teaching positions

The buzz around a new school year is already present.

Summer school projects and renovations are nearing completion and staffing issues are being addressed.

“We’re ready to have kids in the building. Well, I am. I should not say that for others,” said Southwestern Consolidated Schools superintendent Josh Edwards.

Northwestern Consolidated Schools superintendent Chris Hoke said confidently school could start today at all three Triton Central schools if needed.

There are still staff openings in all four Shelby County school systems but many have been filled recently including Shelbyville Central Schools hiring a new high school principal and elementary school principal.

On Friday, Shelby County’s largest school system announced Amy Dawson as the new principal at Shelbyville High School. She was previously the associate principal at New Palestine High School.

Also, Hendricks Elementary School teacher Nicole Terrell was named the new principal at Coulston Elementary School.

That filled two key administrative positions for SCS who is now under the direction of new superintendent Dr. Matt Vance.

According to the school system’s website, there are still teaching vacancies at the elementary school level, the middle school and the high school.

“The candidate pools are as small as I ever remember it being,” said Hoke.

Finding viable candidates is a challenging task for all schools systems. Northwestern Consolidated Schools is in good shape with just one added special education position still to be filled.

“Even if it goes unfilled, we would still be at the same head count as last year,” said Hoke. “Our experience is not the norm. I know because I have talked to other superintendents.”

Edwards, preparing for his first full school year as superintendent of the Southwestern school system, praised junior high/high school principal John Tindall and new elementary school principal Beth Hoeing for finding qualified staff.

Edwards stated there is one opening left to fill in each school.

“The principals have done an awesome job hiring,” said Edwards. “We were able to pass on people, we’re not just throwing people in there. We have people that fit what we are thinking.”



Still, Edwards sees a smaller pool of candidates seeking teaching positions each year.

“Usually you would have to weed out applicants,” he said. “This year, we used a lot of recruiting and a lot of word of mouth. Our job fair brought a lot of candidates to our school. We left no stone unturned. It’s really exciting to see all the new faces.”

With smaller candidate pools, Hoke sees the trend of hiring professionals seeking a career change continuing in the future.

“The practical reality is you have to think about it,” said Hoke, who did not start his career in education. “You are hiring people, not just a piece of paper. It’s important and critical.

“If they are not licensed, we get them into a licensure program and get them working toward that.”

Shelby Eastern Schools, which includes Morristown and Waldron, has several teaching openings listed on its website, both at the elementary and junior high/high school levels, including a Language Arts teacher at Waldron High School and a Spanish teacher at Morristown High School.

In addition to teaching positions that need to be filled, area school systems also need to fill custodial, food service and bus driving positions.

Students in the Southwestern and Triton Central school systems return to their respective buildings on Aug. 2. Shelby Eastern and Shelbyville students start one day later on Aug. 3.

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff to honor and remember the victims of the horrific tragedy in Highland Park, IL.


Per President Biden's order, flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset, Saturday, July 9.


Gov. Holcomb is asking businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags.

Field set for 28th running of Indiana Derby at Horseshoe Indianapolis

A field of 10 has been drawn for the 28th running of the Grade 3 $300,000 Indiana Derby Saturday at Horseshoe Indianapolis in Shelbyville.

First post for the Derby Day card is 12:20 p.m. with an estimated post time of 6:40 p.m. for the Indiana Derby.

Several horses come into the Indiana Derby off victories in their last race, including King Ottoman (photo), winner of the $300,000 Texas Derby at Lone Star Park. The grey son of Curlin, owned by Three Chimneys Farm, has drawn post four and will team up with Horseshoe Indianapolis leading rider Marcelino Pedroza Jr. for the first time.

The lightly-raced three-year-old hails from the Steve Asmussen barn and Horseshoe Indianapolis will be his fifth career start at his fifth different racetrack.

“Rattle N Roll might be hard to beat three times in a week,” joked Asmussen, trainer of King Ottoman, in a reference to Rattle N Roll winning the off-the-turf American Derby at Churchill Downs two days ago and also being cross-entered in Saturday’s Iowa Derby. “Number 4 for King Ottoman – it’s his lucky number.”

King Ottoman won the Texas Derby, his first career victory, after breaking from post four.

One horse returning to the track after a big campaign on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year is Un Ojo, who has moved to the Robertino Diodoro Stable.

The one-eyed son of Laoban was a winner this spring in the $1 million Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park before incurring a foot bruise that took him out of this year’s Kentucky Derby. He makes his return from post nine with David Cohen aboard.

Un Ojo is the richest entrant in this year’s Indiana Derby with over $782,000 in career earnings. He has a win and a second in three starts for 2022.



Rattle N Roll of the Ken McPeek Stable has drawn post six for the Indiana Derby. The chestnut son of Connect, a $210,000 yearling purchase from the Keeneland September Yearling Sales, comes into the race off a win in the $200,000 American Derby at Churchill Downs. The Graded Stakes winning colt, owned by Lucky Seven Stable, has three career wins in 10 starts with more than $600,000 in career earnings. Brian Hernandez Jr. gets the call aboard Rattle N Roll for McPeek.

“We didn’t work him going into the American Derby,” explained McPeek. “We went into it off just gallops. The horse has been doing just fantastic. There are limited opportunities for a horse like him. We looked at the calendar and there isn’t another race for him until maybe middle to late August. I know it’s unconventional. I’m a little nervous about it but we jogged him up and back Sunday morning after the race. He cleaned up (eating) by 8 o’clock the night after he ran. He cleaned up the next morning. He’s never been better. We buy horses to race them. It could be exciting. We’re going to look at the pps. Nothing is set until we ship him up there.”

The field for the Indiana Derby, in post position order, includes Trademark (Rafael Bejarano), First Glimpse (Orlando Mojica), Mowins (Jon Court), King Ottoman (Marcelino Pedroza Jr.), New Year’s Fever (Rodney Prescott), Rattle N Roll (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Best Actor (Florent Geroux), Actuator (James Graham), Un Ojo (David Cohen), and Fowler Blue (Sonny Leon).

Prior to the Indiana Derby, the 27th running of the Grade 3 $200,000 Indiana Oaks will lead into the Derby. Eight fillies have been entered for the Oaks, slated as race 11, including $250,000 Black Eyed Susan winner Interstatedaydream from the Brad Cox barn. The Classic Empire filly, owned by Flurry Racing Stable, has not raced since Preakness Day in mid-May, but comes into the event with two wins and a second in three starts for 2022.

Interstatedaydream has drawn post five with Florent Geroux aboard.

A total of eight stakes are included on the Derby Day racing program. The afternoon also will be featured in the Cross Country Pick 5 with Belmont Park. Additional on-track events will complement the Derby, including three $1,000 Megabet wagers, an Indiana Derby Hat Contest, a cigar rolling station with free cigars to the first 200, a drawing for an exclusive “Meet and Greet: with Yellowstone’s Forrie J. Smith, who will make an appearance at Horseshoe Indianapolis Oct. 29, and a $2,500 Indiana Derby Legends Handicapping Contest.

Perseverance key theme in Excel Center's Class of 2022 graduation ceremony

The Excel Center’s graduation ceremony was filled with stories of perseverance.

On Thursday at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville, 28 students of varying ages and life challenges graduated from the Excel Center with high school diplomas.

“Most of our students have had some sort of barrier in their life,” said Shonda Russell, Lead Coach at the Shelbyville Excel Center and emcee for the graduation ceremony. “For them to persevere and keep fighting and keep going for what they know can potentially make them better situated for their future is undeniable. It is awesome.”

The Class of 2022 salutatorian Candice Miller (main photo) attended three high schools, participated in a home-schooling program and tried G.E.D. classes … twice.

“Those paths didn’t work for me,” said Miller, who spoke at the graduation ceremony. “I knew six different paths were not right for me. So each time I backtracked, licked my wounds and tried another approach. I took a seventh path that led to the Excel Center and there was no turning back.”

Miller continued her education through Zoom classes thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the birth of her son which altered the learning environment at home.

“My path through the Excel Center has been wonderful,” she said. “My teachers worked around my schedule and even taught me when I was traveling in a semi.

“When I was getting my days and nights messed up with a baby in the house, they were patient with me. I want to give a big thank you to the staff for walking with me on this journey, especially when the path wasn’t as straight as I hoped it would be.”



Tara Lewin (photo above) was forced to abandon her childhood and fend for herself after her father died when she was 12 years old. She moved out on her own and dodged DCS (Department of Child Services) for over a month to avoid foster care.

“School was not an option at that time,” said Lewin as she addressed her fellow graduates Thursday. “I did try to go back multiple times.”

Four years later she moved in with her grandmother and started to turn her life around. Not long after, her mother passed away.

“Being in school was too embarrassing,” said Lewin. “I continued to try and survive without education.”

Lewin was working a demanding full-time job when she enrolled at the Excel Center at age 19. Now she is engaged, owns a home and has the satisfaction of being a high school graduate.

“It took a lot of change and effort to make my graduation night possible,” she said. “In addition to attending school, I worked a full-time job and purchased a home with my now fiancé while trying to take care of my physical and mental health.

“It wasn’t the most traditional path to follow but it’s my journey and I know my parents would be proud I followed through and made a life for myself.”



The graduation class of 2022 are Jayna Alderson, Miles Baldwin, Samantha Bradfield, Dajuan Butler (photo above), Alicia Cox, Rory Dean, Sara Dick, Kierra Ebbert, Isaiah Frazier, Andrea Glendenning, Gavin Glendenning, Caitlyn Grimme, Tressie Hess, Zane Hunter, Tara Lewin, Keirra Macklin, Michael Matthew (class valedictorian), Devin McCall, Kaitlynn Messmore, Candice Miller, Viridiana Orozco Degollado, Kieara Reynolds, Madalyn Sangster, Caleb Spurlock, Emily Wendland, Jordyn Wood, Danin York, Mireya Zeigler.

The ceremony is not only emotional for the graduates but also the staff of the Excel Center in Shelbyville.

“We develop attachments with our students,” said Russell. “We coach them. We teach them. We are their shoulders to cry on and we laugh with them.

“To see them finally get to where they want to be is joyful.”