Local News

Shelby County Farm Fest is gearing up for a day of celebrating agriculture

Shelby County Farm Fest is coming on Saturday, September 10. As part of Shelby County’s Bicentennial Celebrations, Farm Fest will be a day of activity, fun and food for the entire family.


Five locations will be featured including Douglas Farms, Fischer’s, Linville Farms, Pleasant View Orchard and Smooth Stone Cattle Company.
“We ensured we covered all aspects of agriculture that are vital to our county and our communities” remarks Scott Gabbard, Shelby County Extension Director. “Each location is unique and will offer those participating the opportunity to see farm operations up-close and personal. It’s important to understand the significance of agriculture and how it affects each of us.”


“Each location has agricultural, hands-on learning components, livestock demonstrations, opportunities for all ages to participate and learn about agriculture and agritourism in our county. All farms on the tour will feature
foods unique to their individual farm specialties. You’ll find everything from beef cattle, hogs, poultry and field operations, machinery, great hands on activities, zip-lining, apple picking, and up close animal encounters with Silly Safaris and Barnyard Party Pals. It will be a great day of fun for the entire family.” states Rachael Ackley, Executive Director of Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau.


More information can be found on the Shelby County Bicentennial website, including videos of each location and a map detailing the routes for the day.


Shelby County and Shelbyville’s Bicentennials have been celebrated for the past year with a variety of events and festivals. The Bicentennial will conclude with a Gala on October 1, 2022 at the Blessings Opera House in Shelbyville.









JAG Indiana students in Shelby County earn more than three quarters of million dollars in scholarships

The Indiana chapter of Jobs for America’s Graduates announced that this year's graduating class earned more than $24,300,000 in scholarship money.


Recipients included students from 48 Indiana counties.  20 Shelby County JAG students received over $726,000 in scholarships.

“The Jobs for America’s Graduates program impacts the lives of young people in an extraordinary way, and I’m thrilled to see so many Hoosiers reap the benefits of receiving their high school diplomas and earning financial aid for more education or training to begin their career,” said Governor Eric J. Holcomb, who serves on the JAG’s National Board of Directors. “JAG continues to equip Hoosiers with employable skills and provides a road map to lifelong success.”


JAG Indiana, which is administered by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, is a state-based, national non-profit organization dedicated to helping high school students of promise who have experienced challenging or traumatic life experiences achieve success through graduation. JAG students receive adult mentoring while in school and one year of follow-up counseling after graduation. 


Recently, JAG Indiana received the “5 of 5” Award at the 39th Annual National Training Seminar held in Las Vegas. The award recognized the Indiana program for exceeding five goals set at the national level relating to graduation rates, post-secondary education, job placement and other significant milestones.


JAG Indiana’s achievements for the 2021-22 school year include:

  • 94% graduation rate (national goal is 90%);
  • 85% full-time employment rate (national goal is 80%);
  • 82% positive outcome rate (national goal is 80%);
  • 69% job placement rate, including military (national goal is 60%); and
  • 39% further education rate (national goal is 35%).

“The JAG Indiana program continues to be a national leader for boosting educational opportunities for Hoosier high school students,” said DWD Director of Youth Initiatives Brianna Morse. “The outcomes our students achieve are in part due to the work of the dedicated JAG Indiana staff who work year-round to transform the lives of their students in and out of the classroom, through building relationships that last long after graduation.”


Since 2006, more than 40,000 students have participated in JAG Indiana with 94% graduating from high school.

Indy man sentenced for defrauding senior victims in international romance scam

It will be nearly five years in prison for a man charged with a scam involving seniors and an online dating service.

Edwin Agbi, 29, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison for mail fraud, use of a fictitious name in furtherance of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Agbi was found guilty on March 2 following a three-day federal jury trial.

According to documents and evidence introduced in court in 2018, an international group of scammers working with Agbi created fake profiles on OurTime, an online dating service designed for adults over 50. Over time, the scammers were able to deceive several senior victims, making them believe that they were in genuine relationships with the fake personas. Eventually, the scammers asked the victims for money, explaining that they needed funds for various reasons, including taxes and travel expenses. The victims sometimes sent the requested money.

Agbi’s role in the scheme was to receive money from the victims and pass it along to his partners. The victims mailed packages containing large amounts of cash to Agbi’s home in Indianapolis because they believed he would get the money to their significant other. Agbi received those packages under the alias “Kareem Sunday.” Upon receiving the cash, Agbi would keep a portion for himself and then have the remaining money deposited into his co-conspirators’ foreign bank accounts.

In 2018 and 2019, multiple packages containing cash were delivered to Agbi’s home. In total, the packages contained at least $75,000 in cash. During the investigation, federal agents intercepted one of the packages sent by a victim to Agbi and found that it contained $20,000 in cash.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Jeffrey Adams, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Secret Service, and Rodney Hopkins, Inspector-in-Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Detroit Field Division, made the announcement.

The United States Secret Service and United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney II. As part of the sentence, Judge Sweeney ordered that Agbi be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison and to pay $95,500 in restitution to the victims.

This case was brought as part of the Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Initiative. The mission of the Elder Justice Initiative is to support and coordinate the Department’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect and financial fraud and scams that target our nation’s older adults.


Amanda Bunton announces candidacy for Shelbyville Central Schools board

Amanda (Mandy) Bunton has announced her candidacy for the Shelbyville Central Schools Board District 2 (Shelby West) seat. This is the first time Bunton has run for a school board position.

Bunton is a lifelong resident of Shelbyville and graduated from Shelbyville High School in 1993. She is an attorney for the State of Indiana, where she works for the Indiana Court of Appeals. As an attorney for the appellate court, Bunton has an interest in policy and procedure, which would be an asset to the school board.

Bunton comes from a family of educators and knows the importance of having dynamic and engaging teachers who can inspire their students.

Her mother, Christi (Dickmann) Drake, taught for nearly 40 years at Loper Elementary and Shelbyville Middle School.

Her stepfather, Steve Drake, taught at Shelbyville High School and served as the athletic director. He is currently the high school boys tennis coach.

Bunton’s husband, Mike Bunton, is a teacher at Coulston Elementary in Shelbyville.

Bunton herself is an adjunct instructor at Indiana Wesleyan University where she teaches criminal justice courses.

She has children attending Shelbyville Central Schools and is vested and dedicated to the success of the school corporation. Her oldest son attends Purdue University; she has two sons at Shelbyville High School and a daughter at Coulston Elementary.

Her children have diverse interests and needs – athletics, band, choir, theatre, high ability and special education – and she believes all areas deserve representation.

Attracting and retaining quality teachers is her top priority.

Silver Alert: Jennifer Leeper, Greensburg

The Greensburg Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Jennifer Leeper, a 36 year old white female, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 140 pounds, brown hair with brown eyes.


Jennifer is missing from Greensburg, Indiana and was last seen on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 1:29 pm.  She is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance.


If you have any information on Jennifer Leeper, contact the Greensburg Police Department at 812-222-4911 or 911.

Update: Arrest made in shooting death of Whiteland HS student

The Greenwood Police Department has made an arrest in the shooting death of a sixteen-year-old Whiteland High School student that occurred Thursday morning in the Summerfield neighborhood. 


Tyrique Sevin Radford El, 18, of Whiteland, was arrested by Greenwood Police on a preliminary charge of murder.


Greenwood Police report the investigation is still ongoing and no further details will be released this evening. 


The Greenwood Police Chief and Whiteland Schools Superintendent will hold a joint press conference regarding this incident Friday morning at 11:00 am at the Greenwood City Center located at 300 S. Madison Ave.

Southwestern hires Greensburg native Collin Rigney as new athletic director

Greensburg native Collin Rigney is Southwestern Elementary School’s new assistant principal and he will serve as the school system’s new athletic director.

“(Collin) had the athletic director piece but his background in elementary education, some of his answers showed he could answer the assistant principal questions. He had that elementary piece in his background,” said Southwestern Consolidated Schools Superintendent Josh Edwards after Wednesday’s special school board meeting to announce the hiring. “He really kind of developed that position through his interview. He was outstanding. He comes from a great family in athletics and was an athlete himself.”

Rigney is currently a fourth-grade teacher at Greensburg Elementary School. The 2014 Greensburg graduate was a tennis standout and played collegiately at Ball State University.

“This is an upgrade for me as far as my career,” said Rigney. “I am super excited. This is the type of job I’ve wanted for several years now and I am glad Southwestern Shelby school district has given me the opportunity.”

Upon graduation from Ball State, Rigney returned to Greensburg where he has been teaching fourth grade and coaching tennis, basketball and baseball for the last five years.

In 2004, Rigney’s father was the athletic director at Indian Creek High School where Edwards was the wrestling coach.

“I got my administrative degree just this past summer for education and I was always leaning toward that educational side but I love sports,” said Rigney. “So anytime I can get sports incorporated in there it makes it more fun.”

With Rigney’s hiring, it means the athletic director for the Southwestern school system will now be working out of the elementary school instead of the high school.

“Whatever I can do to continue to grow this district is my whole goal,” said Rigney.

Rigney has been married for two years to his wife, Claire.

One of Rigney’s first tasks is to begin the hiring process for a new boys basketball head coach at the high school.

“Sooner than later,” said Edwards when asked about starting the hiring process to replace Brady Days, who took a position in the Mt. Vernon school system. “We wanted to have the administrators hired first so they could have that impact on it as well. We will not sit on our hands very long. We just wanted to shore that administrative team up first so we can have input on everyone that applies for the job.”

Southwestern hires Taylor Meredith as assistant principal

From student to teacher and coach and now assistant principal, Taylor Meredith is leaving his mark on the Southwestern school system.

Meredith was officially named the new assistant principal at Southwestern Junior/Senior High School Wednesday at a special school board meeting. He is currently a math teacher at the high school, an assistant coach with the boys basketball program and the head coach of the soccer program.

Despite being the well-known applicant, Southwestern Consolidated Schools Superintendent Josh Edwards stressed Meredith was the top candidate.

“It definitely wasn’t a gimme,” said Edwards after the meeting. “That young man earned it. I didn’t know him prior (to becoming superintendent); he was in his internship and field experience. He was here all summer. He was doing projects.

“Not knowing him before because I didn’t really cross paths with him as the elementary school principal, I was astounded with his work ethic and his professionalism.”

Meredith rose to the top of an applicant pool full of experienced educators.

“This is something that has been in the works for a couple of years,” said Meredith. “It’s the right opportunity at the right time and I am glad I can stay here in the (administrative) world.”

Once Meredith was approved Wednesday by the school board, Kendall Mangrum, another Southwestern alumnus, was hired to fill the high school math teaching vacancy.

“So I will be on the discipline side of everything at the high school,” said Meredith. “(Southwestern principal) Mr. (John) Tindall and I will be working together doing a lot of data stuff – the SAT, ILearn, PSAT. I am excited for that math side of it and the English side, the SAT, we did training together this summer and started digging into the data all summer long. The nerd part of me loves the data and the spread sheets.”

Meredith and his wife, MaKenzie, a first grade teacher at Loper Elementary School in Shelbyville, have a daughter named Jovie.

“I am very excited to have someone with his (background),” said Edwards. “He is ready to go. Hands down he was the best candidate we had.”

Meredith confirmed he will continue to serve as Southwestern’s soccer coach this season then evaluate in the offseason if the new position will force him to make a change.

“I plan on going on as long as I can,” said Meredith. “I love sports and I love kids and we’ve built something special here with soccer. I don’t want to turn that over before I have to.”

Scot Shrader a product of musical heritage

Scot Shrader was looking forward to a busy week of August performances earlier this month.

“I have four dates in six days and am booked weekends for awhile,” said the popular local musician. “Music is a huge part of my life and I appreciate the opportunities this community gives me.”

Shrader’s offerings are as eclectic as his musical tastes. On a given day or night, he can be found performing a solo acoustic set, serving as a wedding DJ, hosting karaoke or playing with his current band, Ghost Radio.

The Waldron High School graduate and Shelbyville resident benefits from a musical family that endowed significant influences from both his mother’s and father’s sides of the family tree.

Scot’s father, Wallace “Dub” Shrader, a Florida native, is a very accomplished artist who plays piano, guitar and fiddle. He worked at Cummins in Columbus but also was a member of Rudy and the Nashville Country, a band that toured throughout the region.

“Dad’s band would play all over -- places like Kings Island and numerous state fairs,” said Shrader. “We were always traveling with him so I was hearing and watching him play music all the time.”

Shrader also remembers his father’s collection of valuable instruments.

“He owned Fender guitars like Jaguars, Stratocasters, Mustangs and Telecasters,” said Shrader. “Marshall amps were all around the house.”

Shrader started playing guitar when he was about five years old. His brother Gary, who is 11 years older, played in a variety of successful bands.

“Dad and I would go watch Gary play all the time,” he said. “He became a fantastic guitar player and played with many well-known people.”

Gary played in Flight and Band X with excellent resident performers that included Bobby Toon, David Rasche, Steve Whittaker and Steve Mathies. Gary Shrader is currently a member of the band Saul Good.

A third sibling, Barry, though not as musically active as Scott and Gary, is a fine drummer.



Scot became increasingly proficient through his teenage years; however, it was his uncle on his mother’s side who had much to do with inspiring him to be a performer.

“My mom’s brother, Dana, would play acoustic guitar at family gatherings and I would watch him and grew to really appreciate what he could do musically,” said Scot. “I wanted to someday do what he did with music.”

Scot’s uncle, Dana Ayres, is a remarkably-talented singer and guitarist who played music at a variety of venues in the area. Ayres could entertain as a one-man-show and that resonated with the young Shrader.

“I was so impressed with what he could do by himself with his guitar,” said Shrader. “I knew I wanted to do that someday.”

Shrader played with bands during his junior high and high school years. He was primarily a guitar player and hard rock singer specializing in the heavy metal genre in the late 1990s when he formed the band Sub*Mission with fellow musicians Dave Fannin, “Nod” Campbell, Josh Heiden and the late Sean Wilhoit.

Sub*Mission developed a wide following and played regular dates around the central Indiana area.

“Sub*Mission was a great experience,” stated Shrader. “We put out CDs and sold band T-shirts. The music was good and we all worked very hard to make it a success. I am really proud of Sub*Mission.”

The band would play together from 1997 until 2010. At that time, the young musician became increasingly interested in exploring the acoustic aspect and once again drew upon inspiration from uncle Dana.

“A friend encouraged me to begin listening to and playing the Beatles,” said Shrader. “I was not interested. I was a rocker and had no interest in them. I thought they were outdated. He talked me into buying ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Revolver’ (Beatles albums released in 1965 and 1966 respectively). I could not stop listening to them. It opened up a whole new world of what I wanted to play.”  

“Jamie Dugan had opened the Half-Pints Bistro restaurant on east 44,” Shrader continued. “He wanted me to start playing on the patio. I was basically into hard rock at the time and did not own an acoustic guitar. I went to a pawn shop in Indianapolis and bought an old Alvarez. That’s how my solo playing began.”

Shrader soon became a regular solo performer. Following years of continual playing, he had a brainstorm during the COVID pandemic of 2020.

“The shutdown made me think about what musicians would do without places to play,” said Shrader. “That’s when I decided to create the Facebook page that would allow musicians the opportunity to play and be seen from home.”

“Live From Home Open Stage” debuted in March of 2000. There were approximately 3,000 registered the first two weeks, however that all changed when Shrader received a call from WTHR’s Rich Nye.

“He said he wanted to feature me and the site and came to my house to do the interview,” said Shrader. The page exploded as result of the publicity. “The number of people registered on the site grew to more than 50,000.”

The site has more than 55,000 people today. Shrader and a small crew monitor the page daily to ensure that all goes as planned.

Scot is a regular performer at local venues such as Capone’s, Pudder’s and the St. Paul Tavern. In recent years, he has opened on several occasions for successful 1980’s and 1990’s recording artist Henry Lee Summer (photo above). He also frequently plays music for Ashford Place residents.

Shrader has donated his talents to several local charities and non-profits as well.

He reunited with Sub*Mission band mate Dave Fannin and recruited drummer Todd Greene to form Ghost Radio in 2016.  The band, which focuses on a mixture of 90’s and classic rock, will headline Shelby County Cornstalk on Sept. 4, playing from 11 p.m. to midnight. The event will feature bands playing in downtown Shelbyville throughout the day beginning at 11 a.m.



Scot and his wife, Sarah, and 12-year-old daughter Zorah (photo) enjoy traveling and simple pleasures such as long bike rides. He is a passionate tennis fan.

“I love Rafael Nadal. I went to Cincinnati to watch him in the Western & Southern Open last week,” said Shrader.

Shrader, now 51, expresses heartfelt appreciation to his wife and daughter for allowing him to spend so much time pursuing musical endeavors. He also continues to be impressed by the prevalence of musical talent in Shelby County.

“Shelby County has so many great performers who are routinely booked in surrounding counties throughout the area,” said Shrader. “The level of talent here is amazing. I am grateful to be a part of it.”

Parks department director returning to Decatur County Family YMCA

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department is seeking a new director.

Rob Van Til, the current parks director, has announced his resignation to return to work for the YMCA in Greensburg. He stated on Wednesday at the parks board meeting that Friday is his last day in Shelbyville.

“I’m a ‘Y’ guy and you don’t always know that until you leave the family and then you look back and think that’s the work I need to be doing,” said Van Til Wednesday afternoon.

Van Til will be the executive director of the Decatur County Family YMCA. He replaced Karen Martin in January as director of the parks department. Martin held that role for 22 years before retiring.

“It was definitely a tough decision. I met a lot of cool people here but, in the end, it was what’s right for my family and home life,” said Van Til.

Moving into a parks department setting proved challenging for Van Til, who admits he gained a wealth of knowledge in his short stint in Shelbyville.

“I learned a lot about city government and the way it works,” he said. “The difference between the non-profit world and the government world is the biggest takeaway I have from this.

“And the biggest difference for me is the amount of facilities. The ‘Y’ has one building and you know what’s going on in your building all the time. It’s one building versus the parks department where everything is spread out around town.”



In other board business Wednesday:

  • Van Til confirmed the parks impact fee will cover the cost of two new shelter houses that will be built at the Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center and the Canoe Drop at Blue River Memorial Park.
  • Doggie Day at the aquatic center (photo) on Aug. 14 brought in 151 people and 71 dogs for the final two hours of the center’s 2022 season. The fundraiser for the Shelbyville/Shelby County Animal Shelter raised $613 that will benefit the shelter’s surgery and neuter fund.
  • Board heard that preparations are underway for the parks department’s annual Halloween Fun at the Park which will be held Oct. 7 at Blue River Memorial Park.

Franklin man arrested and charged with illegally manufacturing and selling "Ghost Guns"

A Johnson County man has been charging for illegally dealing in firearms.


Alexander Clark, 26, of Franklin, was charged by criminal complaint for the federal offenses of dealing firearms without a license, possession and/or transfer of machine guns and manufacturing machine guns.


According to court documents, in May of 2022, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) began an investigation into Clark for unlawfully manufacturing and selling privately made firearms, including machine guns. Over the course of the next several months, ATF agents conducted a covert investigation and purchased several 3-D printed Glock style firearms and devices capable of converting semiautomatic rifles to fully automatic machineguns from Clark. A search warrant was executed at Clark’s residence on August 22, 2022, in conjunction with the criminal complaint, and Clark was subsequently arrested.


During the search of Clark’s residence, law enforcement officers seized approximately 30 firearms including several 3-D printed firearms, several “Glock switches” used to convert firearms into machine guns, a suspected fully automatic AR-15 rifle, 3-D printing filament, a laptop with a Glock frame on screen connected to a 3-D printer, and a silencer.


Clark does not possess a Federal Firearms License authorizing him to sell firearms and he had not registered the weapons in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record as is required for this category of firearms. 3-D printed firearms of this type are untraceable and are referred to as “ghost guns.” Ghost guns are unserialized, privately made firearms increasingly recovered by law enforcement at crime scenes across the country. Because ghost guns lack the serial numbers marked on other firearms, they are impossible for law enforcement to trace through the ATF’s National Tracing Center.


Clark made his initial court appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana and was ordered detained pending a hearing. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.


ATF is investigating this case in collaboration with the Columbus (Indiana) Police Department.


This case is being brought as a part of the Department of Justice’s National Ghost Gun Initiative. The initiative was launched in February 2022 in response to the proliferation of ghost guns in our communities, and the growing number of criminals who unlawfully use or possess these untraceable weapons. The Attorney General directed U.S. Attorney’s Offices to train a national cadre of prosecutors as experts to lead investigations and prosecutions of crimes involving ghost guns. These ghost gun coordinators will also share investigation and prosecution tools with other prosecutors and law enforcement officers. As part of the initiative, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana will focus its investigation and prosecution resources on combatting the illegal possession, use, and sale of ghost guns.

Land rezoned for Fairland retail building; potential tenant not announced

Some of the common concerns voiced by residents and property owners when a proposed development is debated were voiced again Tuesday during the Shelby County Plan Commission meeting. 

The questions and comments this time were about a proposed 11,000-square-foot retail building development in Fairland. But at the top of the list of questions -- what is going there?

A request came before the plan commission Tuesday to rezone just over two acres from A-1 (Conservation Agricultural) to VM (Village Mixed Use) to allow for the development of the property for low-intensity retail use.

The rezoning for 4771 West 400 North received unanimous approval for a favorable recommendation from the plan commission. The two-acre lot is being subdivided from 118 acres of farm ground. The applicant is the owner of the property, Bill and Carol Jean Ritchie.

Attorney Brian House with Pritzke and Davis in Greenfield presented the request to the plan commission Tuesday. He noted that he can’t say what the use might be, although he also said determination is still to be made.



He did note that the county’s policies under the proposed rezoning wouldn’t allow for things like underground gas tanks that a convenience store or gas station would need.



Along with drainage, traffic and other concerns of area residents and property owners at the meeting, there was concern of the area changing.  House says he respects that but things do change.



Stipulations for the proposed development include a minimum six-foot-tall opaque fence and six evergreen trees between the north parking lot and property line.  Also, landscaping requirements as indicated in the UDO. All parking spaces are to be in the rear unless the building incorporates architectural standards in compliance with the UDO.

House also read a letter from the Town of Fairland that expressed its support for the project.

Indianapolis-based trucking company moving to Shelbyville

A growing over-the-road trucking company is in the process of moving its company from Indianapolis to Shelbyville.

A3P Logistics Group, 8129 Whitham Drive in Indianapolis, has purchased land on Enterprise Drive near Toray Resin Company, 821 W. Mausoleum Road, with the intent of running its trucking company from the site.

On Monday at the City of Shelbyville’s Plan Commission meeting at City Hall, Peter Mariga, representing A3P Logistics, presented an annexation and rezoning request for the property which is currently under Shelby County Zoning policies as RE (residential estate) and A2 (agricultural proposed).

The annexation would bring the property into the city limits and the property would be rezoned IG (general industrial).

A3P Logistics was created in 2014 and has grown from one truck to seven trucks. Operational costs have forced the company to look for more viable options.

“We’ve seen tremendous growth over the years,” said Mariga. “In 2018 and 2019 the business started growing. Right now, we have seven trucks. We’ve been leasing a place in Indianapolis. Prices for parking have continued to go higher and as we move forward and grow, it is becoming harder for us to find suitable places to park our trucks.

“We started looking for property in Indianapolis but that has been a little bit of a headache so we started looking outside of (Indianapolis) and that is how we got to this property.”

A3P Logistics intends to build a truck terminal on the property to service its fleet and have on-site parking for its trucks. Future plans include building a storage warehouse for short- and long-term storage.

The plan commission forward a favorable recommendation to the city’s Common Council for final approval.

SHS senior nominated for Inspiring Teens Magazine award, scholarship; raised hundreds to benefit animal shelter

A Shelbyville High School senior raised hundreds of dollars for the Shelbyville / Shelby County Animal Shelter Sunday.


That same person, Kelsey Fisher, has been nominated for a special award.


Sunday’s bake sale, or bark sale as it could also be called, was held at Shelbyville’s First Christian Church.  Fisher says volunteering at the shelter prompted the idea to raise money through a bake sale.



Fisher is a candidate for a scholarship through a nomination for an award possibly coming up later this month.



As for the future, you can expect to see Fisher continue with her efforts at the shelter. 



Fisher says she hopes plans after high school intend going to veterinary school at Purdue.



City of Shelbyville focus of Spotlight event hosted by Indy Chamber

Mayor Tom DeBaun and the City of Shelbyville was featured Friday morning in an Indy Chamber Spotlight at Blessings Opera House .


The discussion was hosted by Indy Chamber CEO and President Michael Huber and Vice President of Regional Economic Development Sarah Iglehart.




Former state senator, Indy casino executive sentenced for criminal election finance schemes; case with former Centaur officials

Darryl Brent Waltz, 48, of Greenwood, and John Keeler, 72, of Indianapolis, were each sentenced  for devising and participating in election finance schemes. Waltz pleaded guilty to receiving fictitious donations and for lying and misleading FBI agents who were investigating these illegal contributions and was sentenced to ten months in federal prison. Keeler pleaded guilty to causing the filing of a false tax return and was sentenced to two months in federal prison. 


According to court documents, Waltz, a former Indiana state senator and 2016 candidate for U.S. Congress, funneled $40,500 in illegal conduit contributions to his congressional campaign. Maryland-based political consultant Kelley Rogers directed corporate funds from Indiana-based casino company New Centaur LLC into the “Brent Waltz for Congress” campaign through over a dozen straw donors and Waltz himself.


Also, according to court documents, Keeler, former vice president and general counsel of New Centaur LLC, paid Rogers $41,000 in New Centaur corporate funds and directed him to funnel $25,000 to a local political party committee in Marion County. To further conceal the nature of the contribution, Keeler caused New Centaur’s federal tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service to falsely describe the $41,000 payment to Rogers as a deductible business expense. 


The FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Chief Judge James R. Sweeney II. As part of the sentence, Judge Sweeney ordered that Waltz be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following his release from federal prison and pay a $40,500 fine. Keeler was ordered to be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for one year following his release from federal prison and pay a $55,000 fine.


The Indiana Gaming Commission forced Spectacle Entertainment out of ownership for new casinos in Gary and Terre Haute.  Rod Ratcliff, a former Spectacle CEO, avoided charges in the case but agreed to give up his state casino license.


“Illegal and undisclosed corporate contributions damage public trust in our elections,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Secretly funneling illegal casino money into political campaigns is a serious crime and the criminals who do so will be held accountable.”


“The integrity of our elections is of paramount importance to maintaining public trust in our democratic process,” said Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office Criminal Division. “Today’s sentencings demonstrate that the FBI is committed to ensuring that those who attempt to undermine the public’s trust by perpetrating election finance schemes and then compounding their misdeeds by lying to authorities, will ultimately be held to account for their actions.”


"The sentencing of these individuals proves there are consequences for the misuse of positions of trust within both the private and public sector," said Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell, Chicago Field Office, IRS – Criminal Investigation. "IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to protecting the integrity of our system of taxation by investigating individuals who violate our tax laws." 

Superintendent assessing morning traffic congestion around Shelbyville High School

Shelbyville Central Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Vance knows there is a traffic flow problem at Shelbyville High School.

“The concern is, and we have talked to law enforcement about this, we are trying to keep Miller St. as clear as we can,” said Vance after Wednesday’s monthly school board meeting at the school system’s administrative building. “We are not sure what we are going to do yet. Once we do, if and when we make a change, we will give our parents and students plenty of time to get used to another change. We are aware of the concerns and we have some concerns as well.”

A gate that separates the high school’s parking lot on the east and west sides of the school has been kept closed this school year. That move was made, according to Vance, to limit traffic around the school bus drop off points on the high school’s west side.

With that gate closed, parents dropping off children at the high school cannot go through the gate and on to the middle school to drop off children or exit out onto McKay Road.

“We have to remember with the first couple of weeks it takes some time to get things worked out,” said Vance. “We are reevaluating. We understand there might be a couple different ways to get people in and out a little quicker.”



The City of Shelbyville is currently working on plans to build a roundabout at the Miller St. and McKay Road intersection that will help move traffic more efficiently through the area when school is in session. Construction is expected to start on the roundabout in 2023, according to Vance.

“The bottom line is, after the first couple of days, we’ve gotten most of our students in before the day starts,” said Vance. “That’s a positive on that but we do understand the concerns.”


With more than 3,500 students back in six buildings, it is no surprise COVID-19 cases have been on the rise.

“We know COVID has not gone away and we are going to have to keep dealing with it,” said Vance. “We will keep an eye on things and making sure we are following proper procedures and doing what we need to do for our students and our staff.”

The Indiana Department of Health reported 10,201 Hoosiers tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday and 26 people died from the coronavirus in the previous week.

With home tests more prevalent, Vance admits it is hard to know just how many students have tested positive.

“We just continue to ask for cooperation from everyone,” said Vance. “It is important that if they are sick, keep them home until they are healthy and ready to come back.”

U.S. Attorney's Office recovers over $5.5 M in civil false claims settlement with American Senior Communities

American Senior Communities, L.L.C. (ASC), a provider of skilled nursing and long-term care services throughout Indiana, has agreed to pay $5,591,044.66 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to the Medicare program.


American Senior Communities includes several locations around the state including Arbor Grove Village in Greensburg, Greenwood Meadows, Franklin Meadows, and Hickory Creek locations in Franklin and Greensburg.


In 2017, a former employee of a hospice services company doing business with ASC filed a sealed civil complaint or “whistleblower” lawsuit under the False Claims Act in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The complaint alleged that ASC had engaged in conduct to defraud the Medicare program. Specifically, the complaint alleged that ASC was charging Medicare directly for various therapy services provided to beneficiaries who had been placed on hospice, when those services should have already been covered by the beneficiaries’ Medicare hospice coverage.


The False Claims Act provides that when a whistleblower files a lawsuit alleging fraud that results in a recovery of funds by the Government they are entitled to between 15 and 25% of the recovery. This whistleblower provision of the law encourages people to come forward when they believe fraud is being committed. Under the False Claims Act, the Government may collect up to three times the loss it incurred, plus a fine of between approximately $5,500 to $22,000 for each false bill submitted.


Based on the investigation, the estimated loss to the Medicare program was $2,795,522.33 and ASC has agreed to pay $5,591,044.66 to the United States.


The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


 “Whistleblowers are critical to protecting public funds from fraud, waste, and abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “Health care providers who submit false claims or otherwise violate state and federal regulations when billing the United States Government will face consequences.


Today’s settlement demonstrates that federal law enforcement agencies will vigorously investigate reports of false claims and seek to recover funds on behalf of the public.”


 “Health care providers that submit inappropriate claims to Medicare to boost their own profits compromise the integrity of this important federal health care program,” said Special Agent in Charge Mario M. Pinto of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “We will continue to work tirelessly, alongside our law enforcement partners, to ensure the appropriate use of taxpayer dollars and hold those who violate the law accountable.”


U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Shelese Woods and Justin Olson who handled the case for the United States.


The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability. In agreeing to the settlement terms, ASC denied all liability under the False Claims Act. In investigating the case, HHS-OIG did not uncover any evidence of injury or harm to patients because of the alleged conduct.

Downtown Shelbyville will be the site for Shelby County Cornstock on September 4

It's called an all day festival of peace, love and music for the whole family.


Shelby County Cornstock hopes to bring that and more to Shelbyville's downtown on Sunday, September 4.


Organizer DL Sanders says the new venue caught his eye as the downtown renovation project was reaching its conclusion.



Sanders explains what people can expect to experience on September 4.



Add in various food and drink vendors, downtown merchants open for business.  And, an element of the event that is close to DL's heart, literally.




Greensburg / Decatur County Chamber of Commerce recognized for over 100 years of service

Governor Eric J. Holcomb and Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers today awarded 47 Indiana companies and organizations with the Governor’s Century or Half-Century Business Award in recognition of each company’s longevity and service to its employees, community and the state. 

The Governor’s Century and Half-Century Business Awards honor Hoosier businesses that have remained in operation for a minimum of 100 or 50 consecutive years and have demonstrated a commitment to community service. More than 1,206 Indiana companies have been recognized during the award's 31-year history.
Among the 2022 Century Award honorees

  • Greensburg/Decatur County Chamber of Commerce Inc. 
    116 years; Decatur County




Police investigating battered man found at Horseshoe Indianapolis stables

Shelbyville Police have confirmed they are investigating a battery that happened at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino on Friday.

The incident involved a horse trainer.  The Hispanic male is alive and cooperating with law enforcement.

The man was found at the stables with injuries consistent with a battery.

Police say it’s unknown at this time if he is employed by the track or someone else outside of the track. 

Indiana University, Purdue University announce new vision for Indianapolis campus

Indiana University and Purdue University took the first steps Friday on a bold new vision for higher education in Indianapolis, designed to increase the number of job-ready graduates in an innovation-led economy, fuel economic growth in the region and the state, and enhance service to the Indianapolis community and beyond.


This new vision, outlined in a Memorandum of Understanding approved Friday by the IU Board of Trustees and the executive committee of Purdue's Board of Trustees, will transform the 52-year-old IUPUI -- a joint venture between the two universities on a campus IU owns and manages -- into separate academic organizations in which IU and Purdue will each govern their own programs. It calls for a more energized role for each university and the production of more graduates ready to participate in the modern economy.


The MOU outlines a platform for collaboration in which each university's strengths will expand research activity in Indianapolis and enhance funding opportunities for joint research initiatives, including the creation of a joint biosciences engineering institute. This new institute will harness the power of the universities' collective academic and research strengths and ongoing collaboration between Purdue's Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering and other Purdue health-related disciplines, and Indiana University's School of Medicine and health-related disciplines to develop new life-enhancing therapies and technologies while simultaneously creating a highly sought-after pool of professionals whose unique research and training will create startups and attract new companies to Indiana.


The presidents of both universities pointed to the joint institute as an example of how this agreement brings them together in ways that will create transformational change in Indianapolis and the state, creating a global center of research and an engine of growth.


The MOU charges campus leaders to work together over the next year toward the optimum model for strengthening the city and state in the modern economy. To create that model, various operational details will be worked out through careful planning and consultation with all impacted groups. Working groups will be formed to address a variety of specific areas, and both universities are committed to executing a smooth transition that puts students first. Completion of the realignment is expected in time for the fall 2024 semester, at which time the new academic organizations will become official.


Presidents Mitch Daniels of Purdue and Pam Whitten of IU hailed the trustees' support and action for the positive effects they foresee.


"This is an historic moment for Indianapolis, for IU, and for our entire state," Whitten said. "We are building on IUPUI's more than 50 years of accomplishment to propel us into becoming one of the preeminent urban research universities in this country. In addition to expanding our science and technology programs, we plan to grow across the board, create more opportunities for students, and become even more deeply integrated with the Indianapolis community through close relationships with local businesses, nonprofits, sports organizations, and more."


Said Purdue's Daniels: "This new vision will enable the number of Purdue's STEM graduates to grow and also provide more opportunities to our students and faculty both in Indianapolis and in West Lafayette. What we are announcing today responds to calls we have heard from Indianapolis and across the state for a bigger and more visible Purdue in Indianapolis. Our state and its largest city require a world-class, high-technology research presence of the quality Purdue represents."


Indiana University owns and operates the IUPUI campus, but certain programs grant Purdue degrees. Under the MOU, various activities will be allocated as follows:


Indiana University will take over operation of what is now the School of Science at IUPUI, except for its Department of Computer Science, which will become part of Purdue. IU will accelerate training for tomorrow's IT workforce by expanding its Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering with new computer science programs in Indianapolis.


IU also expects to enhance integration of its science programs with its School of Medicine and other allied health science schools, expanding the number of students who will be prepared for health science-based careers, improving the pipeline of doctors and nurses and keeping more graduates in the state. IU will also establish innovative collaborations in new research areas, which will benefit the state through increased funding and resulting startups.

In addition, IU will have responsibility for providing certain administrative services for both academic organizations and for maintaining the intercollegiate athletic program. IU will continue to provide innovative educational experiences for the more than 27,000 students in other IU programs such as business, law, nursing, social work and a wide range of other academic disciplines.


Purdue will assume responsibility for engineering, computer science and technology as a fully integrated expansion of Purdue West Lafayette. The new structure will allow Purdue to grow engineering, technology and computer science enrollments in Indianapolis, and create exciting opportunities for current West Lafayette students to "study away" in Indianapolis while pursuing internship or cooperative work opportunities with Indianapolis companies.


In addition to its new urban campus, Purdue intends to open a branch of its Purdue Applied Research Institute on or near the current IUPUI. Overall, Purdue anticipates growing today's Indianapolis enrollment by more than 1,000 students, housing many together in a new residential building near their academic buildings, Daniels said. These may be seniors finishing their education on the new urban campus, students who opt to undertake their entire Purdue experience at Indianapolis or options in between.


In Friday's announcement, both presidents emphasized IUPUI's 52-year record of accomplishment. During that time, it has evolved from a local commuter school to the third largest undergraduate campus and one of the biggest research campuses in Indiana. Its 206,000 living alumni contribute mightily to the state's economic growth.


An FAQ is available online.

Southwestern school system working diligently to fill three key positions at high school

With one resignation, Southwestern High School lost three key personnel.

Brady Days accepted the athletic director’s position at Mt. Vernon Middle School in Fortville which ended a 16-year run at the southern Shelby County school system.

“I am glad for Brady,” said Southwestern Consolidated Schools Superintendent Josh Edwards Wednesday after the school system’s monthly board meeting. “It is best for him and his family. He has meant a lot to the corporation. He’s been a great teammate as long as I’ve been here.”

The new position allows Days to spend more time with his daughter, who is a fourth grader in the Carmel school system.

Days’ resignation was formally accepted Wednesday. That leaves Edwards to find the high school a new assistant principal, athletic director and boys varsity basketball coach.

“Brady left tough shoes to fill,” admitted Edwards. “We are going to look at separating those three positions out. You just don’t find a Brady (Days) all the time.

“With somebody coming on new, we don’t want to overwhelm them or burn them out because that is a real thing in education.”

The first position to be filled will be assistant principal. The school system will conduct a second round of interviews next week, according to Edwards.



“Once we get that (position filled), we will use that assistant principal for input on finding a new athletic director. And once we find a new athletic director, we will open it up for a new coach.”

Days’ reputation as a meticulous preparer has left the athletic department in good shape. While fall sporting events and officials and referees are already in place, varsity and junior varsity events are scheduled on campus next week for volleyball, soccer and tennis.

“Right now, the administrative team … we’re all jumping in and supervising,” said Edwards. “Brady did a really nice job of having everything lined up.”

Days leaves Southwestern as the boys basketball program’s career wins leader. He led the Spartans to three sectional titles, two Shelby County Tournament titles and a Mid-Hoosier Conference championship.

In other board news:

Beth Hoeing, the new principal at Southwestern Elementary Schools, and John Tindall, the high school/junior high school principal, both reported good starts to the 2022-2023 school year.

“We’ve had a wonderful first six days of school,” said Hoeing. “We welcomed 341 students through our building and that includes 41 preschoolers.”

Hoeing also reported there are 66 students in kindergarten.

“We’ve had a great start to the year and as the elementary has increased its enrollment, we are up too a little over 20 kids,” said Tindall. “We are really excited about that.”

Following Tindall’s report, board member Jerry Drake recalled during his school days when the principal failed to find a new basketball coach and was called to duty.

Tindall followed that up with, “I can tell you I’ve coached one basketball game in my career. I filled in and I am 1-0.”

Tindall admitted after the meeting he is in no hurry to tarnish his perfect record as a basketball coach.

David Finkel files for Shelbyville Central Schools Board of Trustees

David M. Finkel announces his candidacy for Shelbyville Central Schools Board of Trustees District 4.


Finkel (left) with Shelby County Election Deputy Jeff Sponsel

Mr. Finkel is seeking his 4th and final term with this election. Shelbyville Central Schools is facing a "debt cliff" as the current bond expires and new bonds are issued in 2023. He believes strongly in maintaining, not increasing, our current tax rate. A strong proponent of local fiscal policies, Mr. Finkel understands and champions for our students and taxpayers. In October he will present a seminar on Local Taxation at the Indiana School Board Association's (ISBA) fall conference. This training will help school board members across the state understand their role in property tax issues.

The direction and perception of public education is extremely important to Mr. Finkel. The role of an elected school board is important, but needs to stay within the boundaries of governance. As a board member he believes that the board should set the example for our district. Mr. Finkel and his wife have been married for 32 years. Both are graduates of SHS as well as their daughter, Class of 2017.

In his three terms as a Shelbyville Central Schools board member, Mr. Finkel understands the need for the expansion of advocacy on behalf of all constituents in public education. The issue of local control is constrained by State and National agendas. It is important to champion for our school corporation and students in any arena that will affect our district. He is a member of the Legislative Committee for Indiana School Boards Association, and proposed expanded funding for social, emotional, and behavioral issues within our student body. This funding, if approved, will allow our teachers to teach; improving the opportunity for all students to receive a quality education from a faculty member dedicated to their academic success.

Mr. Finkel is proud of the accomplishments of the current and past boards. He is proud to serve with dynamic and dedicated fellow school board members. He believes in and trusts the talented faculty and staff that educate our children each day. There are problems within our school system. Low scores and low morale have plagued the district for the last few years. As we emerge from the pandemic, Mr. Finkel looks forward to a new direction with our corporation's educational leadership.

Mr. Finkel has earned his Master School Board Member rating from the Indiana School Board Association. He is in the top twenty most extensively trained, of the over 1700 school board members, in the state of Indiana. This is recognition of his commitment to the highest level of continuous improvement and ongoing education as a school board member.

In addition to his service to Shelbyville Central Schools, Mr. Finkel continues as founder and board member for the Strand Theatre, Shelbyville Board of Public Works and Safety, and Shelbyville Public Utilities Board. He is a nationally elected board member of the American Theatre Organ Society, and serves on the board of Our Hospice of South Central Indiana.

Mr. Finkel performs with the Columbus City Concert Band. He also serves with many local and state organizations. His interests include restoring theater pipe organs, flying (licensed pilot), historic preservation, music, and live performance.


Mr. Finkel looks forward to continuing his service on the board of Shelbyville Central Schools.

He is dedicated to helping the children of our community through solid stewardship of our school corporation.

Shelbyville's Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center closes season Sunday with Doggie Day at the Pool

It’s only the second week of August.  However, it means the close of the season for Shelbyville’s Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center.


Some might remember when a city pool stayed open until, maybe, Labor Day weekend.  But Trisha Tackett with the Shelbyville Parks Department says it’s been years now that staffing is impacted by schools returning early in the month.



So, the pool’s final regular day will be 12 – 6 p.m. on Saturday.  Sunday, welcome in the dogs.



Tackett says they get questions from other communities about having the dogs at the pool.



Being a fundraiser for the animal shelter, make sure you bring cash.



In other parks news, the Splash Pad is operational again at Blue River Memorial Park.


And the parking lot in Morrison Park is being paved and restriped this week.

Shelbyville's Downtown, Golden Bear preschool nominated for Indy Chamber awards

Shelbyville received two nominations for an upcoming event sponsored by the Indy Chamber.


The Indy Chamber announced finalists for the 45th annual Monumental Awards, recognizing excellence in the Indy region’s built environment.


The Monumental Awards showcase the region’s best and brightest in our built environment and celebrate the work of companies across the region to strengthen Indy’s placemaking, economic development, and talent strategy.


The movie-premiere-themed event will take place Oct. 5 at Tibbs Drive-In Theater. Tickets are available via indychamber.com/events.


Over the last few weeks, nine local sanctioning organizations reviewed project submissions in the categories of architecture, construction, engineering, innovative reuse, interior design, landscape architecture, neighborhood revitalization, public art and real estate development.


Shelbyville's downtown, submitted by RATIO, is one of three nominations in the category of Landscape Architecture.


Golden Bear Preschool and Administration, submitted by Schmidt Associates, is nominated in the category of Innovative Reuse.


Depot Street Park and Amphitheater, submitted by the City of Greenfield, is nominated in the category of Neighborhood Revitalization.


The list below represents the finalists selected in each category.



  • Grand Junction Plaza, submitted by the City of Westfield
  • Nickel Plate Trail, submitted by Browning Day
  • Shelbyville Downtown Square, submitted by RATIO



  • 16 Tech Innovation District HqO, submitted by DKGR
  • Geiger & Peters Renovation and Addition, submitted by DELV Design
  • Wabash Power Valley Headquarters, submitted by RATIO



  • Indianapolis Consolidated Civil and Criminal Courthouse, submitted by F.A. Wilhelm Construction
  • Indianapolis Public Library West Perry Branch, submitted by Powers & Sons Construction
  • The Park at the Phoenix, submitted by INMOD Construction



  • The Indianapolis Consolidated Civil and Criminal Courthouse, submitted by Schmidt Associates
  • Riley Maternity Tower at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, submitted by BSA LifeStructures
  • West Perry Branch Library, submitted by Schmidt Associates



  • 16 Tech Innovation District HqO, submitted by DKGR
  • Fort Ben Cultural Campus, submitted by Arts for Lawrence
  • Golden Bear Preschool and Administration, submitted by Schmidt Associates



  • Barnes & Thornburg Vault Room Renovation, submitted by CSO
  • The Club at Crosspoint, submitted by DELV Design
  • North Mass Boulder, submitted by Blackline Studio



  • 16 Tech Innovation District, submitted by DKGR
  • / Goodwill, submitted by Cook Property Inc.
  • Depot Street Park and Amphitheater, submitted by the City of Greenfield



  • Fort Ben Cultural Campus, submitted by Arts for Lawrence
  • Homage to Hoagy – the City of Carmel, submitted by City of Carmel
  • World’s Fastest, submitted by Indy Arts Council



  • The Agora at the Proscenium, submitted by Lauth Group, Inc.
  • Pando Aspen Grove of Community Heights, submitted by TWG
  • Tinner Park Development, submitted by Onyx+East


Finalists will be recognized within their submitting categories during the Oct. 5 event, and the top honorees in each category will be eligible for the Monumental Award, the evening’s highest honor.


Beyond those listed above, all submissions are eligible to win the People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice Award will be open to the public for voting from Aug. 18 through Sept. 1 on the Indy Chamber’s Facebook page.


Individual tickets and tailgate packages are on sale now at IndyChamber.com/events

Chris Bass maintains strong family ties to former hometown

Chris Bass teed off at the recent Shelbyville High School Basketball/Football Golf Benefit with a swing reminiscent of the powerful baseball stroke that made him a tremendous player and eventual professional athlete.

“My dad and I really enjoy playing in this golf outing every year,” said Bass. “He will always be a proud Golden Bear and I still have family members in Shelbyville. It is always great to see so many people again who we have known for so long.”

Bass, now 40, is a Shelbyville native who became one of Madison High School’s most prolific athletes and a professional baseball player for six seasons.

Chris Bass was born in Shelbyville in 1982 to parents Todd and Julie (Tackett) Bass. Chris’s father was an excellent two-sport SHS athlete who played wide receiver for the football team and was an outfielder for Tom Hession’s baseball teams in 1980 and 1981.

Chris developed an early love for sports and began his athletic career in a manner typical of Shelby County youth.

“Chris started out just like I did,” said Todd Bass. “He played on the Boys Club baseball diamond on Miller Street and in winter basketball leagues just as previous generations of Shelbyville kids did.”

Todd, a member of the Air Force at the time, accepted a job at Madison’s Jefferson Proving Ground and moved the family to Madison in 1989. Chris quickly fit in with local youth sports programs.

“We found that he was advanced for his age group, particularly in baseball, so he played with the older age groups,” said Todd. “He also always had good size and strength.”

Chris flourished as a Madison High School athlete earning 12 varsity letters. He and teammate Bryan Bullington, who would become a major league pitcher for six seasons, led Madison to the 1999 Indiana Class 3A state high school baseball title with a decisive win over Carroll.  

Bass was a shortstop and pitcher whose teams won three baseball regionals.

“We had some real battles with Jasper (a perennial baseball power) during those years,” stated Chris. “It was very satisfying to get that championship my junior year.”

Bass batted .641 as a senior and reached base 101 times in 81 official at-bats. He played four seasons at quarterback for Madison football and also excelled as an all-conference performer on the basketball court.

This record of three-sport achievement drew attention from a number of colleges including Notre Dame, Miami of Ohio and Indiana University, among others.

Purdue proffered the most interesting proposal.

“Purdue wanted me to play baseball and football,” said Chris.

He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth round of the 2000 draft. “I was interested in primarily pursuing baseball so I elected to postpone college and sign with the Pirates at that time,” said Bass.

He hit .295 in the Gulf Coast Rookie league in 2000 playing third base and seeing some time at second base. He posted his best statistics in 2003 while playing for Hickory, North Carolina, in the South Atlantic League, hitting 16 home runs and driving in 79 runs.

“That was my most satisfying year,” said Chris. “We had a very successful season and I enjoyed playing with great teammates. I stay in touch with many of those guys.”

Bass would make the Florida State League All-Star team in 2004 while playing for Jupiter and hitting .273 with 37 runs batted in. He rounded out his career in 2005 hitting .252 with 36 runs batted in for the Carolina team of the Southern League.

The Madison graduate posted very respectable career statistics for his six-year minor league career which included a .264 batting average, 253 runs batted in, 33 home runs and a .919 fielding percentage.

Bass made the decision to end his professional baseball career after the 2005 season.

“At a certain point you have to make a decision as to how long you want to pursue playing,” he said. “More people are competing for spots each year and you have to finally determine when to move on.”  



Chris (photo) returned to Indiana and completed his studies at Indiana University, earning a degree in business. He is married to Amy (Bomholt), a Madison schoolmate and daughter of long-time Indiana high school boys basketball coach Jerry Bomholt.

The couple has a son, Brennan, and live in Bargersville. Chris currently works in sales for Harbison-Walker Refractories.

Todd and Julie Bass have been married for 40 years and still reside in Madison. Todd continues employment with the Air Force, frequently traveling with his work on air-to-ground bomber ranges.  

Chris Bass moved from Shelbyville more than 33 years ago and has lived a life filled with remarkable accomplishments since that time. Yet, he still feels a sense of association with his old hometown.

“My parents are very connected to Shelbyville,” said Chris. “They have a strong bond to their Shelbyville friends and family as well as the places there that were so important to them growing up. I see that when we come back to Shelbyville for events and visits.”

“I have communicated my Shelbyville experiences and values to Chris,” said Todd. “Throughout his life I have talked to him about the places and people of my youth that meant a great deal to me. Often, it was my voice but old coaches and mentors like Bruce Knecht and Tom Hession were sending him the messages, just like they sent them to me. Chris Bass has a lot of Shelbyville in him.”    

Shelbyville PD encourages residents to lock vehicles amid recent theft reports

A recent rash of theft reports involving items taken from parked vehicles in Shelbyville has law enforcement encouraging the public to remember to lock up.


Shelbyville Police Lt. Mike Turner.



Turner says the obvious advice is lock your vehicle and don’t leave any valuables inside.  If you do leave items in your car try to make sure they can't be easily seen.





West Side Pub & Grub changing hands

A new owner is on the way for a popular Shelbyville establishment.


According to a Facebook post, the West Side Pub & Grub will be no longer as of August 19.


Owner Scott Asher says that he and his wife, Christina, have enjoyed their seven years as owners.



The location at 900 Miller Avenue is being sold to the Tsataros family who operates Grandma's Pancake House and The Cow Palace in Shelbyville.  It's expected to be closed starting August 20 - September 1 for the transition.


Asher, who also serves as the Clerk / Treasurer for the City of Shelbyville, says leaving the business will allow for more time for other things including their granddaughter.



Lauren Asher and most of the staff is staying on.  


Dozens of motorcycles turned out for Fallen Officer Memorial Ride on Saturday

Seven officers are remembered each year by the Fallen Officer Memorial Ride hosted by F.O.P. Shelby Lodge #84.



The event brought dozens of riders together Saturday at the lodge on Knightstown Road for a police escorted ride and lunch.


Shelby County Sheriff’s Detective Rod Mohr.



Mohr says the event remembers those officers who have fallen while raising funds that go, in part, to scholarships. He says the event’s sponsors put it in the black even before it’s held.



The event is  made even more special by family and friends that have ties to each of the officers.





Shelbyville's Fraternal Order of Eagles #766 hosting prom Saturday

Want to relive your prom?  Maybe improve upon the prom you attended years ago?


The Shelbyville Fraternal Order of Eagles #766 is offering that chance Saturday.  Angie Knight explains.



Knight says the theme is 'Then and Now' with colors of gold, silver and black.  She invites the public to come and make of it what they wish.



And it's hoped the public will see what the Eagles organization is about when they come to the prom.














Gridiron Club hosting pancake breakfast fundraiser for SHS football program

The Gridiron Club is hosting a Flap Jack Fundraiser Saturday morning at Applebee’s in Shelbyville.

The fundraiser runs from 8 to 10 a.m. with last serving at Applebee’s, 101 Lee Boulevard, at 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the door. Breakfast includes three pancakes, three pieces of bacon, breakfast potatoes and a drink.

Shelbyville High School football players will be serving the breakfast orders. For every ticket sold, $15 goes directly to the Gridiron Club, which is operated by parents of Shelbyville football players.

The Gridiron Club was created in 2021 by Shelbyville High School football coach Brian Glesing. The club meets monthly all year round.

The purpose of the Gridiron Club is to provide Thursday night team dinners, sack lunches for away games, senior banners, team yard cards and an end of the year banquet for the football program.

The Gridiron Club also pays one youth’s fee to participate in the local football league and assists Glesing with a youth football camp and T-shirt giveaways.

The Gridiron Club depends on the support of the community including local restaurants Applebee’s, Pudder’s, Cagney’s Pizza King, Walker Place, Bellacino’s Pizza & Grinders and Grandma’s Pancake House to donate food for Thursday night dinners.

Applebee’s has purchased a break-a-way banner for the players to run through on game nights this season at McKeand Stadium.



Melvin Pierce (photo above) recently provided food for the football program’s first annual Season Kickoff Tailgate Party and he has agreed to feed the team before its first postseason game this year.

Long’s Furniture has assisted the Gridiron Club with making player yard cards for display.

The Shelbyville High School Athletic Boosters will grill hamburger and hot dogs for the team for its first Thursday night meal next week ahead of the preseason jamboree in Madison.

The Sports Locker Room in Shelbyville also works with the Gridiron Club for apparel sales.

The club will hold a basket raffle at Shelbyville’s first home game on Aug. 19. There will be six baskets available with items such as SHS apparel and a variety of gift certificates.

The Golden Bears host Greensburg on Aug. 19. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. at McKeand Stadium.

New information from Elkhart Co. shows vehicle transporting U.S. Rep. Walorski crossed centerline in fatal crash

The Elkhart County Sheriff's office says the initial press release about the Wednesday two-car crash that killed U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski was incorrect.


In a release Thursday morning, the Elkhart County Sheriff's Office says eyewitnesses and video evidence confirm that a Buick LeSabre, driven by Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, was southbound on SR 19 south of SR 119 about 12:30 p.m.  A Toyota RAV 4, driven by Zachery Potts, 27, of Mishawaka, was northbound and it was the RAV 4 that crossed the centerline for unknown reasons.  The initial release listed Schmucker as the northbound driver and that it was her car that crossed the centerline.


Potts was a staffer for Walorski, 58, who was also in the RAV 4 with another staffer, Emma Thomson, 28, of Washington D.C.


All four people involved in the crash were killed.  All have been confirmed to have been wearing seat belts and airbags did deploy.


If anyone witnessed the crash, they are asked to contact the Elkhart County Sheriff's office.


The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation.

Indiana U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski one of four killed in Elkhart Co. crash

The Elkhart County Sheriff's office has released the following information regarding a Wednesday auto accident that killed District 2 U.S. Representative Jackie Walorski:

The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office responded to a two vehicle crash on SR 19 south of SR 119 at 12:32 p.m. A northbound passenger car traveled left of center and collided head on with a southbound sports utility vehicle.


All three occupants in the southbound vehicle died as a result of their injuries:

Jackie Walorski, 58, Elkhart 

Zachery Potts, 27, Mishawaka 

Emma Thomson, 28, Washington, DC


The sole occupant of the northbound vehicle, Edith Schmucker, 56, of Nappanee, was pronounced deceased at the scene.


The Elkhart County Coroner’s Office and the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office are conducting the investigation.


The following are posts and reactions to Walorski's passing


This message from Walorski's 2nd Congressional District Twitter account earlier this afternoon:  Dean Swihart, Jackie’s husband, was just informed by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s office that Jackie was killed in a car accident this afternoon. She has returned home to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Please keep her family in your thoughts and prayers.


Speaker Nancy Pelosi 

“Today, the United States House of Representatives sadly mourns the sudden and tragic passing of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski.

“A lifelong Hoosier, Congresswoman Walorski lived a life of service: whether caring for impoverished children in Romania, representing her community in the Indiana Statehouse or serving nearly a decade in the House.  She passionately brought the voices of her north Indiana constituents to the Congress, and she was admired by colleagues on both sides of the aisle for her personal kindness.

“Our Congressional community also mourns the loss of two devoted members of her staff, Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson.  May it be a comfort to Jackie’s husband and partner in service, Dean, the entire Walorski family, the families of all the victims and the office of Indiana’s Second Congressional District that so many join them in mourning and are praying for them at this sad time.”



Governor Eric J. Holcomb

"Janet and I are devastated by the tragic loss of our friend Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and her two staffers - Emma Thomson and Zach Potts - earlier today. Our broken hearts go out to her husband Dean and the entire family during this time of unimaginable mourning. At every level of public service Jackie was known to be a positive force of nature, a patriot, and a relentless policy maker with an unwavering loyalty to her constituents. Jackie’s record of achievement is impossible to quantify. She will be remembered as a fighter with a huge heart that always went the extra mile and I’ll treasure the times we walked a few of those together. Every waking moment for her was energetically devoted to improving the lives of all Hoosiers better, the epitome of a good and faithful servant. She, and the example she set, will be missed every day forward.”


Senator Mike Braun 

“Jackie Walorski was a tireless advocate for the Hoosiers she represented and a kind friend to everyone she met. She faithfully served her constituents and her Lord and Savior, and I trust she is now wrapped in the arms of Christ. This is a devastating loss, and we grieve for her two staff members – Zach and Emma – who had their whole lives ahead of them. Please join me and Maureen in praying for the families and friends of those lost on this tragic day for Indiana.”


Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch

"I was shocked and heartbroken when I received the news today about the tragic death of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. Jackie and I served together in the Indiana House of Representatives, and she was a fighter for her constituents and conservative Hoosier values. My heart goes out to her husband, Dean, and the rest of her family and friends. She will be deeply missed."



Congressman Jim Banks

“My heart is broken for Dean, the Walorski family, and all who knew and loved my friend Jackie. Jackie was a true public servant –selfless, humble, and compassionate. She was a devout Christian, a passionate advocate for life, and a leader among Hoosier representatives. Everything Jackie did was to serve others. Before Congress, she served in the Indiana Statehouse and she and her husband served as missionaries in Romania where they provided impoverished children food and medical care. From my first day in Congress, Jackie showed me kindness and grace. She had a heart of gold, and I will miss her dearly. Please join Amanda and I in praying for Jackie’s loved ones and the friends and family of her two staff members who also lost their lives in this tragic accident.”



Purdue University President Mitch Daniels 

Before serving in Congress, Walorski served three terms in the Indiana Statehouse (2004-2010), where she became assistant floor leader and worked closely with then-Gov. Daniels.


“There could not be worse news. I’m heartsick at this tragedy. Jackie Walorski was a great public servant, a brave and constant ally for change during all my years in elected office, and a great representative of her district at both the state and national levels. I can’t say how much I’ll miss her.”


Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan

“I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Jackie Walorski. Jackie loved Hoosiers, her country and served with honor in Congress. My prayers are with her family as well as the families of Zachery Potts and Emma Thomson”


Brian Tackett settling into new role as Shelbyville Fire Chief

Forgive Brian Tackett if his new office is not exactly “settled.”

After 11 years serving as a Deputy Chief in the Shelbyville Fire Department, Tackett, a 1986 Shelbyville High School graduate, officially became the department’s Fire Chief Monday, replacing Tony Logan, who retired.

“I am excited,” admitted Tackett Tuesday morning. “I was very comfortable in that (deputy chief) job and I would have been happy staying in that job the rest of my career but as I’m in day two of this, there are some new challenges that gets your blood flowing again.”

Tackett joined the SFD at a time when there was a push to hire more local people to the department. Moving from firefighter to deputy chief was never part of the equation then, according to Tackett.

After more than a decade as a firefighter, Tackett served for eight months as a deputy chief under then fire chief Todd Anderson, a fellow 1986 SHS graduate, then was hired again as deputy chief by Logan.

“There are pros and cons to both sides of (being deputy chief),” explained Tackett. “Obviously, working 24 hour (shifts) you are up all night, you are always tired. The pro to this side is working 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. so you kind of have a normal everyday life again, but there are also a lot more responsibilities. Your phone rings a lot after hours.”

Tackett served as one of two deputy chiefs within the department. Once Logan announced his retirement, Tackett and fellow deputy chief Danny Marcum both applied for the position.

“It was between Danny and I. We were both good with whoever got it,” said Tackett. “We work very well together. I told Mayor (Tom) DeBaun in the interview it was never a goal of mine to be chief but if he asked me to do it, I would be glad to do it. I would figure out how to do a good job at this just like I felt like I did a good job as deputy chief.”

As deputy chief, Tackett was responsible for department operations and maintenance – a role he intends to continue in as fire chief. Marcum oversaw the EMS side of things and will now supervise the fire and EMS crews.

Tackett has interviews set up next week with seven current members of the department that have expressed an interest in becoming deputy chief, with the main responsibility of being a training officer for SFD.

“For the time being, I am still going to be over maintenance but as I’m finding out this week, there are a lot of meetings to attend,” he said with a laugh. “I am still overseeing a lot of different things and correlating those into the deputy chiefs to take care of things.”

Logan left the fire department in good standing which prompted his somewhat unexpected retirement announcement last month. A new ladder truck and ambulances are already in the production stages with arrival dates in 2023. That allows Tackett to focus on areas of interest for him.


For more on Tony Logan's decision to retire, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/643382


“We used to have a lot of camaraderie around here,” he said. “We’re in the day and age where everyday life is a little bit different for everyone. We’re busier so there is not a lot of down time. We don’t have a lot of that get together time. I would like to figure out some way to bring that camaraderie back a little bit.

“A long term goal, we have the Blue River (Careers) Program for firefighter I and starting EMT but somewhere down the road I want to see a Cadet program from that to funnel some local kids into here. It’s very hard to find firefighters right now. The pool is shrinking. That could be one more pipeline I am hoping to get put into place.”

With a fourth firehouse in the works for the north side of the city, Tackett knows one day he will have serious staffing concerns to address.

“I haven’t been involved in that (discussion) a lot but it is my understanding it will be somewhere up around the casino,” said Tackett of a new firehouse in Shelbyville. “I hope that goes ahead because we certainly need it. It takes us 7-9 minutes to get to the casino. The problem with building a new station though is how to staff it.”

That is a concern for another time. For now, Tackett is getting settled in and putting his stamp on the fire department.

“I am pretty excited to get things going,” he said. “Every chief has some ideas and you have to try them to see if they work or don’t work.”

Bus and student safety needed as schools get underway

As students head back to the classroom this week in Shelby County and around Indiana, state and local law enforcement agencies are reminding motorists to stop for school buses or face the consequences.


Over the next couple of months, officers with many agencies will be increasing patrols to prevent stop-arm violations, speeding and other forms of reckless driving around school buses and in school zones.


Lt. Mike Turner with the Shelbyville Police Department says they are encouraging everyone to be careful and aware of their surroundings.



Turner says there aren't plans to actually ride the buses but that could happen should problems arise.



In April, thousands of bus drivers who participated in a one-day observational survey counted 2,041 stop-arm violations in Indiana. That one-day total, when multiplied by the number of school days, adds up to a potential 367,380 violations throughout the school year.


The newly released data comes from the National School Bus Illegal Passing Driver Survey, which is managed by the Indiana Department of Education in the state. The survey has been conducted annually since 2011 but was put on hold for the past two years due to the pandemic.


This year, collection took place on April 26, with 6,665 bus drivers participating from 195 school districts.


Drivers should slow down and prepare to stop when the overhead lights on a school bus are flashing yellow. Once the lights turn red and the stop arm extends, drivers are required to stop on all roads with one exception. On highways divided by a physical barrier, such as a concrete wall or grassy median, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus are required to stop.


Turner notes some rules calling for traffic to stop for a school bus aren't obvious to all drivers.



Motorists should also be mindful of posted speed limits, avoid distractions and watch for children in or near school and residential areas. Planning ahead and allowing for extra time during each commute will help keep all road users safe.


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


Turner adds that student safety goes beyond just what happens with buses.  Police encourage the phrase, "see something, say something."



Nicole Terrell returns to Coulston Elementary where her administrative career started

Nicole Terrell was once in line to be a principal in the Shelbyville Central Schools system. A conscientious decision to put her goal on hold detoured that track.

On Wednesday morning, Terrell, now back on track, will greet the students at Shelbyville’s Coulston Elementary School as its new principal.

“I think (being principal) was always something I wanted to do,” said Terrell Monday afternoon from her new office at Coulston Elementary.
I was (an assistant principal) for six years then went back into the classroom. This was always a goal and I think, in life, sometimes those goals change.

“My goal was to be a mom and be there when my girls got into high school. They were very active so my role had to change. The mom role became No. 1 and all this went on the backside. Now, I am making a shift because I have a new goal and this is it.”

With her two daughters now firmly entrenched in classes at Indiana University, Terrell feels she is ready for her first principal’s job.

The 1990 Shelbyville High School graduate completed her education at Indiana State University and was hired in her hometown to teach physical education during the morning hours at Pearson Elementary and move over to Hendricks Elementary in the afternoon to teach third grade math, science and social studies. She initially shared a Hendricks classroom with Mary Harper, who just retired as the Shelbyville Central Schools superintendent.

More than a decade into her teaching career, Terrell was hired as Coulston’s assistant principal, where she worked for Jim Conner.

After four years at Coulston, Terrell became assistant principal at Hendricks which put her squarely in position for an available principal’s job.

With two daughters headed for Shelbyville High School, though, Terrell opted to return to the Hendricks classroom for what became a five-year stint. And a sixth year was in the planning stages when the principal’s position at Coulston became available.

“I didn’t give it a thought,” said Terrell. “My daughters asked me if I was going to apply for the position. I really hadn’t given it a whole lot of thought.”

With a new superintendent taking over, Terrell believed the time was right to see where her administrative opportunities were within the school system.

“Dr. (Matt) Vance was new. I wanted him to know there was more to me than just being a second grade teacher,” she said. “There was a lot I can offer that maybe he wasn’t aware of. What more can I lose?”

Terrell wanted Dr. Vance and the school board to know that she was interested in returning to the administrative side of education. And she knew it would be a unique interview opportunity at Coulston.

“A cool thing is they had some teachers on the interview committee which I thought was phenomenal,” she said. “With the amount of change that has happened here at Coulston, I thought it was really good to include them in the process.

“I remember walking in and they were floored that they got to interview me. I didn’t know which way it would go. I tried to be my authentic self. I don’t try to tweak or change it for anyone. People see through it; kids see through it. What you get is what you see. I felt very comfortable interviewing with them.”



With two decades of teaching experience and six years accumulated as an assistant principal, Terrell was the obvious choice to be Coulston’s next leader.

“Honestly, when I walked back in the first day after being hired, I told my husband (Sam) when I walked in it felt like I was home,” she said. “I felt like I had been on summer vacation. I knew the feeling when I walked in that door that I am where I am supposed to be. I have not looked back one time, even when I was packing up my classroom at Hendricks.”

With Terrell and new assistant principal Andrew Snow on board, Coulston has a solid foundation with strong local ties to the community in control.

“Being back in the trenches for five years, I know what it is like being a teacher,” said Terrell. “I know that day-to-day grind. Coming on now, I know those needs. I know the struggles that happen in the classroom. It’s real. I was there for five years. It makes me more cognizant of that coming in.”

Terrell believes her leadership style will represent those that have championed for her in the past like Conner and Pat Lumbley (former Hendricks principal).

“I learned so much from Jim Conner as an administrator. He allowed me to grow,” said Terrell. “He was always there for questions. Sometimes he let me make mistakes. He said if you don’t make them you will not know how to correct them. I appreciated that even when I was in the trenches.

“Having those different leadership styles of the different administrators I have worked for and even throughout my tenure, even as a student, I love that I can bring them all together and mold them into what I want to be because I don’t think there is one perfect style of administration. You have to pull from all different areas. That becomes what you make it and who you are going to be and how you are going to lead.”

Now 29 years into her educational career, Terrell admits Wednesday morning will be a little bit different now that she is the principal on the first day of school.

“I know I will be nervous on Wednesday,” she said. “I am probably more nervous about Wednesday afternoon because it’s that first day getting them home. If I can get all the kids where they need to be safely, then I can breathe.”

And she can focus on the job at hand.

“I am looking forward to seeing all those smiles,” she said. “I am looking forward to seeing our teachers’ faces seeing the kids coming back.”

Common Council approves new park impact fee

The City of Shelbyville Common Council approved a new park impact fee of $1,346 for each new residence built in Shelbyville.

The Park and Recreation Impact Fee was established in 2019 at $1,005 per each new residential building permit. That fee raised 3% yearly and sits at $1,098 in 2022.

With approximately 1,500 homes approved for construction in Shelbyville over the next five years, a population spike is anticipated and the parks department has a new list of project amenities needed that will be funded by the impact fee.

The impact fee may only be used on designated items to improve on a community’s parks deficiencies. All of the funds raised through the initial impact have either been spent or are earmarked for expense.

The new list of amenities that the park impact fee will fund includes pickleball courts, indoor basketball courts, park restrooms, community playgrounds, neighborhood playgrounds, trails/pathways, and park/open space areas.

The final approval of the $1,346 impact fee was approved 4-0 Monday night at City Hall during the city’s Common Council meeting. Councilwoman Joanne Bowen and councilmen Scott Furgeson and Thurman Adams were unable to attend the meeting.

New councilwoman Betsy Means Davis, who was sworn into the council’s 2nd Ward seat earlier in the day, voted in favor of the impact fee.


For more on Betsy Means Davis' selection to join the council, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/646003


Davis is replacing Nathan Willis, who resigned his seat after accepting a new job opportunity that will limit his time to serve on the council.


For more on Nathan Willis' decision to leave the council, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/645004


Willis, who was in attendance at the meeting Monday, was presented with a plaque for his service to the community.

The board also was introduced to Megumi Fujita, a teacher from Shizuoka City, Shelbyville’s sister city in Japan. She will teach English at Shelbyville Middle School during the 2022-2023 school year.



Fujita (photo, right) is the seventh exchange teacher from Japan to serve in the Shelbyville school system. She presented gifts to Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun (photo, left), who, in turn, gifted Fujita with an Indiana-shaped lapel pin, a handmade one-of-a-kind cherry ink pen and a copy of the book, “The Bears of Blue River.”

Blue River Community Foundation makes Early Learning facility announcement

Through data collected by both Early Learning Shelby County (ELSC) and Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) in recent years, it was realized that our community was and continues to be a childcare desert. The lack of high-quality, reliable childcare, specifically for children ages infant to toddler has created a massive barrier for young families who are considering making the move to Shelby County. The situation has also resulted in a lack of availability and reliability within our local workforce. In order to better address this community barrier, BRCF and ELSC solidified a strong partnership committed to combining our efforts and resources.  When Lilly Endowment Inc. offered BRCF the unique opportunity to submit a grant proposal for the GIFT VII Large-Scale Community Leadership Grant in 2018, an Early Learning Childcare facility became our top priority.


BRCF staff and Allison Coburn, executive director of Early Learning Shelby County, worked diligently for months putting together the research and supporting data for the project. Several other organizations including the City of Shelbyville, Major Health Partners, and Shelby County Development Corporation (SCDC) joined forces providing additional resources and support. 


MHP generously donated the land for the facility while the City and SCDC helped to build community support and financial contributions. With the support of a $150,000 grant from Early Learning Indiana, pre-development plans for the center including initial costs, renderings, and site plans, were developed and a strong application was submitted to Lilly Endowment Inc.  Although the Shelby County project was not chosen as a grantee, BRCF and ELSC continued in our efforts to raise funding to bring this essential facility to our community.  As luck would have it, the State of Indiana would offer an opportunity to apply for funding for the facility through their READI grant program in 2021.   With a robust application already developed for the shovel- ready project, the Accelerate Rural Indiana team of Shelby County/Shelbyville, Rush County/Rushville, Decatur County/Greensburg, and the City of Batesville submitted a grant application including $50M of regional projects to help the area retain talent and attract additional workforce.  Although the region did not receive the requested $50M, the group did receive funding to support $20M worth of projects with the $8M Early Learning facility included as an approved development. 


The new facility will be located next to the YMCA facility on Intelliplex Dr. Once fully operational, the center will have the capacity to serve 200 children from ages 0-3.


Eighty percent of brain development occurs before a child reaches the age of five and this center will focus on maximizing early brain development. The center has the immediate potential to alleviate population and workforce obstacles, but most importantly, it will significantly impact the future of the children that will attend. Bright Horizons, a national childcare provider, will be the facility operator. 


Blue River Community Foundation values the passion and dedication of Early Learning Shelby County, led by Allison Coburn. We recognize that their mission aligns with the Foundation’s goal of improving our childcare circumstances as a piece of the puzzle to attracting new residents and retaining current residents by creating a better quality of life in Shelby County.


In June, BRCF board members voted to provide additional support to the organization for the facility with a $100,000 pledge. Additionally, the Wortman Family Foundation for Shelby and Hancock Counties administered by BRCF committed to a 5-year, $125,000 pledge in February that was recently followed by a $50,000 contribution from the Beaty C-Tech Fund held at BRCF.  The combined $275,000 contribution will support ELSC in reaching their fundraising goal of $2M, the organization’s required financial contribution to the project.  The remaining $6M will be provided through the READI grant and a match from the City of Shelbyville.



Betsy Means Davis to fill Shelbyville Common Council seat

A new member for the Shelbyville Common Council was seated for Monday’s council meeting.


Betsy Means Davis was chosen in a brief caucus hosted by the Shelby County Republican Party Monday afternoon.  She will fill the vacancy left by Nathan Willis, a Republican who has represented the city’s 2nd ward, who 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.



Willis brought up the idea to Davis and then to the party of her interest.  She was the only candidate who filed for the position.


Davis had a quick turnaround.  Her first official council meeting a little better than two hours after the caucus.



Davis is a Shelbyville Middle School social studies teacher.  She cites former Shelbyville teacher, city councilman and state representative Roland Stine as one of her influences.



Emergency responders find missing girl unharmed late Sunday night

The Shelbyville Police Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department and the Shelbyville Fire Department responded to the area of N. Riley Hwy and Michigan Rd  to check the area for a missing juvenile. 


Officers located the juvenile female.  She was unharmed.


As the case involves a juvenile, no other details are being released at this time.

State health department provides monkeypox update

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced Friday that a total of 45 monkeypox cases have been reported across the state between June 18 and July 28, including two pediatric cases. No additional information about the cases will be released at this time due to patient privacy.

To date, Indiana has received 3,232 doses of Jynneos vaccine. Due to limited vaccine supply, vaccines are initially being prioritized for close contacts of positive cases to prevent severe disease. Additional vaccine is expected soon, and eligibility will be expanded to groups at high risk for exposure as supplies increase. 

“Like many other states, Indiana has seen an increase in monkeypox cases over the past month,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Monkeypox does not easily spread through brief casual contact, but it’s important to remember that anyone can be affected if they are a close contact of a positive case. Hoosiers who believe they may have been exposed or who develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox are urged to contact a healthcare provider.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The illness typically begins with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and exhaustion about five to 21 days after exposure. Within one to three days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash. The rash may start in the mouth or any part of the body before spreading. Some people may only develop the rash. The illness typically lasts for two to four weeks. People are considered infectious until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Person-to-person transmission is possible either through skin-to-skin contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, such as bedding or clothing, or through exposure to respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.

To learn more about monkeypox, visit www.monkeypox.health.in.gov or the CDC’s monkeypox website. The CDC updates case counts Monday through Friday here.

Tysin Chesher, Aubrey Longwell prove too fast to beat at Derby Days

MORRISTOWN -- Tysin Chesher drew the unenviable task of facing the defending champion in his first trip down the hill in the 2022 Derby Days soap box derby race in Morristown.

Chesher made a statement, though, with a multi-car length victory over Carter Bell and was never defeated Saturday, finishing 5-0 to collect his first Derby Days title.

As soon as his No. 6 car stopped past the finish line, Chesher jumped out of the car and was mobbed by a pack of fellow racers ready to celebrate the championship.

The 74th annual Derby Days race, originated in 1947, pitted Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts in soap box derby cars racing down the U.S. 52 hill into downtown Morristown. There were 14 boys and 14 girls racing Saturday using a double-elimination format.

While Chesher dominated the boys race, Aubrey Longwell also went undefeated in the girls race to claim her first title.

Longwell opened her racing day with a victory over Kori Palmer and she followed that with wins over Loran Austin, Emelyn Rinzel, Zoe Graves and then Rinzel once again in the championship race.



The daughter of Andy and Ashley Longwell drove her blue No. 15 car to five straight victories to become the 13th girl to claim a Derby Days title. The first girls race was in 2000 and won by Kaili Turner. There was not a girls race from 2013-2016 and in 2020.

Longwell (photo above, right) sat at the starter’s line at the top of the racing hill Saturday afternoon feeling “a little scared” before her first race. Once she found the racing speed was similar to the North St. practice hill where all the racers had to qualify for Saturday’s main event, she proved too tough to beat.

With the win, Longwell takes possession of the champions’ trophy that is taller than her.

“I’ve seen it before,” she said with a smile.

While Longwell surprised herself with her championship performance, Chesher, the son of Dustin and Mikala Chesher, was much more “confident” coming into race day.



Chesher, who had a large support crew donning Chesher Racing T-shirts, utilized good advice to be the fastest down the hill.

“They told me to sit back and lean down to get more speed,” he said.

Chesher (photo above, left) followed up his win over Bell with victories over Beckham Walton, Austin Amburgey and Jasen Tweedy to get into the championship race where he would have to be defeated twice.

Tweedy lost to Alex Anderson in the loser’s bracket championship race but could not find enough speed to knock off Chesher.

“I am so proud of myself for what I’ve done,” said Chesher.

There were 50 total races Saturday between the boys and girls brackets. As the two championship races were prepared, the north and south racing lanes were identical in terms of victories – 24 winners from the north lane and 24 winners from the south lane.

Chesher and Longwell both won their final races from the north lane.

The Derby Days celebration started Friday night in Morristown with an Adult Derby Days race on North St. won by McKinley Kile.



Saturday’s schedule included the Paul O. Goble 5K run, a downtown parade (photo), soap box derby racing and a free concert.

Planning is already underway for next year’s 75th anniversary event.

ISP investigating officer-involved shooting in Greenfield; suspect dead

At the request of the Greenfield Police Chief, Detectives from the Indiana State Police are investigating an early morning officer-involved shooting that occurred in Greenfield.

July 31, 2022, at 8:41 a.m. officers from the Greenfield Police Department responded to the 700 block of Bobtail Drive for reports of a domestic issue in progress with reports of possible shots being fired. The 911 calls were coming from neighbors who were not directly involved in the incident. 

Prior to police arrival, it is alleged that a male subject, 56-year-old Darrin Baker of Indianapolis was outside of a residence when an adult female returned home. The subject allegedly fired a shot through the driver's side window of the vehicle the female was driving. He then forcibly removed the female from the vehicle and took her inside her house against her will. Baker was a known acquaintance of the victim.

At approximately 8:44 a.m. Senior Patrolman Jarrod Davis of the Greenfield Police Department and another Greenfield Police Officer arrived at the residence. They observed a broken window on the vehicle parked in the driveway and an open garage door. Officers entered the home through the open garage door, which led into the residence. Upon announcing their presence the Officers heard screams of a female in distress. Greenfield officers then encountered Baker inside the home who was actively assaulting the victim while armed with a handgun. Patrolman Davis discharged his weapon striking Baker, causing him to fall to the ground. Officers attended to the female victim while other officers began life-saving aid to Baker until paramedics arrived. No other officers discharged a weapon. Baker was transported to a local hospital and pronounced deceased a short time later. 

Patrolman Davis has been a police officer with the Greenfield Police Department for three and a half years. 

Indiana State Police Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators have spent the day examining evidence and processing the crime scene. Detectives are working with the Greenfield Police Department, the Hancock County Coroner and the Hancock County Prosecutor as they continue this investigation.