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Bartholomew Co.Sheriff's Office still looking for Joey Ross - over 4 years later

On Sunday, May 13, 2018, Joseph (Joey) William Ross went missing from 51 S. Amherst Place in Amberley addition, Bartholomew County

 

Ross was 25 years old at the time and reportedly was last seen walking down the driveway away from the residence between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. into the dark, suicidal and carrying a shotgun. 


Despite reports of gunshots being heard that night, searches of the area over the next week found no shotgun, shotgun shells or signs of Ross. Ross was last known to be wearing a green colored shirt with the O’Reilly’s logo on it (his work shirt) and blue jeans. He allegedly had no phone or money in his possession at the time of disappearance. 


It has now been four years, five months, and 18 days since Ross was reported missing. Despite an intensive and active investigation to locate him, he has still not been found nor has there been any signs of him. Ross is not forgotten by his family, his true friends or the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office. 


Someone out there knows the whereabouts of Joseph William Ross. We encourage you to come forward for the sake of his family, which have suffered the pain of not knowing where he is for these four long years. Don’t let it become five. If you know or you saw something, you can help solve this mystery even anonymously. A simple phone call can end a family’s suffering. 


Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers says one of his biggest regrets, as he ends his second and final term as Sheriff, is not locating Ross (then 25), who went missing on May 13, 2018.

 

“My office has and will continue to actively investigate this disappearance in hopes of providing answers to the Ross family. We also continue to work with multiple agencies including local, state and federal to bring the most amount of resources possible to bear on this case. This case will remain open until we find Joey,” said Sheriff Myers.  

 

BCSO Anonymous Tip Line: 812-379-1712
Detective Terrance Holderness: 812-565-5927

Arrest made for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German

The Indiana State Police released the following information the Delphi Double Homicide:

After an extensive investigation, the Delphi Double Homicide Task Force made an arrest for the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German.

On Feb. 13, 2017, Williams and German were tragically murdered while visiting the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. Shortly after, the Indiana State Police and Carroll County Sheriff’s office created the task force, which encompassed federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. This task force has worked diligently the last five-and-a-half years to ensure this horrendous crime did not go unsolved.

On Wednesday, detectives with the Delphi Double Homicide Task Force took Richard Allen, 50, from Delphi, Indiana, into custody at the Indiana State Police Lafayette Post for the murders of Williams and German. Allen was transported to Carroll County Jail, where he was being held.

On Friday, Allen was formally charged with two counts of murder and transported to the White County Jail, where he is currently being held without bond.

The task force thanked everyone who was involved throughout the investigation, which included the Indiana State Police, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, Delphi Police Department, Carroll County Prosecutor’s office, United States Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and numerous other federal and local agencies. These agencies have invested countless hours and resources into this investigation.

This is still an active and ongoing investigation. 


Shelby County burn ban lifted

The countywide Burn Ban in Shelby County has been lifted.


Shelby County Emergency Management will continue to monitor the dry conditions and re-address it as needed.

Shelby County Plan Commission approves site development plan for commerce park

The site development plan for a proposed commerce park in northwest Shelby County passed through the Plan Commission Tuesday but not without consternation from two of the commission members.

The commerce park proposed by Sunbeam I-74, LLC, includes four warehouses on approximately 300 acres near the Pleasant View exit along Interstate 74 near the Shelby County-Marion County line.

The site development plan was approved by a 5-1 vote, with Charity Mohr voting against the proposal. With only six of the nine commission members in attendance, Sunbeam’s plan needed five of six votes to progress on to the technical review phase.

Despite his frustration with the process, commission member Nick Hartman voted “yes” along with Chris Ross, Terry Smith, Scott Gabbard and Jordan Caldwell.

Commission members Taylor Sumerford, Kevin Carson and Mike McCain were not in attendance.

Neither Hartman nor Mohr were against the proposed commerce park but more concerned about neighboring residents in the area of Shelby County that is quickly developing with industrial projects like the Five Below distribution center.

Drainage issues created by the Five Below facility as well as the Walmart Distribution Center fire in Plainfield earlier this year were topics of discussion Tuesday with relation to Sunbeam’s proposal.

Residents from Shelby County and Marion County spoke for nearly an hour about the current flooding problems created by these types of industrial projects as well as future flooding and potential damage to the Driftwood Watershed.

Hartman twice apologized to Sunbeam representatives at the meeting for the project being compared to Five Below’s massive warehouse, which is located south of the proposed I-74 commerce park. But Hartman felt the flooding issues were a concern that needed to be addressed.

There are already questions of how to fund more fire personnel and emergency services equipment in the Pleasant View area to handle a large-scale warehouse fire. If Sunbeam’s project reaches fruition within its proposed 5-6 year timeline, there will be six warehouses located in an area serviced by one small fire department that does not have a ladder truck to reach the roof of any of the warehouses.

The purpose of Tuesday’s meeting was only to approve the site development plan. That frustrated Hartman because the commission has no control of potential issues that may arise in the future such as flooding.

 

 

Several residents at the meeting including a representative of the more than 1,300 members of the Northwest Shelby County Concerned Citizens Coalition asked for the vote Tuesday to be postponed until early 2023 so that more study could be completed on potential flooding issues and damage to the area’s watershed.

“It seems like especially in that area that drainage (problems) come up, and I know it’s not our jurisdiction but I will say on their behalf it is frustrating to think I don’t have any jurisdiction over that, but if I pass this I am allowing the possibility, and I know you (Sunbeam) are not related, but speaking on behalf of these citizens and another Five Below incident … how do you rightfully sit here and make that decision?” said Mohr to county planning director Desiree Calderella. “I am conflicted. How do I assure them?”

Calderella explained the process and Hartman followed up with more questions about the technical review committee and the process that will follow.

“We are just reviewing preliminary plans at this point,” said Calderella.

Hartman expressed the preference to have the technical review committee findings in front of him before approving the site plan.

“So what you are voting on is not that it meets all the technical plans, it’s that it meets the zoning codes,” said Calderella.

Mohr responded, “We have something that was built to meet our ordinances (Five Below) with the drainage board and there is a drainage issue and there has always been a drainage issue there so how do we assure these residents that we are taking that into consideration?”

“So if we vote yes, where is their voice?” followed Hartman. “I don’t feel comfortable with that. I’m not saying I am against this (project) by any means, but I feel like I need more information.”

“I get where you are coming from because there are those technical issues that aren’t being presented right now,” explained Calderella. “But, right now, the way the ordinances are set up, those are addressed at the technical review committee.”

Plan commission president Terry Smith explained that projects like this go through all the necessary steps to completion. More detailed drainage plans, design plans, landscaping and safety measures are discussed in later steps of the process.

Other concerns addressed Tuesday included a Marion County representative presenting data that 37 warehouses have been built in Indiana in 2022. Seventeen were empty and five more were abandoned, he stated.  

Concern also was raised about companies leaving warehouses after the agreed-upon tax abatement period expired.

Sunbeam currently has three other commerce park projects in Indiana. Those are located in Monrovia and Franklin while a third is underway in Whitestown.


Shelby County Emergency Management says burn ban stays in effect

A press release from Shelby County Emergency Management Director Denis Ratekin notes that the county's burn ban will remain in place for the time being:

 

After evaluating the rainfall totals that Shelby County received the past couple of days and due to the fact that the totals were less than previously predicted, the countywide Burn Ban for Shelby County will stay in effect.

 

The Burn Ban will be re-evaluated again after the next rain event in Shelby County.

Twice convicted sex offender sentenced for transportation of child sexual abuse material while on lifetime parole

Joseph Yantiss, 35, of Greensburg, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to transportation of child sexual abuse material.

 

According to court documents, law enforcement learned that between August 15 and August 17, 2021, Yantiss uploaded 13 files of child sexual abuse material to his Dropbox account. Yantiss was on lifetime parole at the time of the offense.

 

On September 27, 2021, a search warrant was issued for Yantiss’ person and his vehicle. Two cellular telephones were found in the vehicle by police. Police examined both phones, and on one of the phones they found a video depicting a prepubescent minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Police also found an email account on the phone that was the same email Yantiss used for his Dropbox account.

 

While Yantiss was being processed into jail, an officer found a microSD card in Yantiss’ wallet. The SD card was examined and contained three files depicting child sexual abuse material.

 

Yantiss was convicted of attempted child molesting and child solicitation in December 2013 and possession of child pornography in July 2018, both in Decatur County, Indiana.

 

The U.S. Secret Service investigated the case. The Indiana State Police and Indiana Department of Correction’s Division of Parole Services provided valuable assistance.

 

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker. As part of the sentence, Judge Barker ordered that Yantiss be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for life following his release from federal prison and ordered Yantiss to pay $4,000 in restitution the minor victims. Yantiss must also register as sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

 

This investigation was conducted by the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a partnership of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies led by the Indiana State Police. 


Staff Management open house in Greenfield on Thursday

Staff Management, 1526 North State Street, Greenfield, is holding an open house at its Recruitment Center on Thursday.

 

Food, beverages, giveaways will be available as Staff Management displays its expanded services.

 

GIANT fm WSVX will broadcast live from the event.

 

Our Hospice relocating to new office in Decatur County

Our Hospice of South Central Indiana is relocating to a new space in Decatur County.

 

As of November 1, the Our Hospice Decatur county office will be located at 2015 N. Broadway Street in Greensburg,  in the building currently occupied by Remax Realty Associates and Strategic Ag. Insurance Services.

 

“We are excited to have located a new office site,” said Laura Leonard, President of Our Hospice of South Central Indiana. “As a home base for our teams who serve Decatur, Shelby, Rush and Franklin Counties, it is important we have an office location as a central point for our care staff of nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains and volunteers as they provide care in the homes of patients and in many long-term care facilities in the surrounding region,” continued Leonard.

 

Our Hospice, founded in 1980, opened a branch office in Decatur County in 1991. In 2016, staff moved into a location on Main Street which served us well for six years. Since the pandemic, leaders and staff have improved operating efficiencies and increased remote work capabilities which decreased the need for square footage.

 

“Most of our staff works remotely in the homes and the facilities where our patients reside. This, along with new remote technologies in place, allows us to downsize our office footprint, while maintaining a much needed office space for meetings, consultations, supplies and materials; and to provide visibility of our organization in the counties we serve,” said Leonard.

 

Leonard continued, “Our Hospice has a long relationship with Decatur County. Our Board of Director’s include Rex McKinney, President of Decatur County Memorial Hospital, and Dennis Fogel, Community Member representing the local community in organizational direction and decisions. Additionally, this summer we held our 28th Annual Decatur County Golf Tournament which has raised over $710,000 since its inception in 1995. We work closely with community membersRob Eversole, David McCullough, Brian Wenning, Jim Wenning, and Mark Wickenswho represent Decatur county on our Community Relations Committee. They support our workby hosting the golf outing, providing information about hospice care to the community, and raising much-needed funds for our not-for-profit organization.”

 

The new, local office space will support our vital work in deploying care teams to those who are managing a serious illness. Our Hospice staff work closely with Decatur County Memorial Hospital, Major Hospital, Rush County Hospital, local physicians, and extended and assisted living facilities in four contiguous counties.

 

The Decatur team cares for approximately 400 individuals annually, in the surrounding area, providing medical and nursing care, emotional and social support, and bereavement services to patients and families.

 

“We are excited to announce our move to our new location and will be planning a public open house in the near future. We look forward to caring for the people inthe communities served by this office location for many years to come,” said Leonard.


Drainage ditch correction project begins Monday on S.R. 252 near Flat Rock

Crews are expected to begin a drainage ditch correction project on S.R. 252 as early as Monday, October 31, near Flat Rock in Shelby County. 

 

Lane restrictions are not expected, but motorists should be aware of daytime flagging operations as trucks and equipment are entering and exiting the roadway.

 

The work zone will be located approximately four miles east of I-65.

Northwestern Consolidated Schools board extends superintendent's contract by three years

FAIRLAND -- The Northwestern Consolidated Schools Board extended Superintendent Chris Hoke’s contract another three years at Monday’s monthly meeting.

Hoke (photo, left) is currently under contract through the end of the 2023-2024 school year but the school board wanted the superintendent in place to guide the school system through an anticipated transition period in the near future of retiring administrators, directors and educators.

“We think in the next three to five years there is the potential for a lot of change and turnover at our administrative and director level through potential retirements and as people move on,” said board president Todd Brandman (photo, right) at the meeting. “We wanted to have that continuity and consistency. Not only do we appreciate and thank Chris for the direction he has taken the district, but we want to secure him through those potential changes so we have some continuity.”

Hoke’s contract now runs through the end of the 2026-2027 school year. There is no compensation change associated with the tenure extension.

“We’ve had ten years of stability here in leadership roles, and I’ve been here eight and I’m not even the most tenured. … For a small school, there has been a tremendous amount of stability.” said Hoke. “Because of the ages the people are and where they are in their work careers, there is the potential for that same amount of instability due to retirements. What we’re trying to do is project forward and anticipate that and begin to train in-house, we have in-house talent, for people to step into roles in succession.”

 

 

Prior to the regularly-scheduled meeting, the school board met in special session to discuss the terms of the tentative agreement of the 2022-2023 teacher collective bargaining agreement.

The school board will meet in special session Thursday to formally vote on the agreement. Notable news per the agreement, Triton Central teachers will receive $1,300 more in base salary while the hiring scale for new teachers will increase by $550.

“This year was great. It went very smooth,” said Hoke of the negotiating process. “This year was easy. It took about one week.”

It took two meetings to get the process done, confirmed Hoke, now in his eighth year as superintendent of the Triton Central school system.

“I met with them one time informally to go over our financial data, to see what our enrollment is and what our funding is – an informational thing before we got into the bargaining phase,” said Hoke after the conclusion of the school board meeting. “Then there were two sessions.”

In other board business Monday, the annual eighth grade field trip to Washington D.C. was approved for May 21 through May 26, 2023.

This year’s trip will be the 10th trek for Triton Central Middle School students that will include historical stops in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Gettysburg and Mt. Vernon.


Police chief, Board of Works confirm Halloween Trick or Treat hours

Shelbyville Police Chief Mark Weidner confirmed Trick or Treat hours for Halloween on Monday.

At the city’s Board of Works meeting, Weidner stated trick or treat for children will start at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m.

In other board business Tuesday:

  • The board approved the closure of Broadway St. between the intersections of West St. and Miller St. on Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. to eliminate traffic in a busy trick or treat area for children.
  • The board approved the request by the Lions Club to work the intersection of N. Harrison St. and Mechanic St. from 8 a.m. to noon on Dec. 10 to serve as bell ringers for the Salvation Army. This is an annual service performed by the Lions Club.
  • The board announced two November meeting date changes. The Nov. 8 meeting will be moved to Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m., as usual. The Nov. 15 meeting will move to Nov. 16 at the same start time.

McCord Square Downtown District breaks ground In McCordsville

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers and Town of McCordsville Officials joined Rebar Development and project partners Monday to break ground on the first phase of McCord Square, a $50 million town center district.

 

Anchoring the development, McCord Square Apartments is the first project to begin construction. The new master development includes a significant quality of place investment with $3.5 million allocated from the Indiana Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI).  

 

“Indiana’s transformational READI initiative is breathing new life into neighborhoods, communities and urban cores across the state,” said Sec. Brad Chambers. “It’s an exciting day for McCordsville and for the Central Indiana region as we break ground on a landmark development that will help transform this growing community into a future-focused destination that will attract and support the entrepreneurs, innovators and talent of tomorrow’s economy.”

 

Located on the southeast corner of Broadway Avenue (S.R. 67) and Mt. Comfort Road, the 48-acre McCord Square Downtown District, is a partnership between the Town of McCordsville, Rebar Development, and Hancock County based, Pride Investment Partners. McCord Square accomplishes many goals set forth in the Town Center Development plan, including the creation of a defined, vibrant downtown with a unique identity. McCord Square will diversify the tax base and is expected to add $50 million in assessed value by 2025.

 

“This groundbreaking is the next big step in creating a new identity for McCordsville. Town leadership and staff have spent over a decade planning for this development and today represents the culmination of so many moving parts coming together to create a new direction for our community,” said Larry Longman, Town of McCordsville Town Councilmember and Redevelopment Commission liaison. “With the addition of the READI grant we are able to add many more amenities and details to this first phase to make this project unique.”    

 

The first phase of the master development includes McCord Square Apartments and significant infrastructure investment. The apartment community consists of two buildings on each side of the new Civic Green with a total of 205 modern apartment homes. The Town of McCordsville is investing $5 million to create roadways and trails with lighting, landscaping, and water features, 15 acres of open park space, and irrigation and stormwater facilities. With the $3.5 million allocation from the READI initiative, the total public investment is $8.5 million.

 

“Our team was inspired by the vision the Town had for McCord Square,” said Shelby Bowen, President of Rebar Development. “This important first step just wouldn’t have been possible without our partnership with the Town and IEDC.  We are looking forward to bringing a world-class development to serve the rapidly growing workforce in this corridor.”  

 

With construction of McCord Square Apartments now underway, downtown living is coming to McCordsville. Consisting of two buildings, The Lucas and The Jackson, Rebar Development is bringing resort-style living to the new town center. The one- and two-bedroom apartments feature spacious floor plans, modern kitchens with luxury furnishings, washer and dryers, and large balconies with expansive views. The community amenities are designed to inspire, and includes a courtyard, indoor/outdoor café, pool with cabanas and workstations, rooftop co-working lounge, pet park and spa, wellness studio, indoor bike storage, and modern clubhouse.   

 

The first floor of the McCord Square Apartment community will consist of six 1,000 sq. ft. commercial studios with street-facing entrances. The micro-retail spaces are all-inclusive—sharing amenities with the apartment community—and will have flexible lease terms.

 

“We are proud to be a partner on this historic development which will serve the citizens and visitors of the Town of McCordsville for years to come.  It is integral to our organization’s culture that we invest in and partner on projects such as McCord Square, with Town leadership which prioritizes its citizens and their utmost quality of life through significant attention and development of the community within which they reside.  We are honored to be a part of this community and this very special day,” said Stephanie and Keith White, owners of Pride Investment Partners.

 

Plans for future investment in the new downtown district align closely with the Town Center Development Plan including the creation of a community gathering space and new McCordsville Town Hall. Planned projects, such as the Civic Commons outdoor amphitheater, connectivity throughout downtown and to existing neighborhoods, and a new park will create a destination for residents and visitors to live and gather. In addition, McCord Square will eventually add townhomes, restaurants, office space, and neighborhood services.

 

Construction on the McCord Square Apartments is slated for completion spring of 2024.

 

Shelbyville man sentenced for role in Capitol riot

A Shelbyville man has been sentenced for his role in the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol.

 

An Indiana man was sentenced to 60 months in prison for carrying two loaded guns on Capitol grounds and assaulting law enforcement officers during the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. His and others’ actions disrupted a joint session of the U.S. Congress convened to ascertain and count the electoral votes related to the presidential election.

           

Mark Andrew Mazza, 57, of Shelbyville, Indiana, was sentenced in the District of Columbia.

           

According to court documents, Mazza brought a Taurus revolver, loaded with three shotgun shells and two hollow point bullets, into Washington, D.C., to the Ellipse, and then to the Capitol.  He later admitted to law enforcement that he was also armed with a second firearm, a loaded .40 semi-automatic pistol.  Sometime on U.S. Capitol grounds before 2:45 p.m., Mazza lost possession of the revolver.

 

Mazza continued to illegally make his way to the Lower West Terrace and the area behind the Inaugural Stage to a tunnel area with doors leading into the Capitol Building. He joined in a collective effort of rioters to push through at least 20 officers who were defending the tunnel entrance. At approximately 3:13 p.m., Mazza moved to the front of the tunnel line, next to the first set of doors. He held open one of the doors, and, as he did so, he allowed other rioters to attack officers with flag poles, batons, sticks and stolen law enforcement shields, and try force their way through the line of officers.  Thereafter, he took control of a baton from an officer’s hand and swung it overhead and downward to strike at officers in the tunnel entrance, hitting one officer in the arm. After striking at the officers with the baton, he continued his efforts to get past law enforcement officers and yelled, “This is our f---- house! We own this house!”

           

After moving back from the front line, he then participated in “heave-ho” efforts to apply significant physical force and pressure on the officers to remove them from the doorway. Mazza was pushed out of the tunnel by law enforcement officers, but he remained on the Capitol grounds until flash bang grenades were deployed by law enforcement officers later that afternoon. On Jan. 8, 2021, according to the documents, Mazza filed a false police report in Indiana in which he claimed to have lost his gun at an Ohio casino. 

           

Mazza was arrested on Nov. 17, 2021, at his home in Shelbyville. He pleaded guilty on June 17, 2022, in the District of Columbia to assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers with a dangerous weapon and carrying a pistol without a license. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release. He also must pay $2,150 in restitution.

           

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department’s National Security Division prosecuted the case, with valuable assistance provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.

           

The U.S. Capitol Police and the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office investigated the case, with valuable assistance from the FBI’s Louisville and Washington Field Offices, the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Shelbyville, Indiana Police Department.

           

In the 21 months since Jan. 6, 2021, more than 880 individuals have been arrested in nearly all 50 states for crimes related to the breach of the U.S. Capitol, including over 270 individuals charged with assaulting or impeding law enforcement. The investigation remains ongoing. 

           

Anyone with tips can call 1-800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324) or visit tips.fbi.gov.

Guilty plea in Plymate embezzlement case

A Shelbyville woman could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison following a guilty plea in federal court.

 

Tammy Scudder pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud for embezzling the money over an eight year period while working as controller for Plymate.  The U.S. Attorney's Office filed the charges that alleged Scudder made over 150 checks over the period and deposited them into her account.

 

Scudder faces a fine of up to $250, 000 and is expected to be sentenced to pay back the $690, 000.

 

Shelbyville Police investigating reported Sunday night assault

Shelbyville Police are investigating a reported assault.

 

On Sunday night, October 23, Shelbyville Police Department officers responded to 911 Hale Road for a female who had been assaulted.  Officers arrived and located the mother of the juvenile who advised her daughter had been assaulted.  Officers located the victim inside the trailer and medical help was provided.

 

Officers learned that the suspect had left the scene and had possibility taken another juvenile female with him.  During the investigation, it was learned that the incident did not take place at the trailer.  The investigation led officers to a person of interest who was later found as was the reported missing female.

 

Currently this is still an ongoing investigation.  As information on the investigation comes to a point it can be released, we will release it to the public. 

 

At this time all those involved have been located and there is no threat to the public.

Elevated fire conditions persist in central Indiana

Dry, warm conditions continue into the beginning of this week.  But relief in the form of rain could be on the way Tuesday.

 

The National Weather Service says near elevated fire conditions are possible this afternoon and early evening.

 

Thunderstorms are possible at times Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning, mainly west of Interstate 65. Severe storms are not expected at this time.

 

Greenfield Police searching for Amber L. Kendall-Guffey

Greenfield Police are asking for the public's help to find a missing woman.

 

Amber L. Kendall-Guffey was reported missing with her last known contact with family on September 22.

 

Kendall-Guffey, 26, is described as a white female with brown hair and brown eyes. She's five feet tall and weighs 114 pounds.

 

If you have any information about where Amber L. Kendall-Guffley may be located, please call Detective Ron Chittum at 317-477-4400.

 

 

O'Neal Steel granted tax abatement by Shelby County Council

The Shelby County Council approved a tax abatement for O’Neal Steel Tuesday to expand on its services at its Shelbyville facility.

The $4.1 million purchase of manufacturing equipment and real estate improvement will begin in November and be completed by the spring of 2023.

The tax abatement scales downward from 100% in the first year by 10% increments over the 10-year cycle.

The council will collect a yearly impact fee of 5% of the tax abatement savings, according to Eric Glasco of the Shelbyville law firm Stephenson Rife, LLP, who represented O’Neal Steel at the council meeting.

O’Neal Steel will purchase a Trumpf 6K Model 7000 Tube laser, Nitro Cube, Pressbrake and Material Handling Crane at a cost of $3,184,349. The equipment will be utilized in the processing and handling of steel products, including cutting, material handling, punching and shearing at its Shelbyville location, 841 N. Michigan Road.

Real estate improvements include a concrete pad as well as electrical, plumbing and heating connections at a cost of $916,740.

 

 

The new equipment will help O’Neal Steel (photo) support five locations in addition to the Shelbyville facility, according to Paul Geha of O’Neal Steel. Orders can be filled and shipped to O’Neal Steel facilities covering its northern reach from Peru, Illinois, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“This is a very strong community for us,” said Geha to the Shelby County Council. “A lot of our employees have 20, 30 and 40 years of tenure with our company. We are investing quite a bit of money here. This location will be a spring load for our growth in the area.”

Freeze warning tonight, Red Flag Warning Thursday

Freeze and fire warnings have been announced by the National Weather Service.

 

A freeze warning is in effect for all of central Indiana from midnight to 10 am Thursday with temperatures as low as 28 degrees.

 

On Thursday, a Red Flag Warning is in effect from 11 am - 8pm for critical fire conditions in central Indiana.  Winds are expected to be out of the southwest 10 - 15 mph with gusts up to 30 mph and relative humidity as low as 20 percent.

 

Meanwhile, Shelby County remains under a burn ban passed by county commissioners on Monday.

Silver Alert: Aaron Brenton, 40, of Columbus

The Columbus Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Aaron Brenton, a 40 year old white male, 5 feet 8 inches tall, 180 pounds, brown hair with blue eyes, last seen wearing a white/red Puma hat, gray Puma hoodie and sweatpants, and sandals.

 

Aaron is missing from Columbus, Indiana, and was last seen on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 9:30 pm. 

 

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

 

If you have any information on Aaron Brenton, contact the Columbus Police Department at 812-376-2600 or 911.

Donations being accepted in Greenfield for families in apartment complex fire

Donations are being accepted to aid families that lost virtually everything in a Greenfield apartment fire.

 

Donation items can be taken to the Greenfield Crossing Apartment Management building (next to the complex pool) during their normal business hours, 9:00 am - 6:00 pm .  Items are needed for children two months up to 13 years of age.  Toiletries, food, shoes, and clothing are among the items being accepted. They can also take Walmart gift cards.

 

The Red Cross was on the scene of the early Monday morning fire and is involved helping the families as well.

 

Three people were taken to Hancock Regional for smoke inhalation.  Otherwise, all residents were accounted for and got out safe about 2:00 am Monday.  When firefighters arrived flames were already coming through the roof of the apartment building.

 

One floor inside the structure collapsed.  Four apartments on the second floor and two on fire floor were heavily damaged.

 

The cause remains under investigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelby Co. Commissioners approve culvert projects; parking soon near Annex 2

Infrastructure a key part of this week's Shelby County Commissioners meeting.

 

Commissioner Kevin Nigh says two culvert projects have been given the go-ahead.

 

 

Nigh also spoke about continued preparation of additional parking near Annex 2.  A protective wall is to be constructed before parking begins at the site where two houses and the Culligan building have been torn down.

 

 

 

Nigh says rock is to be brought into the site to allow for parking.  Paving the site will happen next year.

Shelby County among those awarded grants to combat violence against women

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded nearly $3 million to 51 public and nonprofit organizations through the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program.

 

“STOP” stands for services, training, officers and prosecutors.

 

The program is designed to support communities in their efforts to develop and strengthen law enforcement and prosecution strategies to combat violence against women, as well as enhance victim services and safety.

 

Among the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program award recipients:

 

Shelby

Shelby County Prosecutor, 16th Judicial Circuit

$94,219

Hancock

Hancock County Prosecutor's Office

$63,838

Rush

Rush County Prosecutor’s Office

$42,536


 

“This funding is about making sure that more communities have access to the resources they need to prevent victimization and bring violent offenders to justice,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “It’s important that we do everything we can to help break the cycle of violence and shore up support for victims.”

 

Established by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the STOP Violence Against Women Formula Grant Program promotes a coordinated effort to improve the criminal justice system's response to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The funds are provided by the Office on Violence Against Women under the U.S. Department of Justice.

 

This year, the grants will be used to provide legal advocacy, counseling, training for law enforcement and court personnel, and victim support services. Funding will also help pay for special prosecutors and investigators who are dedicated to handling cases involving crimes against women.

 

“For most victims, obtaining a protective order or pursuing legal action is uncharted territory, but we don’t want that to be a barrier to seeking safety or justice,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Director. “There are resources and advocates who can help that will stand with and alongside victims throughout the process. This funding expands those efforts.”

 

The grants were approved by the ICJI Board of Trustees in September and made available to organizations starting this month. As a formula grant, funding was distributed based on a predetermined amount, with a majority (96%) going to law enforcement, prosecution and victim service programs. The remaining 4% was allocated for court programs.

 

 


 

 

 

Health officials announce 1st flu death of season, urge Hoosiers to get vaccinated

Indiana health officials are encouraging Hoosiers to get vaccinated against influenza after confirming the first flu-related death of the 2022-23 flu season. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

Each year, hundreds of Hoosiers become sick from influenza, and some cases prove fatal. In the 2021-22 flu season, 82 Hoosiers died after contracting influenza.

“Every flu season is different, but we expect to see a return of respiratory illnesses such as flu as more individuals relax the mitigation measures they took during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Getting an annual flu shot now, before activity picks up, is the best protection against what can be a serious illness for many Hoosiers.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year. Because infants younger than 6 months can’t be vaccinated, it’s important that anyone in a household where a young baby lives or visits get a flu shot to protect the child. Healthcare workers are urged to get a flu vaccine to reduce their risk of transmitting illness to their patients. 

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies, which protect against flu, to develop in the body, so the CDC recommends early vaccination. However, the flu vaccine can be administered at any time during the season, which typically runs from October through May. This year’s flu vaccine appears to be a good match for the most common subtype circulating in Australia, and it can be administered at the same time as the new COVID-19 booster, which protects against two strains of COVID-19, Box said.

Influenza (flu) is a viral infection of the respiratory tract. It is spread by respiratory droplets released when infected people cough or sneeze nearby or when people touch surfaces or objects contaminated with those infectious respiratory droplets. People also can become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with flu viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth or nose. 

Although anyone can get the flu, some people are at higher risk of flu-related complications, such as pneumonia, hospitalization, and death. Those most at risk for complications from flu include pregnant women, young children (especially those too young to get vaccinated), people with chronic illnesses, people who are immunocompromised, and the elderly. It is especially important for these individuals to be vaccinated each year.

Common signs and symptoms of the flu include:

  • fever of 100° Fahrenheit or greater
  • headache 
  • fatigue
  • cough
  • muscle aches
  • sore throat 
  • runny or stuffy nose

People can help prevent the spread of flu by washing their hands frequently and thoroughly, avoiding touching their eyes, nose and mouth with their hands, and staying home when sick. Hoosiers should practice the “Three Cs” to help prevent the spread of flu and other infectious diseases:

  • Clean: Properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
  • Cover: Cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
  • Contain: Stay home from school or work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading. 

To learn more about influenza or to view the IDOH weekly flu report, which is updated each Friday, click here. IDOH also has an influenza dashboard that is updated each Friday with the weekly flu report. The dashboard showcases Indiana’s flu surveillance activity on a weekly basis. Historical flu surveillance data, along with county- and regional-level data, are available, along with breakdowns by age group for the current week.

Shelby County Commissioners approve burn ban

Temperatures are expected to plummet below freezing Monday and Tuesday nights.  However, it's the dry conditions that are prompting more concerns.

 

Tuesday through Sunday, with continued dry conditions, an elevated fire weather danger remains possible.  It's for that reason that Shelby County Commissioners ordered a burn ban at their meeting Monday morning.

 

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Denis Ratekin.

 

 

Ratekin says not only fires starting but getting out of control remains a very realistic concern.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shelbyville's Julia Hamblen to serve on National FFA Officer Nominating Committee as Chairperson

Indiana FFA members have a lot to look forward to at the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo this month in Indianapolis.

 

Julia Hamblen of the Shelbyville FFA Chapter in Shelbyville, Indiana, has been designated as the 2022 National Officer Nominating Committee Chairperson by the current National FFA Officer Team. Hamblen is currently enrolled at Purdue University's College of Agriculture studying Agricultural Education. As a member of the nine person Nominating Committee, Hamblen will put in countless hours and play a pivotal role in nominating the 2022-2023 National FFA Officer Team.

 

“This is an experience that high school Julia dreamed of, but never thought of as a possibility, with my chapter starting in 2017,” Julia said about being selected as the Chairperson. “Yet, here we are, and that dream has become a reality.”

 

The organization looks for success of all 12,000 members but highlights the success of the 2022 Indiana FFA National Officer Candidate and the National Officer Nominating Committee Chairperson.

 

Derick Williams of the Union City FFA Chapter in Union City, Indiana, has been selected by Indiana FFA to represent the organization as its 2022 National Officer Candidate.

 

"I am so excited to watch Derick represent our great state on the National FFA stage," said Lt. Gov. Crouch, Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. "FFA is the pipeline for agriculture and a great youth development organization. These young leaders involved are sure to go far, and Derick is no exception."

 

Williams is the 21-year-old son of Erick and Georgiana Williams and is currently a student at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Prior to college, he served as the 2020-2021 Indiana FFA State Reporter and the 2021 Indiana FFA National Officer Candidate. This is Williams seventh year as a member of the Union City FFA Chapter, under the leadership of Mr. Ron Smith and Mrs. Cindy Nunez.

 

“I hope to create a platform where members and advisors alike feel heard and appreciated,” said Williams about his goal while running for a position on the 2022-2023 National FFA Officer Team. “I want to use my officer engagements to bring excitement and energy back into our FFA work.”

 

Williams is one of 35 FFA members from across the nation that will vie for a spot on the six person National FFA Officer team. The process to be selected as a National FFA Officer is an arduous task of interviews with the National FFA Officer Nominating Committee.

 

"I know how hard Derick has prepared for this event and I sincerely thank him for all the hard work he has put into this process and the family members, educators, advisors and business professionals who have helped him along the way," said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture director. "The National FFA Officer Candidates must be well rounded individuals in FFA, agriculture, agriculture policy, future agriculture planning, world topics and many other issues. I know Derick will make Indiana proud." 

 

The roles of National Officer Candidate and National FFA Officer Nomination Committee are made available to a select few FFA members each year. Indiana FFA is proud of the youth leaders that are developed through its programming at the state and local level. The 95th National FFA Convention & Expo will be held in Indianapolis October 26 – 29, 2022. Williams and Hamblen will be joined by numerous Indiana FFA members competing in events and participating in leadership development and community service programs.

Freeze warning coupled with elevated fire weather danger to start week's forecast

The coldest air of the fall season has prompted a freeze warning from the National Weather Service.

 

The freeze warning remains in effect from 10 pm Monday to 10 am Tuesday.  Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 27 expected.

 

People are advised to take steps now to protect plants from the cold.

 

Subfreezing temperatures return Tuesday night.

 

The NWS even reports that light snow accumulations are possible Monday night.

 

Tuesday through Sunday, with continued dry conditions, an elevated fire weather danger remains possible.

 

 

From Red Flag Warning today to freeze warnings next week from the National Weather Service

A RED FLAG WARNING is in effect for Central Indiana today. Critical fire weather conditions are expected Friday afternoon.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now, or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures can contribute to extreme fire behavior.

Any fires that develop will likely spread rapidly.  Outdoor burning is not recommended. Never throw cigarettes out of a vehicle.

Wind gusts to around 40 mph will be possible Friday afternoon. Secure any outdoor items that could be easily be blown about. Exercise caution when driving this afternoon particularly if you are driving a high profile vehicle as wind gusts may make driving more difficult.

Coming up Saturday through Thursday freezing temperatures are likely across central Indiana, with a hard freeze possible.

Greensburg man sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for sexual exploitation of a child

Anthony Laquinn Thomas, 53, of Greensburg, was sentenced late Wednesday to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of a child.

 

According to court documents, on April 24, 2019, police went to the residence of Minor Victim 1 to check her welfare because her mother was concerned when she learned Minor Victim 1 was not in school. Minor Victim 1 was under thirteen years old at the time. Law enforcement officers located the child who spoke to police and was later interviewed at a Children’s Advocacy Center. Minor Victim 1 disclosed that Thomas sexually abused her and used his cell phone to take naked pictures of her and show her pornographic images.

 

A probation search of Thomas’s residence was conducted, and Thomas was placed under arrest after police found evidence of methamphetamine use in the home. Thomas’s two cell phones were seized by police and searched after police obtained a search warrant. Police were able to lawfully access the information stored on Thomas’s cell phones and found numerous images of Minor Victim 1 engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Thomas’s Google account was also searched by police, and it revealed nine images of Minor Victim 1 engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

 

Thomas was on probation at the time of these offenses and had failed a recent drug screen. Thomas has a lengthy criminal history with convictions including drug dealing, drug possession, and battery of a child.

 

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Jeffrey Adams, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; Superintendent Douglas G. Carter of the Indiana State Police; and Mike McNealy, Chief of the Greensburg Police Department; made the announcement.

 

The U.S. Secret Service, Indiana State Police and Greensburg Police Department investigated the case. The Decatur County Probation Office and Decatur County Prosecutor’s Office provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Stinson ordered that Thomas be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release from federal prison and ordered Thomas to pay $10,000 in restitution to Minor Victim 1. Thomas must also register as sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

Shelbyville Central ratifies teacher agreement; Coulston and Loper renovations about to begin

Two major items were checked off the to-do list by the Shelbyville Central School Board on Wednesday.

 

With approval of the 2022-23 collective bargaining agreement with the district’s teachers and the budget, Superintendent Matt Vance says it feels good to have those taken care of.

 

 

As Shelbyville gets set to head out on fall break, the eventual return to school won’t be under usual circumstances for Coulston and Loper elementaries.  Renovation is about to begin at both sites.

 

 

In personnel news, SHS assistant athletic director John Kirtland has resigned.

 

Dump truck fatal accident in Johnson County

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Amity Fire Department, and Nineveh Fire Department are currently investigating a single vehicle accident involving a dump truck in the area of 3100 block of South Mauxferry Road, Franklin, Indiana.

 

The Sheriff’s Office received the call of the accident at 2:44 pm. When emergency personnel arrived they found a fully engulfed dump truck. There is one confirmed fatality at this time.

 

Mauxferry Road between County Road 300S and County Road 350S was closed as investigators collected evidence and the scene was investigated.

 

No other information will be released until identification is made and family has been notified.

DNA testing identifies body found in 1994 in Hancock Co.as missing Ohio woman

In October 1994, human remains belonging to an unknown woman were found in a wooded area under a bridge in Hancock County. Investigators thought that the remains were likely there for several months before discovery.

 

The woman had appeared to be a white female with short brown hair, approximately 5’1” to 5’4” in height, and between 30-50 years old at the time of death. Hancock County detectives subsequently opened an investigation into the unknown woman’s death.

 

The unknown woman was eventually referred to as Hancock County Jane Doe. With few clues to the woman’s identity, the case went cold. The unidentified persons case was entered into NamUs (UP4862) in 2009 but traditional forensic methods did not yield answers on the case. Although early investigation into the case was hampered by a lack of basic information or viable clues, members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department remained open to new methods and opportunities to identify the deceased.

 

In August of 2021, Hancock County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Ted Munden contacted Joanna Johnson, a forensic scientist with the Indiana State Police Laboratory, and inquired about genealogy DNA testing. The Indiana State Police Laboratory performed some initial DNA extraction, and the sample was provided to Othram Inc. in March of 2022.

 

Othram scientists used Forensic-Grade Genome Sequencing® to build a comprehensive DNA profile for the woman. In the summer of 2022, Othram scientists returned the profile and the investigation continued.

 

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department, working in conjunction with the Indiana State Police Laboratory used genetic genealogy to develop investigative leads pointing to the unknown woman’s identity. The leads were confirmed through additional testing and established Hancock County Jane Doe's identity as Doreen M. Tiedman.

 

 

 

Pictures included are an artist’s clay rendering of the victim that was completed using her bones, and a photograph of the actual victim after identification.

 

Doreen was born on June 8, 1959. She would have been 34 years old at the time of her death. Doreen was from Cleveland, Ohio, and was known to hitchhike throughout the United States. Doreen’s last contact with her family was in January of 1994. Doreen was officially listed as missing in May of 1996 with the Cleveland Police Department and entered into NamUs (MP20366) in 2013.

 

The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department is now asking members of the public to share what they know regarding the life and death of Doreen M. Tiedman.

 

Anyone with information about this case, including events or circumstances leading to the disappearance or death of Doreen M. Tiedman, are asked to call the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department at (317) 477-1199.

 

 

Indiana State Police conducting death investigation of man arrested by Greensburg PD

Indiana State Police are investigating the death of a man who was in the custody of the Greensburg Police Department.

 

On Monday, detectives with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post were contacted by the Greensburg Police Department and requested to conduct a death investigation after a Greensburg man died shortly after being taken into custody by officers with the police department.

 

The initial investigation by Indiana State PolicedDetectives indicated that Greensburg Police officers were called to a residence in the 300 Block of West 11th Street in Greensburg at 9:15 pm Monday after receiving a call of a man who was chasing another man with a garden tool.  An officer arrived in the area and began speaking to a potential suspect, Andrew Hill, 30, of Greensburg, outside of a residence.  During the encounter, Hill, who was no longer carrying the tool, advanced towards the officer and attempted to strike the officer.  The officer took him to the ground during the altercation.  Another officer arrived and assisted in placing him into handcuffs.

 

Shortly after Hill was placed in handcuffs, the officers noticed he became unresponsive.  The officers immediately began administering life saving measures and requested EMS respond to the scene.  Hill was transported to Decatur County Hospital in Greensburg where he was later pronounced deceased. 

 

An autopsy was performed Tuesday in Hamilton County, Ohio.  The final autopsy and toxicology results are still pending at this time.

 

The incident was captured on Greensburg Police body camera and dash camera.  The video footage has been obtained by investigators and is being reviewed as a part of the investigation. 

 

Indiana Department of Agriculture to stream State Fair Advisory Committee meeting

The Indiana Department of Agriculture will virtually stream the upcoming State Fair Advisory Committee meeting, said State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg), chair of the committee.

The advisory committee will meet at the Indiana Statehouse in room 233 on Thursday, Oct. 13, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be a period for public comment following presentations.

"The Indiana State Fairgrounds is a well-loved hub for Indiana residents to gather and celebrate the Spirit of Indiana," Leising said. "Having the meeting streamed online and open for public comment will provide better insight for local and state leaders on concerns regarding visitor experience and 4-H participation at the fairgrounds."

The advisory committee serves as a group of non-voting members of the Indiana State Fair Commission to provide legislative insight in ensuring successful representation of the state and partnership with the agriculture community.

The commission sets governing policy over the Indiana State Fair and provides strategic direction for the year-round operation of the Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center.

Click here to access the meeting virtually and view an agenda.

Semi hauling grain crashed and turned over in western Rush Co.

The Posey Township VFD and Morristown Volunteer Fire Department responded to 1000 West and U.S. 52 just before 10:00 am Tuesday.  Fire personnel found a single semi-truck that had left the roadway and overturned with a single victim trapped.

 

Photo by Posey Township Volunteer Fire Dept.

 

Morristown and Posey Township personnel performed a quick extrication to remove the victim. All fire personnel returned to service by 10:30 am.

 

There’s no further information as of this report as to injuries or the driver’s identity.

 

Agencies responding to the scene included Rush County Emergency Management, Rush County Sheriff's Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department, Shelbyville Fire Department Medics and Davis Towing & Recovery, Inc.

 

State health department issuing warnings in northern Indiana for EEE virus

State public health and animal health officials are urging northern Indiana residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to monitor their horses for illness in response to the detection of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus activity in multiple northern Indiana counties.

As of October 4, two horses in LaGrange County and one horse in Kosciusko County have tested positive for EEE virus in 2022. No human EEE virus disease cases or infected mosquitoes have been reported in Indiana so far this year. Because suitable habitat for the vector mosquitoes is found throughout the area, humans and horses in all northern Indiana counties are potentially at risk. While the risk of EEE virus infection begins to decrease when evening and overnight temperatures drop to 60°F, the risk is not eliminated until the first overnight hard freeze (32°F).

State officials recommend the following preventive measures for those at risk:

  • Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are active (especially late afternoon, dusk to dawn, and early morning)
  • Use an EPA-registered insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or 2-undecanone on clothes and exposed skin
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing a hat, long sleeves and long pants in places where mosquitoes are especially active, such as wooded areas
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home
  • Vaccinate horses for EEE annually according to guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners

You can eliminate mosquito breeding sites from your property by doing the following:

  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water
  • Repair failed septic systems
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish

While rare, EEE virus can cause serious illness and has a fatality rate of around 33 percent or higher. Many people who recover may still experience long-term complications. Symptoms of EEE virus disease include chills, fever, body aches and joint pain. Some people develop a more severe form of the disease affecting the nervous system and causing encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). People who are younger than 15 years and older than 50 years are at the greatest risk of severe disease if infected with EEE virus. People who think they may have EEE virus should contact their healthcare provider.

EEE in horses is often called “sleeping sickness” because infected animals become comatose. Other clinical signs may include listlessness, high fever, head pressing and seizures. Horses that develop EEE rarely survive. Infected mosquitoes carry the virus; it does not spread from horse to horse or horse to human. Contact a veterinarian if any of these signs are noticed. Testing is available for EEE.

9 / 252 intersection remains safety concern in Shelby County

A dangerous highway intersection in Shelby County continues to get looks from county officials.

The spot where State Road 9 intersects with 252 has been a concern for some time for county government, law enforcement and drivers in the area.

 

County Commissioner Don Parker.

 

  

 

Parker says talks will occur with the state to find ways to make that intersection safer.

 

 

 

 

Flat Rock man arrested for damaging judge's vehicle

A Flat Rock man has been charged with damaging a judge’s vehicle in Decatur County.

 

Indiana State Police detectives arrested a Decatur County, Indiana man on charges after he intentionally caused damage to a Decatur County judge’s vehicle.

 

The investigation began a week earlier when the investigation was referred to the Indiana State Police from the Greensburg Police Department.  The Greensburg Police Department initially responded on August 19, to a parking lot in Greensburg where county employees typically park.  The officer met with the judge, who reported that he got into his vehicle and noticed an issue with it operating correctly.  He then observed that someone had placed spray foam insulation in the tail pipe of his truck.

 

A suspect was identified by Greensburg Police investigators after reviewing surveillance camera footage of the incident.  The case was then referred to detectives from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post due to a conflict of interest.  An ISP detective conducted further investigations and interviews which led to the arrest of Jimmy L. Colson, 62, of Flat Rock.

 

Colson was incarcerated at the Decatur County Jail on preliminary charges of Intimidation, Level 5 Felony, and Criminal Mischief, Class B Misdemeanor pending an initial appearance in court.   

Patching to close lanes on I-65 in Shelby and Johnson counties

Indiana Department of Transportation maintenance crews plan to conduct patching operations along I-65 between MM 80 and MM 90 in Shelby and Johnson counties starting as early as Tuesday, October 11.

 

Patching work will require daytime single-lane closures in both directions of I-65.

 

Daily lane closures are scheduled from approximately 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Thursday, weather permitting.

 

All patching is expected to be complete by mid-November.

Shelbyville man injured in fall from tree stand

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a tree stand accident that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Shelby County.

 

Just before 5:00 pm, officers were dispatched to the area near the 4800 Block of North County Road 575 East for an injured person.  The initial investigation revealed that Timothy Balting, 46, of Shelbyville, fell approximately 15-20 feet while attempting to move his hang on tree stand.

 

Despite his injuries, Balting was able to use his cellphone to call for medical assistance. He was transported by local EMS to Methodist Hospital with back, arm and pelvis injuries.

 

Balting was wearing a full body safety harness at the time of the accident, but it was not affixed to the tree.

 

Conservation officers remind everyone using elevated platforms to always wear a full body harness, use a tree stand’s safety rope, never try to put up or remove a tree stand by themself, and to always inspect their tree stand before climbing up into it.

First Financial Bank launches local food drive

First Financial Bank (Nasdaq: FFBC) will join the global call to action for World Food Day 2022 by launching a local food drive at its financial centers in Bartholomew County, including all locations in Columbus, Taylorsville and Hope.

 

Nonperishable food items can be dropped off at all First Financial locations in the region during normal business hours from Oct. 11-21.  

 

“Food insecurity is an issue for people worldwide, and the problem became more severe because of the pandemic,” said Roddell McCullough, chief corporate responsibility officer for First Financial Bank. “First Financial and our associates are eager to begin this local food drive and help our neighbors who do not have enough to eat.”  

 

After the food drive concludes on Friday, Oct. 21, all food will be delivered to local organizations selected by associates at each financial center.

 

World Food Day, on Oct. 16, 2022, highlights the collective work around the world to promote awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger. Coordinated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the day also calls attention to the need to ensure healthy diets for everyone, with no one left behind. 

 

All First Financial locations throughout its four-state footprint of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois will participate. An interactive list of financial centers is available at bankatfirst.com. 

 

The food drive is First Financial’s second major community-focused initiative in 2022. To celebrate National Financial Literacy Month in April, First Financial Bank, its associates and clients collected more than 20,000 books to be donated to local schools, libraries, churches and other community-focused organizations. 

California man arrested in Hancock Co. to serve federal time on drug charges

Felix Becerra-Aguilera, 40, of Stockton, California, was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl.

 

According to court documents, on September 13, 2021, an Indiana State Police trooper was conducting a patrol on I-70 near Greenfield in Hancock County. The state trooper conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle for following too closely.  It was being driven by Felix Becerra-Aguilera who was identified by his California driver’s license. Becerra-Aguilera gave the state trooper written consent to search his vehicle. 

 

During the search of the vehicle, officers found multiple wrapped packages containing Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills in the hollowed-out seat cushions. Officers also found fentanyl pills and two-kilogram bricks of fentanyl in the seatbacks of the front seats. Approximately eight and a half kilograms of fentanyl were seized from inside the vehicle during the traffic stop. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.  

 

Becerra-Aguilera admitted to the state troopers that he was being paid to drive the narcotics to Philadelphia. Officers found $2,000 in U.S. currency inside Becerra-Aguilera’s bag inside the vehicle.

 

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case in conjunction with the Indiana State Police. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. As part of the sentence, Judge Pratt ordered that Beccera-Aguilera be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following his release from federal prison.

'Halloween Fun at the Park' hosted by Shelbyville Parks and Rec on Friday night

Celebrate Halloween Friday night with the Shebyville Parks and Recreation Department and the annual 'Halloween Fun at the Park'.

 

The event is at Blue River Memorial Park.  Parks Department Director Trisha Tackett says you can save a couple dollars by getting wrist bands before coming out on Friday.

 

 

The event will feature animals, food, a spine-chilling Blue River Trail and more.

 

 

Bring your own trick-or-treat bag.  Costumes are encouraged.

 

It's from 6:30 - 9:30 pm Friday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadline approaching to register to vote

Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan is reminding Hoosiers of two upcoming dates regarding voting.

 

Indiana’s voter registration deadline is October 11. Registering to vote and checking your status can be done online at http://IndianaVoters.com or by visiting your local county election administrator’s office. On October 11, online registration needs to be completed before midnight and registering in person at your local county election administrator’s office needs to be completed before the end of the business day.

 

In-person early voting begins on October 12 and is open until November 7. All registered Indiana voters are eligible to vote early in-person. Contact your county clerk’s office to find locations and hours for early voting. A valid photo ID is required to vote.

 

“Registering to vote, finding a polling location and reviewing your ballot is simply a click away at IndianaVoters.com,” Secretary Sullivan said. “It’s easier than ever for Hoosiers to make their voices heard and take part in our elections process.”

 

According to state statute, the Secretary of State shall request Indiana news media to include a copy of the voter’s bill of rights as part of election coverage. Access the Indiana Voter’s Bill of Rights here: https://www.in.gov/sos/elections/voter-information/voters-rights/indiana-voters-bill-of-rights/

 

Additional Shelby County Courthouse parking on the way as demolition begins

Parking issues at the Shelby County Courthouse campus should be alleviated by 2023.  

 

Shelby County Commissioner Don Parker explains that demolition is underway on two houses and the old Culligan building that site across the street to the north of the annex and on the west side of Annex 2.  The site will become additional parking.

 

 

Parker says they will look to pave the site for parking in Spring 2023.  That should help many of the county's employees, customers and neighbors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue River Community Foundation announces 2022 racino grants

The Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) recently announced the recipients of city and county grants made possible through racino income.

The program was started in 2010 and has contributed to 55 unique organizations totaling $1,445,180.

The 2022 recipients are:

  • Boys & Girls Club of Shelby County (Shelbyville) – awarded $9,183.40 to support computer upgrades to Indiana kids, the in-house homework support program.
  • Cancer Association of Shelby County -- $10,000 granted to purchase new furniture and fixtures for Second Time Around, its thrift store which funds the support it provides to Shelby County cancer patients.
  • Forest Hill Cemetery – matching grant of $36,393.60 awarded to replace pavement on a portion of the roads in the cemetery.
  • Girls Inc. of Shelbyville/Shelby County – awarded $16,840 to help support the formation of a Teen Advocacy Council, a girl-led group that will focus on social issues the group identifies to be problematic and worth solving.
  • Gleaners Food Bank -- $10,000 was granted to support the Produce Hope Initiative, a program that ensures that their partner agencies have fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute throughout Shelby County.
  • Morristown Visionary Committee – awarded $52,700 to install an asphalt driveway and parking lot on the south side of Morristown Park to improve accessibility.
  • Shelby Community Band – awarded $4,000 to help with technology upgrades for performances the band gives throughout Shelby County.
  • Shelby County Players – awarded $50,000 for professional lighting system for performances and educational programs.
  • Shelby Senior Services, Inc. – granted $7,493 for Matter of Balance and Active Living Every Day, new programs for seniors in Shelby County.
  • The Arc of Shelby County – awarded $25,000 for new equipment for SENSES Gym, an indoor sensory playground for children of all abilities.
  • The Bridge Ministries – granted $5,000 to support furniture upgrades for its Care & Counseling Center where there are weekly programs serving the community.

More information about these grants and other funding opportunities through BRCF can be found online at blueriverfoundation.com/apply-for-grants.

Injured bald eagle helped by Shelby Co. deputy, animal shelter

If someone had told Deputy Justin Parker of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department that in his occupation he might face situations such as life or death down to helping change a person’s tire in the middle of the night he probably would have agreed that was certainly possible.

 

But help save the life of a bald eagle?  That’s exactly what happened last week.

 

 

Parker says the initial call about the eagle actually came in the night before.

 

 

So, it turned out there were no conservation officers nearby to help.

 

 

Parker says the Shelbyville Shelby County Animal Shelter responded to help. This was their first such experience, too.

 

 

Parker says there was nothing obvious at the scene as to how the eagle was injured.  Contact with a passing car is a possibility.

 

 

At last check, the eagle was responding well.  Hopes are to repair the wing and then send hime home.

 

 

Update: Parker provided an injury report via social media. The eagle has a broken collarbone but is otherwise healthy and eating. Recovery time could be as short as 3-4 weeks or as much as three months.

 

 

 

 

 

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