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Shelby County Chamber celebrates its Diamond Jubilee 75th Anniversary at the Annual Awards Gala

Seventy five years ago the year was 1948. The average price for a new house was $7,700. Today it is $348K in the US.

A gallon of gas was 16 cents while today the national average is $3.99 per gallon.

The year 1948 was particularly significant for the Shelby County business community, as this was the year Shelby County Chamber opened its doors.

“Seeventy-five years of supporting each other and celebrating the achievements of those in our community calls for a truly memorable Diamond Jubilee 75thAnniversary celebration at the 2023 Chamber Awards Gala,” said Stephanie Amos, the 2023 Chamber Board of Directors President.

She went on to say, “Anniversaries are an important part of life. They remind us of memorable events and keeps our culture in place. Any type of anniversary puts a pin on the calendar to remind us of something that matters to us and in this case, it’s our community where we call home.”

“This is no ordinary year for the Shelby County Chamber. It will be a year of celebration, reflection, growth and new beginnings as we reenergize our business community,” said Donna Christian, Executive Director of the Shelby County Chamber. 

The Diamond Jubilee 75th Anniversary Gala will be on April 13 at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing & Casino.

“We need the entire county to think about the businesses and people they know and nominate a business or person to earn these prestigious awards. This year I’m excited to announce two new categories – the Maverick Award and the Sustainability Award that we like to call “Big Green,” said Past President Nathan Runnebohm.  “I’m thrilled about the Maverick Award. This award will be presented to a community leader who has shown tremendous leadership and community support who is under 40 years of age. It highlights our local, young professionals and celebrates their accomplishments,preparing them to be emerging leaders in Shelby County. The award also honors those that are rocking the business world through professional achievement, leadership and civic involvement."

The “Big Green” Sustainability Award will be presented to the person(s) or business that has made contributions to future sustainability of Shelby County and goes beyond day-to-day practices to protect our environment. The Shelby County Chamber takes pride in acknowledging companies, organizations, individuals or groups who put sustainable economic growth, green development, innovation, risk management and social welfare at the forefront of their values.

This new award category is thought to a be a "home-run" to new Gala Committee member Noah Henderson.

“There are so many reasons why this category is vital in our community.  Simply put, a business that practices high levels of sustainability sees many rewards. Companies are becoming more sustainable as it improves their bottom line, lowers risks, gives companies access to new markets, boosts the company brand while making a better Shelby County where there is little waste and pollution, fewer emissions and creates more jobs,” said Henderson. “I support sustainability because I have a baby at home that is less than a year old. What will our climate look like when she grows up? This is a big challenge for our business community in Shelby County.”

Stephanie Amos said guests can expect the traditional categories too.

Go to shelbychamber.net and make a nomination for a business or person for these awards: Non-Profit Champion; Shelby County Community Lifetime Achievement; Golden Apple Outstanding Educator; John A. Hartnett Sr. Business Person of the Year; and Outstanding Citizen.”

Two of the traditional categories have had changes.

“This year, we are combining the Small Business Champion and Large Business Champion into Business of the Year. The Golden Pineapple Customer Service award is now called the Hospitality Award. It will continue to honor a person or business that goes above and beyond to make customers feel our Hoosier Hospitality, which this great state is known for,” said Christian.

Deadline for nominations is Jan. 31. You are welcome to nominate in as many categories as you wish. You can nominate a business, individual or even yourself or your business. A description of why the nominee should be awarded is required. All nominations are kept confidential.

Go to http://shelbychamber.net/for information.

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Ella "Joan" Wheatley was Shelby County's second county fair queen and runner-up for Indy 500 princess

A longtime Shelby County 4-H leader and former Shelby County Fair Queen has passed away.

 

Ella “Joan” Wheatley, 79, of Fountaintown, passed away Saturday, December 24, at her home.

 

Wheatley was born November 14, 1943, in Fountaintown, the daughter of Dale and Ella Mae (Settles) King. She graduated in 1961 from Triton Central High School.  She was a cheerleader at Moral Township High School and Triton Central High School.

 

On June 29, 1963, she married her husband of 59 years, Ben A. Wheatley, and he survives.

 

Wheatley was a member of the Indiana Arabian Horse Association and a lifetime member of the Indiana Dairy Goat Association.  She had been a Shelby County 4-H leader and superintendent of the dairy goat barn, for over 30 years.

 

She was the second Shelby County Fair Queen.  Wheatley was also the runner-up in the Indianapolis 500 princess contest.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Shelbyville-Shelby County Animal Shelter, 705 Hale Road, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176; Shelby County 4-H, Courthouse Annex No. 2, Shelbyville, Indiana 46176 or Shares, Inc., 1611 S. Miller St., Shelbyville, Indiana 46176.

 

 


IHCDA seeks volunteers to count Hoosiers experiencing homelessness

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and partner agencies across the state are seeking volunteers to conduct a one-night count of the homeless population. Volunteers are needed in every county on January 25 to help conduct the count.

 

Those interested in volunteering can register here.

 

Upon registering, IHCDA's Homeless Management Information Systems team will connect those individuals, groups, or organizations interested in participating with their local PIT Coordinator(s).

 

There will be a volunteer webinar on January 11, 2023, at 1 p.m. EST. Registration links will be provided by your local PIT Coordinator(s). Those interested in volunteering, but unable to attend the PIT volunteer webinar, will have the information made available through their regional PIT Coordinators, prior to participating in the count. Volunteers must register no later than January 20, 2023. 

"Collaboration at the state, regional, and local levels are important in the fight to end homelessness here in Indiana," said Jacob Sipe, executive director of IHCDA. "We are proud to collaborate with many great partners who share IHCDA’s mission of providing housing opportunities, promoting self-sufficiency, and strengthening communities."

 

The PIT Count is a census of all unsheltered and sheltered persons experiencing homelessness in the Indiana Balance of State (BOS) Continuum of Care (CoC), consisting of 91 of the state’s 92 counties - every county except Marion (Indianapolis) which coordinates their own count. The sheltered count is conducted at emergency shelters, transitional housing, and safe haven projects across the 91 counties and 16 regions that comprise the Indiana BOS. The count is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) and must be conducted at least once every two years, during the last two weeks of January by CoCs receiving HUD funding. 

 

 

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Greenfield's Riley Park Shelter House site of Wednesday fire

A fire caused heavy damage to Greenfield's Riley Park Shelter House on Wednesday.

 

Greenfield Police report that no one was inside and there were no injuries.

 

This is not the Patricia Elmore Center / Day Care. Everyone at the Pat Elmore Center is safe.

 

Apple Street was closed for firefighting operations.

 

 

The Greenfield Parks Department is asking the public to avoid Riley Park and the area for Wednesday.  All programs will be moved to the Patricia Elmore Center and staff will be in contact with all scheduled rentals as soon as possible. 


Funeral services are Thursday for Greenfield's David Pasco

A longtime Greenfield businessman has passed away.

 

David Charles Pasco, 76, lived most of his life in Greenfield.  A 1964 graduate of Greenfield High School, he also received degrees from The Ohio State University, Ball State University, and the Indiana College of Mortuary Science. He worked for over 35 years at the Pasco Memorial Mortuary.

 

Pasco also served on the Board of Directors of Greenfield Banking Company for 22 years, retiring in 2018.

 

Pasco entered the U.S. Army and completed Officer Candidate School in 1970. After serving a year in Vietnam, he was assigned to MACV Team 87 working as a G-2 Staff Officer with the 18th South Vietnamese Division during Vietnamization. He was discharged in 1971 from active duty and honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves in 1978.

 

His memberships include Greenfield Veterans Honor Guard, American Legion Post #119, V.F.W. Post #2693, Greenfield Sertoma Club, Hancock Masonic Lodge, Greenfield York Rite, Indianapolis Scottish Rite, and Murat Shrine Club.

 

He was a former Board Member of The Boys & Girls Club of Hancock County.

 

His community involvement included Board Member of Greenfield Revitalization (the 1980s) and was very proud to have served on the committee to bring the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, “Wall that Heals,” to Greenfield in 2005.

 

Memorial contributions may be made to The Boys & Girls Club of Hancock County, 715 East Lincoln Street, Greenfield, IN 46140 and/or to the American Huey 369 Museum, 1697 West Hoosier Blvd, Peru, IN 46970.

 

 

Strand Theatre executive director elected to OAPN board

The  Ohio Arts Professionals Network has announced 11 new board members to its Board of Directors, including Shelbyville’s David M. Finkel.

Finkel (photo), Executive Director of the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville, was elected to a two-year term.

The new board members range from executive directors and managers of prestigious theaters to agents and artistic directors who are influential industry experts and arts-enthused individuals.

Each new board member will bring a wide variety of experiences to the organization which will positively impact Ohio’s and surrounding areas’ performing arts.

Finkel will join the following individuals elected by OPAN membership to serve a two-year term starting Jan. 1, 2023:

  • Abe Ambroza, CEO, Veterans Memorial Civic and Convention Center
  • Dr. Margaret Carlson, Producing Artistic Director, Verb Ballets
  • Edward Schoelwer, Founder/President at Red Shell Mgmt
  • Page McDonald, Associate Director, Stroede Center for the Arts
  • Antoinette Kula, Senior Manager, Ticket Sales & Service, Playhouse Square
  • Erin Cameron Miller, General Manager at Cain Park
  • Erika Finley, Director of Marketing, Live on Stage, Inc./Live Arts & Attractions
  • Sharon Edmond, Receptionist, Saint Luke’s Foundation
  • Jerry Ross, Agent, Harmony Artists
  • Margo Ohlson, Director, E.J. Thomas Hall, The University of Akron

Six board members continuing their service in 2023 include:

  • David Mitchell, General Manager, Performing Arts Center, Kent State University at Tuscarawas
  • Kevin Cornell, Artist, Educator, Mister C. Learning Science is Fun
  • Gary Minyard, Vice President of Education and Engagement, Dayton Live
  • Amber Hansen, Midwest Consultant/Agent, BiCoastal Productions
  • Dr. Elaine Richardson, Artist, Educator, Dr. E., Ohio State University Professor of Literacy Studies
  • Heather Clow, Executive Director, Marathon Center for the Performing Arts

“I am thrilled to welcome such a diverse and large group of new board members to fill out every single open board seat. We now have representation from key presenter organizations in Ohio including Playhouse Square, Cain Park, EJ Thomas Hall, Stroede Center for the Arts; plus presenters from outside of Ohio; agents from L.A., New York and Nashville; as well as long-standing Cleveland non-profits like Verb Ballets and St. Luke’s Foundation,” said Jessica Rosenblatt, OAPN’s Executive Director, in a media release. “These newly-added board members will complement and ignite the work already started by our current outstanding board of directors.”


Street department thanks community for patience dealing with frozen roads

With wind chill readings bottoming out at minus-38 degrees Friday, the Shelbyville Fire Department and Street Department made changes to their normal routines.

“Everything went pretty smooth on our end,” said Shelbyville Fire Chief Brian Tackett at Tuesday’s final Board of Works meeting of 2022. “We had our normal call volume plus some alarms for water flow issues.”

With the dangerous wind chill temperatures, Tackett opted to limit the runs for the department’s truck carrying large quantities of water.

“We changed our staffing just a little bit, creating a chase truck in one of our pickup trucks so our fire truck that holds 1,000 gallons of water didn’t have to go out as often.”

One of the biggest issues with the wind chill temperatures were burst water pipes. Horseshoe Indianapolis casino, in Shelbyville, was one of several places forced to deal with ruptured water pipes.

“The casino had some issues with their sprinkler system,” said Tackett. “Only the west end is open. They had water dumping on several slot machines. It’s quite a mess going on out there.”

The fire department was not spared either.

“We had a busted pipe at station No. 2 that caused a little bit of damage,” said Tackett.

The street department gave in to the winter weather and cancelled Friday’s trash collection route at noon Thursday, according to street department director Doug Hunt.

“The weather was not as bad … there were no blizzard conditions,” said Hunt at Tuesday’s meeting. “The freeze was hard and we couldn’t get it (off the roads). The salt didn’t work.

“Once we plowed the snow off and the temperatures started coming back up, the salt worked.”

Temperatures are expected to climb into the 50s later this week.

“I appreciate everybody for being patient with us because of the holiday and the temperatures,” said Hunt. “We just had to wait a little bit before we could get it cleaned up.”

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Shelby Community Band celebrating 50th anniversary in 2023

2023 will be a special year for the Shelby Community Band.

 

The organization is ready to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

 

Director Angelo Anton says they would love it if the public has anything connected with the band over the years.

 

 

Anton says they look forward to seeing how the band has changed with the times.

 

 

Capping the 50th year will be a performance in the fall of 2023 that involves a special piece of music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Shelbyville Salvation Army among agencies receiving Centra donations

Centra Members, team members and local community members came together over the holiday season to raise more than $52,000 to support local children in need.

These donations were provided through the Holiday Giving Program, which collects monetary donations for local non-profits who purchase gifts for children in need during the holidays.

“Every donation, big or small, helped provide meaningful assistance to a family in need during the holiday season,” Centra President and CEO Rick Silvers said. “This is just one way that we live out the credit union philosophy of ‘People Helping People,’ and I’m truly grateful for each and every donor.”

The donations from each community Centra serves support different organizations. This year’sprogram raised a total of $52,866 in donations to 12 local organizations:

• Columbus Firemen’s Cheer Fund: $5,523.96

• Salvation Army Columbus: $5,523.95

• Columbus Shop with a Cop: $5,523.96

• The Salvation Army Indiana Divisional Headquarters – Indianapolis: $904.00

• Carmel Police Department – Holidays with Heroes: $222.26

• Salvation Army Madison Corps: $3,183.48

• Salvation Army New Albany Corps: $7,742.33

• Salvation Army Shelbyville Corp: $2,507.45

• Decatur County Shop with a Cop: $974.18

• Fraternal Order of Police – Cops & Kids Jackson County: $9,379.05

• Good Samaritan Food Pantry North Vernon: $4,370.99

• Shop with a Cop – Brown County: $843.54

Shelby County Travel Status elevated to WATCH (orange)

Shelby County has elevated its Travel Status to WATCH (orange) from ADVISORY (yellow).

Shelby County Emergency Management Director Denis Ratekin noted in a press release that this decision was made based on the fact that with the high winds, plowed roads are drifting again right after the snowplows go though. On top of that, all the rain Shelby County received Wednesday has frozen below the drifting snow and salt is not effective with the cold temperatures.

The conditions will be closely monitored. 

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Indiana State Police asking public not call 911 or dispatch centers for road conditions

With the impactful winter storm, the Indiana State Police is asking that people do not call 911 or any dispatch centers to check on road conditions. 

 

The volume of calls is expected to increase for emergencies and phone lines need to stay open. 

 

People wanting to check road conditions can go to 511in.org , download the INDOT Trafficwise app on your smartphone, or by calling 1-800-262- ROAD (7623). 

 

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Cold path, arrival time

Timetable for arrival of cold front associated with the Winter Storm Warning

 

 

Indiana agencies working with state and local partners to respond to winter weather event

A significant weather event is predicted for the holiday weekend, including cold temperatures, high winds and potential blizzard-like conditions in some parts of the state. This system has the potential to be a life-threatening weather event and could result in serious traffic hazards and power outages.

 

Hoosiers are encouraged to stay off the roads beginning Thursday evening and through the weekend unless travel is absolutely necessary. Give road crews the time and space to safely remove snow and ice from the roadways. Hoosiers can contact Indiana 211 for information about warming centers in their community.

 

The State Emergency Operations Center will be activated beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday and will operate 24/7 through the event. Governor Eric Holcomb has activated nearly 150 personnel from the Indiana National Guard to serve as Highway Assistance Teams, which will be strategically positioned across the northern third of the state to help motorists if needed.

 

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) and National Weather Service are monitoring the inclement weather and working with emergency managers to gather real-time information as the weather develops. 

 

The IDHS website is an important resource for Hoosiers. It houses the Get Prepared webpage that has critical tips for people to prepare for winter weather and what to do during the storm. 

 

The Travel Advisory Map is active on the IDHS homepage. County emergency management agencies update this map to show the travel status of each county. 

 

As this weather approaches, know that state and local agencies are tracking the system and making necessary preparations to respond to Hoosiers in need throughout this event.

 

Additional resources:

  • Indiana 211 (warming centers)
  • 511in.org (INDOT TrafficWise, real-time plow information)
  • Winterops.indot.in.gov Register at this website to receive quarterly action plans from INDOT.

  • NWS Chat register for an account and join chat rooms that are manned 24/7 with meteorologists from around the state. Ask questions and get access to real time info.

 

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Shelbyville warming shelter available starting Thursday evening

The Shelby County EMA Office along with the Shelby County Health Department will be operating a warming shelter.

 

The shelter will be available from Thursday, December 22, at 6:00 p.m. until Sunday, December 25, at 12 p.m.  The location will be at the Shelbyville Parks Department Gym located at 945 S. Tompkins Street. 

 

Any member of the public who would like to volunteer with the shelter please contact the Shelby County EMA Office at 317-392-6308 or Sandra Hall at 317-371-7558.

 

Additional information will be provided as it is received.

 

Winter Storm Watch underway Thursday

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon into Saturday morning.

 

The NWS says blizzard-like conditions are possible with a wintry mix Thursday changing over to snow Thursday night. Snow will be moderate to heavy at times late Thursday night through Friday.

 

A flash freeze is likely Thursday night with temperatures dropping more than 30 degrees in a matter of hours during the transition from rain to snow.

 

Total snow accumulations are forecast at 2 - 4 inches.

 

West winds could gust as high as 55 mph, and will cause significant blowing and drifting snow.

 

Travel could be very difficult with areas of blowing snow that could significantly reduce visibility. Gusty winds could bring wind chills as low as 30 below zero that could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

 

Dangerous cold is expected Thursday night into Sunday. Low temperatures will be in the single digits above and below zero. High temperatures will be in the single digits and teens. Wind chill values could fall to around 20 to 30 below zero at times. The lowest wind chills will be Friday into Saturday.

 

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Kettler steps down as ISDA Director

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch announced  the resignation of Bruce Kettler, director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA).

 

Kettler’s last day will be Jan. 6, 2023.

 

“Bruce is a lifelong member of the agriculture community and understands the significant role the ag industry plays in Indiana,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb. “Through his dedication and commitment, he has elevated Indiana’s agribusiness development through innovation and a future-focused economy, and his leadership has set the agriculture ecosystem up for long-term success.”

 

Kettler was appointed to his position in January 2018 by Governor Eric Holcomb. He currently serves as the first vice president on the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Board of Directors.

 

“As director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Bruce has been a strong voice for Hoosier farmers and the state’s entire agricultural industry,” said Lt. Gov. Crouch, who also serves as Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “His leadership and stewardship have been invaluable, and I wish him well as he transitions back into the private sector.”

 

Under Kettler, the ISDA:

 

Expanded growth opportunities for Indiana agriculture through a) development of the rural economic development model and data access for rural economic development professionals, b) advancement of the Indiana Hardwoods strategy and c) implementation of Indiana Dairy Strategy 2.0.

   

Continued strong growth in soil conservation with increased cover crop adoption and money going to farmers for soil conservation and water quality priorities.

   

Led the Indiana agriculture industry through the COVID-19 pandemic through communication, cooperation and regular stakeholder meetings. His leadership minimized delays and duplication of efforts in the industry during the rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape.

 

Though Kettler is stepping down from his ISDA position, he will continue to be an advocate for the agricultural industry as he becomes the new CEO and President of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana.

 

“Thank you to Governor Holcomb and Lt. Gov. Crouch for asking me to serve the State of Indiana,” said Kettler.  “Serving the farmers, businesses and citizens of Indiana has been an honor that I could not have imagined even a few years ago. My five years at the Indiana State Department of Agriculture will hold a special place in my professional career. Leading the team of dedicated individuals working at ISDA has been very rewarding, and I know they will continue their dedication for the next director.”

 

A search will begin immediately for a successor to Kettler.

 

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One person injured as car runs into East Michigan Road home

A car ran though a house on East Michigan Road Monday morning.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department reports Terrie Brown, 63, of Shelbyville, was driving a 2010 Toyota Rav 4 about 10:45 a.m. when for an unknown reason the vehicle left the road and ran through a house.

 

Brown told officers at the scene that she couldn't remember what happened.

 

The home, at 6967 East Michigan Road, belongs to James Ash.  No one was home at the time of the crash.

 

Brown was not injured.  A passenger, Juanita McCullough, 85, was taken by ground ambulance to Methodist Hospital for medical treatment.

 

 

Shelbyville and Waldron fire departments and the Shelby County Sheriff's Department responded to the accident.

 

City to extend no parking zones along W. Franklin Street

The Board of Works approved making parking more restrictive in the 400 block of W. Franklin Street.

At its meeting Tuesday morning at City Hall, Street Department Director Doug Hunt asked to extend no parking zones in that area to allow city trucks and snow plows easier access.

“It is very crowded all the way down that street,” said Hunt to the Board of Works.

Hunt is referring to a 30 degree bend in the street that is making it difficult for trucks to maneuver through with the current configuration of street access parking.

No parking zones will be extended in the area.

In other board business:

  • Issued orders to appear to the owners of nuisance properties at 554 W. Taylor St. and 720 3rd St. in Shelbyville.
  • Approved a proposal to purchase a software package from Granicus that will help the city digitize information from management staff and help present meeting information for public viewing.

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Indiana State Fair unveils 2023 theme: BASKETBALL

The Indiana State Fair announced today the 2023 theme of BASKETBALL, and title partnership with Pacers Sports & Entertainment.

 

The 2023 theme was announced Monday morning on the basketball court at Governor Holcomb’s residence along with representatives for the Indiana State Fair, Pacers Sports & Entertainment and more.  

 

The theme will be activated through multiple interactive experiences, including All-Star Court (a Basketball Amusement Park), the Pacers Sports & Entertainment Court, exhibits paying homage to Indiana’s rich basketball legacy, and daily storytelling moments – 18 of Indiana’s greatest  basketball stories told through the 18 days of the Fair, team player meet & greets, and so much more.

 

The 2023 Indiana State Fair returns July 28 through August 20. 

 

“The Indiana State Fair is an annual celebration of agriculture, entertainment, and what it means to be a Hoosier,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “Perhaps the only other Hoosier tradition that brings together as many fans, as much nostalgia, and that sense of hometown pride is the love of basketball that’s swept  our state for more than a century, which makes it the perfect theme for this year’s fair.” 

 

“The Indiana State Fair is an annual backdrop for celebrating our State’s rich history and being the state that grew the game, BASKETBALL is the perfect theme!” said Anna Whelchel, chief marketing & sales officer, Indiana State Fairgrounds & Event Center. “We unveil this theme today as we tip-off an incredible year of celebration for the 166th Indiana State Fair returning next summer with our great partners at Pacers Sports & Entertainment.” 

 

“The Indiana Pacers and the Indiana State Fair are both quintessentially Hoosier brands, and the Coliseum and Fairgrounds are, in the minds of so many fans, so closely linked to the Pacers’ ABA championship teams and players,” said Rick Fuson, Chief Executive Officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “We are thrilled that this partnership will celebrate the game of basketball, the birthright of every Hoosier and such an important part of our state heritage.”

 

The Indiana State Fair is rooted in telling the agriculture story - and the history of why the game of basketball grew here in Indiana is tied directly to agriculture. The game was affordable, and the playing season was based around the farmers’ planting and harvest season. After each harvest, farm kids could play basketball, and then when the season ended in March, they could go back to the fields for planting. Thus, the tradition of “Friday Night High School  Basketball” became rooted in Indiana. 

 

Basketball also has a rich history at the Fairgrounds where our iconic Indiana Farmers Coliseum has played host to high school championships, the ABA Pacers, All-Star Games and more. The Indiana State Fairgrounds first opened in 1892 – the same year basketball was introduced in  Indiana – two great Hoosier traditions that have stood the test of time. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements for the 2023 Indiana State Fair. 

 

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Discipline charges filed against Decatur County judge

The Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications has filed disciplinary charges against Decatur Circuit Court Judge Timothy B. Day.

 

The Commission alleges two counts of misconduct in Child in Need of Services cases related to a pattern of not including Guardian Ad Litems/Court Appointed Special Advocates from the proceedings and fostering a culture of ex parte communications. Judge Day is permitted (but not required) to file an answer to the charges within 20 days.

 

The 8-page "Notice of the Institution of Formal Proceedings and Statement of Charges" (Case No. 22S-JD-412) is public record and has been filed with the Appellate Clerk’s Office. The charges are brought by the seven-member Commission, which investigates alleged ethical misconduct by judges.

 

The Commission charges that Judge Day violated judicial canons, which require judges to comply and uphold the law; perform all duties fairly and impartially; and not initiate, permit, or consider ex parte communications. Of the two counts, one is related to Judge Day’s pattern of not including GALs/CASAs from proceedings in cases involving a minor, even though GALs/CASAs were parties to those proceedings. The remaining charge, covering a three-year period, is for allowing ex parte communications and not taking remedial measures when ex parte communications were received in CHINS cases.

 

The Supreme Court has final authority to determine what, if any, judicial misconduct occurred. The Court can dismiss the charges, accept or reject a disciplinary agreement between the Commission and Judge Day, appoint a panel of judges to conduct a public hearing, impose a fine, or impose sanctions ranging from a reprimand to a suspension to a permanent ban on holding judicial office in Indiana.

 

More information about the Commission can be found at courts.in.gov/jqc.

 

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Determination drove Glendenning back to Excel Center to change his life

Not once, but twice, Guy Glendenning walked away from his educational track.

In the end, his determination to get his high school diploma won out.

“I started to beat myself down about it. I realized I could go again. I wasn’t OK with (dropping out) before so I obviously wasn’t going to be OK with it now,” said Glendenning following Thursday’s Excel Center Winter Commencement Ceremony at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville. “I had to work on my mental health quite a bit to get through it and I was able to do that.

“By the time I got through it all, I was acing everything, writing speeches, and working with the school on other issues.”

 

 

Glendenning (photo), now 43 years old, was the featured speaker Thursday as part of the nine-member graduating class. He followed in the footsteps of his wife, Andrea, and son, Gavin, who received their Excel Center high school diplomas at the June commencement ceremony at the Strand.

“It has meant a lot to me and my wife to be able to finish this up,” he said. “It was kind of unique that me and her and my son got to attend at the same time. My son may not agree totally, but he is very supportive. He’s got our back just like we have his. It was exciting that we got to do it together.”

Glendenning dropped out of Greensburg High School as a senior more than two decades ago due to multiple circumstances including anxiety, bullying, and a slower learning capacity compared to his classmates.

“I needed help that I could not find in my school and simply did not have the courage to ask for,” said Glendenning in his speech in front of the Excel Center staff, graduating class and friends and family in attendance.

Over the years, Glendenning moved through several uninteresting jobs to make ends meet.

“I had been able to do OK without my education but there were some missing links in there, some tools that I needed to help me with my goals,” said Glendenning.

With his children growing up, the couple have two sons and a grandson, Glendenning saw an opportunity to correct a decision made at a difficult time in his life.

“A lot of this is providing closure to something I started close to 20 years ago,” he said. “I beat myself down for many years. Now, I can wipe this off my list.”

Glendenning has already started a part-time gem and mineral business, Cosmic Rock Star Gifts, which will tie into his future goals of helping others. He has already applied to work with the Excel Center staff and he is looking into certifications in holistic health.

“I have been studying it for awhile,” he said. “I realized once I started to get to the end of this that there are certifications available in holistic health, so I have shifted my focus to that now that I can make a living doing that.

“My whole purpose is to find something I can do to give back. I am not necessarily after a lot of money because there are other payoffs.”

Such as when Glendenning was approached by a man after Thursday’s ceremony ended to deliver a message.

“He thanked me for what I did because he is 49 years old and about to start college,” said Glendenning. “If I reached one person through any of these endeavors, it was worth it.”

The graduating Class of 2022 also included Kayla Barngrover, Kali Bockover, Zachary Bourland, Erika Ceasar, Brailin Geiling, Rocky Losito, Miah Lower and Logan Miller.

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Steven Lakes arrested in Texas after escaping authorities in Indiana in November

A man who escaped authorities in eastern Indiana has been captured after more than a month on the run.

 

Steven Lakes, 46, was arrested Wednesday in Collin County, Texas.

 

Lakes, of Connersville, was arrested in Union County on November 8 on several outstanding warrants.  He escaped during the arrest and stole a Union County Sheriff’s Department pickup which was later found at the Kroger in Shelbyville.

 

From there, Lakes managed to stay hidden until his arrest in Texas.

 

Lakes is charged with several crimes including drug dealing and possession and auto theft

State Sen. Michael Crider named to committees for upcoming legislative session

State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) has been reappointed by Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) to serve as chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation for the 123rd Indiana General Assembly.

 

Crider will also serve as ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and The Military, and as member of the following Senate committees: Appropriations;  Health and Provider Services; Joint Rules; and Rules and Legislative Procedure.

 

“I am grateful to be serving as chair for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation once again," Crider said. "Proper security and infrastructure is essential, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue addressing these issues and listening to the concerns of Hoosiers across the state."

 

Committee hearings can be viewed online by visiting iga.in.gov. Legislative calendars, agendas, vote tallies and proposed legislation can also be found on this site.

 

The 2023 legislative session ceremonially began with Organization Day on Nov. 22. The Senate is scheduled to reconvene for session Jan. 9.

 

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Bunge to invest in new protein concentrate facility in Morristown

Bunge (NYSE: BG), a global leader in agribusiness, food and ingredients, plans to invest approximately $550 million to build a fully-integrated soy protein concentrate (SPC) and textured soy protein concentrate (TSPC) facility.

The new facility is expected to meet rising customer demand for key ingredients in the production of plant-based foods, processed meat, pet food and feed products.

Construction of the facility that will be adjacent to and integrated with Bunge’s soybean processing plant at 700 N. Range Line Road in Morristown, Indiana, is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023 and be commissioned in mid-2025, creating around 70 full-time jobs. It is expected to ultimately process close to an additional 4.5 million bushels of soybeans.

“As the world’s largest oilseed processor, plant proteins are a natural extension of our industry leading oils, fats, and specialty ingredient portfolio,” said Greg Heckman, Bunge CEO, in a media release. “This new facility is an important step in our long-term strategy to strengthen our capabilities in downstream higher value food ingredients.”

The new facility is expected to add significant scale, efficiencies, and non-GMO capability to the company’s existing US-based conventional SPC and TSPC operation in Bellevue, Ohio. The company plans to contract with farmers to establish a traceable soybean sourcing program starting with the 2025 harvest.

As part of Bunge’s growth and its commitment to customers, the company also recently invested an additional $10 million to enhance its plant protein technical capabilities at the Creative Solutions Center near its St. Louis headquarters. Adding to its existing lipids and carbohydrates resources, the center now offers commercial pilot plants for alternative meat and dairy, processed meat, and beverages that complement its bakery and fry labs. It also features a sensory testing facility, an extrusion lab – with dry and high-moisture production – and a full-scale foodservice kitchen.

“Creating authentic meat and dairy experiences from plants requires specialized teams, high-quality ingredients, and strong innovation capabilities,” said Kaleb Belzer, Vice President and General Manager, Protein Ingredients. “At Bunge’s plant protein R&D facility, our experienced scientists and technical team test, develop, enhance and modify products alongside our customers so they can deliver food products with exceptional sensory, nutrition, and sustainability benefits to customers around the world.”

Bunge has more than 23,000 dedicated employees working across more than 350 facilities located in more than 40 countries.

Shelbyville Central Schools board honors outgoing board member, board attorney

The Shelbyville Central Schools board honored outgoing board member Mike Warble and board attorney Dennis Harrold Wednesday at the final meeting of the 2022 calendar year.

Warble opted not to run for reelection after serving the board for 12 years.

Harrold (photo, right) has been the school system’s attorney since Sept. of 1978. Over his 44 years of service, he has worked for eight superintendents.

“It has been a pleasure most of the time to represent the school board,” said Harrold. “You do get invested in the school corporation when you do it for almost 45 years. Both of our kids went through here and got an excellent education in what I think is one of the top public school corporations in the state.”

The school board is currently interviewing applicants to become the next board attorney, according to school board president Curt Johnson.

 

 

Warble’s replacement, Amanda Bunton (photo), was sworn in by Harrold at the start of the meeting Wednesday.

“I enjoyed serving with all the board members,” said Warble. “I know I never say a lot but I appreciate being a member of the board. … I am glad Mandy is taking over. She will do a good job for us.”

In addition, board members David Finkel and James Rees, who both won reelection in November, were sworn in by Judge Kent Apsley and Harrold, respectively.

In other board business Wednesday:

  • Approved the appointment of former school board president Gayle Wiley to the Shelby County Public Library Board.
  • Approved the Shelbyville High School 2023-24 Course Guide that will include new classes in Information Technology and Broadcasting, English Literature and Film Literature, Engineering and Technology, Mathematics and Performing Arts. There will be a new class, “Principles of Teaching,” that will provide a general introduction to the field of teaching to spur interest in the profession.
  • Approved an agreement with the City of Shelbyville regarding the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of S. Miller St. and McKay Road. The project will not begin in the spring of 2023 as planned. The timeline has been pushed to the spring of 2024 and will include moving the high school’s electronic sign, creating new sidewalks and walking paths and altering exits from Shelbyville High School.
  • Approved a general bonds issuance not to exceed $5,250,000 that will be used to upgrade the McKeand Stadium athletic facility at the high school and assist with purchasing buses, equipment and technology.

When the school board meets in January, it will include board members James Rees, Mike Turner, David Finkel, Curt Johnson (school board president), Amanda Bunton, John DePrez and Troy Merrick.

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Saturday's Donnie Baker shows at The Strand postponed to April

The following announcement submitted Thursday morning on the postponement of the scheduled Saturday, December 17, appearance of Donnie Baker at The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville:

 

Due to the events of the past week, the DONNIE BAKER show has been postponed until April 15, 2023.  Tickets for this weekend's show will automatically be transferred to the April 15, 2023 show.  All online ticket holders will be contacted by email by Friday. 

 

All tickets will be automatically good for April 15, 2023.


If you would like a refund, please email tickets@strandpac.org. Refund requests must be made by email only.   

 

We wish Donnie Baker the best and look forward to his return in the spring. 


Thank you, 
STRAND THEATRE

Shelbyville, Indiana

 

The two shows on Saturday involved comedian Ron Sexton as Donnie Baker for his annual December appearance.  Donnie Baker’s two shows on Saturday were scheduled to wrap up The Strand’s season after being unable to schedule those performances during the last two years due to Covid.

 

But an unexpected event this past weekend has impacted the scheduled shows. About 2 a.m. on Sunday, Sexton was in his car at a red light near 82nd and Shadeland in Indianapolis when gunshots were fired at his car.

 

Sexton has told police that he knows the shooter’s identity. An investigation is continuing.

 

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Covid-19 test recall over concern of false negative results

Detect, Inc. is voluntarily recalling specific lots of the Detect Covid-19 Test™, a molecular, over-the-counter test used to identify SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in self-collected nasal swabs.

 

The recall affects a total of 11,102 tests shipped to customers from July 26, 2022 through August 26, 2022. The test was granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on October 28, 2021.

 

There is an increased chance that the tests from the lot numbers listed below may give false negative results. Detect has conducted a thorough investigation to identify this issue and has made the decision to conduct a voluntary recall for these lots. To date, Detect has not received any reports of false negative results related to the affected lots and is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution. The reliability of positive test results is not affected.

 

Below is a list of the affected lots. The lot number can be found on the side of each test box along with the Use By date.

 

Lot Number

Use By Date

Number of Tests Shipped

HB264 1/1/2023 7,382
HY263 1/1/2023 1,800
HY264 1/1/2023 1,920

 

Detect is notifying all customers and distributors affected by the recall. Anyone in possession of any unused tests from the affected lots should dispose of the tests. The outer packaging is recyclable while all the test components can be discarded as regular trash.

 

Detect Hubs are not affected by the recall and do not need to be discarded.

 

Test users who attempt to use recalled tests will be notified in the Detect App™ that the test has been recalled and may not be used.

 

For information and refund questions, you can call the Detect customer support team for questions and further assistance, (855) 322 3692 or Email: support@detect.com .

The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville prepared for Donnie Baker shows Saturday night

The show will go on at The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville this Saturday.

The show is the appearance of comedian Ron Sexton as Donnie Baker for his annual December appearance.  Donnie Baker’s two shows on Saturday were scheduled to wrap up The Strand’s season after being unable to schedule those performances during the last two years due to Covid.

But an unexpected event this past weekend has prompted The Strand to prepare a bit more for Sexton’s appearance.  About 2 a.m. on Sunday, Sexton was in his car at a red light near 82nd and Shadeland in Indianapolis when gunshots were fired at his car.

Sexton has told police that he knows the shooter’s identity. An investigation is continuing.

Also continuing, Saturday’s two Donnie Baker shows at The Strand. The first is sold out with tickets still available for the nightcap.

David Finkel appeared on The Morning Show on GIANT fm to talk about Donnie Baker’s weekend appearance.

 

 

 

 

Goodwill celebrates adult high school graduates with ceremony in Shelbyville Thursday

The Excel Center®, Goodwill’s tuition-free high school for adults, celebrates its newest class of graduates on Thursday.

According to the U.S. Census, more than 12% of Shelby County residents age 18 and older lack a high school diploma, significantly limiting their job opportunities. Since opening, The Excel Center Shelbyville has graduated more than 200 people who are now filling the workforce needs of employers and contributing positively to the economy in Shelby County while attending local colleges.

“By providing free, high-quality education and wraparound services, The Excel Center eliminates barriers to employment, health and self-sufficiency for students.,” said Betsy K. Delgado, senior vice president and chief mission and education officer at Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. “We take pride in our ability to meet our students where they are and create an individualized path toward success – not only for our students but for their families as well.”

That particularly holds true for graduates like Nicole Castro, a mother of two teenage boys and recent graduate of The Excel Center. At 34 years old, Castro enrolled with zero credits. In fact, she had not received a formal education since elementary school.

Now, as a mother of two, she wanted to not only provide more financial security but also to set an example for her son’s educational goals as well. She graduated from The Excel Center with a Core 40 diploma, several college credits and a certification in medical billing and coding.

“The first day was a little nerve wracking – I hadn’t been in a classroom since third grade –  but you have a support team from the moment you step through the doors,” said Castro. “I am proud to say, I am the first to graduate in my family, and I owe it all to The Excel Center.”

With 15 campuses located across central and southern Indiana, The Excel Center has graduated more than 7,500 adults. Through the integration of industry-recognized certification training and dual-credit requirements, The Excel Center also positions graduates for careers that offer better-than-average wages.

Shelby County lawmakers to serve on key House committees

Shelby County's newly elected state representatives recently received appointments to serve on key House committees.

House standing committee appointments are made by the Indiana House Speaker biennially after the November election and are in effect for the duration of members' two-year terms. State Rep. Jennifer Meltzer (R-Shelbyville) will serve as a member of the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee, the House Judiciary Committee and the House Committee on Local Government.

"Supporting public safety and law enforcement are top priorities for me," Meltzer said. "As an attorney, I look forward to leaning on my experience to help dive into the complex issues affecting our criminal justice system, like mental health and addiction, and working hard to identify ways our state can improve."

State Rep. Robb Greene (R-Shelbyville) will serve as a member of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, the House Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee, and the House Committee on Family, Children and Human Affairs. He said committees will begin meeting at the start of the 2023 legislative session.
“Serving the needs of families, small business owners, and family farmers is what animates me,” Greene said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have my committee assignments be so closely aligned with the interests of those that I’m here to serve.”
State Rep. Cory Criswell (R-Middletown) received appointments to serve on the House Environmental Affairs Committee, the House Public Policy Committee, and the House Roads and Transportation Committee. Criswell said committees are responsible for vetting bills, including hearing public testimony and considering amendments.
"Committees are the first step in reviewing bills and gathering input from Hoosiers on the issues they face," Criswell said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues to vet proposals for new laws and supporting legislation that best serves our communities."   
House lawmakers are scheduled to convene for session at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 9. Hoosiers can visit iga.in.gov to find legislation, view calendars, and watch committee meetings and session.

SCUFFY sets goal and theme for 2023 drive

SCUFFY is gearing up for its 2023 fundraising drive.

The Shelby County United Fund will officially begin its drive in March. The two-month drive to raise funds for 13 member agencies will end in the first week of May. But the preparation for the drive has been underway prett much since the 2022 drive ended.

SCUFFY Executive Director Alecia Gross says they are ready to reach goal again.

 

 

Gross says she’s excited about the leadership for the upcoming drive.

 

 

Brian Baker is looking forward to the SCUFFY campaign.

 

 

Each drive has a theme.  It's often engineered around the occupation of the drive chair.

 

 

 

Health officials encourage Hoosiers to get vaccinated against flu amid rising cases, hospitalizations

Indiana health and hospital officials are encouraging eligible Hoosiers to get vaccinated against influenza (flu) as soon as possible, as high levels of transmission are significantly impacting hospitals across the state.

 

As of the week ending Dec. 3, Indiana has recorded 24 influenza deaths this season. In addition, the state’s first pediatric flu death of the season was recorded last week and will be reflected on the flu report posted on Dec. 16. No additional information about the patient will be released due to privacy laws.

 

“Like many states, Indiana is experiencing very high levels of flu activity right now,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “With the upcoming holidays, travel and family gatherings, it is more important than ever to protect yourself and those around you from this highly contagious respiratory infection. This year’s flu vaccine continues to be a good match for the circulating strains, and it is your best protection against a severe, and possibly tragic, outcome.”

With many respiratory illnesses currently circulating, including flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and COVID-19, Indiana hospitals are experiencing significant patient caseloads, said Indiana Hospital Association President Brian Tabor. 

 

Hospitalizations are currently trending above last year’s levels, and at this pace, Indiana could meet or exceed the record levels of inpatient capacity we saw during the peak of COVID-19,” Tabor said. “As of this week, inpatient volume jumped 15 percent, with numbers surpassing 11,000.”

 

Tabor and Box urged Hoosiers to seek routine testing for respiratory illnesses or care for mild symptoms through urgent care centers or a family physician’s office rather than through an emergency department whenever possible.

 

“Our hospitals are dealing with the triple impact of influenza, RSV and COVID-19 right now, along with normal emergencies and illnesses, and we want to keep emergency rooms clear for Hoosiers who urgently need them,” Box said.

 

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. The flu vaccine can be administered at the same time as the new COVID-19 booster, which protects against two strains of COVID-19, including new subvariants, Box said.

 

Influenza 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 can also become infected by touching surfaces or objects contaminated with flu viruses and then touching their eyes, mouth, or nose. Individuals can be infectious two days before symptoms first appear.

 

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, go to https://www.in.gov/isdh/22104.htm. 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.

Rising Stars highlights academic achievement of area high school Juniors

Rising Stars of Indiana, presented by the Indiana Association of School Principals, is a non-competitive recognition program, designed to honor high school juniors for their academic achievement.

 

By allowing schools to identify outstanding scholars during their Junior year, the association notes that it hopes to increase their visibility and scholarship opportunities. 

 

Each Indiana high school can recognize up to four individual students.

 

Shelbyville High School

Ella Connolly                

Jacob Harker               

Isabella Matney            

Delaney Watson

 

 

Morristown Jr/Sr High School

Mason Deak                

Madison Espich           

Quentin Livezey            

Keegan Longwell

 

 

Triton Central High School

Kennedy Brown            

Peyton Burris               

Lucas Day                   

Bradley Tusing

 

Two people injured in a Thursday morning I-74 truck - semi collision

Two drivers avoided life-threatening injuries in a truck-semi collision on I-74 Thursday morning.

 

Just before 10 a.m., the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department says Faith Wright, 45, of Franklin was driving a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado entering I-74 from SR 44. Wright lost control on the wet roadway and her truck bounced off the guardrail and back into the travel lanes of the interstate.  Wright’s truck was then struck by a semi driven by Roshon Bethea, 33, of Bennettsville, South Carolina.

 

From there, Bethea lost control of the semi when his load shifted and it flipped onto its passenger side.

 

Wright and Bethea were taken to IU Methodist by land ambulance.

 

 

 

 

 

Man arrested in Johnson County after setting up meeting with what he thought was 14-year-old

On December 6, investigators with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ordis Daniel Gilbert Perry, 26, of Sunman, was arrested for child solicitation - Level 4 Felony; dissemination of harmful matter to a minor - Level 6 Felony; patronizing a prostitute - A-Misdemeanor.

 

Perry remains confined in the Johnson County Jail on a $17,600 bond.

 

Detectives became aware of Perry in November of when he participated in electronic conversations with a person that he thought was 14 years of age. During the course of the investigation Perry agreed to meet the person and that meeting date occurred on Tuesday December 6, in the Franklin area not far from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. 

 

Perry’s case has been forwarded to the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office for formal charges.

Several area communities to receive Community Crossing grants

Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) Commissioner Mike Smith announced 229 Indiana cities, towns, and counties that received a combined $119.4 million in state matching funds for local road projects through Community Crossings, a component of the Governor’s Next Level Roads program.

 

“Modernizing and improving transportation infrastructure is a key component of driving economic development in the Hoosier state," said Gov. Eric Holcomb. "The Community Crossings program continues to help take communities to the next level by providing safe, reliable roads and bridges for residents and visitors alike."

 

Among area entities awarded funds

Shelbyville - $782,146.00

Rushville - $276,490.50

Rush County - $462,139.50

Greenfield - $1 million

McCordsville - $989,314.50

Hancock County - $798,500.00

Edinburgh - $595,846.60

Hope- $107,565.74

 

Communities submitted applications for funding during a highly competitive call for projects in July and August. Applications were evaluated based on need and current conditions, as well as impacts to safety and economic development.

 

Funding for Community Crossings comes from the state’s local road and bridge matching grant fund. The Community Crossings initiative has provided more than $1 billion in state matching funds for local construction projects since 2016.

 

“Community Crossings is a tremendous opportunity for towns, cities and counties to enhance local road networks across the state,” INDOT Commissioner Mike Smith said. “INDOT looks forward to partnering with locals to deliver on projects that will have a positive impact on safety and bring business to Indiana. I'm excited to see the progress in these communities throughout the coming year.”

 

To qualify for funding, local governments must provide local matching funds of 50 percent for larger communities or 25 percent for smaller communities and have an asset management plan for maintaining existing roads and bridges. State law requires annually that 50 percent of the available matching funds be awarded to communities within counties with a population of 50,000 or fewer. 

 

Teens from Rushville and Shelbyville arrested in Georgia after police chase

Two teens, one from Shelbyville and another from Rushville, have been arrested in Georgia while local authorities investigate their possible connection to stolen cars.

 

About 8:30 pm on Tuesday, November 29, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office in Georgia was alerted through their FLOCK camera system that a stolen vehicle was in the area of Johnsonville Road and I-75. Monroe County patrol deputies responded to the area to investigate.

 

A deputy located the vehicle, a gold Honda Civic with an Indiana license plate, parked in a parking lot next to the Johnsonville Road/I-75 exit. An attempt was made to block the vehicle and prevent a pursuit; however, the driver of the stolen vehicle was able to drive around the deputy and enter onto I-75 southbound. The driver of the stolen vehicle led deputies on an eight-mile vehicle chase, which resulted in the suspect's vehicle striking another motorist before a Monroe County deputy ended the pursuit by performing a Precision Immobilization Technique (PIT maneuver).

 

Two suspects fled from the scene of the crash but were quickly apprehended. The driver of the stolen vehicle was identified as Ethan Whaley, 18, from Rushville, IN. The passenger was identified as Tony Bridges, 19, from Shelbyville, IN.

 

Monroe County investigators are currently working with authorities in Shelbyville, IN, where Whaley and Bridges are suspects in a string of motor vehicle thefts.

 

Whaley is currently charged with Fleeing and Attempting to Elude, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, Obstruction of Law Enforcement, and numerous traffic violations.

 

Bridges is currently charged with Obstruction of Law Enforcement.

 

The incident is still under investigation and other charges may follow.

Greenleaf Foods project dead, Redevelopment Commission takes back control of land

The proposed largest plant-based protein foods facility in North America is no longer slated for Shelbyville.

On Monday at City Hall, the Redevelopment Commission took back control of the 57 acres east of Interstate 74 where Greenleaf Foods, SPC, wanted to build a $310 million facility.

 

 

The April 2019 groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Governor Eric Holcomb. The project was expected to create as many as 460 jobs by the end of 2022.

“At this point, COVID-19 really killed that plant-based protein market,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun after Monday’s Common Council meeting. “If you do any research at all, you’ll find that 80% of that market died. For whatever reason, the pandemic really nailed the coffin on that project.”

The structure of the agreement with Greenleaf Foods was that if the project didn’t commence by a certain period of time, the Redevelopment Commission would get that land back, according to DeBaun.

“We exercised that provision in the contract and now we have the land back,” confirmed DeBaun.

The Greenleaf project is the second to fail on the desirable tract of land located east of the city along State Road 44.

 

 

In 2016, Krone announced it was moving its North American corporate headquarters from Memphis, Tennessee, to Shelbyville. Krone was to invest $12.5 million to build a 200,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility in Shelbyville to feature a distribution center, showroom and training facility for the farm equipment manufacturer.

Construction on the facility was set to begin in spring of 2017.

“It was one of those things with Krone, the farm implement and farm machinery market tanked,” said DeBaun.

DeBaun does not anticipate the city rushing the property into another project without more forethought on its best use.

“I think it would be incumbent upon us now that we have the parcel again to do some master planning to really lay out what the concepts could look like on that parcel and do a little more pre-development planning,” said DeBaun. “I think that would make it easier to market and more desirable for all parties. I think the next step on that once we receive quiet title is to do some pre-developmental planning.

“We will have a consultant come in. We will lay out different configurations on what the acreage could look like if it is divided into certain parcels. It will give us a better idea of distribution of utilities and all the infrastructure on site. I think it will make it more ‘shovel ready.’”

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GSSR Investments proposing hotel, retail strip center on former Wellman property

With the creation of a designated target area by the Economic Development Commission, a new project featuring a Marriott-branded hotel, a multi-tenant retail strip center and the additional availability of seven out lots is moving forward in Shelbyville.

GSSR Investments LLC wants to develop the former Wellman property on the city’s southeast side along Progress Parkway.

 

 

The proposal includes Marriott brands Fairfield and Towneplace Suites creating 113 more hotel rooms in Shelbyville at 2235 Marketplace Boulevard.

The project also includes a 20,000 square-foot retail center.

The estimated cost of the project is between $14 million and $22 million and sits on 11.56 acres near the Shelbyville Fire Department’s Station No. 2.

GSSR Investments LLC is requesting a 10-year tax abatement which is not allowed for retail projects without a designated target area, according to attorney Peter DePrez, who represented the Garg family at Monday’s meetings at City Hall.

The newly-created Economic Development Commission consists of John Hartnett, T.J. Titus and Shannon Meredith. The three-member group unanimously agreed Monday to send a favorable recommendation for the tax abatement to the Common Council, which was later approved at its Monday meeting.

“This is kind of that troubled space along Progress Parkway,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun after Monday’s Common Council meeting. “The Garg family, through their corporation, are looking at two different projects on that site that will support two hotels which are definitely needed. We are very successful (hosting events) at Blue River Memorial Park and this will serve that as well as the overflow we get from major events in Indianapolis.

“I am really looking forward to that project.”

With the addition of an indoor sporting facility at Blue River Memorial Park, additional hotel rooms are needed.

“We’ve had a discussion with our potential development partners on that (facility) and we are getting ready to go through the input sessions, the design phase and contract construction and then we will roll that out to the Redevelopment Commission,” said DeBaun.

DePrez informed the Economic Development Commission and the Common Council that the as-yet-to-be built facility is expected to bring 140,000 visitors annually and a gain of $30 million to the community.

The Garg family also owns Bear Chase Golf Club in Shelbyville.

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Common Council agrees to transfer Harrison St. bridge to county control

The City of Shelbyville surrendered ownership of the Harrison St. bridge Monday to the Shelby County Commissioners.

As part of the state’s relinquishment of North State Road 9 from Rampart Road south into downtown Shelbyville, the Harrison St. bridge came under ownership of the city.

The Shelby County Commissioners oversee all the bridges in Shelby County so the city offered the bridge located north of downtown Shelbyville to fall under county control.

As part of the agreement, the city will put $300,000 into an escrow account for repair work over the next 10 years on the bridge.

The Shelby County Commissioners approved the transfer plan at its Monday morning meeting and the Shelbyville Common Council followed suit at its meeting Monday night at City Hall.

The Board of Works approved the joint resolution Tuesday morning at its weekly meeting at City Hall. The final step is approval by the Shelby County Council at its meeting later this month.

In other Common Council business Monday:

  • Approved on second reading the annexation of land east of the city for a Genesis Property Development project.
  • Approved on second reading Unified Development Ordinances that the city Plan department has been updating.
  • Approved on second reading an ordinance establishing TIF revenue collected from The Mill project to go to bond payments for the project.
  • Approved a 10-year tax abatement for PK USA, 600 Northridge Drive in Shelbyville. A 20,000 square-foot addition to Building 2 at $3.6 million is part of the new project that will include more than $22 million in new manufacturing equipment, $512,000 in new logistical equipment and $490,539 in new information technology equipment. PK USA currently has 332 employees at its Shelbyville facility.

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Shelbyville High School senior receives prestigious Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Beau Kenkel is fascinated with outer space. It is not outlandish to say he could be the first Golden Bear to venture outside of Earth’s atmosphere.

The Shelbyville High School senior is focused on becoming an aeronautical engineer. On Tuesday, that dream became a little closer to reality when the Blue River Community Foundation surprised Kenkel as the 2023 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship winner for Shelby County.

Kenkel will receive full tuition, required fees and up to $900 per year for books and required equipment for four years of undergraduate study at an Indiana college or university.

“This is massive,” said Kenkel while looking at the endowment certificate presented to him Tuesday morning in the Golden Bear Room at Shelbyville High School. “Once you graduate, you are not in debt. It’s a step up. It means I don’t have to go through that stress of student loan debt.

“I hear my brothers talk about their student loan debt with my parents and it can get stressful at times. This will help me completely eliminate that. I don’t think a lot of kids realize how big of a deal this is, and how much money it is and how expensive further education is after high school.”

 

 

Kenkel, the son of Barbara and Daniel Kenkel, plans to attend Purdue University in the fall and major in Engineering. To do so means shelving his competitive running career. Kenkel is Shelbyville’s top male distance runner in both cross country and track and field. There is interest for him to compete at the next level at smaller state schools with strong Engineering programs.

That decision will come at a later date. For now, he can celebrate being the 2023 Lilly Endowment winner which means he topped a field of 45 applicants from the five Shelby County high schools.

Through a blind application process, the scholarship committee selects six applicants to progress on to the interview stage. That listed included Shelbyville’s Isabella Bradburn and Emma Sandman, Triton Central’s Madison Brown and Hallie Schweitzer, and Southwestern’s McKinley Correll.

Kenkel admitted to being comfortable with the typically nerve-wracking 30-minute interview stage of the process.

“I have been in a few interviews before and I kind of enjoy it,” said Kenkel. “My mom said treat it like a conversation and be you. So that’s exactly what I did. It was a 30-minute interview but to me it felt like five minutes. It was an awesome time. I got to express myself, not just in writing but verbally, and kind of tell my story.”

The other five finalists will receive four-year renewable scholarships from one of the 95 scholarship funds administered by the Blue River Community Foundation.

During the application process, Kenkel had to provide two letters of recommendation. He chose Father Mike Keucher from St. Joseph Catholic Church and Shelbyville High School Language Arts teacher Doug Uehling.

 

 

“Outside of the classroom, this young man has excelled in volunteerism and service,” said Uehling of Kenkel in a BRCF media release about the application process. “From being a stellar mentor in our school and community to organizing events like a coat drive and 5km charity run, this young man has set the bar for others to follow. On a daily basis he can be seen making a difference in the classroom and halls. Speaking bluntly, I don’t have the words to describe what a good heart he has. I have been left speechless on many an occasion from his acts of service. What I can say is this – he is the type of person who reminds me daily as to why I love teaching and believe in its mission. You will not find a better example of someone giving back to his school and community.”

While his mother and two brothers work in the medical industry, Kenkel believes his love of engineering comes from his father, who is a quality assurance engineer.

“I’ve always found interest in space and how small the Earth is compared to outer space, but at the same time I love engineering and the hands on stuff,” he said. “I would love to design and help humans travel outside of Earth, whether that’s in this lifetime or the next, I just want to help that movement of exploring. I have that adventurous mindset of something beyond Earth.”

While not necessarily looking to become an astronaut, the privatized route to outer space is gaining ground within the space industry.

“It’s happening more and more with all these privatized companies,” said Kenkel. “I hope I still have quite a few years left in my life so who knows, in the next 20 years it may be more available for people. That could be a thing (for me).”

 

 

At the time of his application, Kenkel carried a 4.18 grade point average and is involved in National Honor Society (President), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Student to Student Mentoring, Boy Scouts, and the SHS Student Athletic Advisory Committee. He is a member of the SHS cross country and track and field teams and is a first-time member this year of the SHS swim program.

“This is surreal. I was shaking. I tend to sweat when I get nervous,” said Kenkel with a big smile after the Golden Bear Room emptied out. “Just to see all these people in (the Golden Bear Room) that made this happen, it warmed my heart. It meant a lot to me. I can’t wait to hug my parents.”

The Lilly Endowment Inc. created the LECS Program for the 1998-1999 school year and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $486 million.

More than 5,000 Indiana students, including 42 from Shelby County, have received the LECS since the program’s inception.

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DHS announces extension of REAL ID full enforcement deadline

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to extend the REAL ID full enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023 to May 7, 2025.

 

Under the new regulations published to execute this change, states will now have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. As required by the law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.  

“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.” 

 

The extension is necessary, in part, to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. REAL ID progress over the past two years has been significantly hindered by state driver’s licensing agencies having to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic. Many of these agencies took various steps in response to the pandemic including automatically extending the expiration dates of driver’s licenses and identification cards and shifting operations to appointment only. 

 

Passed by Congress in 2005 following a 9/11 Commission recommendation, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Security standards include incorporating anti-counterfeiting technology, preventing insider fraud, and using documentary evidence and record checks to ensure a person is who they claim to be. Under the new regulations, beginning May 7, 2025, every traveler 18 years of age or older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport 1security checkpoints for domestic air travel. 

 

Since enactment of the REAL ID Act in 2005, advancements in technology have enabled TSA to make significant improvements in checkpoint screening, particularly in the areas of identity management, on-person screening, accessible property screening and alarm resolution. Through the deployment of technologies such as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT), Advanced Technology (AT) X-ray, then Computed Tomography (CT), Bottled Liquids Scanners (BLS), and Credential Authentication Technology (CAT), as well as deployment of Passenger Screening Canines (PSC) and the rollout of TSA PreCheck®, TSA has continually advanced its security capabilities. TSA also increased its vetting capability through Secure Flight, a risk-based passenger prescreening program that enhances security by identifying low and high-risk passengers before they arrive at the airport by matching their names against trusted traveler lists and watchlists. REAL ID requirements will strengthen these improvements further by providing an additional layer of confidence in the identity of the traveler. 

 

All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and four of five U.S. territories covered by the REAL ID Act and related regulations are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. These standards have significantly improved the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. 

 

For more information on REAL ID, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id

 

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Our Hospice welcomes Stephanie Cain, MBA, MHA as incoming President

The Board of Directors of Our Hospice of South Central Indiana has hired Stephanie Cain as successor to outgoing President, Laura Leonard who announced her retirement earlier this year.

 

“Stephanie is strategic operational leader with a proven track record. She has 15 years’ experience in the health care industry and brings her expertise in home health and hospice. The Board is very excited to welcome a seasoned professional who can lead Our Hospice and Palliative Care into the future," said Our Hospice Board President, Tom Dowd.

 

Cain joins Our Hospice from her role as the Statewide Director of Hospice for Indiana University Health, serving 39 counties and 16 hospitals across the state, including a 12-bed inpatient unit in Bloomington, IN. She has previous experience in home health with Trinity Healthcare and Advocate Home Health Services. Stephanie received a Master of Science in Health Administration (MHA) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of St. Francis (Joliet, IL).

 

Laura Leonard succeeded Our Hospice founder, Sandy Carmichael, who led the local hospice organization from its’ inception in 1980. She joined Our Hospice in November, 2013. During her tenure, Leonard has been instrumental in:

 

  • Growing the number of patients served annually from 1100 patients to over 1450
  • Increasing the number of staff from 148 to 170
  • Developing a professional corporate image while maintaining the sense of a local organization serving communities in 16 counties in South Central Indiana.
  • Achieving highest ratings in Quality and Service in the industry
  • Expanding Bereavement care service to include children’s groups and outreach
  • Launching Palliative Care as a new medical specialty in 2019 currently serving over 350 patients
  • Initiating an endowment for future sustainability of unfunded or under-funded services including Palliative Care, Bereavement Care and the Hospice Center
  • Strengthening and expanding the leadership structure and the strategic planning capability of the organization
  • Setting a path for growth and financial sustainability

Board President, Tom Dowd, said, “Under Laura’s guidance, the organization has grown in many ways. She spearheaded the increase in the number of patients cared for, and also increased philanthropic support of our local hospice. By far, her greatest achievements include, the launching of Palliative Care, a service that is a critical need in the post-acute health continuum of care; and achieving a “no deficiencies or non-compliance” in two consecutive state and federal surveys. Launching a service line that receives only 14-17 cents on the dollar in reimbursement was a challenge, but she relentlessly drove toward the vision of bringing Palliative care to our community. The “clean” surveys of 2019 and 2022 demonstrate her unwavering pursuit of excellence. We will miss her, but she leaves Our Hospice and Palliative Care in a great position for the future and we wish her well in her retirement.”

 

Stephanie joined the organization on November 15 and will take the reins as President upon Laura’s retirement on December 31, 2022.

 

“We are excited to introduceStephanie to the community, and look forward to your continued support as we care for all those managing a serious illness pursuing the fulfillment of our mission, To Make Every Moment Count,” said Dowd.

 

 

Helm House in Rushville awarded historic renovation grant

Rushville's Dr. Jefferson Helm House is one of 10 properties were awarded $728,671 through the Historic Renovation Grant Program. 

 

The program is designed to preserve and rehabilitate historic properties to further incentivize downtown economic development across Indiana.

 

Eligible properties for this grant program must be at least 50 years old and either listed on the register of Indiana historic sites and structures, be listed or eligible for listing to the National Register of Historic Places, or be listed as a contributing resource in a National Register District. Awarded properties will receive funding for the renovation and preservation of exterior features.

 

“The Historic Renovation Grant Program has already created an ongoing positive impact in a number of communities,” said OCRA Executive Director Denny Spinner. “This grant round will help these 10 communities to preserve their Hoosier history while fueling economic development.”

 

Ronald V. Morris was awarded $100,000 to preserve and return to service the Dr. Jefferson Helm House. Located in Rush County, Dr. Helm built the small but distinctive home in 1845 reminiscent of the ideas of Thomas Jefferson. The property will be adapted into a social gathering place to host tours, special events and educational gatherings. Preservation work will include masonry restoration, chimney restoration, repair/restore roof, replacing non-historic windows with new period appropriate wood windows, repair/restore porch rails and columns, repair and replacement of historic doors, and reconstruction of two missing side porches based on physical evidence.

 

From 2021 to 2022, the Historic Renovation Grant Program received more than 80 applications with requests totaling over $5 million. While applicants must provide at least a dollar-for-dollar cash-match, the program continues to leverage significantly more than the State’s investment into these projects, resulting in a greater economic impact for awarded communities.

 

Applications were scored based on appropriate historical criteria, extensive support from local residents, and the economic impact the project would have on the greater community and the State of Indiana.

 

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Santa officially welcomes holiday season with downtown parade

Dodging raindrops and dealing with 20 mile-per-hour wind gusts, Santa and Mrs. Clause made it to downtown Shelbyville Friday to close out the city’s annual Holiday Parade.

Santa carefully dismounted from the back of a vintage Shelbyville Fire Department fire truck and returned to his traditional house now residing on the southwest quadrant of the Public Square.

With the help of Mrs. Clause and Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun, Santa led the large crowd in attendance in a countdown to light up the city’s holiday decorations. The red-and-white clad Christmas couple then stepped inside the cozy confines of the Santa House and met with local children for nearly 90 minutes after the conclusion of the parade.

“This is one of my favorite things about having the job,” said DeBaun, now in his third term as mayor. “We’ve been doing this now for a number of years. We took this over in 2001 or 2002 and the city has been doing it ever since. It’s kind of a right of passage in my family. All my kids have helped. It’s turned into a wonderful event.”

 

 

The fourth Annual Mistletoe Market was part of the holiday event, offering food and craft vendors set up around the downtown area and inside Blessing’s Opera House. There were holiday horse-and-carriage rides and various performers singing holiday tunes.

The 2022 celebration was the second since the complete redevelopment of downtown Shelbyville.

“The downtown is much more amenable to this type of activity,” continued DeBaun, who helped direct traffic during the parade and collect candy tossed from various parade entrants to deliver to the hundreds of children in attendance. “It’s been a great night.”

 

 

Santa’s house had been moved out of downtown Shelbyville to a Christmas display at Blue River Memorial Park during the construction process and did not return for the 2021 celebration. Santa met with children inside the former Chase Bank building.

Now refurbished and decorated for Christmas, a line of children stretched back around the building and south in front of Cadillac Jack’s, 29 Public Square, waiting to meet with Santa and Mrs. Clause.

“People were kind of mixed about the tradition and what we were going to do with Santa,” said DeBaun. “The guys from the Water Resource Recovery Facility and the Street Department did a really good job of putting it back together. It took a ton of city employees to make this work.”

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Greenwood man sentenced over bilking employer out of over $14 million

A Johnson County man was sentenced to federal prison time for defrauding his employer out of millions of dollars.

 

Daniel Fruits, 47, of Greenwood, was sentenced to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

 

According to court documents, Fruits, who was hired to manage and run a Greenwood-based trucking company, defrauded his employer out of more than $14 million over a 4.5-year period. From January 2015 through June 2019, a Kentucky-based entity invested over $14 million into the trucking company.

 

Federal prosecutors say Fruits used that money to fund his own lavish lifestyle including purchasing: real estate; several vehicles including two Ferraris and a Corvette; farm equipment including a horse trailer; a show horse; expensive jewelry including multiple Rolex watches; firearms; private jet flights; and high-end escort services.

 

Fruits hid his theft by creating false and misleading financial statements. He then sent those statements to his employer to induce additional investments into the trucking company.

 

In mid-2019, Fruits’ employer asked him to have an accountant review the trucking company’s financial statements and provide a report. Rather than comply, Fruits fabricated a letter, purportedly written by a Greenwood-based accountant. When the employer contacted the accountant to follow up, they learned that the accountant’s letter was false and fictitious. Fruits was fired the next day and the victims contacted law enforcement officers.

 

The investigation also revealed that Fruits attempted to defraud Fifth Third bank out of $432,000 by providing false documents to secure a mortgage. Finally, the investigation revealed that Fruits perpetrated a title wash scheme that fraudulently removed Ally Financial’s lien from a $69,607 truck.

 

Fruits was arrested on December 16, 2020. On August 18, 2021, a federal magistrate judge revoked his conditions of pretrial release and ordered him detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshal, after finding that Fruits had committed several violations including being charged with new fraud offenses in state court.

 

“Mr. Fruits stole an outrageous sum of money to fuel an extravagant lifestyle, concealing his crimes with years of lies and false documents,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Complex economic crimes such as these devastate the finances and security of businesses and individuals. The serious prison sentence imposed today demonstrates that this U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, IRS-CI, and all our law enforcement partners will work tirelessly to hold these criminals accountable.”

 

The FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

 

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Sara Evans Barker. As part of the sentence, Judge Barker ordered that Fruits be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison and ordered Fruits to pay $14,339,252.04 in restitution to his victims and a $14,270,000 money judgment.

 

 

Sexual exploitation of a young child sends Shelbyville man to federal prison

A Shelbyville man will serve four decades in federal prison related to his sexual exploitation of a six-year-old child.

 

Justin R. Potts, 38, of Shelbyville, was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to four counts related to his sexual exploitation of a six-year-old child committed while he was required to register as a sex offender.

 

According to court documents, on or about March 20, 2014, Potts was convicted of sexual misconduct of a minor in Hancock County, and sentenced to seven years in prison. As a result of this conviction, Potts was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years or until January 21, 2026. He failed to register in 2019 and was released from probation in April 2021.

 

Between December 28, 2021, and January 22, 2022, Potts resided in Muncie, with Individual A and Minor Victim 1, who was six years’ old. While Potts resided with Individual A and Minor Victim 1, Minor Victim 1 was in Potts’ care, custody, and control. Potts sexually abused Minor Victim 1 and produced visual depictions of that abuse including videos showing Potts using his hands to force a penis-shaped device into the child’s anus, rubbing his penis against the child’s anus, and forcing his penis into the child’s mouth. The videos were uploaded to Potts’ Google account prompting immediate notification to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

 

The Indiana State Police and the United States Secret Service quickly investigated the account, traced it to Potts, contacted the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office, and executed a search warrant leading to his arrest and detention. Potts pleaded guilty to three counts of sexually exploiting Minor Victim 1, and to one count of committing those offenses while required to register as a sex offender.

 

“This serial predator inflicted horrific abuse on an innocent child to satisfy his criminal sexual desires,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “I commend the outstanding and tireless efforts of the U.S. Secret Service, Indiana State Police, the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office, and federal prosecutors to quickly identify this offender, remove him from the community, and rescue a child from ongoing abuse. Mr. Potts will now spend decades in federal prison, where he cannot sexually abuse another child. The serious sentence imposed today demonstrates our dedication to protecting the public from these dangerous offenders.”

 

“This investigation is a testament to the Secret Service’s commitment to pursue those who chose to victimize our most vulnerable citizens,” said Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Adams, U. S. Secret Service – Indianapolis Field Office.  “The Secret Service is a proud member of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and would like to thank our partners at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Indiana State Police for their tireless work in this case.”

 

The U.S. Secret Service investigated the case and the Indiana State Police and Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office provided valuable assistance.

 

The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney II. As part of the sentence, Judge Sweeney ordered that Potts be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for the rest of his life following his release from federal prison and ordered him to pay $10,000 in restitution to the child victim. Potts must also register as sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.

Greenfield man charged in road rage shooting incident

A Hancock County man is charged with a road rage shooting on I-65.

 

About 9:15 am Wednesday, Indiana State Police dispatchers received a 911 call about alleged shots being fired from one vehicle at another on I-65 near Washington Street in Indianapolis. The incident involved the driver of a Ram pick-up truck firing a shot at a Jeep Patriot during a road rage encounter.

 

Troopers were able to locate the suspect vehicle a short time later near Holt Road and I-70 and the driver was detained.

 

Indiana State Police detectives were called to the scene and preliminary investigation led them to believe, Justin McGuire, 33, of Greenfield, was driving the Ram pick-up and became engaged in road rage. During the incident McGuire allegedly fired at least one shot at the Jeep striking the Jeep that was occupied by an adult driver and two children. The driver of the Jeep drove to a safe location and immediately notified police.

 

McGuire was arrested at the Indiana State Police Post in Indianapolis Wednesday night. He faces the preliminary charges of three counts of criminal recklessness. 

 

This interstate shooting investigation marks the 61st shooting incident for troopers at the Indianapolis Post on Indianapolis area interstates. Last year, they investigated a total of 65 interstate shootings in the Indianapolis area. 

 

McGuire was arrested on probable cause. Actual charges will be determined by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.

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