Local News

Pursuit and gunfire with law enforcement lands Johnson County man in hospital

Just after 10 a.m. Monday three Indiana State Troopers were involved in an incident that led to one trooper exchanging gunfire with a suspect.

No officers were injured. The suspect was transported to an area hospital in stable condition. 

The troopers were following investigative leads to locate Christopher Crouch, 36, of Nineveh, who was wanted on several felony warrants. Their investigation led them to the Quality Inn near McFarland Blvd. and Southport Crossing Drive. When one of the troopers went into the lobby of the hotel, they saw Crouch coming out of a room and into the hallway. Crouch ran for the exit and the trooper pursued.

Crouch was able to get into a car and drive away. Another trooper was able to pursue with his police car. Crouch drove a short distance and then drove over a curb, over an embankment and into a pond off of Southport Crossing Drive.

After the crash, Crouch got out of the car and ran south. The trooper was chasing Crouch on foot when he came to the edge of a second pond, Crouch stopped and the trooper could see a gun in his hand. The trooper gave several commands to drop the weapon before the exchange of gunfire. 

Immediately after the exchange, the troopers on scene rendered medical aid to the suspect, who had a gunshot wound. Paramedics were called to the scene and troopers continued medical aid until they arrived.

The suspect was transported to an area hospital and is listed in stable condition.

Investigators remained on scene collecting evidence to be submitted to the crime lab for further analysis. It was determined the car Crouch used to flee from police was stolen from Terre Haute on Friday.

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Teams from four states attend Indiana Conservation Officer K-9 School

This week the DNR Division of Law Enforcement’s K-9 Resource Protection Program kicked off its nine-week training school at Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area in Johnson County. 

This year’s school has a total of six K-9 teams attending from Indiana, Kansas, Oregon, and Utah.   

Indiana’s K-9 program started in 1997 with a pilot program of two teams. Because of its effectiveness, the program grew to a team of 13 K-9 units throughout the state. At least one K-9 unit serves in each of the 10 Indiana DNR Law Enforcement districts. The Indiana K-9 program is not only well respected in the Hoosier state, but also is recognized as one of the top programs in the nation.

In addition to the states represented in this year’s school, Indiana has also helped start and train teams from natural resource agencies in Idaho, Kentucky, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, and the African country of Zambia.

The Indiana K-9 program trains teams in human-tracking, wildlife detection and article searches. All canines are trained to locate white-tailed deer, wild turkey, waterfowl, and ginseng. They may also be trained to locate other species, depending on where the handler is stationed. Indiana teams excel in man-tracking and locating firearms.

K-9 teams provide conservation officers an essential tool to help stop poaching. In the past 25 years, Indiana K-9 teams have been involved in thousands of such cases. K-9 teams have been used to find concealed game and guns, as well as to find shell casings in road hunting and hunting-with-a-spotlight cases. K-9 teams are used to find lost hunters as well as poachers who have tried to hide from officers.

Because of their unique abilities, K-9 units are often requested by other state and local law enforcement agencies for help in locating evidence, missing persons, or fleeing felons. 

Federal court conviction for Hancock Co. man on wire fraud charges

A Hancock County man has been convicted in federal court of wire fraud.

According to court documents, from 2006 to December of 2019, Matthew Archer, 59, of Mccordsville, served as the treasurer for an industrial union (the Union) located in Indianapolis. As part of his employment, Archer was responsible for maintaining the Union’s bank accounts and records.

On multiple occasions between 2013 and 2019, Archer illegally transferred funds from the Union’s bank account into his personal bank accounts. Between 2017 and 2019, Archer also electronically transferred funds from the Union’s bank account into his own to pay his personal car loan.

Additionally, in 2018 and 2019, Archer submitted fraudulent Labor Organization Annual Reports to the Department of Labor. On these forms, Archer falsely reported the Union’s assets and overstated how much money was in its bank account. On both occasions, Archer reported that the Union had $151,000 available when it actually had less than $11,000. 

To conceal his scheme, Archer created fraudulent bank statements that overstated how much money was in the Union’s accounts and forged the signatures of the Union’s auditors on internal reports.

In total, Archer embezzled $91,951.86 from the Union, and has been ordered to repay the stolen funds as restitution.

“For years, this defendant lied and abused his position of trust to line his own pockets at the expense of the union and members he was supposed to serve,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “This prosecution demonstrates that the Department of Labor and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are watching, and those who embezzle funds will be held accountable.”

“Safeguarding financial integrity and combating fraud in labor unions is a high priority for the U.S. Department of Labor,” said Megan Ireland, District Director, U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards. “Most union officials do their work with great care, but Matthew Archer betrayed the trust placed in him by the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) and embezzled over $91,000 from LIUNA Local 1325, at the expense of LIUNA and its members. OLMS continuously works to identify criminal violations and pursue legal action when individuals unlawfully exploit their union positions without regard to the best interests of the union and its members.”

The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Labor-Management Standards, investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus Stinson. 

Collision with fire and multiple injuries in Sunday car crash

A two-vehicle head-on crash Sunday on State Road 7 in southern Bartholomew County that resulted in serious injuries.

The initial investigation by Indiana State Police Trooper Clayton Saltzman indicated that a 2003 Toyota Camry, driven by Ty Woodson, 23, of North Vernon, was traveling southbound on State Road 7 near Stephen Drive. Woodson’s vehicle then crossed the centerline into the path of a northbound 2009 Honda Odyssey, driven by Trisha Carman, 39, of Columbus. 

The vehicles collided head on in the northbound lanes of State Road 7. Both vehicles came to rest in the roadway.

Woodson’s vehicle caught fire as a result of the collision. Woodson was flown to an Indianapolis area hospital with serious injuries. Carman was transported by ambulance to Columbus Regional Hospital before being flown to an Indianapolis area hospital for further treatment. 

A passenger in Carman’s vehicle, Amberly Carman, age 9, was flown from the scene to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of serious injuries.  

The evidence indicated that neither driver was wearing their seatbelt at the time of the crash. 

Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the crash. Toxicology results on both drivers are pending. The investigation is ongoing. At the conclusion of the investigation, the case will be presented to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office for review for potential charges.

State Road 7 was closed for approximately two hours for crash investigation and cleanup.

Trooper Saltzman was assisted at the scene by additional troopers from the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post and Indiana State Police Crash Reconstructionists. The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Jennings County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus Township Fire Department, Elizabethtown Fire Department, Scipio-Geneva Township Fire Department, Jennings County EMS, and Columbus Regional Hospital EMS also assisted at the scene.

Rush Co. authorities looking for woman who removed a home monitoring device

The Rush County Sheriff’s Office was notified Friday evening by Rush County Community Corrections that a subject had tampered with and removed a home monitoring device.

The subject was identified by Rush County Community Corrections as Haley Shay Ernstes, a 28 year-old female, 5-foot, 4-inches, 120 pounds, with dark brown hair with blonde highlights and blue eyes. Ernstes is known to wear glasses.

Rush County Sheriff’s Office deputies with the cooperation of Rush County Community Corrections attempted to locate Ernstes and the vehicle she is known to operate. Her vehicle was located by deputies, unoccupied, a few miles away from her residence.

The Rush County Sheriff's Office says it's possible that Ernstes is with a female acquaintance, Brittany Danielle Deener. Deener, 28, is 5-5, 200 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes.



Deener is known to operate a 2012 Toyota Highlander, white in color. No plate information is available.

No known direction of travel is available for Ernstes, however Deener is from Warrick County, Indiana. The pair were possibly headed to Warrick County from Rush County.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Rush County Sheriff’s Office, 765-932-2931, or 911.

The Rush County Sheriff's Office says there is no known danger to the public.


Bill modernizing local health departments passes Senate

A bill authored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would improve the quality of services performed by Indiana's local health departments passed the Senate today by a vote of 41-7.

Senate Bill 4 would establish the Local Public Health Fund grant to support local health departments that choose to provide "core public health services" recommended by the Governor's Public Health Commission.

These services include, but are not limited to, screening for childhood lead exposure, increasing access to immunizations, partnering with schools to support student health, improving emergency preparedness for rural counties, preventing tobacco use, and reviewing suicide, child and overdose fatality reports.

"By preventing health problems, rather than just treating them, Indiana can foster healthy families and a strong workforce," Leising said. “This bill works to better support local health departments in screening, preparing for and treating potential health risks to our communities before they arise."

Funding for grants would be determined by the state budget, but SB 4 would ensure applicant counties receive a minimum grant of $350,000, with additional funding determined by population size and the health vulnerability of residents.

The State Budget Committee would review annual county grant allocations before distribution.

McCordsville's Jenna Nicodemus selected as princess for 500 Festival

The 500 Festival has announced the 33 Indiana women selected to serve as 2023 500 Festival Princesses. One is from Hancock County.

The princesses represent 19 Indiana colleges and universities and 21 cities and towns across the state.

Jenna Nicodemus, of McCordsville, is a graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, and a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) majoring in public health-epidemiology. 

With a cumulative GPA of 3.71, this year’s 500 Festival Princesses were selected from hundreds of applicants based on leadership, academic stewardship, community involvement, and their embodiment of the Hoosier spirit. This year’s class represents a diverse group of women with a range of areas of study that include nursing, elementary education, business, engineering, sports media, and pre-med. 

Each year, the princesses conduct more than 1,500 hours of community outreach impacting more than 50,000 people, expanding the celebration and impact of the Indianapolis 500 in a meaningful way.  

The 500 Festival Princesses also participate in the 500 Festival Leadership Development Program, presented by FORVIS, which empowers participants to make a profound impact within their community and the state of Indiana. In addition, each princess will receive a $1,000 scholarship.


Bartholomew Co. man faces child pornography charges

Troopers from the Indiana State Police Crimes Against Children Task Force arrested a Columbus man on numerous charges related to the Possession of Child Pornography after serving a search warrant at his Bartholomew County residence.

The investigation began in September 2022 after a cybertip was received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Detectives determined that images depicting child pornography had been possessed by Kevin Ray Batman, age 61, of rural Bartholomew County.

The investigation led to troopers obtaining a search warrant for Batman’s residence.  During the search warrant being served, additional evidence of Possession of Child Pornography/Child Exploitation was located. 

Batman was arrested and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where he was incarcerated on initial charges of Possession of Child Pornography, Level 5 Felony (7 counts) and Possession of Child Pornography, Level 4 Felony (1 Count).  

Shelbyville's Jane Pauley Community Health Center delays opening new site until March

The Jane Pauley Community Health Center (JPCHC) announced that effective March 30, its Shelbyville practice will begin seeing patients in a new, expanded location at 1818 E. State Road 44, Suite B, in Shelbyville.

The original date called for that to be this Friday. Officials with the JPCHC said there is an unforeseen circumstance that led to the delay.

The practice is relocating from its prior space less than one-half mile away at 1640 E. State Road 44, Suite B. Having completely remodeled a former Gordmans’ Department Store, JPCHC is tripling from roughly 5,000 to 15,000 square feet to provide Primary and Behavioral Health Care services for local patients, with or without insurance.

A new onsite patient food pantry will open providing fresh produce, canned goods and more as available.

“This investment in our Shelby County presence has been in the works for over three years. We are pleased to increase our capacity for providing comprehensive, affordable care for all, with room for future growth as well,” said Marc Hackett, JPCHC CEO.

This year marks the JPCHC Shelbyville location’s 10th anniversary in the community. Doors initially opened in 2013 at the Shelbyville Middle School, and expanded when JPCHC acquired the free clinic at its current location in 2016.

JPCHC will celebrate with an open house at the new space for community partners and leaders on April 11 at 3 p.m. featuring a brief 3:30 p.m. presentation from Congressman Greg Pence and CEO Marc Hackett.

“As a Shelbyville native myself, it’s been gratifying to oversee the continued improvements in accessible healthcare for our local residents,” said Shelbyville Practice Manager Dawn Houchin, who has been with JPCHC since joining under the free clinic merger in 2016. “We have immediate openings for Primary Care appointments, now with new language translation services available to ensure access for all. A food pantry is in the works to open onsite in 2023. And, whether you are a patient or not, we can help with free insurance enrollment appointments."

House supports Meltzer's bill to screen for animal tranquilizer in overdose victims

The Indiana House of Representatives on Monday advanced State Rep. Jennifer Meltzer's legislation to begin screening for an animal tranquilizer that's infiltrating street drugs and has played a role in a local overdose death.

Meltzer said xylazine, known as "tranq," is a tranquilizer commonly used for livestock such as cattle or horses, and it's been found in an increasing number of overdose deaths in the United States.



Meltzer says this bill would help Indiana get ahead of a potential issue and begin planning for action. It would also begin to form a response plan and increase public warnings.

Property owners appear before Board of Works to discuss nuisance cases

There are two sides to the property owner vs. renter saga.

Some argue property owners are too strict and unwavering on policies meant to protect them. Others want more rental property options to be available in Shelbyville.

On Tuesday at the Board of Works meeting at City Hall, property owner Cora Cutsinger appeared to discuss the state of the residence she owns at 135 Walker St. (photo).

Cutsinger told the board about an unruly tenant that was scheduled to be evicted but she allowed to stay as a gesture of kindness. Now, the residence has been “trashed” according to Cutsinger.

“It’s been a nightmare,” she said.

Cutsinger owns several rental properties, some with long-term tenants, but stated, “this is the worst I’ve ever had.”

The eviction process is currently underway again and she hopes to have the nuisance property remedied soon.

The board voted to give her a 30-day continuance before discussing the property again.

The board also met with representatives at 333 E. Mechanic St. and 145 Walker St. to discuss nuisance properties that now appear to be improving.

Progress has been made at the Mechanic St. property and a two-week continuance was granted to finish the clean-up project.

Rose Marie Roberts, owner of the property at 145 Walker St., also appeared to inform the board that the property is nearly back up to code. The violations have been addressed and the board voted to give Roberts one more week to complete the process.

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Senator Mike Crider says now it's time to fund SB1 to aid Indiana's mental health crisis

Senate Bill 1, authored by Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield), recently passed unanimously out of the Indiana Senate.

This bill helps address an important issue for Hoosier businesses.

Mental health concerns cost Indiana employers $885 million annually in lost productivity and costs the state $708 million per year in direct health care costs.

Representative Ann Vermilion (R-Marion) is carrying the legislation in the House.

Crider says now the effort will be piece together the framework including funding.



Some members of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce would like to see a $2 per pack cigarette tax increase be used to fund this instead of taxes or fees.

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Dr. Justin Hunter to cap Black History Month celebration for Shelbyville's Second Baptist Church

Second Baptist Church has been celebrating February's Black History Month.

The National Theme for Black History Month 2023 is "Black Resistance." 

"Black Resistance" explores how Blacks have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms.

Through each Sunday in February the congregation will test their history knowledge through the weekly Black History Month Trivia Challenge.

James Garrett Jr. appeared on The Morning Show to talk more about events at Second Baptist Church. He says trivia has been a fun learing tool for some time now.



On Sunday,  the celebration will culminate with guest speaker Dr. Justin Hunter, Pastor of One Vision in Christ Community Church. Dr. Hunter is an education specialist currently working as Director of Human Resources at Metropolitan School District of Pike Township, Indianapolis.

The service Sunday begins at 10 a.m. At the conclusion of the service will be a Black History Month celebration dinner in the Church's fellowship hall.

The community is welcome to join Second Baptist Church and guests for this Black History Month celebration. 

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Common Council still working on policy to allow golf carts on city streets

The City of Shelbyville is not yet ready to allow golf carts on city streets but will allow Major Health Partners to utilize them for transportation around its Intelliplex campus.

The Common Council approved MHP’s use of golf carts on Intelliplex Drive and Bassett Road Monday to access its various buildings.

City officials will continue discussion on allowing golf carts on city streets with strict guidelines for safety. Shelbyville Police Chief Mark Weidner brought concerns to the council at its last meeting, including one regarding police inspection of golf carts to receive city street approval.

Golf cart drivers will have to have a valid driver’s license and golf carts must be equipped with turn signals, head lamps and tail lamps, slow moving vehicle sign, brake lights and a rearview mirror.

Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun confirmed the city is still working out the policy to allow golf carts on city streets.

Also Monday morning, the council approved a resolution supporting a grant application for opioid funds.

The Indiana Family Social Services Administration (FSSA) is currently accepting applications for the State of Indiana Opioid Settlement Match Grant. The city and county are working on a joint application that would utilize 2022 opioid settlement funds with the FSSA matching or exceeding the amount in the grant application.

The funds will be used for:

  • Crisis Intervention Team training for Shelbyville Police Department officers and Shelby County Sheriff deputies
  • Community Navigator
  • CHW/Peer Support Specialist at Major Health Partners (MHP)
  • Enhanced medication assisted treatment programming at MHP
  • Community screening briefing intervention and referral to treatment training at MHP
  • First responder mental health and substance use disorder treatment programming at MHP and the City of Shelbyville

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USPS weekend hiring event in Greenwood

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is hosting a weekend hiring workshop to fill positions in Indianapolis and surrounding areas.

The event will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, at the Greenwood Package Sorting Annex, 800 Commerce Pkwy West Dr., Suite A, in Greenwood. 

Openings are available for numerous positions with a starting pay range up to $30.33 per hour. The USPS is an equal opportunity employer offering a fast-paced, rewarding work environment with competitive compensation and benefits packages, on-the-job training, and opportunities for advancement.

USPS personnel will be on site to provide detailed information about the positions and answer questions. Applications are accepted online only at www.usps.com/careers. Applicants must be available to work weekends and holidays and have an acceptable driving record.

See online job postings for full details. Postings are updated frequently. Job seekers should check often for additional opportunities.

The postal service is looking for committed and motivated individuals to join us in our mission of service to the local community and the nation. 

Columbus man found guilty of murder by Shelby County jury

A jury from Shelby County has delivered a guilty verdict in a Bartholomew County murder trial.

The jury took about an hour to return the verdict on Friday following closing arguments and after the final day of testimony included no witnesses called by the defense on Thursday.

Due to pre-trial publicity, the jury was brought in from neighboring Shelby County.

Doyle was charged with killing his live-in girlfriend, Heather Steuver, 37. In September 2021, Doyle led law enforcement to a shallow grave at Nugent Sand Company where he worked.

The coroner ruled Steuver died from blunt force trauma to the head. 

Doyle also faces a trial scheduled for April on several child pornography charges.


An arrest in Hancock Co. murder investigation

A homicide investigation that includes an arrest is ongoing in Hancock County.

Just after 10 p.m. Thursday, members of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office and Greenfield Police Department responded to a residence at 5666 E U.S. 40, Greenfield, for a report of a deceased person. On arrival to the address, officers located a deceased male identified as Freddie E Patterson, 69, of Greenfield.

Taken into custody at the scene was Daniel James Smith, 39, of Greenfield, on preliminary murder charges in connection with the death of Patterson.

The Hancock County Sheriff's Office continues investigating this incident.




Heritage House among adult learners, Indiana employers honored at 2023 Adult Education Day at the Statehouse

Recently, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and the Indiana Association for Adult and Continuing Education honored Hoosier adult learners and Indiana employers at the 2023 Adult Education Day ceremony, held at the Indiana Statehouse.

"DWD is assisting individuals by continuously providing opportunities to increase their knowledge, skills and abilities through various programs and services our agency administers and our partners offer throughout Indiana," said DWD Commissioner David J. Adams.

Among the employers honored was Heritage House of Shelbyville.

Through numerous programs, adult education students earn credentials, receive post-secondary education, achieve sustainable employment and ultimately reach economic self-sufficiency. In Indiana, 70% of adult learners are employed after earning their HSE and experience an average wage increase of $8,400 annually. In 2022, 3,795 Hoosier adult learners earned their high school equivalency.

"Indiana remains a leader in providing adult education programming that transforms the lives of Hoosier job seekers and workers," said DWD Associate Chief Workforce Strategy and Design Marilyn Pitzulo. "Hoosiers learning new skills and completing their high school equivalency or certification are upskilling to meet the needs of Indiana employers. Congratulations to each business for making an investment in its employees and for the learners who are earning higher wages and increasing their career opportunities."

There are more than 250 adult education class locations – in-person or online - in the state that give students opportunities to increase skills, learn English, access training, obtain industry-recognized credentials and earn a higher-paying job.

"I was making around $11 an hour in a job I had for several years but I felt I was never going anywhere in my career," said Brandy Gilstrap, a Greene County resident. "I enrolled in a 10-week certification program with an adult education provider and graduated last April. I finally feel freedom."

Gilstrap now works as emergency medical technician in Sullivan County.

During the ceremony, 16 business partners were recognized for offering adult education classes to their staff. Employers were honored for one or more of the following:

  • Providing employees’ wages for attending adult education classes;
  • Supplying classroom space and computers or other technology to support students;
  • Providing other classroom materials and supplies;
  • Funding the cost to pay teachers and instructors; and
  • Offering permanent employment to workers who successfully completed classes.

"The partnership between the Indianapolis dormakaba manufacturing plant and Warren Township Adult Education has proven to be a great success," said Ty Howard, a senior human resources manager at dormakaba's Indianapolis plant. "This program has had a positive impact on communication and engagement within the workplace, leading to a sense of belonging among employees. It also increases worker competency, leading to potential growth opportunities within and outside the company."

Adult Education programming is administered by DWD and has a presence in all of Indiana’s 92 counties. Indiana is among the nation’s top states in multiple adult ed categories:

  • No. 1 for student achievement and growth;
  • No. 2 for the number of high school equivalency diplomas awarded; and
  • No. 4 for certificates earned through Integrated Education and Training.

Rushville woman sentenced on federal meth charges

A traffic stop has resulted in over a decade in prison for a Rush County woman.

Jacqueline Anderson, 37, of Rushville, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.

According to court documents, on May 6, 2021, Rush County Sheriff’s deputies stopped Jacqueline Anderson after observing a traffic violation. As officers were running Anderson’s information through their database, a K9 officer indicated the presence of drugs in Anderson’s Chevy Blazer. Deputies asked Anderson to remove the keys that were around her neck. Attached to the keys were brass knuckles and a zipper pouch containing methamphetamine.

Deputies searched the vehicle and located numerous sealed bags of pure methamphetamine on the rear passenger floorboard. Deputies also located two scales in the vehicle. In all, Anderson possessed approximately 267 grams of pure methamphetamine and intended to distribute the drugs to others.

In 2017, Anderson was convicted of arson, a serious violent felony, in Henry County.

“Methamphetamine dealers like this defendant fuel the scourge of substance abuse disorders and drug poisonings afflicting our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers. “The serious federal prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that law enforcement agencies will hold criminals accountable for pushing deadly drugs in our neighborhoods. We will continue to work with our excellent partners in the Rush County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA to make our communities safer.”

“The sentencing of Ms. Anderson was justified. Individuals who deal large quantities of debilitating drugs such as methamphetamine must be held accountable for their actions,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Gannon. “DEA remains committed to working hand in hand with our state and local partners to keep our communities safe. DEA commends the outstanding work by the Rush County Sheriff’s Department and the United States Attorney’s Office during the course of this investigation.”      

The DEA and Rush County Sheriff’s Office investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

Judge Barker also ordered that Anderson be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following her release from federal prison, and be subject to a $500 fine. 

Judges may allow press to have cameras in trial courts

Beginning on May 1, judicial officers around the state will have the authority to allow news media into their courtrooms to record, photograph, and broadcast court proceedings that are not confidential.

Rule 2.17 of the Code of Judicial Conduct has long prohibited broadcasting, recording, or taking photographs of court proceedings and areas adjacent to courtrooms without prior approval by the Indiana Supreme Court. An order amending Rule 2.17, effective May 1, gives the discretion to allow cameras to the local judges.

“This is the culmination of years of work and pilot projects with discussion and evaluation,” said Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush. “Trial court judges are in the best position to determine how to balance the importance of transparency while protecting the rights of people involved in a court matter.”

This change follows a 4-month pilot program, a public comment period, and careful evaluation by the Indiana Supreme Court. Longtime work by the Indiana Judicial Conference Community Relations Committee and Court Security Committee, along with the Hoosier State Press Association and the Indiana Broadcasters Association, led to the most recent pilot project. The judges who opened their courtrooms during the pilot — Judges Fran Gull, Marianne Vorhees, Bruce Parent, Sean Persin, and Leslie Shively — provided essential feedback.

Under the new rule, cameras are still prohibited in court unless authorized by the judge. Commentary included with the rule provides further conditions; for example, certain people — including minors and jurors — may not be shown on camera, only news media as defined in Ind. Code 34-46-4-1 may be authorized, and the judge may revoke authorization at any time for any reason.

TC Pink Out Game donation more than $24,000 for IWIN foundation

The 15th Annual Triton Central “Pink Out” Game continues to produce heartfelt aid to families battling breast cancer.

The 2023 Pink Out Game created a $24,045.84 donation to the Indiana Women In Need (IWIN) foundation to help women in and around Shelby County.

With the donation, TC’s total donation over 15 years increased to $229,777.

“This event shows just how caring and giving our community really is and how we embrace tough situations and turn them into positive experiences,” said Triton Central athletic director and girls basketball coach Bryan Graham in an email. “The LTB (Lady Tigers Basketball) players, staff and family members are both very grateful and thankful to all of you for making this annual evening such an exciting experience both on, and even more importantly, off the court. The work we accomplish with this event truly does affect the ladies we recognize (hundreds of survivors throughout the years) in ways that most of us will never understand.”



Triton Central hosted Tri-West on Jan. 20 in Fairland. The Tigers won the varsity game, 53-32.

A silent auction and T-shirt sales help spark the event that included a parade of breast cancer survivors throughout the gymnasium in between the junior varsity and varsity games.

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Illinois man arrested after property damage crash in Greenfield

Greenfield police officers arrested 21-year-old Leonardo Escribano of Illinois on suspicion of leaving the scene of a property damage crash and operating a motor vehicle without ever receiving a license after an early morning crash that has several Greenfield residents without power Wednesday morning.

The Hancock County 911 center received a call around 3:40 a.m. Wednesday morning from a person hearing a loud noise in the area. The witness ran toward the noise and located the crash on Apple St.

Officers arrived in the area to find a 2015 Chevrolet Tahoe that had crashed into a utility pole in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at 529 Apple St. The pole was broken at the bottom and being held up by the vehicle. There was no one inside the car, but it was still running and the front airbags were deployed.

The vehicle was registered to a residence a few blocks from the crash scene.

The witness reported seeing a person get into another vehicle and leave the area at the time of the crash. Officers were quickly able to locate that vehicle a few blocks from the crash scene. Several people inside the house refused to answer the door. A search warrant was issued and officers entered the residence and detained several people during the investigation.

With the assistance of a language translator, a suspect was identified and arrested. Leonardo Escribano was not injured in the crash. He was taken to the Hancock County Jail.

Formal charges will be determined by the Hancock County Prosecutors Office. Escribano is presumed innocent until/if he is proven guilty in a court of law.

Greenfield Power and Light arrived on scene to work to replace the utility pole. Apple St. is anticipated to be closed until later Wednesday afternoon.

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Man found dead at construction site believed to be driver of crashed vehicle

A man was found dead at a construction area on the west side of Greenfield. Police say he may be the driver involved in an accident the day before.

Greenfield police detectives and the Hancock County Fatal Accident Crash Team are investigating after the man was found by workers at the construction site on Windswept Road.

While searching the area, officers realized that a crash had occurred about 4 a.m. Monday and no driver was located. The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department was investigating that crash.

Greenfield Police say that early evidence suggests the man discovered Tuesday morning was the driver from the crash. He was discovered about 600 yards from the crash site. Investigators say they have determined that it would not have been possible for anyone to see this man from the road or from where the vehicle was left abandoned.

The man’s identity will not be released until family is notified.  The crash remains under investigation.

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Car crashed into a utility pole and home followed by another into live electrical wires

There were no injuries in a two-vehicle crash that closed Shelbyville’s South Harrison Street Monday evening.

Shelbyville Police responded to 1519 S. Harrison just after 7 p.m. and found a 2016 Nissan Sentra resting against the wall of the house at that address. The driver, Weston Brown-McCullum, 25, of Shelbyville, said he was driving southbound and he wasn’t sure what happened. He acknowledged that he drove off the street, across the grass and into the side of the house.

His car also struck a utility pole breaking it in half.

Shortly after that crash, Joseph Raney, 30, of Waldron, was also southbound on Harrison and failed to see part of the utility pole in the roadway. Raney ran over the pole and it was stuck underneath the van. The upper half of the pole then fell down on top of the Chrysler Town and Country van with live wires that trapped Raney inside.



The Shelbyville Fire Department and Duke Energy responded to help Raney get out safely.

The home, owned by Cynthia Davis, sustained exterior siding damage to the garage. There was also damage inside to the drywall. The Shelbyville Fire Department determined the structure was still sound.

Shelbyville Police say Brown-McCullum showed no signs of impairment and tested .000 on a portable breath test.

Photos Shelbyville Fire Department Facebook page


Three years later Decatur County investigators still looking for Donna Mitchell

It’s been three years since a Hope woman was last seen. Decatur County law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find Donna Mitchell.

February 11 was the three-year anniversary of Mitchell’s disappearance. At the time, she was believed to be in extreme danger and would be in need of medical assistance. Mitchell was heavily dependent on her medication and when she left her Hope residence she didn’t take her medication with her.

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department says Mitchell was last seen at the Brown Bottle Liquor store in Hartsville. Her destination was an address in the area of County Road 60 SW and CR 600 South in Decatur County. She was driving a maroon Chevrolet Trailblazer4 with an Indiana license plate – 902QAK. 

The vehicle has never been recovered.

Aerial searches have taken place over the area with no results. Also, ponds and lakes, where investigators have been allowed on the property legally, have been searched with sonar. Again, with no results.

An additional set of investigators have been assigned to the case to pursue old and new leads.

Mitchell was born Jan. 2, 1963. She is described as a white female, five feet, three inches tall, and weighing 115 pounds. She has brown hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing glasses, a tan Carhart jacket, and blue jeans with a flower decal on the pant leg.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department at 812-663-8125.

Pursuit of wanted suspect ended with crash into a field

Two people were injured when the car used to flee police crashed Sunday.

Shelbyville police officers were alerted to a wanted male who had fled from the Airport Authority Police earlier in the evening. Officers later located the suspect’s vehicle at Horseshoe of Indianapolis Casino. 

Shelbyville police say the suspect was located at the casino and fled to his vehicle.  A pursuit was initiated by officers on a vehicle which had the suspect and an unknown female inside of the vehicle. The suspect raced out of the area at a high rate of speed and headed northbound on N. Michigan Road and ignored all the officers attempts to stop him, including officers behind him with their emergency lights and sirens on. 

The suspects continued to evade officers reaching speeds over 100 mph during the pursuit. He eventually turned onto N. State Road 9 at 1000 North where a deputy was waiting with a tire deflation device. The officer was able to deploy the tire deflation device and it was successful leading to the vehicle crashing into a field. 

Officers were able to remove the female suspect from the car and detained her.  The male suspect was also removed from the car and officers began to provide medical care until the medics arrived. Both suspects were transported to Methodist Hospital.

At this time this is still an ongoing investigation.  All names and charges are being withheld while the investigation continues.


Waldron man arrested in connection with death investigation in Smithland

A Shelby County man has been charged in connection with a woman's death.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department says it is continuing to investigate the death of a woman in Smithland. The woman's name is not being released at this time.

The woman was found just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday by a passerby of the home in the 5000 block south of Smithland Road. The sheriff's department says the woman was lying in the driveway and appeared to have suffered from trauma.

An autopsy was scheduled to confirm identity and cause of death.

As detectives worked the scene they were able to develop information on a person and vehicle that may have been involved in the incident.  The Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department located the vehicle and Jarrod L. Procell, 43, of Waldron.

At this time, Procell has been charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.

Nearly $3 million dollars worth of cocaine discovered in I-70 traffic stop

An Indiana State trooper pulled over a semi on Interstate 70 near Post Road leading to the discovery of a large amount of narcotics.

At 2:30 p.m. Friday, a trooper pulled over a Peterbilt Semi, with no trailer, on I-70 eastbound east of Post Road for failing to signal a lane change. While speaking to the driver, and checking required paperwork, the trooper began to notice indications of potential criminal activity.

The trooper called for a K9 to assist with the investigation. Indiana State Police K9 Cole arrived with his handler. Cole did an open-air sniff around the vehicle and he alerted to his handler the odor of narcotics. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed approximately 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of suspected cocaine inside the sleeper-birth of the semi. Subsequent field testing confirmed the substance to be cocaine.

The Indiana State Police Drug Investigations Section estimates the value of the cocaine at $2.8 million. 

The driver, Onkar Singh, 43, of California, was arrested on drug charges. He was transported to the Marion County Jail and incarcerated.

Indiana State Police Indianapolis District Commander Lieutenant Josh Watson said, "This significant drug seizure is a result of sustained and persistent efforts by troopers assigned to our drug enforcement section. They spend countless hours patrolling our highways and diligently utilizing their specialized training and experience to intercept and seize illegal narcotics being transported in and through Indiana."  

The drug charges are preliminary and serve as probable cause for an arrest. Actual charges will be determined by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. 

Shelby County death investigation in Smithland

An autopsy has been scheduled in a death investigation in Smithland.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department has confirmed that a woman was found Saturday by a passerby. The woman was deceased outside of a Smithland home.

An autopsy will be held to confirm identity and to properly name the cause of death.

An arrest has been made in connection to the death.

More details as they are released by local law enforcement.



Flat Rock man arrested on warrant following pursuit and crash into a pond

A man wanted on a Shelby County warrant was arrested after a Friday afternoon pursuit ended in a pond.

Bartholomew County Deputy Daniel Dawson initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle in the area of State Road 46 and E State St. The vehicle was known to law enforcement as being driven by a Benjamin Munn, 48, of Flat Rock.

Munn had an active warrant for failure to appear on the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon issued by Shelby County. Munn’s serious violent felon status stems from a voluntary manslaughter conviction in Brown County from a 2012 arrest. 

Munn initially stopped the vehicle. However, after being ordered to exit the vehicle he sped away from the scene. Law enforcement pursued Munn until he exited the roadway near the intersection of Taylor Road and Waycross Drive. Munn’s vehicle traveled down a slight downhill in the lawn of a residence then crashed into the pond in the Sandy Hook neighborhood.



Munn exited the vehicle and was taken into custody as he came to shore. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for routine medical clearance then transported to the Bartholomew County Jail where he remains in custody. 

Munn has been charged with Resisting Law Enforcement, Level 6 felony; Criminal Mischief, Level 6 felony, Reckless Driving B – Misdemeanor and with the outstanding Shelby County warrant. 

The Bartholomew County Water Rescue Dive Team along with conservation officers from the Department of Natural Resources were called to the scene to recover the vehicle. The vehicle was removed from the pond after a several hour long recovery operation. 

The Bartholomew County Water Rescue Team consists of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office and Columbus Township Fire Department.


Blue River Community Foundation receives national recognition

Blue River Community Foundation (BRCF) recently received accreditation with the nation’s highest standard for philanthropic excellence.


National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® establish legal, ethical, effective practices for community foundations everywhere.


“Meeting the National Standards benchmarks is a rigorous, comprehensive process,” said Randy Royster, board member of the Council on Foundations. “This accreditation is a significant accomplishment that indicates Blue River Community Foundation demonstrates a commitment to transparency, quality, integrity and accountability as it carries out its mission.”



The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. With over 500 community foundations already accredited nationwide, the program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.


“This is critically important to our donors,” said Jennifer Jones, BRCF Executive Director. “When people make a charitable bequest or establish a fund, they are putting their trust in BRCF. They are counting on our organization to manage the investment wisely and to honor their charitable wishes. The National Standards accreditation says our house is in order and that we are operating legally and correctly.”


The Foundation works to meet critical, ever changing community needs and support local causes, including the arts, culture , youth and education, health, social services and civic programs and projects.


BRCF offers a range of charitable funds, allowing donors to advance a cause, support an individual organization, provide flexible support for community needs or recommend individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, the accreditation validates Blue River Community Foundation’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.


“Grantmaking is an investment in our community,” said Brady Claxton, BRCF board chair. “We need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. With our National Standards accreditation, Shelby County can be assured that we’re doing just that.”


National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® is the first program of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.

PK U.S.A. announces new associate referral program unlike any in the Midwest Region

PK U.S.A. will award both associates currently employed at PK U.S.A. Shelbyville, and those they refer to the company for employment, in robust incremental fees over a 12 month period.


Referrals (new employees) and the PK associate that referred them will receive a $1,000 referral fee after 3 months, then a retention fee of $2,000 after 6 months, then an anniversary fee of $2,000 after 12 months of employment. A grand total of $5,000 will be paid to both the current PK associate and the new associate after the 12 month time frame.


“One of our most valuable assets at PK U.S.A. is our current associate base. They can put their connections to good use by referring friends and family to become gainfully employed at PK and earn extra rewards for doing
so,” said Peter Sandström, President of PK U.S.A.

“Like most corporations in Shelby County, we’ve had challenges finding associates to fill our manufacturing needs, and after some brainstorming, it was determined we have great recruitment channels right here in our own company. There’s no better way to hire than with referrals from our own associates. They know friends and family that would fit in to our PK U.S.A. environment,” states Bill Kent, Vice-President of Corporate Relations.


This robust referral program allows any PK U.S.A. associate to refer as many people as they wish to any open position. Interviews will be conducted as usual, and normal recruitment activities will remain the same. All job openings within PK U.S.A. Shelbyville are included.


Associates are encouraged to check in with Human Resources every week to review open positions available.


This initiative begins on Monday, February 13.

Shelby Eastern Schools board approves Danco bid for roof work

The Shelby Eastern Schools board approved a bid Wednesday to replace a section of roof at Morristown Junior/Senior High School.

Danco Roofing Services, Inc., of Indianapolis, was awarded the bid at a cost of $321,535. The bid was the lowest of five bids received.

This will be the first time Shelby Eastern has utilized Danco for a project. The company recently finished a roof project for the Hamilton Southeastern school system, according to Shelby Eastern Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Hitchcock.

The section of roof covers the junior high wing at Morristown Junior/Senior High School.

The roof replacement is scheduled to begin at the end of the current school year and be completed before the start of the 2023-2024 school year.

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Colgate-Palmolive recalls Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaners due to risk of exposure to bacteria

Colgate-Palmolive is recalling 4.9 million bottles of its Fabuloso multi-purpose cleaner.

This recall involves certain Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaners, which is a multi-purpose cleaner that can be used to clean most residential hard surfaces.

The first eight digits of the lot code of the recalled products are 2348US78 through 2365US78 and 3001US78 through 3023US78. A list of the UPC, lot codes and complete list of products, can be found at www.Fabulosorecall.com.

No Fabuloso Antibacterial variants or other Fabuloso products are impacted by this recall. The following Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaners are included in this recall.

The recalled products can contain Pseudomonas species bacteria, including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Pseudomonas fluorescens, which are environmental organisms found widely in soil and water. People with weakened immune systems, external medical devices, or underlying lung conditions who are exposed to the bacteria face a risk of serious infection that may require medical treatment. The bacteria can enter the body if inhaled, through the eyes, or through a break in the skin.

People with healthy immune systems are usually not affected by the bacteria. 

The products were sold online at Amazon.com and other websites and at Dollar General, Family Dollar, The Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and other major retailers nationwide from December 2022 through January 2023 for between $1 and $11.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Fabuloso Multi-Purpose Cleaner products and contact Colgate-Palmolive Company for a full refund or a free replacement product. To receive a refund or replacement, consumers should take a picture of the product’s UPC and lot code and dispose of the product in its container with household trash. The consumer recall form can be found on www.fabulosorecall.com.

Do not empty the product prior to disposal.

Jane Pauley Community Health Center Shelbyville moving to new location this month

The Jane Pauley Community Health Center (JPCHC) announced that effective February 24, its Shelbyville practice will begin seeing patients in a new, expanded location at 1818 E. State Road 44, Suite B.

The practice is relocating from its prior space less than half a mile away at 1640 E. State Road 44, Suite B. Having completely remodeled a former Gordmans’ Department Store, JPCHC is tripling from roughly 5,000 to 15,000 square feet to provide Primary and Behavioral Health Care services for local patients.

“This investment in our Shelby County presence has been in the works for over three years. We are pleased to increase our capacity for providing comprehensive, affordable care for all, with room for future growth as well,” said Marc Hackett, JPCHC CEO. “Our mission is ‘caring for our communities,’ so we also look forward to continued partnership with Major Hospital and other local groups to support community members needing healthcare and other resources and services.”

This year marks the JPCHC Shelbyville location’s tenth anniversary in the community. Doors initially opened in 2013 at the Shelbyville Middle School, and expanded when JPCHC acquired the free clinic at its current location in 2016. JPCHC will look to celebrate its continuation of non-profit healthcare services for the Shelbyville community with an open house at the new space later this spring.

“As a Shelbyville native myself, it’s been gratifying to oversee the continued improvements in accessible healthcare for our local residents,” said Shelbyville Practice Manager Dawn Houchin, who has been with JPCHC since joining under the free clinic merger in 2016. “We have immediate openings for Primary Care appointments, now with new language translation services available to ensure access for all. A food pantry is in the works to open onsite in 2023. And, whether you are a patient or not, we can help with free insurance enrollment appointments. We’re here no matter what support our patients need.”

For more information, visit https://janepauleychc.org/shelbyville

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Shelbyville man charged with drug offenses after I-74 traffic stop

A traffic violation led to a drug arrest for state and county law enforcement on I-74.

Just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Trooper Michael Risley was patrolling I-74 near C.R. 700 W. in Shelby County when he noticed a silver Ford Ranger following another vehicle too closely. The trooper pulled the truck over on I-74 near the 103 mile marker.

While speaking with the driver and passenger, the trooper reported that he became suspicious of possible drug activity. He requested assistance from the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and two deputies responded. Trooper Hunter Mccord and her K9 Koda also responded to assist.

Koda conducted an open-air sniff around the outside of the vehicle and gave an indication of narcotics inside the truck. Officers subsequently searched the truck and found three small bags of methamphetamine, along with pills and drug paraphernalia.

The driver, Eric Alexander, 49, of Shelbyville, was arrested. He faces the preliminary charges of dealing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license. He was transported to the Shelby County Jail and incarcerated.

The passenger in the vehicle was released with no charges.

Indiana State Police say the arrest is based upon probable cause. The charges listed are preliminary with actual charges to be determined by the Shelby County Prosecutor's Office upon review. 

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Registration open for Future Tiger Athletics baseball leagues

Future Tiger Athletics has opened registration for the 2023 T-Ball/Coach Pitch league that will run from May 8 through June 14 in Fairland, Indiana.

Deadline for registration is March 11 when a Skills Evaluation Day/TC Youth Baseball Camp will be held at Triton Central High School.

Registration fee is $50 per player and there will be a $20 fee to participate in the Skills Evaluation Day/TC Youth Baseball Camp. Each kid will receive a T-shirt, socks and hat for the season.

On April 2, there will be a mandatory coaches meeting. Teams will be drafted at this time.

Both leagues are available to boys and girls ages 3-8. T-Ball league is for ages 3-5; Coach Pitch league is for ages 6-8.

Age determination for each league is based on age as of Aug. 1, 2023.

Team practices will begin the week of April 24.

The leagues will conclude with a single-elimination tournament.

For more information, contact Triton Central baseball head coach Justin Bergman at 317-800-8870 or email to justinbergman78@gmail.com.

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High winds forecast for Thursday

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind watch for Thursday.

The watch remains in effect from Thursday morning through Thursday evening.

Thursday’s forecast includes showers and thunderstorm possibilities as temperatures continue to push into the upper 50s.

Southwest winds on Thursday are expected to be 25-to-35 mph with gusts up to 55 mph possible.

Damaging winds could blow down trees and power lines leaving power outages a possibility. Also, travel could be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

Counties in the watch include: Adams, Allen, Benton, Blackford, Boone, Carroll, Cass, Clinton, DeKalb, Delaware, Elkhart, Fountain, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Howard, Huntington, Jasper, Jay, Kosciusko, Johnson, Lagrange, Lake, LaPorte, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Miami, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Parke, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Rush, St. Joseph, Shelby, Starke, Steuben, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vermillion, Wabash, Warren, Wells, White, and Whitley.

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Shelbyville senior awarded inaugural Gary Oldham Jr. Scholarship

Gary Oldham Sr. was driving to Shelbyville High School Friday afternoon when he saw a young man with an eerie resemblance to his son walking away from the school.

Gary Oldham Jr. died in an automobile accident on Jan. 5, 2022, but that did not stop his father from noticing the resemblance.

“He was walking down here with dirty, sandy blonde hair like (Gary’s) and about his length in high school with a white sweatshirt on and black sweatpants and a backpack walking down McKay,” explained Oldham Sr. “He walked just like junior. My wife goes if he had his hood up it would be. I said sometimes he left it down so his hair wouldn’t get messed up.”

Oldham Jr. is gone – he is not forgotten. And his father is working diligently with friends and family to make sure the former Golden Bear helps many more student-athletes.

On Friday in the Golden Bear Room at SHS, Oldham Sr. presented the first Gary Oldham Jr. Scholarship to Shelbyville senior Christian Haas (main photo).

“I am the first but it’s the first of a start that later down the road can help other students and show other athletes if you are doing good in the community and doing good in school it will pay off, just not in all the ways you are expecting,” said Haas, who had no idea he was arriving at the school to get a scholarship check.

Haas knew Oldham Jr., a 2011 SHS graduate.

“I played softball with him,” said Haas. “He was the one that would always pump you up.”



Haas recently committed to playing soccer in the fall at Indiana University Purdue University Columbus. On Friday, he believed he was coming to school for some sort of presentation about Oldham Jr.

“I figured I would go help out and see what it is all about,” he said. “My jaw just dropped to the floor. I am honestly shocked.”

The $2,500 scholarship check will go straight to Haas’ education.

Oldham Sr. pulled the oversized check out from behind the Golden Bear background in the Golden Bear Room but struggled to get the words out what the scholarship program means and how proud he is of the first recipient.

“It always does (get to me),” said Oldham Sr.

There will be a second scholarship presentation in June, according to Oldham Sr. The goal is to eventually raise $25,000 to get the scholarship endowed at the Blue River Community Foundation.

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Result of paving project leaves Shelbyville resident frustrated

An overlay project has created a problem for a Shelbyville resident.

Following water line work and asphalt paving along Elm Street, Linda Fox lost the curb in front of her residence at 615 Elm St. (photo)

Without the curb, cars are parking on her front yard without the curb to keep it from happening.

Parking is only allowed along the side of Elm St. where Fox resides. She vented her frustration Tuesday morning at the city’s Board of Works meeting.

“All I want is a curb,” reiterated Fox.

Mayor Tom DeBaun, who is one of three members of the Board of Works, expressed his frustration with fixing the situation without repaving Elm Street again. DeBaun also promised Fox that the situation will continue to be worked on to create a positive solution.

In other Board of Works business Tuesday:

  • Awarded the Miller St. paving bid to Schutte Excavating, based in Greensburg, Ind., for $483,775. The project will run along Miller St. from Washington St. to Penn St.
  • Issued orders to appear for owners of four nuisance properties around the city.
  • Opened bids for the Jackson Street reconstruction project that ranged from $95,000 to $192,500. Seven bids were taken under advisement. The city engineer’s cost estimation was $143,570.
  • Approved road closures for the St. Joe Festival, which will run from May 10-13.

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Ordinance to allow golf carts on city streets continued to next Common Council meeting

Golf carts are still not allowed on city streets in Shelbyville.

An ordinance that would change that policy was continued Monday at the Common Council meeting at City Hall.

The continuation was prompted by Shelbyville Police Chief Mark Weidner’s opposition to allowing street access for golf carts.

“I don’t think this is in the best interest of anyone to put these on the streets,” said Weidner (photo). “I want to go on the record and oppose it in the interest of public safety.”

Citing data that shows golf cart incidents have risen in Indiana from two in 2019 to 50 in 2022, which included 15 injuries and one fatality, Weidner asked, “We don’t have this problem, why create this for ourselves?”

The ordinance was formulated following a request from Major Health Partners (MHP) to use golf carts as transportation around the Intelliplex campus where it operates several buildings including a hospital.

The ordinance was discussed in detail during the January council meeting. Golf carts would not be allowed to travel more than 20 miles per hour and not be utilized on roads with a posted speed limit of 40 mph. Golf carts also must have working turn signals, head lamps, brake lights and seat belts.

Another sticking point for Weidner was golf carts passing police inspection.

“The inspection by the department, I don’t know what that means for anybody else,” said Weidner. “I think a lot of people that will argue that we don’t have the expertise for that. I don’t know what is safe and what is not.”

The ordinance was formulated based on a similar ordinance in Cicero, Indiana. With the ordinance discussion continued, the council agreed to collect more information from Cicero officials as to how the ordinance is enforced.



In other council business Monday:

  • Approved a rezone request on first reading for 1501 S. Harrison St. (photo) from Single-Family Residential to Business General. Genesis Property Development has a purchase agreement for the property that has been used for commercial and retail purposes for more than two decades but was never rezoned to Business General. Tom Davis, representing Genesis, informed the council that the building will be renovated to become office space.
  • Approved the appointment of Michelle Nolley to the county’s Economic Development Council.
  • Heard an update from Melissa O’Connor about the Youth Assistance Program in Shelbyville. Started in March of 2016, the program works with troubled children – 128 actively – including offering tutoring and mentoring.

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Man killed in near head-on crash in Decatur County

A man was killed Monday in a Decatur County two-vehicle crash.

Just after 8 a.m., the Indiana State Police began investigating a two-vehicle crash on US 421 in southern Decatur County that resulted in the death of an Osgood man.

The initial investigation by Master Trooper David Owsley, Indiana State Police-Versailles District Crash Reconstruction Team, indicated that a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze, driving by Noah Seals, 26, of Osgood, was traveling southbound on US 421 near Decatur County Road 600 South. For an unknown reason, Seals’ vehicle crossed the centerline into the path of a northbound 2016 Mack dump truck being driven by Patrick Stroud, 38, of Vevay. The vehicles collided nearly head on in the northbound lanes of US 421.

Both vehicles left the roadway before coming to rest. Seals was pronounced deceased at the scene by the Decatur County Coroner’s Office. Stroud sustained minor injuries in the crash. He was transported to the Decatur County Hospital where he was treated and released.

The crash remains under investigation. Toxicology results are pending although alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be factors in the crash.

US 421 was closed for nearly four hours for crash investigation and cleanup.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur County EMS, Napoleon Fire Department, and the Decatur County Coroner’s Office.




I-74 road rage incident results in drug charges against Franklin woman

A case of road rage landed a Johnson County woman in jail.

On Friday, Indiana State troopers arrested a woman on drug and other charges following a road rage incident involving a handgun on I-74 in Ripley and Dearborn counties.

The incident began about 11 a.m. Troopers received a report of a road rage incident on I-74 westbound near the Indiana/Ohio state line. The witness reported that the driver of a Kia passenger vehicle had allegedly pointed a handgun at them while traveling on I-74. Master Troopers Randel Miller and Jason Hankins observed for the vehicle and soon located it near Batesville.

During a traffic stop on the vehicle, troopers became suspicious of additional criminal activity. K-9 Bosco was deployed on the vehicle and alerted to the odor of illegal drugs in the vehicle. During a search, troopers located approximately four grams of methamphetamine, five grams of marijuana, and a 9 mm handgun. 

The driver, Lisa Marie Hancock, 50, of Franklin, was arrested on charges of Possession of Methamphetamine with a firearm, Level 5 Felony, Pointing a Firearm, Level 6 Felony, Reckless Driving, Class A Misdemeanor, and Possession of Marijuana, Class B Misdemeanor. 

She was transported to the Ripley County Jail pending an initial court appearance in the Ripley County Circuit Court.

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Batesville Police Department.   

Indiana State Police featured in scam

Indiana State Police receives numerous reports of phone scams each year, but one scam has drawn specific attention to the area.

The scammers have called with the Caller ID showing “Indiana State Police Post 52.” The phone number displayed is 317-899-8577, which is the phone number to the post. The scammers identify themselves as police officers and indicate to the caller there is a warrant for their arrest. The scammer then tries to obtain personal information and request financial restitution to take care of the warrant. 

Scams like this with “spoofed” Indiana State Police phone numbers have happened across Indiana with scams ranging from telling the victim their identity has been stolen, selling insurance or attempts to raise money for false charities.

The Indiana State Police remind residents that these types of phone scammers are pervasive and technically savvy. Scammers will often play on your emotions and fears to get to your money. 

The easiest way to protect yourself from being scammed over the phone is either to ignore unsolicited calls from unknown callers or just hang up when something doesn’t seem right.

You should never provide any information over the phone to an unknown caller regarding your personal identity, social security number, bank account(s), or credit card number(s).

If in doubt, or if you feel you may have fallen victim to a phone scammer, just hang up and immediately report the incident to your local law enforcement agency.


Honda issues "Do Not Drive" advisory for vehicles with Takata air bags

Honda and the U.S. government are warning owners of over 8000 vehicles to not drive them until air bag inflators are replaced.

A "Do Not Drive" advisory was issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Friday issued a “Do Not Drive” advisory for 2001 through 2003 vehicles with Takata inflators. The inflators have the ability to explode and hurl shrapnel through the vehicle.

The Alpha inflators have a 50% chance of exploding in a crash.

The vehicles have been recalled before but records show no repair made in over 8,000. Honda says it has replaced 99% of the damgerous inflators.

Vehicles affected include the 2001 and 2002 Honda Accord and Civic, the 2002 Honda CR-V and Odyssey SUVs, the 2003 Honda Pilot, the 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TL and the 2003 Acura 3.2 CL.

Owners can check to see if their cars are covered by going to https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and keying in their 17-digit vehicle identification number.



Indiana State Chili Championship returns to Shelbyville this weekend

Shelbyville will again in 2023 host the Indiana State Chili Championship.


The event is Saturday and Sunday at the Knights of Columbus #822 in Shelbyville.

27 cooks from five states are scheduled to compete for the chili title.  For the public, there is $5 tasting on Saturday from noon - 3 p.m.


Local musician Nick Fischer will be playing on-site and local vendors will be there selling other goodies.


Proceeds from the event benfit KoC Charities.


Indiana State Police report scams targeting local restaurants

Detectives with the Indiana State Police have recently received complaints about a potential scam targeting local restaurants.


According to the Indiana State Police the restaurant receives a phone call. The caller tells the answering employee they are from a local law enforcement agency and conducting a counterfeit money investigation. The caller tells the employee that the restaurant possibly has counterfeit money. The employee is then instructed to gather all the restaurant’s money and meet the caller at a location away from the restaurant, purportedly to check for counterfeit money. This is an attempt to steal the restaurant’s money. 


Scammers are constantly coming up with new tricks and have recently been impersonating members of law enforcement. Sometimes they will use software that shows the incoming call is from a police department. Their sole purpose is to attempt to steal from individuals and businesses. 


Law enforcement officers will not call you and request you bring them money.


If you happen to receive unsolicited phone calls similar in nature:


Don’t give in to the pressure to act.

Don’t engage in conversation with suspected scammers.

Don’t send or take money to a caller. Also, don’t wire money or pay a scammer with a prepaid debit card or gift card.

Don’t travel to any location the caller asks you to go.

Hang up and call the police.



Bill to build a better mental health care system for Indiana passes committee

A Senate Republican Caucus priority bill authored by State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) that would improve access to mental health care for Hoosiers was amended and passed out of committee unanimously.


Senate Bill 1 would provide ongoing funding to build out a system of certified behavioral health clinics, establishing the next step for improving our mental health care system.


The amendment adopted today provides small changes to the bill that establish clarified timelines for the Family and Social Services Agency, changes the number of members on the Behavioral Health Commission to 12, including four appointed by the legislature, and puts performance measures in place to ensure Indiana has care where it is most needed.


"Mental health is an ongoing issue that Hoosiers are facing, affecting individuals, families and communities," said Crider. "It is imperative that Hoosiers suffering from mental illness know they have someone to call, someone to respond and a safe place to go."


According to data collected by the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, approximately 22% of Hoosiers experience mental illness each year, and half of Hoosiers with serious mental illness go untreated. Combining the direct health care costs, the non-health care services and the indirect costs, the total economic burden of untreated mental health in Indiana is around $4.2 billion.


Following the implementation of the 9-8-8 National Suicide and Crisis Line last year, SB 1 will help  Indiana continue to improve access to mental-health services and infrastructure to ensure Hoosiers have access to the resources they need.


SB 1 will now be considered by the full Senate.



Millions in unclaimed money and property available through IndianaUnclaimed.govĀ 

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita is reminding Hoosiers to check for assets waiting for them after the recent National Unclaimed Property Day (Feb. 1) .


Last year, the Unclaimed Property Division returned over $61 million to Hoosiers.


Here are the types of property that might go unclaimed:

Unclaimed wages or commissions

Money orders

Safety deposit box contents

Savings and checking accounts


Overpayments such as:

Credit card balances

Cell phone bills

DMV payments


There are also some tangible items received from dormant safe deposit boxes.


Individuals and/or businesses have 25 years in which to claim money once it is reported to the Unclaimed Property Division. All you must do is supply proof of rightful ownership.


“Protecting Hoosiers’ liberty is my office’s top priority,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Returning unclaimed property to the rightful owners is just one way we carry out this larger mission. Who knows — you might find $5 or $1,000, but it’s worth a look.”


Check IndianaUnclaimed.gov or text CLAIM to 46220 to search your name, family, or business.


IUPUC adds fast-track teaching certificate for those with bachelor's degree

As part of a new partnership with IUPUI, the IUPUC Division of Education is introducing a fast-track elementary teaching certificate, starting fall semester 2023.


Participants who already have a bachelor’s degree can complete the program with just 24 credits. Additionally, students who earn a B or better can apply 18 credits toward a master’s degree in elementary education.


The program, called the District-Based Alternative Certification Program (DBAC), is a collection of in-person and online classes, and replaces the Transition to Teaching Program.


Other education programs IUPUC offers include:

A traditional 4-year pathway to an elementary education degree

A 2-year professional program for graduates of Ivy Tech who completed the Elementary Education Transfer Single Articulation Pathway

The Secondary Transition to Teaching program for those interested in secondary education who currently hold a bachelor’s degree (in partnership with IU Kokomo)

Add-on licensure programs in Special Education, Mild Intervention and English as a New Language. These programs require students have or be working toward an initial licensure, and require completing six courses and a student teaching experience.


Crystal Walcott, Head of the IUPUC Division of Education, noted that elementary licensure can lead to teaching at higher levels, too. “A little-known fact is that once an initial license is granted, many secondary content area licenses can be added by assessment only. That means our elementary education grads can become, in effect, licensed in grades K-12 with only one degree.”


Walcott added that several IUPUC elementary education graduates now teach high school subjects like language arts and math because they added those content areas to their license. “The only additional step for them was passing the content area licensing exam,” she explained.


For more information about becoming a licensed 

Bill providing easy-to-read school testing results passes Senate

A bill authored by State. Sen Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would require an easy-to-read summary of a student's statewide testing results to be included on their statewide assessment report passed the Senate unanimously.


Senate Bill 168 would require the Indiana Department of Education to ensure statewide assessment vendors provide easy-to-read summaries of a student's results on their statewide assessment report, which would assist teachers and families in understanding what subjects their students may be struggling in.


"In order to improve a child's education, families and instructors need to understand what subject areas the student is struggling in," Leising said. "Making test results easier to read will help instructors and families take more well-informed actions in helping their student obtain fundamental learning skills."


SB 168 will now move to the Indiana House of Representatives for further consideration. To learn more about the bill, visit iga.in.gov.

Greenfield man arrested for false threats of a bomb on a plane in messages to fellow passengers

A Hancock County man in Indianapolis by the FBI in connection to false reports of a bomb on an airplace.

Federal officials say Keith Diemer, 35, of Greenfield, used the Apple AirDrop system on Oct. 2 to send false messages to fellow airline passengers on a flight leaving Dallas. 

ABC affiliate KOAT says American Airlines Flight 928 used emergency protocols to land and was evacuated for the investigation of threats to blow up the plane and that a bomb was onboard.

Diemer could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

Columbus man killed in fall from cliff

A Columbus family is trying to raise funds to bring home Edgar Garay from Puerto Rico.

Garay, 27, originaly from Puerto Rico, was attempting to shoot a TikTok video when he fell 70 feet from a cliff at the lighthouse at Cabo Rojo in Puerto Rico.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Puerto Rico Emergency Bureau dive unit located Garay’s body Monday.

Garay moved to Columbus when he was about five years old. He graduated from Columbus North High School.

Efforts are being made by the family with a GoFundMe fundraiser to bring Garay home for funeral services.