Local News

Final Board of Works meeting ends 12-year run for DeBaun, Finkel and Williams

After 12 years together and approximately 600 meetings, the trio of Tom DeBaun, David Finkel and Bob Williams closed out their final City of Shelbyville Board of Works and Public Safety meeting Friday morning.

DeBaun’s three-term run as mayor is ending and Finkel (photo, left) and Williams (photo, right) will not be returning to the Board of Works under new mayor Scott Furgeson, who has appointed Val Phares and Tom Reaves to join him on the board that meets weekly at City Hall.

Williams is a former police chief and mayor of the city while Finkel has served on city boards for 32 consecutive years. He ran for the Republican nomination for mayor this year and lost to Furgeson, and has not ruled out running again in a future election.

The Board of Works closed out the calendar year with no old or new business to attend to at the meeting.

“This is the grand goodbye so I want to thank everybody for their patience and attendance and all the work we’ve done,” said DeBaun (photo, center) to those in attendance at the meeting, including many of the city’s department leaders. “Collectively, average 50 meetings per year for 12 years, we’ve had 600 of these things and in 30 years I’ve attended about 1,500. It’s time to go.”

DeBaun was the city’s Plan Director for 18 years before becoming Mayor.

The trio serving for 12 consecutive years is unmatched in city history. The board also consists of two Democrats and a Republican (Finkel), which Finkel believes is rare, if not unheard of, in the state of Indiana.

“I have never worked with two people who cared more about the city of Shelbyville,” said Williams at the end of the meeting. “I appreciate that very much.”

Photo courtesy of David Finkel

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Suspect arrested in August home invasion, shooting

Shelbyville Police have confirmed the arrest of a man involved in a home invasion and shooting that happened in August.

Devon L. Parrish, 31, has been charged in the Aug. 18 incident. Parrish is accused of entering the home of an elderly Shelbyville couple, shooting and beating the elderly male, and physically assaulting an elderly female. 

An arrest warrant was issued for Parrish 10 days after the incident. Parrish has eluded law enforcement until recently. Parrish has been arrested and is currently in the Shelby County Jail awaiting his court appearance.

The information release from the Shelbyville Police Department notes this was the result of outstanding law enforcement work between multiple agencies. Shelbyville police also noted it wanted to thank everyone who was involved in the investigation and apprehension of Parrish. 

Charges against Parrish include:

  • Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury, Level 2 felony
  • Armed Robbery, Level 3 felony
  • Burglary, Level 1 felony

One arrest took place soon after the incident. An Indianapolis man was arrested for his role.

On Aug. 18, in the 3 p.m. hour, an elderly couple in their 80s was assaulted at their home on Cardinal Lane by men described as wearing tactical gear and armed with two guns. The woman at the home, age 84, was able to contact the couple's daughter to report the attack.

Colton Lacy, 33, of Indianapolis, was arrested after law enforcement was able to use surveillance cameras in the area to identify a Dodge Charger that dropped the men off at the home. The men left in the same vehicle.

Lacy was initially charged with robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, armed robbery and burglary resulting in serious bodily injury.

During the home invasion, the men demanded to know where the money was and fired a shot that injured the male victim, age 87. He was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The couple stated they had no money at the home.



Shelbyville's St. Joseph Catholic Church holding historic tours twice in December

St. Joseph's Catholic Church will be offering guided tours featuring the architecture and artistry of the historic house of worship in Shelbyville.

The tours will touch on the inception of St. Joseph's as a small rural parish founded primarily by German and Irish immigrants to the current church built in 1908 of neo-Romanesque architecture.  

Father Mike Keucher offers an invitation to tours scheduled for December 30.

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Shelbyville, Shelby Eastern, Southern Hancock and Mt Vernon to receive child care grants

Four area school districts will receive employer-sponsored child care grants.

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning is awarding $18.1 million in employer-sponsored child care grants to 64 businesses, community groups and school corporations. The initiative, part of Gov. Holcomb’s 2023 Next Level Agenda, is mobilizing employers and communities to create or expand child care offerings that address the needs of working Hoosiers.

“We wanted those who know first-hand the critical needs of their employees, and those who are best positioned to partner in their communities, to create child care solutions for their workforce, and they delivered,” Gov. Holcomb said. “This effort harnesses the combined efforts of businesses, community groups, and schools that want to support working Hoosiers’ careers and our youngest learners across the state.”

Thirty-three employers plan to provide on-site child care to their employees, and 13 will offer child care tuition benefits to their workers. The remaining awardees plan to support child care for their employees in a variety of other ways, such as reserving seats at partner child care centers. 

Among those chosen from the area include Shelbyville Central Schools ($200,000), Shelby Eastern ($200,000), Southern Hancock Schools ($200,000) and Mt. Vernon School Corporation ($350,000).

This round of awardees will receive 72% of available funding from the $25 million fund. Round two awardees – which will be announced in early 2024 – will receive the remaining funds.

Thirty large employers with 1,000 or more employees will receive up to $750,000 each. Twenty-five mid-sized employers with between 100 and 999 employees will receive up to $350,000. And nine small employers with between 20 and 99 employees will receive up to $50,000.

“I look forward to seeing all the inventive approaches to child care come to life in communities across the state, and partnering with more businesses, community groups and schools on this important, collaborative effort to support children, their families and the state’s economy,” said Courtney Penn, OECOSL director. “Birth to age 5 are the most critical in a person’s life, and now more of our next generation will receive early education that is crucial to their brain and social development.”

The program, a partnership with the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, uses a portion of the state’s remaining federal relief funds from the COVID-19 pandemic and is part of the state’s broader efforts to strengthen the early care and education sector, providing support for today’s workforce and investing in tomorrow’s. The program is also supported by the Indiana Manufacturers Association.

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Powerball to reach estimated $760 million prize for Saturday drawing

No one hit the jackpot for Wednesday's Powerball drawing.

That means the prize that reached $707.2 million will skyrocket to an estimated $760 million for the next drawing on Saturday.

There was a reported $1 million dollar winner in California and a $2 million dollar winner in Texas.

Saturday's drawing should be the sixth largest Powerball jackpot in history. There hasn't been a jackpot winner since October 11 when a winner in California took home $1.76 billion.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million.

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Shelbyville Police concerned about traffic not stopping for school bus on State Road 9

School bus traffic along the North State Road 9 corridor continues to be a concern for the Shelbyville Police Department.

Lt. Mike Turner says many people may not realize that you need to stop when a school bus has its lights activated and stop arm out even when multiple lanes of traffic are involved.

Lt. Turner says this wasn't always the concern that it seems to be recently.

Turner even offers that stopping is a good idea even if you're not sure what to do regarding a stopped school bus.

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Application cycle open for Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship

High school and college students interested in teaching as a profession are encouraged to apply for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship through Jan. 31.

Created by the Indiana General Assembly, the renewable scholarship awards recipients up to $10,000 for a maximum of four academic years totaling $40,000.

This is a $3,500 increase from previous years after lawmakers allocated $24 million in the new 2024-25 state budget to better support future teachers’ career success through the scholarship.

In return for the scholarship, students must agree to teach for five years at an eligible Indiana school or repay the corresponding, prorated amount of the scholarship.

Program requirements:

  • Must be an Indiana resident
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Must be a current high school senior or college student in Indiana
  • Must have graduated or will graduate from an Indiana accredited high school or non-accredited, non-public high school
  • Must be able to utilize the scholarship for at least two full academic years
  • Must meet one of the three Academic Requirements
  • Rank in the top 20% of high school graduating class
  • Have a top 20% ACT or SAT score
  • Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Must currently attend or plan to attend an eligible Indiana institution as a full-time student
  • Must pursue or intend to pursue a course of study that would enable the student to teach at an eligible Indiana school after college graduation
  • Must obtain a license to teach in Indiana and serve as a teacher in an eligible Indiana school for five years after college graduation
  • Must maintain a 3.0/4.0 GPA, complete 30 credit hours per year or their equivalent and meet all other requirements established by their program to renew the scholarship
  • Must file a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year
  • Must not be in overpayment or default on a federal student loan or grant
  • Must complete the service requirement or have all funds provided converted to a loan that must be repaid.

The 2024-25 application is available in ScholarTrack (scholartrack.che.in.gov/) until Jan. 31, 2024.

After the Jan. 31 deadline passes, the Commission will review all applications and notify all applications of their scholarship status via email by April 2024.

For more information, send emails to NextTeacher@che.in.gov


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Decatur County changing emergency warning system

Decatur County is moving to a new public notification system for messaging in the county.

Residents will have to register an address and phone online to receive messages from the new system.

The easiest way to get started is to text DECATURCO to 99411.

You will receive a link that will take you to the sign up page for CodeRed. Be sure and check your email used to register to finish the setup of your account.

Sign up takes a few minutes to complete. The messages will be for Decatur County only and the weather warnings will be directly from the National Weather Service. You will also be able to receive general and emergency messages from Decatur County. 

You have the options to choose which messages you will receive.

If you have any questions please email ema@decaturcounty.in.gov.

The current system (Nixle) will stay active until March 2024. The new system is expected to be more efficient when receiving weather warnings from NWS.




Furgeson sworn in as next mayor of Shelbyville

In front of a standing-room only crowd gathered at the City Hall council chambers Saturday morning, Scott Furgeson was sworn in as the next Mayor of Shelbyville.

Furgeson (photo, right), the owner of Cagney’s Pizza King restaurant in Shelbyville, was a two-term mayor of the city from 2004 to 2011. He most recently has served as the Fourth Ward representative on Shelbyville’s Common Council.

Furgeson, a Republican, defeated his Democrat challenger Nic Weber in the November election. On Jan. 1, the role of mayor will officially be Furgeson’s again.

“Today was a good day. We got everybody sworn in and I am looking forward to a good year,” he said. “We’ve been working a lot. I told someone the other day I think I’ve got two months worth of comp time already I could take off but I wanted to be ready to take office so we’ve done a lot of the due diligence.

“I am still meeting with the current department heads, getting their projects they’re working on now so we don’t stop doing. We need to keep going and moving Shelbyville forward.”

Rob Nolley, chairman of the Shelby County Republican Party, hosted the swearing in ceremony for the new Morristown Clerk-Treasurer Morgan Stratton, all seven Common Council members and the mayor – all Republicans.



Furgeson then took over and handled the swearing in of the city’s department heads (photo) which includes a new Police Chief, Fire Chief and Street Department director, and two new Board of Works members.

“It is a lot of change but I am confident in those gentlemen I picked to do those jobs will do a great job,” said Furgeson. “Chief (Bill) Dwenger has been around a long time and has the lay of it all. And Chief (Doug) Lutes being a retired fireman has done every job over there.”

Shane Peters will take over as Street Department director following the retirement of Doug Hunt at the end of 2023.

The Shelbyville Common Council now includes Kassy Wilson (First Ward), Betsy Means-Davis (Second Ward), Mike Johnson (Third Ward), Linda Sanders (Fourth Ward), Thurman Adams (Fifth Ward), Denny Harrold (At-Large) and Chuck Reed (At Large).

Also sworn in Saturday morning were the two new members of the Board of Works and Public Safety – Val Phares and Tom Reaves.

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A call for Christmas carolers to help young man with brain cancer at his home Friday

Christmas carolers are hoping they can bring some holiday joy and comfort to a Shelbyville home Friday evening.

Jared (Bob) Magner is suffering from brain cancer at the age of 21.  His mother, Jennifer Moore, posted recently that Bob had come home from the hospital as there was little that medicine and doctors could do for him.

Various postings and conversations have sparked a planned caroling session for this evening to help Bob celebrate the holiday that he loves.

Shiela Fuquai explains.



Fuquai says anyone is invited to come to the home at 319 West Taylor at 7 p.m.

Also, there is a Go Fund Me page operated by his Bob's mother.






Indiana's November 2023 employment report released

Indiana’s unemployment rate in November stands at 3.7%, according to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. By comparison, the national unemployment rate for November stands at 3.7%.

In addition, Indiana’s labor force participation rate stands at 63.3% for November, remaining above the national rate of 62.8%. This rate is the percentage of Hoosiers 16 and older that are either working or actively looking for work. Those not in the labor force include primarily students, retirees and other non-working populations, such as individuals unable to work due to a disability or illness, or adults responsible for their family's childcare needs.  

Indiana’s total labor force stands at 3,423,256 -- an increase of 1,613 from the previous month.

"Indiana's employment data for November shows the state remains in a strong position," said DWD Commissioner Richard Paulk. "Private employment has set state records for two consecutive months which shows employers still have hiring needs and more individuals are landing new jobs. Whether it's job creation, talent acquisition or upskilling the labor force, Indiana is home to unprecedented opportunity for workers and employers."

Private sector employment in Indiana increased by 500 jobs over the last month, resulting in a gain of 40,800 jobs from this time last year. Indiana's November private employment stands at 2,859,100, which is a new private employment peak.



Industries that experienced job increases in November included Private Educational and Health Services, which grew by 2,300 jobs, and Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which increased by 1,200 jobs.

As of Dec. 18, there were 103,265 open job postings throughout the state. In November, 15,164 unemployment insurance claims were filed in Indiana.

Individuals looking for work, training or career information are encouraged to visit in.gov/dwd/job-seekers.

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Southwestern school board hires interim superintendent

Southwestern Consolidated Schools has a new interim superintendent.

Walter Bourke was approved Wednesday night as interim superintendent for the remainder of the 2023-2024 school calendar. Bourke’s hiring allows Southwestern Junior/Senior High School principal John Tindall to return to his main duties. Tindall served as interim superintendent since Nov. 8 when superintendent Joshua Edwards was placed on administrative leave.

Edwards’ letter of resignation was accepted at the school board meeting Dec. 13. The school system plans an exhaustive search to find its next superintendent.

Bourke, a Bloomington native who currently lives in southeast Marion County, has been retired for two years following a seven-year stint at Indiana University as Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership. Prior to that, he was the superintendent of the Franklin Township community school corporation. He also has been in administrative positions in Lawrence Township and Mt. Vernon (Fortville).

“A friend of mine was communicating with the board about helping search for the next superintendent and they indicated they wanted an interim (superintendent) and I thought it would be a pretty good fit for me,” said Bourke, who was in attendance at Wednesday’s special school board meeting.

A veteran educator that has worked in several large school corporations, Bourke is excited for the short-term opportunity in a much smaller school setting.

“It is small. I was talking to my wife and told her I think that is going to be part of the joy of doing this job, is being part of a small, close-knit community,” said Bourke. “I actually can’t wait for the (Shelby County) basketball tournament (hosted by Southwestern) in January.”

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SCS board approves fee increase to attend Golden Bear Preschool

Citing the need to increase funding due to the end of a grant, the Shelbyville Central Schools board agreed Wednesday to an increase fee to attend the Golden Bear Preschool during the 2024-2025 school year.

The five full-day monthly fee will increase from $360 to $400 while the five half-day monthly fees will increase from $150 to $170.

The three full day monthly fee will rise from $220 to $250; the three half-day monthly fee will increase to $105 from $90.

And the two full-day monthly fee rises from $150 to $170 and the two half-day monthly fees goes up to $70 from $60.

“With our grant going away, it’s been a major source of funding for our preschool program which is an outstanding program that we want to keep going, the recommendation from myself and Mrs. Nigh (Golden Bear Preschool Principal Lora Nigh) is to increase … we want to try and keep fees as low as we can across the board … we do see a sense that we need to do an increase now,” said SCS Superintendent Dr. Matt Vance.

Vance stated there was not a fee increase prior to the 2023-2024 school year and has not been a fee increase in at least a couple years.

For the second year in a row, the Golden Bear Preschool will start the school year one day later than the rest of the schools in the school system. The one-day delay this past August allowed Golden Bear Preschool staff the opportunity to provide transitional support to students starting kindergarten at the elementary schools.

“In the evaluation of doing that we found from both sides, the preschool staff thought it was beneficial and the school staff really loved it,” said Vance. “And we heard some positive comments from the parents on this too.”

The 2024-2025 schedule will begin with a Meet the Teacher day on Aug. 6 from 2 to 5 p.m. The Golden Bear Preschool staff will assist the elementary schools on their first day on Aug. 7.

Full-day classrooms at the Golden Bear Preschool, 1115 E. State Road 44, will begin Aug. 8. Golden Bear Preschool half-day staff will continue to support the elementary schools on Aug. 8 and Aug. 9.

All full-day and half-day classrooms will be open on Aug. 12.

Wednesday’s meeting was the final school board meeting of 2023. The first meeting of 2024 will be on Jan. 10.

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Greenfield PD says man shot while attacking woman in car

Greenfield Police Department detectives continue to piece together facts related to a shooting that occurred early Wednesday morning.

Heriberto Guzman Mendez, 44, was shot in the arm after what detectives believe was a domestic dispute.

It is alleged that Mendez was battering a woman inside a moving vehicle on Melody Lane around Kroger. The woman was able to reach her firearm and fired at least one shot at Mendez, striking him in the arm. She was then able to get away from him and drove to a local hotel.

The woman did have a protective order against Mendez in place at the time of this incident.

Mendez was treated at the scene by GPD officers and EMS personnel from the Greenfield Fire Territory. He was taken to an Indianapolis hospital for treatment and then released and arrested. He was transported to the Hancock County Jail.

The Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office will review the probable cause affidavit to decide criminal charges.

Shelbyville Police request public's help to find missing girl

The Shelbyville Police Department is currently investigating a missing juvenile. 

Karla Coc-Chor, 16, has been missing since about 6 a.m. Monday.

Karla could be in the company of Rigoberto Vicente and they could be in Indianapolis. 

Police are asking anyone with any information to please contact the Shelbyville Police Department at the number listed on the flyer, 317-392-5148.

Community Health Network agrees to pay $345 Million to settle alleged false claims act violations

Community Health Network, Inc. (Community), a healthcare network headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, has agreed to pay the United States $345 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting claims to Medicare for services that were referred in violation of the Stark Law.
The Stark Law seeks to safeguard the integrity of the Medicare program by prohibiting a hospital frombilling for certain services referred by physicians with whom the hospital has a financial relationship unless that relationship satisfies one of the law’s statutory or regulatory exceptions. Under the Stark Law, when a hospital employs a physician, the hospital may not submit claims for certain services referred by that physician unless the physician’s compensation is consistent with fair market value and not based on the value or volume of their referrals to the hospital. In this lawsuit, the United States alleged that the compensation Community paid to its cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, neurosurgeons, and breast surgeons was well above fair market value, that Community awarded bonuses to physicians that were tied to the number of their referrals, and that Community submitted claims to Medicare for services that resulted from these unlawful referrals.
The United States’ complaint alleged that beginning in 2008 and 2009, senior management at Community embarked on an illegal scheme to recruit physicians for employment for the purpose of capturing their lucrative “downstream referrals.” Community successfully recruited hundreds of local physicians, including cardiovascular specialists, neurosurgeons, and breast surgeons, by paying them salaries that were significantly higher – sometimes as much as double – what they were receiving in their own private practices. Community was well aware of the Stark Law requirements that the compensation
of employed physicians had to be fair market value and could not take into account the volume of referrals. Community hired a valuation firm to analyze the compensation it proposed paying to its recruited specialists. The Complaint alleged that Community knowingly provided the firm with false
compensation figures so that the firm would render a favorable opinion. The Complaint further alleged that Community ignored repeated warnings from the valuation firm regarding the legal perils of overcompensating its physicians. In addition to paying specialists excessive compensation, the Complaint alleged that Community awarded incentive compensation to physicians, in the form of certain
financial performance bonuses that were based on the physicians reaching a target of referrals to Community’s network, again in violation of the Stark Law.
“The Stark Law was enacted to ensure that the clinical judgment of physicians is not corrupted by improper financial incentives,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Today’s recovery demonstrates the Department’s resolve to protect the integrity of federal health care programs and to safeguard the taxpayer dollars used
to support these important programs.”
“Hoosier Medicare patients deserve to know that their care is based on their medical needs, not their doctor’s financial gain. When doctors refer patients for CT scans, mammograms, or any other medical service, those patients should know the doctor is putting their medical interests first and not their profit margins,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “The United States alleged that Community Health Network overpaid its doctors, and that it paid doctors bonuses based on the amount of extra money the hospital was able to bill Medicare through doctor referrals. Such compensation arrangements erode patient trust and incentivize unnecessary medical services that waste
taxpayer dollars. The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Civil Division, working alongside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) and the Justice Department’s Fraud Section are committed to holding companies accountable when they knowingly seek to profit off of Medicare patients through greedy compensation schemes.”
“HHS-OIG remains steadfast in our efforts to protect our health care programs and the people they serve, including holding those accountable who violate the Stark Law,” said Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Christian J. Schrank of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “Our work will not cease here. Following the settlement, HHS-OIG
will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the defendant, further demonstrating our unwavering commitment to protecting federal health care programs.”
Under the settlement, in addition to paying the United States $345 million, Community will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services.
The settlement announced today stems from a whistleblower complaint filed in 2014 by CHN’s former Chief Financial and Chief Operating Officer, Thomas Fischer, pursuant to the False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions, which permit private persons to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government and to
share in any recovery.

The Act also permits the Government to intervene and take over the lawsuit, as
it did in this case as to certain of Fischer’s allegations. Mr. Fischer’s share has not yet been determined in this matter.
The United States’ intervention and settlement in this matter illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating healthcare fraud. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act. Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, can be
reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, at 800-HHS-TIPS (800-447-8477).
The matter was handled by trial attorneys Arthur Di Dio, Kelly McAuliffe, Claire Horrell, and David Finkelstein of the Civil Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Justin Olson and Shelese Woods, from the Southern District of Indiana. The litigation team received investigative support from
the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General.
The case is captioned United States and the State of Indiana ex rel. Thomas Fischer v. Community Health Network, Inc., et al., No. 1:14-cv-1215 (S.D. Ind.). The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.

Owner of Shelbyville facility Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) to acquire U.S. Steel

Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) (TSE: 5401), Japan’s largest steelmaker and one of the world’s leading steel manufacturers, and United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X) ("U. S. Steel”), a leading steel producer with competitive advantages in low-cost iron ore, mini mill steelmaking, and best-in-class finishing capabilities, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement pursuant to which NSC will acquire U.S. Steel in an all-cash transaction at $55 per share. 

The agreement represents an equity value of approximately $14.1 billion plus the assumption of debt, for a total enterprise value of $14.9 billion. The $55 per share purchase price represents a 40% premium to U.S. Steel’s closing stock price on Dec. 15, 2023.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both NSC and U.S. Steel.

NSC’s acquisition of U.S. Steel will enhance its world-leading manufacturing and technology capabilities and enable it to expand the geographic areas in which NSC can better serve all of its stakeholders, including customers and society at large. The transaction will further diversify NSC’s global footprint by significantly expanding its current production in the United States, adding to its primary geographies of Japan, ASEAN, and India. As a result of NSC’s acquisition of U.S. Steel, its expected total annual crude steel capacity will reach 86 million tonnes – accelerating progress towards NSC’s strategic goal of 100 million tonnes of global crude steel capacity annually.

NSC President Eiji Hashimoto said, “We are excited that this transaction brings together two companies with world-leading technologies and manufacturing capabilities, demonstrating our mission to serve customers worldwide, as well as our commitment to building a more environmentally friendly society through the decarbonization of steel. NSC has long admired U.S. Steel with deep respect for its advanced technologies, rich history, and talented workforce and we believe we can jointly take on the challenge of raising our aspirations to even greater heights. The transaction builds on our presence in the United States and we are committed to honoring all of U.S. Steel’s existing union contracts. We look forward to collaborating closely with the U.S. Steel team to bring together the best of our companies and move forward together as the ‘Best Steelmaker with World-Leading Capabilities’.”

NSC Executive Vice President Takahiro Mori said, “We believe this transaction is in the best interests of our two companies, providing strong, immediate value for U.S. Steel shareholders while enhancing NSC’s long-term growth prospects. We have a strong balance sheet and are confident in our ability to unlock the potential of bringing together NSC and U.S. Steel through advancement in steelmaking, creating long-term value for our companies’ stakeholders, including our customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders.”

President and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Steel, David B. Burritt, said, “NSC has a proven track record of acquiring, operating, and investing in steel mill facilities globally – and we are confident that, like our strategy, this combination is truly Best for All. This transaction realizes the tremendous value today in our company and is the result of our Board of Directors’ comprehensive and thorough strategic alternatives process. For our U.S. Steel employees, who I continue to be thankful for, the transaction combines like-minded steel companies with an unwavering focus on safety, shared goals, values, and strategies underpinned by rich histories. For customers, U.S. Steel and NSC create a truly global steel company with combined capabilities and innovation capable of meeting our customers’ evolving needs. Today’s announcement also benefits the United States – ensuring a competitive, domestic steel industry, while strengthening our presence globally. Our shared decarbonization focus is expected to enhance and accelerate our ability to provide customers with innovative steel solutions to meet sustainability goals.”

Strategic Benefits

  • Moving Forward Together as the ‘Best Steelmaker with World-Leading Capabilities.’ The transaction combines cutting-edge technologies across NSC and U.S. Steel to advance innovation and deliver high-grade steel products, such as electrical steel and automotive flat steel to customers around the world. NSC and U.S. Steel will share their world-leading technologies and manufacturing capabilities to be at the forefront of innovation and digital transformation in steelmaking for the benefit of customers. U.S. Steel is a proven innovator in energy efficiency, with Big River Steel operating one of the most advanced, state-of-the-art sustainable mills in North America. Synergies from the transaction will be primarily driven by bringing together advanced production technology and know-how between U.S. Steel and NSC, including in cost-effective operations, energy savings, and recycling. NSC’s technology and products will further advance the technical capabilities of U.S. Steel’s Mined, Melted and Made in America portfolio of products, better supporting the evolving demand of customers in the United States.
  • Strengthens Ability to Address Growing Demand for High-Grade Steel in U.S. and Globally. U.S. Steel has long been one of America’s steel industry leaders, while NSC has been serving U.S. customers successfully for decades. Together with U.S. Steel, NSC will be well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for high-grade steel, automotive and electrical steel, and provide excellent products and services. Further, NSC is committed to serving customers in the United States and deliver high-performance steel products to meet the needs of every application.
  • Drives the Global Steel Industry Towards Decarbonization and a Sustainable World. NSC and U.S. Steel share a commitment to decarbonize by 2050 and recognize that solving sustainability challenges is a fundamental pillar of a steelmaker’s existence and growth. A key area of collaboration post-transaction will be to continue to advance this goal and drive alternative technologies in decarbonization. NSC is developing three breakthrough technologies to progress towards its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including hydrogen injecting technology into blast furnaces, high grade steel production in large size electric arc furnaces, and hydrogen use in direct iron reduction process. U.S. Steel is similarly focused on reducing its carbon footprint, including continuously striving to use less energy in its existing operations, integrating electric arc furnace capabilities into its footprint, and is constructing a second state-of-the-art mini mill in Arkansas.
  • Honors All Agreements between U. S. Steel and the United Steelworkers Union: NSC has a strong track record of safety in the workplace and working collaboratively with unions. All of U.S. Steel’s commitments with its employees, including all collective bargaining agreements in place with its unions, will be honored and NSC is committed to maintaining these relationships uninterrupted.
  • Commits to Maintaining Strong Stakeholder Relations, Including with Employees, Customers, Suppliers and Communities. The combined workforce is critical to operations in the United States and globally. Following the closing of the transaction, U.S. Steel will retain its iconic name, brand, and headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA. NSC is committed to continuity in strong relationships with U.S. Steel’s suppliers, customers, the surrounding communities, and people that support U.S. Steel’s operations and is committed to being a productive member of these communities.
  • Creates Significant Value for Both NSC and U. S. Steel Shareholders. The transaction accelerates NSC’s growth as ‘Best Steelmaker with World-Leading Capabilities,’ poised to deliver higher growth, enhanced profitability, and long-term value for NSC shareholders. The all-cash offer also provides strong value creation and certainty of value for U.S. Steel shareholders. This transaction is the successful outcome of a comprehensive and robust strategic review conducted by U. S. Steel and its Board of Directors. The $55 per share purchase price represents a 40% premium to U. S. Steel’s closing stock price on Dec. 15, 2023.

Transaction Details

The transaction is expected to close in the second or third quarter of calendar year 2024, subject to approval by U.S. Steel’s shareholders, receipt of customary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. NSC plans to fund the transaction through proceeds mainly from borrowings from certain Japanese banks and has already secured financing commitments. The transaction is not subject to any financing conditions.


Citi is acting as financial advisor to NSC. Ropes & Gray LLP is acting as legal advisor to NSC. Barclays Capital Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC and Evercore are acting as financial advisors to U.S. Steel. Milbank LLP and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are acting as legal advisors to U.S. Steel.

NSC has U.S. operations in Burnham, Pennsylvania, operating as Standard Steel LLC; Seymour, Indiana, operating as Nippon Steel Pipe America Inc.; Georgetown, Kentucky, operating as International Crankshaft Inc.; Calvert, Alabama, operating as AM/NS Calvert LLC; South Bend, Indiana, operating as Suzuki Garphyttan Corp.; Shelbyville, Indiana, operating as Indiana Precision Forge LLC; Follansbee, West Virginia, operating as Wheeling-Nippon Steel Inc.; and Kalama, Washington, operating at Steelscape.

About NSC

NSC is Japan’s largest steelmaker and one of the world’s leading steel manufacturers. NSC has a global crude steel production capacity of approximately 66 million tonnes and employs approximately 100,000 people in the world. NSC’s manufacturing base is in Japan and the company has presence in 15 additional countries including: United States, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico, Sweden, China and others. NSC established a joint venture in the United States around 40 years ago and has focused on building cooperative and good relationships with employees, labor unions, suppliers, customers, and communities. As the ‘Best Steelmaker with World-Leading Capabilities,’ NSC pursues world-leading technologies and manufacturing capabilities and contributes to society by providing excellent products and services. For more information, please visit: https://www.nipponsteel.com.

About U.S. Steel

Founded in 1901, U.S. Steel is a leading steel manufacturer. With an unwavering focus on safety, the company’s customer-centric Best for All® strategy is advancing a more secure, sustainable future for U.S. Steel and its stakeholders. With a renewed emphasis on innovation, U.S. Steel serves the automotive, construction, appliance, energy, containers, and packaging industries with high value-added steel products. The company also maintains advanced iron ore production and has an annual raw steelmaking capability of 22.4 million net tons. U.S. Steel is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with world-class operations across the United States and in Central Europe. For more information, please visit: www.ussteel.com.

Sen. Leising continues push for cursive writing to be part of educational curriculum

During the 2023 legislative session, State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) authored Senate Enrolled Act 72 to learn how many Indiana schools teach cursive writing and whether students at public and private schools have the same opportunity to receive this education.

The Indiana Department of Education surveyed 1,770 schools across Indiana, according to Leising. Of the 1,386 respondents, 91% of state-accredited non-public schools are teaching cursive, but only 52% of public schools reported teaching cursive.

This reveals students who attend public schools are at a clear disadvantage compared to those in private schools, and their disadvantage is made worse when compared to students living in 25 other states where cursive writing is an academic requirement, stated Leising in a media release.

“Opponents of cursive writing say schools should focus more on teaching typewriting skills in an evolving age of technology and online work,” said Leising. “I argue, cursive is equally important, and we risk limiting development of students’ learning abilities by moving away from essential handwriting curriculum.”

Leising intends to join fellow lawmakers to tackle literacy in the 2024 legislative session by advocating for cursive writing curriculum, since various studies show knowing how to write in cursive helps improve information retention and comprehension abilities – supporting the successful development of reading and writing skills.

“I have been an unwavering proponent of cursive writing in the Indiana General Assembly for more than a decade,” said Leising. “My concerns originally centered around making sure our children could sign their names on legal documents and read historical texts, but it is now much larger than that. They need to have the necessary motor skills and strong cognitive ability to succeed academically and professionally, and learning cursive writing can only further support their development.”

Leising, who represents Senate District 42 which includes portions of Shelby County, can be contacted at Senator.Leising@iga.in.gov or call 317-232-9493.

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Mayor-elect announces new Board of Public Works and Safety appointees

Mayor-elect Scott Furgeson (photo) has announced the appointment of Tom Reaves and Val Phares to the Board of Public Works and Safety as well as the Public Utility Board. Both men will undertake their duties starting Jan. 1.

Reaves is self-employed and runs a mail order business called Ballcards and More, which he started in 1989. He also manages the property at 42 E. Washington St. that he and his wife, Bonni, purchased and remodeled in 2010. The building had been vacant for eight years at the time, and it now houses Reaves’ business along with four other tenants.

Reaves, a life-long Shelbyville resident, is a proponent of downtown revitalization as well as historic building preservation.

Phares retired from a supervisor’s role at Eli Lilly in 2023. He also has been a small business owner in the Shelbyville community for over 20 years. Phares, also a life-long Shelbyville resident, served one term on the Shelbyville Common Council from 2008-2012.

The mayor also serves on both boards, which are part of the executive branch of local government. The Board of Works and Public Safety is responsible for enforcing city ordinances, reviewing and approving payment of claims, entering into contracts on behalf of the city, and handling any personnel issues for city safety employees.

The Public Utilities Board oversees the MS4 office and the Water Resource Recovery Facility.

“Tom and Val have worked hard through the years as members of our community to contribute and make things better,” said Furgeson. “Both really care about Shelbyville, and I’m confident they’ll do all they can to bring improvements to the city.”

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Veteran common council members, mayor DeBaun honored Monday at City Hall

The City of Shelbyville Common Council met Monday morning at City Hall for the final time in 2023, marking the end of an era for a trio of council members and Mayor Tom DeBaun.

“This is our last council meeting of the year as well as the last council meeting ever, most likely, for a few of us,” said DeBaun ahead of striking the gavel for the final time to close the meeting. “I did a little bit of math. In the 12 years I’ve been able to conduct these meetings, I’ve been a part of over 200 meetings of the Shelbyville Common Council.

“We’ve had very little controversy and I appreciate that very much, even when we did have some outspoken public comments, for example the YMCA or things of that nature, everyone held their composure and the council functioned very well and we did what we needed to do and we are a better community for it.”

DeBaun declined to run for a fourth term in office this year and is in the final month of his third term as mayor.

Monday morning’s meeting also signaled the final day of service on the council for first ward representative Joanne Bowen (photo, far left), a council member since 2016, and at-large representatives Rob Nolley (on council since 2004) (photo, second from right) and Brian Asher (on council since 2007) (photo, second from left).

All three plus fourth ward representative Scott Furgeson (photo, far right), who will return to the mayor’s office in 2024, received plaques for their commitment to the city. Furgeson returned to the council in 2020 to serve the fourth ward. He was a two-term councilman prior to serving as mayor for two terms before DeBaun was elected.

In addition, DeBaun (photo, center) received a plaque that included a key to the city.

“I don’t think the mayor gets enough recognition for the job he has done over the last 12 years,” said Furgeson to those in attendance. “Being a former mayor, I understand that it’s not easy in tough times and I want to say congratulations on retiring, semi or whatever you want to call it. You did a great job at (being mayor).”

The first council meeting of 2024 will see Furgeson conducting the meeting with four new council members – Kassy Wilson (first ward), Linda Sanders (fourth ward), Dennis Harrold (at-large) and Chuck Reed (at-large). They will join returning council members Betsy Means-Davis (second ward), Michael Johnson (third ward) and Thurman Adams (fifth ward).

The final piece of business conducted by the 2023 common council Monday morning was to approve a nearly $16 million tax abatement for PK USA, 600 Northridge Drive in Shelbyville.

The standard 10-year tax abatement is for new manufacturing equipment, new logistical distribution equipment and new information technology equipment.

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Centra Credit Union to merge with NorthPark

Centra Credit Union has announced an upcoming partnership with NorthPark Community Credit Union.

The merger would bring NorthPark into Centra Credit Union while bringing more benefits to the combined members. Centra Credit Union says members’ accounts, services, and digital banking information will not be impacted by the partnership. More information will be released to members in the coming months.

NorthPark owns two branch locations, in Zionsville and Lebanon, which Centra will work to reopen mid-year 2024 to expand to the branch network. 

No branches will be closed as a result of the partnership. Once the credit unions are combined, Centra will immediately begin work to reopen NorthPark’s two closed service centers in Zionsville and Lebanon. The two locations have been closed since 2019 when NorthPark began operating as a virtual-only credit union. After repairs and renovations, the Lebanon site should reopen in the second quarter of 2024 while the Zionsville target date is the second half of 2024. Renovations include adding office space for mortgage lenders, financial advisors, and business services experts.

NorthPark is an award-winning leader in financial education and serving the underbanked. They call this program their Onward initiative, which Centra will adopt and expand in 2024.

NorthPark has experience and expertise serving the Spanish-speaking community, which will bring more Spanish language resources to our Membership.

NorthPark is an entirely virtual credit union with approximately $43 million in assets and 4,800 Members. NorthPark was chartered in 1933 in Lebanon, Indiana.

Centra and NorthPark’s field of membership will be combined, meaning more people will be eligible. Due to a regulatory limitation, the township of Decatur in Marion County will not be eligible for membership, but any existing members in the township may continue to bank with the credit union. Additionally, individuals living in Decatur township may qualify through other membership eligibility options, such as through an employer.

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Three key city officials set retirement dates

The November election and now retirements from three key City of Shelbyville employees will change the look of city government on Jan. 1.

At Tuesday’s Board of Works meeting at City Hall, Shelbyville’s police chief, fire chief and street department director all submitted their retirement notices.

Police Chief Mark Weidner stepped to the podium first.

“Today is a little different. I’ve been in front of the board with a lot of these letters over the years but this one happens to be mine,” said Weidner, who has served the city for over 36 years. “It time for me to retire.”

Weidner’s retirement will become official on Jan. 6.

“I want to thank everybody that has been a part of my career for the opportunity,” he said. “I have so many things to say about being a police officer for as long as I have but the only thing I will say is when it was good, it was good and when it was bad, it was awful.

“My wife and family have had to put up with a lot for me to be at this point in my career, and I appreciate everyone around me.”



Brian Tackett was promoted to Fire Chief in August of 2022 following the retirement of Tony Logan.

“I wanted to notify the board that I have officially set my retirement date for Dec. 30 of this year,” said Tackett at the meeting. “Thank you for the opportunity to be the chief.

Tackett has been with the Shelbyville Fire Department for almost 21 years.

Doug Hunt, Director of the Shelbyville Street Department, also will officially retire on Dec. 30.

“I am retiring at 69 years old and it’s time to spend time with the wife and make her happy,” said Hunt.

Mayor-elect Scott Furgeson has already announced the next police chief and fire chief.


For more on the new Police Chief, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/718962/bill-dwenger-to-become-shelbyville-police-chief


For more on the new Fire Chief, go to https://shelbycountypost.com/local-news/718958/doug-lutes-chosen-to-serve-as-shelbyville-fire-chief


Furgeson will return to the mayor’s office for his second tenure on Jan. 1 and will be part of a new look common council when it meets for the first time in 2024.

Democrat Joanne Bowen and Republicans Rob Nolley and Brian Asher will no longer be on the council. First-timers Kassy Wilson, Dennis Harrold and Chuck Reed – all Republicans – will assume their seats and join current council members Betsy Means-Davis, Mike Johnson and Thurman Adams. Linda Sanders, another Republican, will take over the 4th ward seat vacated by Ferguson.

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Southwestern superintendent resigns, Deater named to vacant school board seat

Southwestern Consolidated Schools approved a new board member Wednesday at its December meeting and accepted the resignation of its superintendent.

Joshua Edwards, superintendent of the southern Shelby County school system since March of 2022, tendered his resignation to the school board effective Wednesday. Edwards was placed on indefinite administrative leave on Nov. 8.

“The Southwestern Consolidated School District of Shelby County and Superintendent Josh Edwards have mutually agreed that it is in the best interest of both parties for the School Board to accept Mr. Edwards’ resignation from employment with the School Corporation,” said Southwestern school board president Derrek Tennell in a prepared statement. “On behalf of the entire school community, the School Board wishes Mr. Edwards well in his future endeavors.”

Southwestern Junior/Senior High School principal John Tindall is currently serving as interim superintendent. Tennell stated Thursday morning that a new interim superintendent will be named as early as next week to finish out the 2023-2024 school year.

Tennell confirmed an exhaustive search will commence to find Southwestern’s next superintendent.

“We will be using all available resources,” said Tennell.

In the days following Edwards’ leave being instituted, board member Jerry Drake submitted his resignation leaving the Jackson Township seat vacant.



Three men and three women applied for the open seat and went through the interview process in late November. Jon Deater, John Blue and Charity Mohr advanced to Wednesday’s meeting where Deater, a 2011 Southwestern graduate, earned the seat over Blue by a vote of 4-2.

During the public interview process, Deater stated he does not yet have children in the school system with two daughters under the age of five.

Deater’s Jackson Township seat on the school board will be up for election in 2024.

In other board business Wednesday:

  • Accepted a $5,000 donation from Major Health Partners to be used for January’s Shelby County basketball tournaments hosted by Southwestern.
  • Approved an invoice for $92,090.53 from Central Indiana Hardware for doors, locks and keying. Funds will be used from the Title IV grant and Construction Fund.
  • Approved the 2024-2025 school calendar.

In other Southwestern news:

  • Construction has started on building a new stage at Southwestern High School. The $50,000-plus project is being funded by the Alumni Association
  • The Alumni Association will sponsor an all-you-can-eat chili supper in the high school cafeteria on Jan. 5 as part of the Shelby County Boys Basketball Tournament. For $5, basketball fans can get chili, a peanut butter sandwich, dessert and a drink. There also will be a pizza option for $7. All proceeds go to the alumni association.

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Longtime Morristown coach, athletic director, teacher Lowell Albertson passes away

Mr. Lowell E. Albertson passed away on December 12, 2023 in Carmel, Indiana.

Mr. Albertson was born on July 14, 1937 to Woodrow M. and Lula (Jackson) Albertson in New Albany, Indiana. He was raised in Pekin, Indiana and graduated from Pekin High School in 1955. 

He married the former Rose Marie Gray on July 12, 1957 in Pekin.

In 1963, Mr. Albertson began his pursuit of his college education. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Indiana University Bloomington in 1967 and started his teaching and coaching career that fall at Eastern High School in Pekin. He coached junior varsity boys basketball for six seasons, followed by three seasons as head boys basketball coach. He also coached varsity cross country, track and baseball at Eastern.

He earned his Master of Science in Education from Indiana University Southeast in 1972.

In 1977, he was named head boys basketball coach at Morristown High School and in his first season led the Yellow Jackets to a Shelby County Tournament championship. After seven seasons as head coach, he was named athletic director at Morristown and held that position until his retirement in 1999. 

Always a fixture at high school sporting events in and around Shelby County, his greatest interest was kids. He was never far away from the school and was always willing to lend a hand to students day or night. His true passion was helping young people – regardless of whether they were an athlete – reach their potential.

After working for several years after retirement as a basketball official, he returned to MHS in an official capacity as assistant athletic director, a role in which he served until 2019. He was named Indiana District 5 Athletic Director of the Year twice – in 1999 and again in 2018.

A veteran of the Indiana Army National Guard, Mr. Albertson was a gifted athlete and continued to enjoy participating in sports until late in his life. As examples, he was a four-year starter on the basketball team at Pekin High School, played competitive softball into his 60’s, and shot his age (or better) a number of times on the golf course. He still ranks 6th on the boy’s basketball career scoring list at Pekin/Eastern High School, having scored more than 1000 points.

Mr. Albertson is survived by his wife of 66 years, Rosie, his son Scott (Susan) of Carmel, and his daughter Amy (Randy) York of Defiance, Ohio. He was a loving “Papa” to eight grandchildren – Adam Hargis (Hector) of New York City, Joshua York of Indianapolis, Brandon (Brooke) Pope of Kokomo, Stephanie York of West Palm Springs, California, Jessica (Robin) Kraus of Westfield, Devin (Sarah) Pope of Kokomo, Kaitlin (Nathan) Ellis of Plainfield, and Trevor (Jessi) York of Liberty Center, Ohio, as well as nine great-grandchildren – Conner, Callie, Gracie, Haley, Ava, Mila, Albey, Kinley and Ivy. He is also survived by two brothers, Keith Albertson of Salem and Ronnie Albertson of Clarksville, as well as a sister, Carolyn Hobson of New Albany. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Michael Albertson, and an infant sister, Loretha.

Funeral services for Mr. Albertson will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 16, at the Morristown High School gymnasium, 223 S. Patterson Street. Interment will follow at Asbury Cemetery in Morristown.

Mr. Albertson’s family will receive visitors from 5:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 15 and from 10:00 until the time of the service on Saturday.

Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 124 E. North St. in Morristown.

Mr. Albertson’s family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the administration and staff at Majestic Care of Carmel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to either the Greater Indiana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, The American Heart Association, or the Morristown High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

Online condolences may be shared with Lowell’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.

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Shelby, Hancock among counties with temporary 911 phone outage Wednesday

Shelby and Hancock were among a handful of central Indiana counties to have noraml 911 phone services undergo a temporary outage Tuesday evening.

The Indiana Statewide 911 Board has confirmed that Shelby, Hancock, Lawrence, Grant, Madison and Boone services were restored about 8:30 p.m. Backup services and text to 911 continued to operate normally.

The Facebook post from the Indiana Statewide 911 Board read, “Earlier this evening, some Indiana counties experienced some 911 issues. Backup and text to 911 systems worked as intended. The system has now been restored to normal operations.”

Intermittent disruptions were also reported in Hendricks and Johnson counties.

The Statewide 911 Board will continue to investigate what it believes to be an equipment issue.

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Shelby County Commissioners approve bid to move Morristown Road from river's edge

Morristown Road offers a winding, sometimes scenic corridor between Morristown and Shelbyville.

At one point, the road is getting too close to the scenery. At the nearest point to the river the side of the road is deteriorating and requires attention.

Shelby County Commissioner Kevin Nigh says a Community Crossings grant will aid the funding of the project.

There's no definitive timetable for the project to take place.

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2023 city elections highlighted by closest ever mayoral race

The recount of the 2023 Shelbyville mayoral election confirmed Republican Scott Furgeson as the winner over Democrat challenger Nic Weber by a 19-vote margin. The results will be recorded as the closest in terms of both votes and percentage difference in city mayoral election history.

The recounted figures had Furgeson (main photo), the current fourth ward councilman and former two-term Shelbyville mayor, finishing with 1,396 votes and Weber with 1,371. Previous final numbers had shown Furgeson with a 1,406-1,387, 19-vote advantage.

Weber’s strong performance was the highlight for Democrats as Republicans captured the five contested common council seats by substantial margins with the closest race a 6% differential. Republicans were unopposed for the clerk-treasurer spot and the other two council seats so the victories gave the GOP control of all nine city offices.

A historical examination reflects several close mayoral battles during the past seven decades, as well as some interesting trends with respect to voter turnout and the city council.

The next closest Shelbyville mayor’s race in the modern era, dating back to 1956, was in 1975 when Democrat Ezra Dagley defeated Republican Jack Worland by 121 votes, 2.6% of the vote.

Current mayor Tom DeBaun’s 201-vote win in 2019 over Republican Brad Ridgeway stands as the third slimmest margin in terms of outright vote total, however the 6% difference is the fourth smallest in percentage, tying with Republican Ralph van Natta’s re-election win over John Evans in 1967.

Dan Theobald’s 4%, 212 vote 1983 plurality over challenger Bill Cole is recorded as the third tightest percentage contest in the last 67 years.

There have been 16 mayoral elections since 1963, Republicans have won nine, Democrats seven.

Six individuals occupied the mayor’s seat between 1971 and 2003. Five of them served only one term during that 32-year period. Democrats Jerry Higgins, Dagley, Bob Williams, Frank Zerr and Republican Betsy Stephen were in office for only one term. Five of the six also suffered defeat as incumbents. Dagley, Williams, Zerr and Stephen were unseated after their first terms.

Theobald lost his bid for a fourth term in 1991 after winning an unprecedented three elections. Higgins chose not to seek a second term as mayor at the conclusion of his first four years in 1975.

Conversely, only two people, Furgeson and current mayor Tom DeBaun, will occupy the mayor’s office in the ensuing 24 years since 2003. Zerr, Rod Meyerholtz and recently re-elected Scott Asher are the only three people to hold the clerk-treasurer’s position over the course of the last 10 city elections -- 40 years.

Republicans have won the majority on the city council in 13 of the past 16 elections, including 7-0 sweeps in four of the previous six. Democrats last gained council leadership in 1999 when Zerr was elected mayor. Democrats held a 4-3 majority when Theobald was re-elected to his second term in 1983 and gained a 5-2 advantage when Williams unseated Theobald in 1991. Shelbyville Democrats recorded a 7-0 council sweep in 1971, the year Higgins won a landslide mayoral victory.

Historically, Furgeson’s 2023 mayoral win puts him in the company of two of the city’s most successful political figures: Higgins and Zerr.


Former Shelbyville mayor John Anderson congratulates Jerry Higgins following his victory in the 1971 mayor's race.


Higgins had completed his first term as an at-large councilman when he won a resounding victory in the 1971 mayoral race. He opted not to seek a second term as mayor. After a four-year absence from government, he won the fourth ward city council seat in 1979 and subsequently won three consecutive elections representing that district until 1995.

Zerr was victorious in 8 of 11 local electoral attempts between 1974 and 2019; two as county treasurer, five as city clerk-treasurer and was elected mayor in 1999. Furgeson’s recent win was his sixth political triumph without a defeat. He captured the fourth ward council seat in his initial venture in 1995 and earned an at-large spot four years later. He served consecutive terms as mayor from 2003 through 2011. Furgeson has most recently held the fourth ward council seat since 2019.

Furgeson, Higgins and Zerr also consistently demonstrated a sense of resilience and possessed an ongoing appeal for Shelbyville voters. All three took breaks from government service and each enjoyed significant success upon his return.

Ironically, Furgeson defeated both Higgins and Zerr along the way. Furgeson beat Higgins for the fourth ward council position in 1995 and unseated Zerr, the incumbent mayor, in 2003.

Voter turnout for local elections across the country has steadily declined since 1980. Participation in national elections has remained relatively constant, however voter turnout at the local level has plummeted.

“The way in which Americans learn about politics today has transformed,” writes Dan Hopkins in the online source 538. “Cable television and the internet have introduced a host of new information sources.”

That information focuses on national politics. These modern outlets provide an immediacy; they are instant communication. The 24-hour news cycle and the internet bombard the consumer with endless options for political news and perspective, often delivered directly to one’s phone. Americans today are prone to gravitate to these sources for political news and information.

A 2014 Pew study found that fewer than 50% of respondents reported getting political news from local sources. Consequently, the political information the American voter receives has much less local content.

“The result: Many of the voters who do show up to cast ballots for local races will likely do so with an eye toward national politics,” writes Hopkins, “and other citizens will sit out the elections entirely.”


Newly-elected Shelbyville mayor Ralph van Natta celebrates with wife Nora after 1963 election. 


An analysis of Shelbyville city elections since 1963 confirms this trend. Sixty-seven percent of registered voters turned out to elect van Natta mayor over Democrat Glen Montgomery that year. That figure dropped to 55% when van Natta won re-election in 1967 but rose back to 65% in 1971 when Higgins was elected and held steady at 66% when Theobald beat Democrat Delight Adams in the 1979 mayor’s race. Voter turnout remained above 60% for the next three city elections.

Participation dropped 11% from 61% to 50 % in 1995 when Betsy Stephen won the mayor’s seat. The number dropped to 39% in 2003 when Furgeson was elected to his first term as mayor and has been below that ever since.

Turnout recorded an all-time low of 12.5% in 2015, the year incumbent mayor Tom DeBaun ran unopposed. Voter response ticked up to 23% in 2019 when DeBaun defeated Republican challenger Brad Ridgeway, but dropped to 18% with the recounted numbers this fall.


Mayoral candidates Nic Weber (left) and Scott Furgeson (right) shake hands ahead of GIANT fm's debate held at the Strand Theatre in downtown Shelbyville in October.


Several factors played into the Furgeson-Weber race being extremely competitive.

On its face, the matchup appeared to be one of stark contrast: Furgeson, a political veteran was pitted against Weber, a newcomer to public affairs.

However, in several aspects, Furgeson and Weber were candidates with similar characteristics that endeared them to the local constituency. Both have extensive and successful business histories. Each has been active in community affairs outside the sphere of public service and both are identified as having made strong contributions as community advocates. There was a widespread perception of dependability. The two also shared a background in public service; Furgeson in government, Weber as a firefighter.

They presented the public with two formidable candidates.

Ultimately, the 2023 city campaign provided positive conclusions to be drawn by both camps. Shelbyville Democrats experienced a revitalization and renewed enthusiasm during this latest political round. They are undoubtedly buoyed by their strong performance in the mayoral race and the diligent efforts by many of the party faithful.

Republicans are pleased to have returned a proven political leader with an unblemished record of electoral success to the city’s highest office. The GOP also has the advantage of having complete control of city government positions for the next four years.

Politics, regardless of the level, is a continuous dynamic. I am sure both local parties are already looking forward to 2027.   

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Johnson County agency receives grants to support victims of sexual assault

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) awarded more than $6,800,000 in grant funding to organizations that support victims of sexual assault in Indiana through two grant programs. 

One of those organizations is in Johnson County.

The funding will go to support rape crisis centers and nonprofit organizations that provide core services, direct intervention, and related assistance to victims of sexual assault in Indiana. The funding was provided through the Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) and Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Fund Grant (SAVAF). 

The SASP grant program provides direct intervention and related assistance to victims of sexual assault and their families. These funds are made available to rape crisis centers and related non-profits through the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. 

For the 2024 grant cycle, $896,007.98 was awarded to 11 organizations across the state. These funds will support sexual assault programming and advocacy services in Indiana.  

The SAVAF grant program was established in 2016 by the Indiana General Assembly. This program provides a comprehensive statewide response to support victims of sexual assault. This includes establishing and maintaining rape crisis centers along with providing services that work to address the physical, psychological and emotional needs of victims. 

Receiving SAVAF funds is Assist Indiana, Inc., based in Johnson County. Through the two funding years the agency will receive $951, 475.71.

For the 2024-2025 grant cycle, $5,907,452.45 was awarded to 17 organizations across the state. Some areas funded in the grant cycle include safe shelter, counseling, crisis lines, advocacy support, referrals, and prevention services. 

“The organizations receiving funding provide more than just direct support,” said Kim Lambert, ICJI Victim Services Director. “They are leading the fight against sexual assault by engaging communities and implementing innovative prevention strategies.” 

The grants were approved by the ICJI Board of Trustees earlier this month and will be made available to organizations starting in January. 

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Shelby County Highway Department to close section of county road for bridge repair

The Shelby County Highway Department is closing the 5000 block of E 600 S between S 500 E and S 600 E beginning Wednesday around 7:00 a.m. to repair the bridge over Conns Creek that was damaged earlier this year. 

The repair will take all day Wednesday and Thursday and at least part of the day on Friday.  It should reopen by the end of the day on Friday.

The last address accessible from the west is 5505 E 600 S, Waldron and the first address accessible from the east is 5668 E 600 S, Waldron.

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SCUFFY readying for 2024 drive

Preparations are well underway for the 2024 fundraising drive of the Shelby County United Fund.

SCUFFY Executive Director Alecia Gross has unveiled the goal for this year’s drive to benefit the fund’s member agencies.

The theme each year is usually connected to the identity of its drive chair. In this case, Amy Larrison of First Bank is heading up the 2024 drive.



Sentencing date in February for former Shelby County lawmaker Eberhart

A sentencing date has been set for former Shelby County State Representativ Sean Eberhart.

Sean Eberhart, 57, a former member of the Indiana House of Representatives, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with others to solicit and receive the promise of future, lucrative employment with a gaming company in exchange for his support of legislation beneficial to the gaming company. The United States Attorney’s Office filed the charges along with Eberhart’s agreement to plead guilty.

Judge Matthew P. Bookman set a February 14 sentencing date.
Eberhart pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy to commit honest services fraud. The crime is punsihable by up to five years in prison and a $250, 000 fine. Eberhart's guilty plea includes an agreement to pay $60, 000 in restitution.

According to court documents, Eberhart was the elected representative for Indiana House District 57, which included Shelby County and portions of Bartholomew and Hancock counties. Eberhart served on the House Committee on Public Policy, which had jurisdiction over matters concerning casinos and gaming in Indiana.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a gaming company called Spectacle Entertainment sought to purchase the state licenses for two casinos that were located on the waterfront of Lake Michigan, and to relocate those casinos to other areas beneficial to Spectacle. Purchases and relocations of casinos in Indiana must be approved through the passage of a bill by both houses of the Indiana legislature, then signed by the Governor.

A bill to allow Spectacle’s purchases and relocations was introduced in the Indiana House and considered by the House Committee on Public Policy. In addition to approving the purchases and relocations of the casinos, the bill included provisions for Spectacle to pay a “transfer fee.”

According to the federal charges, an owner of Spectacle, identified as Individual A, offered, and Eberhart accepted, the promise of future employment at Spectacle, which included annual compensation of at least $350,000. In exchange, Eberhart allegedly used his position as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives to advocate and ultimately vote for passage of the bill on terms favorable to Spectacle, including to authorize the transfer and relocation of the two casinos, reducing the transfer fee from $100 million to $20 million, and enacting tax incentives that would benefit Spectacle. Additionally, Eberhart allegedly sent text messages regarding his efforts to secure legislation favorable to Spectacle and to “make it right for” Individual A.

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Indianapolis couple arrested after fleeing from Decatur, Shelby law enforcement

Two Indianapolis people were arrested after fleeing from law enforcement in a pursuit through Decatur and Shelby counties Tuesday night.

The couple was arrested after fleeing in a stolen car on Interstate 74 after a Decatur County deputy first noticed the vehicle was driving with only one headlight.

The driver stopped but then drove off at speeds over 100 miles per hour. Shelby County deputies used stop sticks to bring the vehicle pursuit to a close. A man and woman took an infant from the vehicle and tried to flee on foot.

Joseph Butler, 21, and Tyshiana Fultz, 22 both of Indianapolis were soon found and taken into custody. Their child was turned over to DCS.

Butler was wanted on outstanding Marion County warrants. A magazine for a firearm was found in the vehicle and a search of the area where he tried to flee on foot resulted in the finding of the gun the magazine belonged to.

Butler is charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, neglect of a dependent and resisting law enforcement. Fultz was also charged with resisting law enforcement and neglect of a dependent.

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Safety fence destroyed on Shelbyville bridge in overnight crash

A black fence was recently installed by the City of Shelbyville at the bridge on North State Road 9 at Boggstown Road that helped keep pedestrians from stepping into traffic. But an overnight car crash destroyed much of the new fence just days after its installation.

Shelbyville Police report the crash happened just before 2 a.m. Celsey Richmond, 18, of rural Shelbyville, was driving a Ford Explorer. The police report states Richmond told officers she was on her phone and lost control of the vehicle.

The vehicle went over the fence and slid against the raiser barrier. It then exited the sidewalk and came to a stop in the roadway.

Shelbyville Police say there was no signs of intoxication.

The vehicle was towed from the scene after being disabled by the damage.

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Overnight Shelbyville fire leads to fatality

An overnight fire has resulted in a fatality.

The Shelbyville Fire Department was dispatched to 1118 Parker Avenue at minight for a residential fire with unknown occupants inside the residence. Within minutes of arrival, Shelbyville firefighters located a male in the residence who was in cardiac arrest and removed the victim.
Resuscitation efforts were attempted by medics and later pronounced dead on the scene.

The fire was documented as under control at 12:24 AM.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Investigating agencies include the ShelbyvilleFire Department, the Shelby County Coroner’s Office, the Indiana State Fire Marshall, and the Shelbyville Police Department.

The Coroner’s Office will release the name of the deceased at a later time.

Shelby County lawmakers encourage constituents to take 2024 issue survey

With Indiana's lawmakers set to return to the Statehouse on Jan. 8 for the start of the 2024 legislative session, Shelby County legislators released online surveys to gather constituents' feedback on important issues.

To get started on the survey, lawmakers ask Hoosiers to visit their state representative's webpage at one of the following links and click on the red "Take My Survey" button:  


  • State Rep. Robb Greene (R-Shelbyville), House District 47, in.gov/h47,
  • State Rep. Cory Criswell (R-Middletown), House District 54, in.gov/h54; or
  • State Rep. Jennifer Meltzer (R-Shelbyville), House District 73, in.gov/h73.


"As we approach the legislative session, it's important to hear from Hoosiers across before we consider new bills and proposals," Criswell said. "I hope constituents complete this survey, and I encourage them to stay connected with me about issues that are important to them."

To complete online surveys, constituents must be a resident of the district and submit it by the Dec. 31 deadline. Constituents can check which House district they reside in by visiting the Indiana General Assembly's website at iga.in.gov, clicking on "Find Your Legislator" on the homepage and entering a home address. Constituents can also expect to receive or may have already received a copy of their state representative's survey mailer in their mailbox.

"Learning the thoughts and concerns of constituents from across my district is invaluable when reviewing and voting on legislation," Meltzer said. "I hope to hear from residents in House District 73 throughout session so I can best represent our local communities."

The 2024 legislative session begins Jan. 8 and must conclude by March 14. Hoosiers can stay informed and engaged by visiting iga.in.gov, where they can watch session and committee meetings, read proposed bills, and view calendars and agendas.

"Whether we are in or out of session, constituent feedback is important to me," Greene said. "These surveys are a great way for Hoosiers to make their voices heard and help to guide me while considering legislation."

To stay updated during the legislative session, Hoosiers can sign up for their legislator's email newsletter by visiting IndianaHouseRepublicans.com and entering their email address under "Subscribe to eNews" or by calling 317-232-9600.

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Bill Dwenger to become Shelbyville Police Chief

Mayor-elect Scott Furgeson has announced that he will appoint Detective Captain Bill Dwenger as Chief of Police.

Dwenger has a long and distinguished history with the Shelbyville Police Department, starting there as a dispatcher and reserve officer in 1981.

Dwenger graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1986 and became a full-time patrolman for the department. Dwenger quickly
moved through the ranks and served as Patrol Seargeant, Detective Sergeant, Detective Lieutenant, and Deputy Chief.

Dwenger has served as Detective Captain from 2000 through the present.
Dwenger also has a business background, majoring in business management, achieving a master’s degree in strategic management, and a doctorate degree in public administration.

Additionally, Dwenger is a 2001 graduate of the FBI National Academy.
As chief of the department, Dwenger plans to help carry out Mayor-elect Furgeson’s plans to focus on improving access to mental health services in the community and making sure those who need services are able to connect with appropriate resources. Dwenger also will focus on officer training and development, building morale within the department, and increasing public trust in the department through increased community outreach.

Dwenger also plans to thoroughly evaluate the department’s equipment, and to budget for needed upgrades and added tools that will allow officers to better serve the community.

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Doug Lutes chosen to serve as Shelbyville Fire Chief

Shelbyville Mayor Elect Scott Furgeson has announced that he will appoint Doug Lutes to serve as the Chief of the Shelbyville Fire Department beginning on January 1.

Lutes started his career with the Shelbyville Department in 1997. Since that time, he has served as a firefighter, EMT, paramedic, Lieutenant, Public Information Officer, Captain, and Battalion Chief. His experience includes the coordination of multiple fire crews during emergency response, personnel training and development, ensuring understanding and compliance with proper safety practices, and sharing department information with the public and the

Lutes has also successfully secured grant funding, revived Shelbyville’s EMT training program, and has been the recipient of many commendations for both his emergency response and his customer service.
In addition to his service with the Shelbyville Fire Department, Lutes has been a Fire and EMT Instructor with Blue River Career Programs since 2013. He is a Certified Work Place Specialist through the Indiana Department of Education, is a Dual Credit and Adjunct Instructor for Ivy Tech, and is an Indiana Department of Homeland Security Fire Instructor and EMS Primary Instructor.
Lutes looks forward to re-joining the Department next year after having retired earlier this year. His areas of focus will be on EMS and fire training, building morale, and investing judiciously in equipment and employee development.

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Furgeson will be next Shelbyville mayor while a recount reset the first recount

Most importantly, the winner of Shelbyville’s 2023 mayoral election has been determined.

The side note was the recount that needed a recount.

When the 2023 November election was complete, Scott Furgeson, former two-time mayor and current councilman, was proclaimed the winner by a narrow 19-vote margin over Democrat Nic Weber, 1406-1387.

That prompted a recount request by the Shelby County Democrats that was conducted Wednesday inside Shelby Circuit Court. The recount commission was comprised of Democrat Mark McNeely and Republican Jaclyn Tweedy, both Shelbyville attorneys, with Johnson County 1st Deputy Clerk Amy Briggs.

The recount commission announced its findings to the candidates and supporters in the courtroom. The final numbers still showed Furgeson as the winner but had adjusted to 1396-1371. That vote tally was 26 total votes less than the November outcome and declared Furgeson a winner by 25 votes.

However, it left the Shelby County Clerk Jill Taylor and Election Officer Jeff Sponsel with questions. Those were quickly answered by the following letter that was issued to Judge Trent Meltzer and the Shelby Circuit Court early Wednesday afternoon. 


Dear Judge Meltzer,


Concerned about the discrepancy between the Recount Board and the Election night totals, my office reviewed the released materials and came to the conclusion that an error was made by the Recount Board. They did not take into account votes cast by marking straight party on the mail ballot absentees. After reviewing these ballots, we can confirm that the Election night totals were accurate with Furgeson receiving 40 and Weber receiving 51.

Below is a list of straight party votes for each candidate by each precinct.

     Precinct                           Furgeson                              Weber

     1 North                                    5                                            2

     1 South                                    0                                            0

     1 West                                     0                                            1

     2 East                                      0                                             0

     2 South                                   0                                             1

     2 Southeast                           0                                             0

     2 West                                     1                                             0

     3 East                                      0                                             3

     3 Northeast                           0                                             0

     3 South                                   2                                             0

     3 West                                     0                                             0

     4 East                                      1                                             6

     4 North                                   0                                             2

     4 Northeast                          0                                              1

     5 East                                      1                                             0

     5 Northwest                          0                                             0

     5 South                                   0                                             0                                                                                                                                                            


Jill Taylor

Shelby County Clerk


Furgeson is now less than four weeks from returning to the mayor’s office.

For Nic Weber, he'll be looking at what his future holds in the near and long term.


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Shelbyville mayor's election focus of Wednesday recount

A recount in the vote tabulations for the Shelbyville mayoral election is scheduled for this morning.

The Shelby County Democrats requested the recount by filing in Shelby Circuit Court. The recount will take place inside of that courtroom at the Shelby County Courthouse.

In the November election, former two-term mayor Republican Scott Furgeson defeated Democrat Nic Weber by just 19 votes, 1406-1387.

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Southwestern senior presented 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship

Ellie Gosser had three simple words for her parents in two separate phone calls Tuesday afternoon, “I did it.”

What the Southwestern High School senior did was earn the 2024 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship for Shelby County. The scholarship provides full tuition, required fees, and an allocation of $900 per year for required books and equipment for four years of undergraduate study at an Indiana college or university.

Gosser will apply the scholarship toward obtaining her undergraduate degree in Animal Science from Purdue University with the goal of continuing on to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree.

“I actually just came from a vet clinic. I have a job shadow with them. It’s my third day there,” said Gosser. “For a long time I didn’t even consider going to vet school because I didn’t know how I was going to pay for seven or eight years of schooling. Then I became a finalist for the Lilly (scholarship) and thought maybe this changes things.”

Gosser was surprised Tuesday afternoon by the scholarship committee once she returned to the southern Shelby County high school from job shadowing. She lamented being in scrubs for pictures but it seemed prophetic considering the path she wants to take at Purdue.

“I don’t even have words. Things have changed so much for me,” she said holding back tears.



Gosser is the daughter of Bradley and Amanda Gosser. Neither were able to be at the presentation ceremony Tuesday. She called both to inform them the scholarship committee was at the school (photo). Then she added the simple message not lost on her parents – “I did it.”

Gosser was one of five finalists for the prestigious scholarship. Also advancing to the final stage of interviews were Shelbyville High School’s Renee Aldridge, Ella Connolly and Isabella Matney and Southwestern’s Carter Snepp, who was in attendance Tuesday to help surprise Gosser.

Aldridge, Connolly, Matney and Snepp each will receive a four-year renewable scholarship from scholarship funds administered by the Blue River Community Foundation.

Gosser is ranked third in her 2024 graduating class with a grade point average of 4.3 on a 4.0 scale. Her list of extracurricular activities include Future Farmers of America, Student Council, Peer Mentoring, Youth Council, Students Against Destructive Decisions, basketball and band. She is a 9-year member of 4-H and has received several awards showing livestock, specifically steers.



She was crowned the 2022 Shelby Royal champion at the Shelby County Fair (photo).

The scholarship process begins with an online application with the Blue River Community Foundation. Students provide a written essay, two letters of recommendation and a scholastic profile from their school counselor. From there, the foundation’s scholarship committee reviews each application without a name attached and creates a finalist list to move to the personal interview stage.

“I really thought it was going to be a lot scarier than it was,” said Gosser of her interview session. “I don’t know what I was expecting but they were all super nice. … It is daunting because you prepare and try to talk to people who have gone through the interview process before to see what kind of questions they are going to ask and you walk in just hoping you asked the right questions and that you have the right stuff in your brain to give them the answers they are looking for.”

The scholarship committee viewed 45 qualified applications this year.

“Our Scholarship Committee is continually impressed with Shelby County students applying for this prestigious scholarship,” said Julie Alvis, Communications and Scholarships Director for Blue River Community Foundation. Alvis presented the award to Gosser Tuesday. “Not only are they excelling academically, but also in their service to others. Without question, the selection process is never easy considering the high quality of applicants.”

Gosser is the fifth Southwestern student to receive the scholarship since its inception in 1998. Other Spartans honored were Lisa (Schwartze) Romine (2002), Stacy Baute (2008), Lauren (Rush) Ruble (2008) and Emmy Wendling (2018).

Lilly Endowment Inc. created the scholarship program in 1998 and has supported the program every year since with tuition grants totaling in excess of $505 million. More than 5,200 Indiana students across the state have received the scholarship.

Gosser’s family purchased their farm when Ellie was just three years old. Working and showing animals has been a big part of her life.

“I don’t think my dad realized when he put a comb and blower in my hand when I was nine years old so I could start working my first calf that it was going to turn into what its turned into now,” said Gosser. “The barn is my happy place. If I come home in a bad mood, my mom says go to the barn. I go work in the barn and I come back in a better mood.”

Now the life-altering scholarship will insure Gosser gets to spend many more days in her happy place.

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Shelbyville Common Council approves tax abatement for Ryobi's $10 million project

Ryobi Die Casting continues its transition to making parts for electric cars with a new $10 million project at its Shelbyville location.

On Monday at the Shelbyville Common Council meeting at City Hall, the council unanimously approved a 10-year tax abatement for Ryobi, located at 800 W. Mausoleum Road, to assist with the company’s latest project that will add 22 new employees to its current roster of 868 employees.

“This tax abatement is the second of three in the revitalization and changeover of Ryobi Die Casting from what we normally see as a regular transmission type of casing, which they’ve done for decades, to electric vehicles and also to stationary static parts of their aluminum casts,” said Ryobi attorney Stephen Schrumpf.

Ryobi will purchase and install new manufacturing equipment to support additional production lines being used for new business. The project will cost $10,217,000 and is expected to be completed by April 2024.

“This is exciting in a sense that an old type of industry is transitioning into being a very modern and very sophisticated facility,” said Schrumpf.

The new equipment consists of a die casting machine and finishing lines for the die casting machine’s production.

The 22 new employees needed will make an average hourly rate of $23.58.

The 10-year tax abatement starts at 100% in the first year and reduces by 10% each subsequent year until the 10-year period ends.

Interlocal agreement

The council approved an interlocal agreement with Shelby County to transfer recently received 2022 opioid funds into one account to be managed and dispersed.

“This is an interlocal agreement between the city and the county for the county to transfer their portion of the match dollars from the grant from FSSA to the city,” explained Shelbyville City Attorney Jennifer Meltzer to allow all documentation regarding the grant to come from one building (City Hall). “The county is in agreement with this. It is on their agenda later in December as well.”

The city’s Board of Works approved the interlocal agreement Tuesday morning at its regular meeting.

The full FSSA (Indiana Family & Social Services Administration) grant is for $406,898. Match money from the city is $181,000 and the county is $24,917.15, according to Meltzer.

“We have been working on programming for these funds for months, if not over a year or maybe two years, because we knew this would be coming eventually,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun. “We wanted to have programming in place to be prepared once those dollars did become available.

“We have had countless meetings internally. We’ve had meetings with the county. We’ve had meetings with the hospital. We’ve had meetings with other mental health providers.”

Keyen Macklin, the city’s Behavioral Health & Justice Equity Director, will administrate the funds.

Gateway Corridor Project

At an October meeting, the council approved the process to start receiving Requests For Proposals (RFP) for a gateway corridor project along State Road 9 from Interstate 74 to downtown Shelbyville.

The deadline to receive the RFPs was Monday. Three were received but will sit unopened for at least two weeks.

Mayor-elect Scott Furgeson, who is currently the Fourth Ward representative on the common council, stated Monday night he will not push forward with the proposed $9 million project when he becomes mayor in January.

Furgeson is not in favor of the city paying for the entire project.

“I don’t believe that this project for $9 million is something we should be spending our own money on,” he said. “There are ways to get federal money. I believe the city did apply for federal money on this project a couple years ago … and it was turned down.

“I think it is a good project but I think using our own money is not the best way to use our money when there is money out there. Now will that come about quickly? Three years? Four years? Five years? That is hard to say.”

Furgeson stated he would like to see the city pay for the installation of proposed roundabouts at the stop light at Michigan Road and Knauf Drive and at the entrance to the Isabella Farms subdivision currently under construction along State Road 9.

Furgeson believes the city could receive federal dollars to work on the beautification aspects of the corridor and the installation of sidewalks and a trail path headed north out of downtown Shelbyville.

The council has one scheduled meeting left in 2023. The first meeting of 2024 will include Furgeson as mayor and four new council members joining Betsy Means-Davis (Second Ward), Mike Johnson (Third Ward) and Thurman Adams (Fifth Ward).

Kassy Wilson will replace Joanne Bowen as the First Ward representative and Linda Sanders will fill Furgeson’s seat as the Fourth Ward representative. In addition, Dennis Harrold and Chuck Reed will fill the At-Large seats, replacing Rob Nolley and Brian Asher.

A committee needs to be formed to open the RFPs but with the turnover coming in January, the council agreed some discussion was needed on how to proceed. The stated plan Monday was to have a committee in place by the next council meeting on Dec. 18.

“My concern is if we piece meal it, there is no guarantee for funding,” said DeBaun, who went on to state his belief in the need for increased pedestrian safety along the corridor. “However the council moves forward I would ask that, not to use a pun, but there is a comprehensive plan for what happens out there because I think there are several elements that need to be addressed. This was our shot at addressing all of them.

“If this council or a future council does not feel this is a way to go, that’s fine, but I want it understood it is my belief there are some safety issues out there that need to be addressed collectively.”

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Especially Kidz receives charitable donation from Horseshoe Indianapolis

As the 2023 year comes to a close, Horseshoe Indianapolis is distributing funds from a special option utilized by guests on the casino floor.

The NRT Technology kiosks provide an option for guests when cashing out to earmark any winnings to charity. As a result, a total of $32,815.10 this fall has been earmarked to Especially Kidz, located in Shelbyville.

Especially Kidz has a long-standing relationship with Horseshoe Indianapolis. Over the past few years, the company’s team members made numerous trips to the facility that focuses on the care of physically challenged kids and young adults with 24-hour skilled nursing care. The outdoor atrium area received a complete renovation, adding outdoor space for families and residents to utilize during visits. This year, Especially Kidz was included as one of the recipients for the charitable giving option on casino floor kiosks.

“To be able to contribute these funds donated by our guests to such a worthwhile organization is a tremendous opportunity for Horseshoe Indianapolis,” said Trent McIntosh, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “Especially Kidz is managed by a group of extremely dedicated workers who provide such an important service to our community. We are glad we can be a small part of delivering much-needed support to their organization.”

A group of Horseshoe Indianapolis team members stopped by Especially Kidz to deliver the check from the proceeds of the charitable option Friday, Dec. 1. They were joined by several members of the care giving staff in receipt of the donation.

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Horseshoe Indianapolis donates kiosk fees to SCUFFY

Guests of Horseshoe Indianapolis utilize cash kiosks when closing out their winnings on the casino floor.

On the kiosks is an option to donate any winnings to charity. As a result, those donated winnings are accumulated once per quarter and are gifted back to a charitable organization. A total of $13,564.88 was recently collected from the donation option on the NRT Technology terminals with the funds earmarked to Shelby County United Fund for You (SCUFFY).

“Horseshoe Indianapolis has already completed their 2023 pledge to our annual drive, so this money will kickstart the 2024 drive,” said Alecia Gross, Executive Director of SCUFFY. “Our 13 agencies of SCUFFY take care of our community, from newborns to seniors. This donation will go for the basic necessities of these organizations.”

The 2024 campaign for SCUFFY kicks off the first Wednesday of March each year. The next fundraising campaign begins March 6, 2024, and will conclude the first Wednesday of May, which falls on May 1 in 2024. Next year’s goal is $910,000, which is very achievable thanks to the efforts of area businesses, who nearly reached that amount in 2023.

“Our goal last season was $795,000 and we blew way over that,” added Gross. “Our actual amount was $905,000, so we are excited for the 2024 campaign.”

Horseshoe Indianapolis is a major contributor to the annual fundraising campaign for SCUFFY. In addition to a monetary donation to the cause, other activities take place during the campaign, including team member donations and fundraisers on property. Horseshoe Indianapolis is also represented on the board by Mike Evans, longtime Shelbyville resident and a community minded team member.

“This additional donation to SCUFFY is a great way to kick off next year’s campaign,” added Trent McIntosh, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “SCUFFY represents so many viable organizations in our community, and we are delighted to be a good corporate partner in the annual fundraising efforts.”

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Santa and Mrs. Claus roll into Public Square on vintage Shelbyville Fire Department truck

Santa Claus capped off a festive evening in downtown Shelbyville Friday by bringing the holiday lights alive.

Santa and Mrs. Claus then set up shop inside his newly-refurbished home on the Public Square and met with children to talk about their holiday wishes.

The Mistletoe Market brought families into downtown Shelbyville at 5 p.m., offering a winter market of items to purchase and food to eat. There also were carriage rides and a Ferris Wheel to add to the occasion.

At just after 7 p.m., the Shelbyville High School marching band led the parade south down Harrison St. into the Public Square and out West Washington St.

Hundreds of families lined the streets while children gobbled up candy and books delivered by parade participants.



Santa and Mrs. Claus rode into town on a vintage Shelbyville Fire Department truck and stopped in front of his house to commence with the lighting ceremony along with Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun, who is kicking off the final month of his 12th and final year at City Hall.

“It’s one of the things I enjoy the most,” said DeBaun after escaping the large crowd that was gathered around Santa’s house. “It’s nice to come out and see everybody have a nice time – everybody is smiling, everybody is happy.



“The downtown presents itself so well. I am really pleased with the turnout. I am really impressed with the decorations that all the city employees did such a nice job on and took such pride in this. I am really pleased with all of it.”

DeBaun announced earlier in 2023 that he would not seek a fourth term as mayor which will bring an end to his three-plus decade career in city government. He spearheaded the downtown renovation project that created more people-friendly space in the Public Square that gets put to full use with an event like the holiday parade.



“(The downtown) is doing exactly what we said it would do with all the events we’ve had like Wine Walk and Brew Fest and the Shelby County Players and the tremendous job they do with the pop-up (performances) … and on and on and on,” said DeBaun. “I am very proud of this.

“In 2019 when I announced that I was making this a campaign platform, I said this was the hill I was willing to die on. And you can see this has been better year after year.”



The holiday celebration was the third with the reconfigured downtown and included more lights, more decorations and a Ferris Wheel.

“Isn’t that awesome!” said DeBaun. “The Ferris Wheel is awesome.”

Once Santa was settled in, DeBaun was anxious to walk down East Washington St. and visit since he was busy passing out cookies and hot chocolate prior to the parade.

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Human remains confirmed to be missing Rush County girl

Human remains found in Rush County have been confirmed to be Valerie Tindall.

Tindall was 17 at the time she was reported missing in June and a Silver Alert was issued.

Rush County Coroner Brenda McMahan positively identified the human remains found on Tuesday at 2366 North Oak Street, Arlington. The cause and manner of death are still to be determined pending toxicology and the final autopsy report.

Formal charges have been filed against Patrick Scott. Scott was a person of interest in the case leading up to Tindall’s remains being found on his property. Scott is charged with murder, obstruction of justice and false informing to a law enforcement officer. He’s being held at the Rush County Jail.

Court documents show cadaver dogs were used to conduct an October 11 search at a pond near Scott’s property. Nothing was found and law enforcement believed the dogs had picked up a wind scent from Scott’s property. A flyover of the property indicated areas where the ground had been disturbed.

Law enforcement executed a search warrant on Tuesday. Tindall’s remains were found buried, wrapped in tarps and placed in a box.

According to court documents, Scott admitted to the crime after the body was discovered. He claimed Tindall was trying to blackmail him into a relationship he didn’t want. He said the murder just happened.

The Rush County Sheriff’s Office is urging the public to come forward with any information that may assist the investigation. The office can be contacted by calling 765-932-2931.

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Holiday parade, Mistletoe Market headline Friday activities in downtown Shelbyville

There will be a new staging area for the City of Shelbyville’s downtown holiday parade Friday night but there will not be a different route.

Due to construction behind the Shelby County Tourism and Visitors Bureau building where the parade normally leaves from, the Knauf parking lot along Walker St. will serve as the staging point for the 2023 parade.

The parade will follow the same Harrison St. route into the downtown Public Square Friday, beginning at 7 p.m., and then exit on West Washington St. where it will continue until Tompkins St.

The highlight of the parade is the return of Santa Claus to Shelbyville. He will join Mayor Tom DeBaun to assist with the lighting of downtown Shelbyville for the holiday season.

The Public Square will be closed at 3 p.m. Friday to allow vendors to set up for the Mistletoe Market which opens to the public at 5 p.m.

“It will be staged like a farmer’s market winter market,” said Mainstreet Shelbyville event coordinator Jenna Martin Tuesday morning during an appearance on GIANT fm radio. “It will be staged on East Washington St. between Harrison St. and the Just Peachy Café. Vendors will be on both sides of the street.”



The market also includes a ferris wheel on East Washington St. and horse and carriage rides around the downtown area.

“It’s the perfect holiday event,” said Martin.

There is no admission fee. The city will have a free cookie decorating station and hot chocolate available and TNT Exotics will have an animal encounter area with an arctic fox.

The carriage ride and ferris wheel has a $5 cash-only admission fee.

Santa’s house also will be set up downtown so he can visit with children after the parade and at various dates through the holiday season. The house has been renovated by the staff at the Shelbyville Water Resource Recovery Facility and will resemble more of a log cabin, according to DeBaun.

There is rain in the Friday forecast. The city will not cancel the parade and activities unless the weather forecast becomes dangerous.

“We’ve had this in all kinds of weather,” said DeBaun. “Unless the weather turns hazardous, it will go on as planned.”

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