Latest News Archives for 2019-08

Farmers in all 92 Indiana counties eligible to receive assistance

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today announced that Indiana farmers are eligible for assistance under a secretarial natural disaster designation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


This was in response to a letter Gov. Holcomb sent to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in July, requesting assistance due to the excessive rain and flooding farmers experienced during planting season.


“I am grateful that Secretary Perdue and his team recognized the hardships Hoosier farmers experienced this planting season,” Gov. Holcomb said. “As a result of this designation, farmers in all 92 counties are now eligible for assistance, and I encourage those impacted to work with their local Farm Service Agency office.”


Seventy-four counties were designated as primary natural disaster areas. USDA deferred its decision on the remaining 18 counties. However, since they border one or more of the primary disaster areas, they are considered contiguous disaster counties – allowing farm operators in those areas to be eligible for the same assistance.


Under a secretarial natural disaster designation, farm operators in primary and contiguous counties are eligible for assistance from the Farm Service Agency, provided certain requirements are met. This includes access to low-interest FSA emergency loans, which may be used to: restore or replace essential property, pay all or part of production costs associated with the disaster year, pay essential family living expenses, reorganize the farming operation, and refinance certain debts.


In order to qualify, farm operators must show at least a 30 percent loss in crop production or a physical loss to livestock, livestock products, real estate or chattel property. Farmers can borrow up to 100 percent of actual production or physical losses to a maximum amount of $500,000, according to USDA.


“This has been an unprecedented year for Indiana farmers,” said Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture and Rural Development. “I applaud Governor Holcomb, the Indiana Farm Service Agency and our state department of agriculture for making this assistance available.”


In addition to emergency loans, farmers with existing FSA loans, who are unable to make their payments, may be eligible to have certain payments deferred. Farmers are encouraged to work with their local FSA office for assistance regarding payment forbearance or emergency disaster loans.


“Farmers, who have been doing this their entire lives, acknowledge this has been one of the toughest seasons on record, and we’re not in the clear yet,” said Bruce Kettler, Indiana State Department of Agriculture Director. “While we know this isn’t a cure-all solution, this assistance is welcome news and will help those severely impacted.”


For a list of Farm Service Agency offices in Indiana, click here or visit, or click here for more information about FSA’s Emergency Farm Loans. Deadline to apply for emergency loans is April 29, 2020.

Shelbyville man, Capitol Police officer arrested on domestic battery charge

A domestic battery charge has resulted in the arrest of a Shelbyville man who works as an Indiana State Capitol Police officer.


Few details about the case are available at this time.  Jeffrey Sosbe, 46, was arrested Wednesday. 


He is now on administrative leave without pay.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino set to make history with first Sports Book opening

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino will make history Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019 as it becomes the first Sports Book in the state. A special pep rally will lead into the commemorative ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the official opening of Winner’s Circle Race, Sports, Pub.


“We are extremely excited and honored to open the first Sports Book in the State of Indiana,” said Ron Baumann, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. “Our new Sports Book is a highly anticipated addition to our property, and we have worked hard over the past few months to redesign our current Winner’s Circle to accommodate the newest option in gaming in the state of Indiana.”


The Pep Rally will get underway at approximately 12:45 p.m. followed by comments from several local dignitaries, including Mayor Tom DeBaun of Shelbyville.  At the conclusion of the ceremony, the Sports Book will officially launch legalized sports betting in the state of Indiana.


Sports available for legal wagers include professional football, basketball, baseball and golf. In addition, more than 100 other sporting events will be included in the new Sports Book at Indiana Grand.


The current Winner’s Circle has been expanded to include an entire new section dedicated to sports wagers. This addition will complement the existing area already established as the off-track betting venue for horse racing and dining venue.


The event is open to guests 21 years of age and older. The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place in front of the opening into the sports book inside Winner’s Circle, which is located on the casino floor. Those in attendance will receive a commemorative ball cap while supplies last to signify the historic event in Indiana history. 

Duke Energy sending crews from Indiana to assist in storm restoration in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

Duke Energy is sending a contingent of line workers, vegetation workers, supervisors and administrative personnel to assist in restoring power to customers in the Southeast who are affected by Hurricane Dorian.


Crews are leaving from eight different operations centers in Indiana, including:

  • Aurora
  • Bedford
  • Clarksville
  • Edinburgh (outlet mall)
  • Princeton
  • Shelbyville
  • Sullivan
  • Interstate 70 at Cloverdale exit

Departure times will be at approximately 7 a.m., Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. Crews will drive to Macon, Georgia to spend Friday night. They will await further instructions as to where they will be deployed, either in Florida or the Carolinas, depending on the track of hurricane and level of damage.

It’s unknown at this point how long crews will be deployed.

IMPD continues to investigate homicide of Shelby County man

The death of a Shelby County man remains under investigation as a homicide  in Indianapolis.


On the evening of August 20 a man was dead in a vehicle on Indy’s southwest side on Ray Street, in an alley near I-70 and Harding Street. It was ruled a homicide after the Marion County Coroner arrived to the scene and determined the man had trauma to his body.


The man was identified as Joseph Mefford, 26, of Flat Rock.


Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the IMPD Homicide Office at 317-327-3475 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS.

I-74 EB & WB lane restrictions to begin Saturday in Shelby County

 I-74 EB & WB will have lane restrictions starting Saturday, August 24. 


Both directions of I-74 near N CR 400 W to SR 44 will have intermittent lane closures between now and the middle of November. 


At least one lane will be open in each direction at all times. Work will be completed in 1 mile increments along this stretch.


Crews will be patching and repairing concrete slabs during construction.


INDOT would like to remind drivers to slow down in construction zones and drive distraction free.

Please be aware of slowing or stopped traffic and plan extra time during construction. 

Rain extends I-465 eastbound and northbound closure to Monday

Due to periods of heavy rain slowing construction work in the last several days, the Indiana Department of Transportation will keep all lanes of eastbound and northbound I-465 on Indianapolis' southeast side closed until Monday, August 26 at 6 a.m.


Work on the first phase of the approximately $13 million project was targeted for completion on the morning of Saturday, August 24, but INDOT has extended the closure to allow contractors to complete repairs and improvements hampered by weather. Contractors have been working around the clock since August 9 to restore concrete pavement, repair and replace joints, and rehabilitate bridges. INDOT crews have also been performing maintenance activities like sign replacements, guardrail repairs, street sweeping, and drain clearing. 


Motorists should continue to plan ahead, use alternate routes, and expect delays while I-465 remains closed. All lanes will reopen ahead of the Monday morning commute.


No construction work on I-465 will be happening during Labor Day weekend travel period.


The second phase of the project will close I-465 Southbound to Westbound from September 6 at 9 p.m. to September 21.

Shelbyville Common Council lowers planned rainy day fund transfer after further discussion

You’ve probably heard the old phrase, “save a little for a rainy day.”  The City of Shelbyville is able to save more than that but has decided not as much as originally planned.


The Shelbyville Common Council approved a resolution to transfer $750, 000 from the Racino fund to its Rainy Day fund.  The initial amount before the council was $2 million.  Councilman Brad Ridgeway asked the council to further discuss the issue in a finance meeting while suggesting a smaller amount.


Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun.



The mayor notes having an amount to debate to place into a rainy day fund is a good thing.



2019 Indiana State Fair sees a boost in attendance

Despite a closing weekend that included severe weather, this year’s hero-centric Indiana State Fair closed with 878,857 people traveling to the fairgrounds for the 17-day event. 


The 2020 Indiana State Fair runs August 7-23. 

City and county look to consolidate dispatch services

The future of law enforcement  and medical services dispatch in Shelby County may bring the City of Shelbyville and Shelby County together as one unit.


Shelby County Commissioners were addressed this week by Barry Ritter, co-founder of Ritter Strategic Services.


Shelby County Sheriff Louie Koch explains what Ritter has been doing.



Ritter has thirty years of experience in public safety at the municipal, county, and state level.  He began his public safety career as a police officer in Richmond serving through the rank of Deputy Chief of Police.


After retiring, Ritter served for five years as the Director of the Wayne County Emergency Communications Department, a consolidated 9-1-1 center.  In that time, the county built a new 9-1-1 center, purchased new radios and migrated to the State’s trunked 800 system.


Ritter was instrumental in leading nine Indiana counties to the very first multi-county ESinet for 9-1-1 services in Indiana.


The sheriff says local officials have been studying what can be done to improve the current arrangement of city and county dispatch.



The idea is not a new one.  In fact, most neighboring counties have done the same.



Koch notes that combining dispatch efforts in a regional format has been discussed but doesn’t look like it’s the direction Shelbyville and Shelby County will go right now.



Shelby County Commissioners approved Ritter continuing the process including creating a board to further address the issue. 


Sheriff Koch says it may be 18 – 24 months before a transition to a combined dispatch would be completed.

Arrest in Friday hit -and -run

An arrest was made in a Shelbyville hit – and – run involving a car and motorcycle.


Shelbyville Police say suspect, Johnny Tillison, 20, of Shelbyville, pulled out in front of the victim on SR 44 from Lee Bvld. The victim was eastbound on 44.


Police reported the suspect was driving a white 4-door Lincoln that took off eastbound on 44.  A picture of the suspect vehicle was also released and later the arrest made.


Shelbyville Fire Department paramedics transported the male victim with non-life threatening injuries to Methodist Trauma Center where he was initially listed in stable condition.

Indiana American Water breaks ground on water system infrastructure serving Shelbyville,

Indiana American Water, a subsidiary of American Water Company (NYSE: AWK), today announced it is investing $17.6 million to add additional water treatment capacity, storage, and pumping and water transmission capabilities to its Shelbyville system.

“Shelbyville has grown over the last decade since we built the London Road water treatment facility in western Shelby County,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “The plant was placed in service in 2009 to serve our customers in Johnson County and was built so it could be easily expanded and eventually connected to our Shelbyville system as demand increased there. We have seen significant growth in demand since that time, and these investments will help us to continue to meet Shelbyville’s need for a high-quality source of water.”

The investment in Indiana American Water’s infrastructure serving Shelby County includes:

• Installing nine miles of 20-inch and 16-inch transmission mains to connect the London Road water treatment facility to the Shelbyville system.

• Expanding treatment capacity by 2 million gallons per day and adding two additional pumps at the London Road facility.

• Constructing a new 500,000-gallon storage tank and installing a transmission main near I-74 and State Road 44 on the city’s east side.

• Constructing a new pump station near an existing storage tank along East Michigan Road to create a new pressure zone to enhance system pressures and fire flows in the eastern portion of the system.

The projects will help the company to meet current and future demand, enhance service reliability, and increase water pressure, flows and fire protection capabilities. The new treatment plant pumps and the transmission main connecting the Shelbyville system to the London Road treatment facility are expected to be in service early next year. The remaining projects will all be placed in service by mid-2021.

Indiana American Water has made significant investments over the last decade in its Shelby County water infrastructure, including $4.3 million to replace/relocate water mains and fire hydrants, $2.2 million to install or replace service lines and water meters, and nearly $7.6 million in its pumping, treatment, capacity, storage and operations facilities. The company also placed the London Road treatment facility in service a decade ago at a cost of approximately $19 million.

Indiana American Water serves nearly 7,000 customers in the Shelbyville area, or a population of approximately 19,000.


Shelbyville downtown street project nearing end of first stage

Shelbyville’s East Washington Street project is progressing.


The re-do on the Shelbyville two block stretch has impacted store owners and traffic.  But the city’s engineer Matt House says they Beaty construction is doing well.



Full attention will then go to the second block with hopes of completion before winter officially sets in.



House notes even the heavy rains of spring failed to offer significant issues.  The largest problems came from underground.



The entire project is scheduled to be done by December 1.

Historic Shelby County bridge finds new home, purpose

You might forgive former Shelby County Commissioner Dave Mohr if he thought the topic of Bridge 13 would never be a cause for celebration.


After years of effort a ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday and brought for some, a sigh of relief.  The historic steel truss bridge is now a prime feature on the trail through Blue River Memorial Park.



Mohr says he remembers talk of replacing the bridge at its location on 875 West as long ago as the late 70's.



Originally built in 1889, the structure was rehabilitated and now carries a shared-use path, the Blue River Trail, over a man-made water feature at Blue River Memorial Park in Shelbyville.  


The original structure was a 93-foot-long, narrow iron and steel Pratt truss, carrying one lane of traffic on CR 875 West over Buck Creek in northeast Shelby County. 


Mohr says time and traffic eventually caught up to the bridge.



In 2011, the bridge was closed to traffic due to damage and deterioration, with a sufficiency rating of 13. The bridge was classified as a “Select” Historic Bridge and described as an outstanding example of its type, but best suited for non-vehicular use based on condition and structural capacity constraints. The bridge was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, but due to technicalities, the Shelby County bridge project was subjected to a full Section 106 process, including a Memorandum of Agreement.  An Alternatives Analysis determined the most “prudent and feasible” alternative was replacement of the existing bridge (which was completed in May 2019 and designated as “Bridge 219”),along with relocation of the historic truss, which now resides in Shelbyville Indiana’s Blue River Memorial Park. 


The bridge was marketed for re-use for a period of six months, followed by a public hearing to complete the public involvement process.  Construction was completed in July 2019. 

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims of the tragedies in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.


Flags should be flown at half-staff from now until sunset on Thursday, August 8.


Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff.

SCP brings Nunsense II to The Strand

Nunsense II opens a two-week run Friday night at The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville with Shelby County Players.


Director Cindy Leahy says SCP did Nunsense on stage 12 years ago at the old theater on Tompkins Street.  When The Strand opened in 2008 SCP were invited and reprised that performance to sold out crowds.


As the Shelby County Players celebrate a 30th season Leahy says it was a vote in a survey with last season’s audience that helped set the schedule this season.  The audience asked to see Nunsense again but instead of reprising the original they went with Nunsense II.  This version allows for a larger cast and more performers.

The dates are August 2, 3, 8, 9, and 10 at 7:30 pm, and August 4 and 11 at 2:00 pm.