Latest News Archives for 2020-01

Shelbyville attorney suspended for failing to supervise secretary's actions that led to felony charges

A Shelbyville attorney has been suspended for 60 days for failing to supervise his secretary's actions.  That secretary, Heather Brant, entered guilty pleas to five felony charges in October 2019.


James Lisher, with Lisher Law Office, will begin his suspension on March 5.  As long as there are no other penalties in effect at that time he will be reinstated following the end of the 60 days in the Conditional Agreement for Discipline.


James Lisher Agreement for Discipline.pdf


Lisher's suspension involves Heather Brant.  According to the agreement Brant handled most office tasks, including client communication, banking, and electronic court filing. The agreement notes that Lisher failed to maintain appropriate trust account records. Over the course of several months in 2018, Brant stole several thousand dollars from the firm’s operating account, overdrafted the firm’s trust account, and fraudulently created several purported court orders and other legal documents. Brant’s improper actions were enabled in significant part by the Respondent’s failure to appropriately supervise her.

Governor won't comment on investigation into former Centaur executives

Governor Holcomb says he's staying out of the way of an Indiana Gaming Commission review of an Indiana casino operator's connection to a campaign finance scandal.


Holcomb says the commission was right to put Spectacle Entertainment's bid to run the new Terre Haute casino on hold while it looks into campaign finance accusations. He says he won't comment further until that review is complete.


Spectacle also owns Gary's Majestic Star Casino, and has begun construction on a new inland casino there. The company is run by former executives of Centaur Gaming, which owned the racetrack casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville before selling those properties in 2018.


On Friday, a Maryland political consultant pleaded guilty in Virginia to conspiring to funnel Centaur money from through straw donors to the 2016 congressional campaign of Greenwood Senator Brent Waltz. Federal prosecutors describe Centaur's vice president and general counsel as a co-conspirator. Former Indianapolis Representative John Keeler held those titles, and now holds the same positions with Spectacle.


Two other officers of the consulting firm have pleaded guilty to other campaign finance-related charges. No charges have been filed so far against anyone with Spectacle.

State investigation of former Centaur executives; Terre Haute casino approval ppd

The awarding of the license for Terre Haute's new casino is up in the air after a guilty plea to campaign finance violations.


Maryland political consultant Chip O'Neil pleaded guilty to using straw donors to disguise the source of contributions from Centaur Gaming to former Greenwood Senator Brent Waltz's 2016 campaign for Congress. Centaur owned the racetrack casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville at the time. It's since sold those properties, and its top executives now hold the same positions with Spectacle Entertainment, which owns Gary's Majestic Star Casino and is the only applicant for the one in Terre Haute.


The Gaming Commission had tentatively planned to consider the Terre Haute license at its meeting in two weeks. That hearing has now been postponed while the commission investigates further. A statement from the agency calls the allegations "concerning," and says it's also reviewing the impact on Spectacle's construction of a new casino in downtown Gary.


The commission has the authority to impose discipline ranging from fines to the revocation of Spectacle's Gary license.


Federal prosecutors describe the gaming company's vice president and general counsel, former Indianapolis Representative John Keeler, as a co-conspirator. Waltz is described only as the recipient of the campaign donations. Neither is identified by name in court papers, and neither has been charged. Centaur isn't identified by name either but is clearly the company described, and the Gaming Commission says it understands Centaur to be the company involved.


Waltz finished fourth in a five-way Republican primary with 13-percent of the vote, losing to now-Congressman Trey Hollingsworth.


Besides O'Neil, two other officers of Strategic Campaign Group are named as co-conspirators and have already pleaded guilty to other charges. The firm's president, Kelley Rogers, was sentenced last week to three years in prison for wire fraud. Prosecutors say the firm raked in millions from donors but used nearly all the money to build their mailing list rather than passing it along to candidates as promised.


O'Neil's plea bargain indicates he's cooperating with prosecutors. He's expected to receive a sentence of six months to a year, though the charge against him carries a theoretical maximum of five years.

Suspicious man reported at Shelbyville bus stop checks out OK; niece on bus

Shelbyville Police have issued a thank you to the public for information that led to a safe resolution of an initial concern involving a man at a school bus stop.


Police were notified of a man who may have been watching a young female get off the bus at East Mechanic and North Noble on Thursday.  


Shelbyville Police investigated and placed a notice on social media.  The follow-up yielded information that identified the man and that he had a niece on the bus.




SCUFFY Board recognizes the passing of Angie Davies and announces new Interim Executive Director

The Board of Directors of SCUFFY (Shelby County United Fund for You) is deeply saddened by the recent and unexpected passing of its Executive Director, Angela Davies. Angie joined SCUFFY as the Executive Director in 2011. Prior to that, she served for several years on the SCUFFY Board as co-chair of the Industry/Labor Division of the annual drive while working at Knauf Insulation. SCUFFY is symbolized by the little person with the big heart and Angie was the epitome of this symbol. She cared deeply about thepeople and community of Shelby County and served the SCUFFY organization and its thirteen member agencies with sincere dedication and overwhelming compassion.She was deeply loved by the SCUFFY family and our entire community and will be sorely missed.


Given this loss, it is imperative we continue the SCUFFY mission Angie worked so hard to maintain. The SCUFFY Board has chosen David Fisher to serve as Interim Executive Director as it searches for a permanent replacement. Dave recently retired from Ryobi Die Casting where he was Purchasing Manager for 22 years. He currently sits on the SCUFFY Board and has led the Industry/Labor Division of the annual SCUFFY drive formore than two decades. In addition, Dave was Drive Chair for the 50th anniversary in 2004 and served as President of the Board of Directors during 2007/2008 and again in 2017/2018. 


Dave will work with the 2020 Drive Chairs, Kyle Beaty of Beaty Construction and Drew Little of Knauf Insulation, to ensure a successful completion of the 66th annual drive. The drive starts on March 4 with an 8:00 am Kick-off Breakfast at Indiana Grand Racing and Casino and concludes with the End of Drive dinner on May 6th. 


The SCUFFY Board is currently accepting applications to fill the permanent Executive Director position.Information on this position is available at Those interested in applying can submit a resume to


Please join the entire SCUFFY organization and all of Shelby County in recognizing the significant and lasting contributions Angie Davies made during her tenure as Executive Director. We ask everyone to continue their support of the organization Angie gave so much to.

Appeal to be scheduled in Shelbyville officer's demotion

A Shelbyville Police officer is expected to appeal a demotion decision handed down by the Shelbyville Board of Public Works and Safety.


City attorney Jennifer Meltzer informed the board Tuesday that she had been contacted by an attorney for the officer and that an appeal was anticipated.  A date for the hearing was to be scheduled, possibly sometime in the next two or three weeks.


Former Chief Detective for the department, Clifford Coffman, was demoted for a disciplinary matter.  Coffman was demoted for neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for not following a directive by Deputy Chief Jamie Kolls.  Kolls ordered Coffman iin December to supervise a murder investigation.  Coffman took the rest of the year off.


Board member David Finkel was absent as the board voted 2-0 to demote Coffman.





Wintry mix turns to rain with Saturday warmup

Snow, freezing rain, and frigid temperatures are all part of the immediate weather forecast across Indiana.


Snow will eventually be accompanied by freezing rain and sleet as the evening goes on, especially between midnight and 2 am Saturday.


"Then it will transition into rain Saturday morning. Roads are gonna be slick overnight Friday. Be careful if you're out on the roads. Then following the passage of this system, it's going to get cold Saturday evening, Sunday, and even into next week as well," Updike said.


Most high temperatures for cities and towns in Indiana Sunday and Monday will be in the 20s with the wind chill making it feel even colder. The northern part of the state will see the most winter weather.


"They are going to be in the snow, freezing rain, and ice accumulation for longer," Updike said. "It won't have as much of an impact in the southern part of the state. If you're going south of Indianapolis, you'll be mostly dealing with rain Saturday."


There is a winter weather advisory that begins at 4 pm Friday afternoon until noon Saturday for folks from the Michigan border down to about Muncie and Crawfordsville. Forecasters are expecting a glaze of ice and as much as four inches of snow.


A separate winter weather advisory runs from 7 pm Friday until 4 am Saturday.


"That's for the counties just south of Indianapolis all the way up through Lafayette and Kokomo," Updike said.


Updike says temperatures will start to warm up by the middle of next week. In the meantime, he recommends you bundle up.


"Make sure you're taking extra precautions and taking things slowly. Try not to be outside for long periods of time. If you've got pets, make sure you let them in and out. Don't just leave them outside," Updike said.

2020 Live Racing Schedule announced at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino; No Thursday racing

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission (IHRC) has approved racing dates for the upcoming 18th season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Racing at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino. Racing will begin Tuesday, April 14 and conclude Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020 with a slightly altered schedule for the 120-day race meet.


Racing will be held the first week of the meet on Tuesday and Wednesday only, picking up Friday and Saturday racing beginning April 24 and 25. The meet will also end with racing only on Tuesday and Wednesday with the final Saturday racing program set for Breeders Cup Night Saturday, Nov. 7. No Thursday racing will be held in 2020, and those dates were added on to the end to extend the season by an additional week.


“We have been diligent in studying business trends and taking into account what is best for our racing partners, we decided to adjust our racing schedule for 2020,” said Mike Rich, senior vice president and general manager of Indiana Grand. “Our biggest revenue driving days are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. By dropping six weekend dates throughout the year and placing our focus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we will be able to provide more calendar weeks of competition for our horsemen while producing the best possible handle results which directly affects purse money. We are constantly working to do what is best for our racing program at Indiana Grand.”


Indiana Grand will follow the same post time format for 2020. Racing will begin at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday while Saturday action gets underway at 6:15 p.m.


More information regarding 2020 special events and stakes schedules for both Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing will be available soon.


Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ: CZR), holds multiple awards for customer service, entertainment, gaming, dining, and diversity. Located in Shelbyville, Ind., Indiana Grand features more than 2,100 of the latest slots and table games in addition to a one-mile dirt racecourse and a seven-eighths mile turf course providing live Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing each year. Simulcast wagering is also offered year-round at Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub located on the casino floor as well as a Winner’s Circle Race Sports Pub located in Clarksville, Ind. For more information, please visit Must be 18 or older to wager on horse racing at racetracks and 21 or older to gamble at sports books and casinos. Know When To Stop Before You Start.® Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-9-WITH-IT (1-800-994-8448) ©2020 Caesars License Company, LLC.

Franklin College president fired amid sex crimes in Wisconsin

Franklin College said Monday it has fired its president after learning he was recently arrested in Wisconsin on sex crimes.


The “deeply disturbing incident” has led the college to investigate Thomas J. Minar’s conduct while president, said a news release from Deidra Baumgardner, Franklin’s director of communications.

Minar was “taken into custody in Sturgeon Bay, WI, Door County for Use of a Computer to Facilitate a Sex Crime, Child Enticement, and Expose a Child to Harmful Materials/Narrations and was released from custody on bond, subject to no direct contact with minors unless supervised and not to use social media,” according to an email received by the university.


The news release said, “The Franklin College Board of Trustees is stunned by this event. This is the first such incident the Board has been made aware of regarding Dr. Minar, and the Board is fully committed to cooperating fully with Wisconsin authorities and working to ensure the safety of our campus community.”


In June, Minar said he would end his term as the college’s president at the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. Minar became Franklin College’s 16th president on July 1, 2015.


In October, Franklin College chose an executive search firm to help them recruit the college’s 17th president.


Lori Schroeder, Franklin provost and dean, will serve as interim president. Franklin’s Board of Trustees Executive Committee later this week can appoint an acting president.

Update: Name released in Friday morning SR 9 fatal accident

A Hancock County woman was killed in a opne-car accident in Shelby County early Friday morning.


Taylor Monday, 22, of Greenfield, was the driver of a 2002 Chevy truck southbound on South State Road 9 near Woodridge Road.  About 3:30 am, the truck left the road on the east side, struck a light pole and rolled over.


Monday was pronounced dead at the scene.


The crash remains under investigation.




Fatal Shelby County accident early Friday morning

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department is investigating a single vehicle, single occupant fatal car crash.


The crash happened about 3:30 am Friday on South State Road 9 around Woodridge Road.


The crash  is still under investigation. 


No other information is being released at this time.  We will have more details coming up on GIANT fm News.

Shelbyville man sentenced to 200 years for child sexual exploitation, pornography

United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Jeffrey Esposito, 54, of Shelbyville, was sentenced in federal court, by U.S. District Chief Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson, to 200 years in federal prison, after having previously pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography.


“Esposito tortured, sexually abused, and sexually exploited children for years,” said Minkler. “Judge Magnus-Stinson’s sentence ensures that he will never come in contact with another child again.”


On April 11, 2018, Jeffrey Esposito was charged by indictment with twenty counts of sexual exploitation of a child and one count of possession of child pornography. The first twenty charges relate to the recording of his repeated sexual abuse of his minor victim. The defendant’s sexual abuse of the victim started when the victim was approximately 7-8 years old and continued for years, including bondage and torture sessions with choking, whipping, and other forms of pain.


The twenty counts represent twenty images or videos of abuse and exploitation over multiple occasions out of the hundreds of sexual abuse files that the defendant created using this minor victim. The defendant was a member of various websites devoted to the sexual exploitation of children on an anonymous network, and he participated on various anonymous chatting platforms where he met other offenders, shared his produced material, and specifically requested and received child pornography from those users in exchange. The final charge represents the thousands of other depictions of sexual abuse that Esposito maintained on his various devices, which included images and videos depicting bondage and torture, images and videos depicting children as young as three years old, and images and videos of minor victims who were abused by other offenders specifically for Esposito’s benefit.


This case was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).


“Let this sentence serve as a reminder that HSI is committed to standing firmly in the way of those who prey on and exploit our most vulnerable population – our children,” said Special Agent in Charge James M. Gibbons. “HSI, in cooperation with our law enforcement and judicial partners, will work tirelessly to identify and bring to justice individuals who commit these heinous crimes.”


According to Assistant United States Attorney Steven D. DeBrota and Department of Justice, Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Trial Attorney Lauren S. Kupersmith, who prosecuted this case for the government, Esposito will serve lifetime supervised release.


In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to utilize and partner with law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals engaged in the sexual exploitation of children. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 4.1.

Crider to seek another term in Indiana State Senate

State Senator Mike Crider (R-Greenfield) today filed the necessary paperwork to seek another term in the Indiana State Senate representing District 28, which is composed of Hancock County and portions of Shelby and Marion counties.


“Serving Hoosiers in District 28 at the Statehouse has been the honor of a lifetime, and I sincerely hope to continue for another term,” Crider said. “I’m truly grateful for this opportunity and the trust that has been placed in me and proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the last eight years. This session I’m working on a variety of legislation including bills regarding human trafficking and mental health.”


First elected to the State Senate in 2012, Crider serves as Majority Whip and chairs the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Transportation. In addition, he serves on the following Senate Committees: Veterans Affairs & the Military (ranking member), Appropriations, Health & Provider Services, and Rules & Legislative Procedure.


In addition, Crider serves on the Council of State Governments Transportation and Infrastructure Public Policy Committee, the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee of the Council of State Governments and the Committee on Natural Resources and Infrastructure of the National Conference of State Legislatures.


A graduate of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and the FBI National Academy, Crider previously served as Director of Law Enforcement for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.


He and his wife Sherri, a nurse, have two children and six grandchildren. They reside in Greenfield.

Update: Stabbing investigation in Hope; one person dead

James T. Mee, 77, of Scott Street, Hope, was arrested Tuesday on preliminary charges of:

urder and domestic battery.


Mee remains in the Bartholomew County Jail.  He has been placed on a 48-hour hold without bond.



-- Original release --

The Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department says one person is dead, another injured and an arrest has taken place in a double-stabbing in Hope.


After receiving a 911 call to an address on Scott Street in Hope, local and area law enforcement responded to an apparent domestic where at least one person is deceased.


Another person injured has been transported to Columbus Regional Hospital with what appears to be non-life-threatening injuries.


An individual has been taken into custody and there is no danger to the public.


This is an ongoing investigation - currently being investigated by the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police, Columbus Police Department, Bartholomew County Coroner’s Office and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office. 

SCUFFY Executive Director Angie Davies has passed away

GIANT fm News has learned that Angela Davies has passed away.


Davies has been the Executive Director of the Shelby County United Fund since 2011.


We will have more as details become available.

Road closure near Indiana Grand

Traffic note:  Michigan Road is closed just north of Indiana Grand Racing & Casino.


The detours will be marked for both directions.


Indiana American Water Company is on a job at that site.


This closure is set for approximately two weeks.







Miss Shelby County named 3rd-Runner-Up at Indiana State Fair pageant

Miss Shelby County has been honored at the Indiana State Fair Queen Pageant.


Catherine Hall was named 3rd Runner-Up.


The Miss Indiana State Fair 2020 is Claudia Duncan from Evansville.


The Indiana State Fair Queen plays a key role in promoting the Indiana State Fair by traveling nearly 6,500 miles during June and July to approximately 45 counties in preparation for the Indiana State Fair, August 7-23, 2020.


1st Runner-Up: Grace McCoy, Miss Elkhart County
2nd Runner-Up: Devin Hindes, Miss Newton County
3rd Runner-Up: Catherine Hall, Miss Shelby County
4th Runner-Up: Danielle Perry, Miss Posey County
Elyona Dobrodt, Miss St. Joseph County
Ellen Rohr, Miss Parke County
Jessica Bradford, Miss Warrick County
Abbigail Sprong, Miss Delaware County
Riley Lamb, Miss Boone County
Miss Congeniality: Devin Hindes, Miss Newton County

Reward offered for info on bald eagle shooting

Indiana Conservation Officers continue to request information regarding the shooting of a bald eagle in Lawrence County on or around Dec. 20.


A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest of a suspect.


A Lawrence County animal control officer and employees of Brown County Indiana Raptor Center were notified of an injured eagle in the area of the White River near Dixie Highway and took possession on Dec. 20. The eagle, which was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, was treated, but died shortly thereafter. ICO Ryan Jahn took possession of the carcass on Dec. 21 and is investigating.


Anyone with information should call DNR Law Enforcement Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536 or the Turn in a Poacher, Inc. (TIP) hotline at 1-800-847-4367 (TIP-IDNR). TIP is a non-profit conservation organization that protects fish and wildlife resources by increasing public support and involvement in bringing violators to justice.


Several members of the public have asked about donating to the reward fund. Donations to the can be made by making checks payable to Turn in a Poacher, Inc. and sending it to ICO Central Dispatch Center, 4850 South State Road 446, Bloomington, IN 47401, and marking it c/o Lt. Col. Terry Hyndman. The reward will be adjusted accordingly as donations are received.

Live table games launched at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino launched the latest addition to its expansive menu of entertainment options at noon Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2020 at the Shelbyville, Ind. facility. Several hundred new team members took their place behind more than 40 tables as the stage was set for the historic event.


A ribbon cutting ceremony took place just before Noon featuring several dignitaries just outside the High Limit pit area. Included in the ribbon cutting process was Representative Sean Eberhart, Representative Cindy Ziemke, Representative Heath Vanatter, Senator Jean Leising, Indiana Gaming Commission Executive Director Sara Tait, State Senator Mike Crider, and Indiana Grand Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rich, who provided a brief introduction leading into the official launch.


 “We are very excited to launch live table games today,” said Rich. “This event has been a few years in the making and we extend a special thank you to all those involved in making this vision possible for us. We are now a full-blown casino and we are extremely proud of our team for all of their preparations and planning as we take the next step in providing more entertainment options for our guests at Indiana Grand.”


Representative Eberhart made the first official roll of the dice at one of the craps tables to signal the start of a new era for Indiana Grand. His roll of the dice was accompanied by applause and a large crowd of well-wishers taking part in the historic event.


Seven different types of live table games are now offered, including craps, roulette, blaze roulette, blackjack, baccarat, three-card poker and Mississippi Stud. Three areas are utilized for the tables with approximately 200 seats provided in the main floor area just off the parking garage and across from the cashier. High Limit table games are located in the former Poker Room represented by more than 100 gaming seats.