Shelby County News

Shelbyville’s downtown project debated in council meeting; motion to postpone vote until after election failed

The following story includes raw audio from Monday's 8:30 am meeting of the Shelbyville Common Council.  More to come on this story on GIANT fm.

Monday's meeting of the Shelbyville Common Council included a motion by Republican mayoral candidate and Councilman Brad Ridgeway to vote for a moratorium on a final vote for the current proposed Downtown Project until after the November general election.  The motion died when it failed to receive a second.  The discussion that followed included debates on the project, transparency, public input, debt and plans to pay for the project.

It also featured a withdrawn motion for a new green space use for the old Major Hospital site endorses by Ridgeway and submitted by Dee Bonner.

Currently, the site on West Washington Street. is anticipated to be developed for up to 13 homes.

Democrat incumbent candidate - Mayor Tom DeBaun opens the segment by introducing Councilman Ridgeway in this audio from Monday's meeting.

One dead, one hospitalized in Shelby County I-65 crash

 Early Sunday morning emergency crews were dispatched to I-65 northbound near the 82 mile marker in Shelby County for reports of a single vehicle crash. Around 2:45 a.m. 911 calls began coming in about a vehicle off the roadway and both occupants were severely injured.

Shelby County Sheriff deputies along with medics were first on the scene, they immediately summoned a medical helicopter. Despite life saving efforts Kenneth Cubbage Jr., 41, of Freetown, was pronounced deceased at the scene. His mother, Connie Cubbage, 62, was a passenger in the vehicle.  She was transported to Methodist Hospital by ambulance in stable condition.

The investigating officer, Trooper Aaron Smith, is still unsure why the vehicle left the roadway, but evidence at the scene indicates the vehicle hit a tree and rolled several times. The driver, Cubbage Jr., was wearing a seat belt, however the passenger was unrestrained.

The Shelby County Coroner's Office responded to the scene and recovered the remains of the deceased.

Both directions of I-65 were closed for a brief time.  The northbound lanes were affected for approximately two hours while the crash was investigated and the wreckage was removed.

Full closures planned for I-65, I-70 on south side of Indy

The Indiana Department of Transportation will close parts of I-65 and I-70 on the south side of Indianapolis.

All lanes will be closed on I-65 SB from the South Split to I-465 starting July 12 at 9 p.m. The closure will last for 9 days and all lanes will reopen on Monday, July 22 by 6 a.m.

INDOT will then close all lanes of I-70 EB and WB from I-465 to the South Split on July 26 at 9 p.m. The closure will last for 9 days and all lanes will reopen on Monday, August 5 by 6 a.m.

Additional closures will be added on the weekends, please follow @INDOTEast on Twitter for updates.

The closures are in response to rain delays crews have experienced in May and June.


I-65 SB: During the I-65 SB closure, drivers are encouraged to take I-70 WB to I-465 EB back to I-65 SB.

I-70 closure: During the I-70 closure, drivers are encouraged to take I-465 EB to I-65 NB to get downtown or take I-65 SB to I-465 WB to get out of downtown.

From the airport: Take I-70 EB to I-465 SB to I-65 NB to get to downtown.

Duke Energy Indiana cites cleaner power, more reliable energy in rate increase request

Generating cleaner electricity, improving the reliability of electric service, and investments to serve a growing customer base are some of the key factors leading Duke Energy to ask the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to increase its electric rates.

“We’ve made investments to meet the needs of a customer base that has grown by more than 100,000 since our last full-scale rate review,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “We also have environmental responsibilities and are taking significant steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and move to a cleaner power generation mix. And we are upgrading our electric grid to improve reliability, help avoid power outages and speed service restoration when outages do occur.”

Based on these drivers, the filing today with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission requests to increase annualized revenue by approximately $395 million, for an overall average rate increase of about 15% across all customer groups. If approved, the increase will be added to bills in two steps, approximately 13% in mid-2020 and 2% in 2021.Timing will depend on state regulatory commission action.

The increase will vary among consumers depending on the cost to serve different types of customers. If approved by the commission, the company’s typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month could expect a monthly bill increase of about $23, or approximately 77 cents per day, which includes both steps of the increase.

To help customers save on their electric bills, the company is proposing a pilot program with time-of-use rates where customers can lower their bills on high power demand days by shifting their power usage to times of day when energy is less expensive.

Duke Energy Indiana’s overall average electric rate is currently below state, regional and national averages and is the lowest overall electric rate average in Indiana.

The company also has the lowest customer basic facilities charge in the state. It’s part of every monthly bill and is intended to cover the cost of the facilities the company has installed to deliver electricity to a customer’s home. It is expected to remain the lowest in Indiana after this increase.

The regulatory review process will include an opportunity for public comment.

The proposed new rates would be used to cover a range of innovations, upgrades and improvements that customers value, including:

 Investments to accommodate growth

  • We have made investments to upgrade and keep up with growth on our system, including the addition of more than 1,400 miles of new power lines.

Transitioning to cleaner energy

Nearly 90% of the power Duke Energy produced in Indiana in 2018 was generated from coal. Duke Energy needs to continue to prepare for the likelihood of future greenhouse gas regulations and has proposed accelerating the retirement dates for some of its Indiana coal-fired power units. It is a moderate plan that staggers generating unit retirements over time and spreads out the customer rate impact.

  • Federal rules require changes to the way the company manages coal ash stored at power plant sites. Duke Energy is closing ash basins at its power plants responsibly and in compliance with stricter regulations.

Improving reliability and reducing power outages

  • Trees are a primary cause of power outages, and the cost per mile to trim trees on our system has more than tripled, mostly in the last two years.
  • Duke Energy is replacing and upgrading equipment to reduce power outages and modernize the electric grid for the type of information and services consumers have come to expect, such as better communication during power outages. These improvements include line sensors that detect problems, reduce power outages, and limit the number of customers affected when outages do occur.

Providing customers with more convenience

  • Duke Energy has been installing smart meters for its customers across its Indiana service area. Smart meters are read automatically – not manually – so they significantly reduce the need for estimated bills when meters can’t be easily accessed, such as in severe weather. They also provide customers the ability to view their previous day’s usage and make adjustments before their bill arrives.
  • The company is proposing the elimination of convenience charges for residential customers when they use a credit or debit card to make a bill payment.

New rate options

The company is also offering new electric rate proposals for state regulators to consider.

  • Due to factors such as more energy efficient appliances and the success of energy efficiency programs, customer power usage has been declining, but the amount of fixed costs to deliver power continues to rise. Duke Energy is proposing a five-year program for residential and commercial customers that would align the interests of customers and their utility by tying company revenues to the number of customers served instead of the amount of power they use. It removes the incentive for utilities to increase the use of electricity and allows utilities to continue to aggressively support customer energy efficiency programs. A number of electric utilities have moved to this model, and it is often currently used by gas companies.
  • The new smart meters enable options such as “time of use” rates, where customers can shift their power usage to times of day when energy costs are lower.

Money-saving opportunities for customers

Duke Energy has programs to help customers manage their electricity costs and their bills.

"We're committed to helping customers find ways to save energy through our energy efficiency and bill-lowering tools,” Pinegar said. “We also have assistance for low-income customers and work with our state’s network of community action agencies to provide help.”

Customers can visit for energy-saving tips and programs. The company also has programs to help customers with managing their bills. Learn more at

To learn more about Duke Energy’s proposed rate increase, visit

Brown County SP awaiting water sampling results

The campgrounds, cabins and Abe Martin Lodge were still closed today, Wednesday June 26, at Brown County State Park; day use park activities are now extended to Thursday. If water production capacity and water sampling continue successfully, the campground, cabin and lodge may reopen for Thursday night guests. A determination is expected Thursday morning and DNR will provide an update to park guests and media.

Day use facilities and services have been open since Monday this week for sight-seeing, fishing, picnicking, hiking on open trails, visiting the nature center, and guided horseback rides at the saddle barn. Gates are staffed, but no admission is charged. Vault toilets are open, and bottled water and packaged snacks are available at the Country Store near the campground. Mountain bike and horse trails remain closed. 

Abe Martin Lodge, pools, modern restrooms, and drinking fountains have been closed since Monday, June 17 due to the unprecedented amount of sediment that came into Ogle Lake along with torrential rains. Ogle Lake is the park’s water supply. The sediment increased turbidity in the lake and impacted the water treatment facility’s filters. 

A team of DNR and IDEM staff and consultants have been working around the clock to produce enough potable water to reopen the lodge and campground. Two mobile, pre-treatment units are now filtering the water before it reaches the park’s treatment plant. Water production capacity has increased. Staff continue to flush water lines across the park, and the required water sampling is in process. 

Opportunities are still available for campers and inn guests who prefer to do so to transfer to other state park campgrounds or inns where availability exists. 

Shelbyville’s Enbi makes acquisition

Watermill Group, a strategy driven private investment firm, today announced that its portfolio company Enbi Group, a leading manufacturer of high-performance precision rollers, insulation, gaskets and sealing technologies, has acquired Pierce Industries.  The acquisition brings expanded capabilities to Enbi’s customer base and positions the combined organization for strategic growth across all its end markets – including digital printing, packaging, ATMs and cash handling systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), aerospace, transportation and other tight-tolerance industries.

Located in Rochester, New York, Pierce Industries is an industrial roller manufacturer that specializes in remanufacturing and assembly, advanced welding, CNC machining, cylindrical roll forming and coating applications. The company gives OEMs a competitive advantage by using innovative methods, such as inertia friction welding and cylindrical roll forming, to reduce production times and material costs and improve product quality. Its world-class remanufacturing capabilities are known for breathing new life into worn or damaged complex subassemblies and reestablishing like-new performance, increasing the lifespan of products, reducing resource and energy consumption and creating customer cost savings.

Pierce Industries President & CEO, Richard Webb, commented on the acquisition: “It has been my pleasure to lead this innovative, service-driven organization. Since 1968, our talented employees have helped to create a company that enables our customers to achieve breakthrough results. In Watermill’s family of portfolio companies, I am pleased to have found a home for Pierce that shares our values, maintains a commitment to our employees and increases our capability for innovation and growth. Our early collaboration with Enbi has shown that together we can provide a set of products and services that neither business could have offered alone, enabling us to continue our 50+ year tradition of delivering creative solutions and unparalleled results that our customers have come to rely on.”

“Pierce Industries has reinvented the way OEMs weld and manufacture industrial rollers and repurpose worn machinery, strengths which are invaluable in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace,” stated Tracy Streckenbach, Interim CEO, Enbi, and Watermill Partner. “By linking Pierce’s innovation expertise with Enbi’s precision engineering leadership, we can bring new capabilities, solutions and opportunities to our combined customer base.”

Founded in Nuth, The Netherlands, and headquartered in Shelbyville, Indiana, Enbi’s manufacturing presence spans the US, Europe and Asia. Linking this global footprint with Pierce’s capabilities will enable the combined organization to bring a wider set of innovative solutions to customers around the world.

“Watermill is dedicated to giving our portfolio companies the entrepreneurial vision, operational guidance and capital they need to realize their full potential,” stated Julia Karol, Watermill President and COO. “Bringing together these highly skilled organizations demonstrates our deep belief in Enbi and our commitment to invest in the company’s exciting future.”

For Watermill, Grant Thornton provided tax due diligence, K&L Gates and Blais, Halpert, Lieberman & Greene provided legal counsel and Partners Environmental Consulting, Inc. provided environmental due diligence. M-One Advisory, LLC advised Enbi and Nixon Peabody LLP provided legal counsel.

About Enbi Group

A leading manufacturer of high-performance precision rollers, insulation, gaskets and sealing technologies, Enbi serves best-in-class OEMs in digital printing, ATMs and cash handling systems, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) as well as other industries in which exacting precision and quality are critical to end-product performance. The company serves a worldwide customer base from its headquarters in Shelbyville, Indiana as well as manufacturing facilities in the US, Europe and Asia.

About Pierce Industries

Located in Rochester, New York, Pierce Industries is an industrial roller manufacturer that specializes in remanufacturing and assembly, advanced welding, CNC machining, cylindrical roll forming and coating applications. The company provides custom products and services to a wide range of end markets, including digital printing, packaging, glass equipment, mining, laminating, converting, aerospace, transportation, and ATMs, cash handling, and mail sorting systems.

About the Watermill Group

The Watermill Group is a strategy-driven private investment firm that helps companies achieve their full potential through strategic transformation. For more than four decades, Watermill has been acquiring, operating and improving companies. Watermill looks for businesses in which it can apply a unique combination of strategic insight and management expertise to re-imagine their future and drive growth.

State Sen. Michael Crider to chair roads and transportation study committee

State Sen. Michael Crider (R-Greenfield) will serve as chair of the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation during the summer and fall to help prepare lawmakers for the 2020 legislative session. He will also serve on the following committees and councils:

  • Interim Study Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources;
  • Governor’s Security Council;
  • Indiana Homeland Security Foundations; and
  • Integrated Public Safety Commission.

“I look forward to serving as chair of the Interim Study Committee on Roads and Transportation,” Crider said. “Through this interim study committee, lawmakers and stakeholders will have the opportunity to collaborate and address some of the most pressing issues facing safety in work zones across the state.”

When Indiana’s part-time legislature is not in session, lawmakers serve on interim study committees that meet to review the state’s top issues, as identified by the General Assembly during the prior legislative session.

Study committee topics are assigned by the bipartisan Legislative Council, comprised of 16 voting members – eight from the Senate and eight from the House of Representatives.

The Strand Theatre damaged in truck accident Wednesday

Shelbyville’s Strand Theatre is assessing damage after being struck by a truck in a Wednesday night accident.

The Shelbyville Police Department reports Tammy Coffey, 48, of Shelbyville, was driving a 2001 Ford F-150 just after 9:00 pm.  Coffey told police she was stopped at the Broadway / Harrison Street intersection.  She turned south onto Harrison Street and the truck fishtailed on the west street.  Coffey was unable to regain control and crashed into The Strand, 215 South Harrison Street.

Coffey declined medical attention.

Airbags deployed in the accident. The truck was towed from the scene.

David Finkel spoke to GIANT fm about the accident and further assessment of the building’s structure and safety concerns now before the theatre’s board.

Shelby Co. Prosecutor Landwerlen says a grant will fund much needed deputy prosecutor

A grant will allow the Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office to grow its staff in an effort to keep up with an overload of cases.

Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen says a grant administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute will cover much of the cost of an additional deputy prosecutor.

The grant is in the amount of $106,927.06 and will pay 75% of the total cost of an additional deputy prosecutor who will handle primarily violent crime cases.  The Shelby County Council approved the new position, which also requires that the county pay $38,325.66 toward the position.  The position will pay $69,756 (or slightly more for a person with substantial experience).

The position has been needed for some time.  Other court related offices have grown while the prosecutor’s office has been slower to do so.

Shelby County has added jail staff, Sheriff’s deputies, several probation officers and community corrections officers, and a Court Magistrate to deal with the higher caseloads.  The public defender’s office has grown from just four public defenders in 2001 to 11 today.

And the prosecutor notes the increase in crime related to the casino remains a concern.

The grant is written such that it allows money above salary and benefits for the position, to include almost $6,000 in supplies and equipment, as well as some money to pay part of the Grant Administrator’s salary which will save the county this money, as well.

Landwerlen says they sought the grant last year, but they were not at the time funding personnel.  He hopes to fill the position as soon as possible.

4-way stop considered by Shelby Co. Commissioners; culvert work impacting area roads

Shelby County Commissioners are looking into changing a two-way stop to a four-way at the request of some residents in the area.

County Commissioner Chris Ross explains the request involving the intersection of 500 West and 1100 North.


On Tuesday, 800 South between Gosh Road and Columbus Road was closed.  AK Shannon is replacing the culvert.  It will be closed for 4-6 weeks.

The culvert that was being replaced between 25 West and 75 West is now open.

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