Local Sports

Pacers sign Sabonis to multi-year extension

The Indiana Pacers announced Monday they have signed veteran forward Domantas Sabonis to a multi-year contract extension. Per team policy, no terms of the contract are revealed.


The 6-11, 240-pound Sabonis is in his fourth NBA season and enters his third season with the Pacers. He has career averages of 10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game; and averages of 12.9 points and 8.5 rebounds in his two seasons with the Pacers.


“I’m very excited to remain with the Pacers, this is where I wanted to be,” said Sabonis. “I appreciate the organization showing their confidence in me; and I’m ready to be part of what’s going to be a great year for our team.”


“We love the toughness that Domantas brings to our team, and we can’t wait to see him play in his expanded role this year,” said Pacers President of Basketball Operations Kevin Pritchard. “He’s had so much growth in his career; and we’re excited for what that means for his future, as well as the future of our team.”

Ball State Homecoming events include a special acknowledgement of former football player Wendell Brown's 'homecoming'

Ball State University will welcome former football player Wendell Brown back to campus for Homecoming 2019.  His acknowledgement during a ceremony in CharlieTown is one of many events taking place at Ball State this weekend to celebrate Homecoming.


Brown recently returned from China after spending three years in a prison there. Brown has maintained his innocence. Originally from Detroit, Brown played linebacker for Ball State between 2004 and 2008 and went on to play in the Canadian Football League before moving to China to coach.


His event will take place at 1 p.m. at CharlieTown, located on the west side of the Ball State University Alumni Center, 2800 W. Bethel Ave. Brown will be joined by Rick Hall, chair of the Ball State University Board of Trustees, and alumnus Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports.


“This is a special Homecoming for Ball State,” Hall said. “We are pleased Wendell has come home and proud of the role Ball State alumni played in securing his freedom. Cardinals have lifelong relationships and are like family. We take care of our family.”


Ball State has a host of fun activities planned for Friday and Saturday to celebrate Homecoming, including:


Friday, October 18

  • The 40th annual Bed Race will begin on Riverside Avenue at noon Friday.
  • Ball State University will dedicate the newly constructed, 165,000-square-foot Health Professions Building at 3 p.m. The $62.5 million structure features classrooms, laboratories, offices, a resource hub, simulation labs/suites, and clinical spaces.

Saturday, October 19

  • In the Chase Charlie 5K, students and alumni will join the exciting atmosphere as they run through campus along the parade route. The race will begin at 8:45 a.m. at Muncie City Hall.
  • The traditional Homecoming Parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Muncie Central High School and will follow the regular route through campus. University organizations and businesses throughout the Muncie community will show off their floats, cars, bands, and even horses.
  • At 11 a.m., after the Homecoming Parade, the University will break ground on the new Multicultural Center, east of Bracken Library. The $4 million, approximately 10,500-square-foot facility will open in 2020.
  • The tailgate prior to the football game against Toledo at 2 p.m. will feature Reunion Row and CharlieTown for Ball State alumni, beginning at noon. 

DNR announces Lake Michigan stocking increase

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has announced a plan to increase stocking in Indiana’s Lake Michigan waters. 


The new, interim plan comes in response to a recent Lake Michigan Committee (LMC) recommendation to increase lakewide stocking levels.


“Lakewide data indicates the predator-prey balance in the lake has improved,” says Jeremy Price, DNR fisheries supervisor and Indiana’s LMC representative, “and the size of the salmon out there certainly supports it.”


Beginning in 2020, Indiana’s stocking quota will increase by nearly 87,000 Chinook Salmon equivalents. Chinook Salmon equivalents are conversions fishery managers use to evaluate impacts of different salmonid species on prey fish populations. 


The new stocking quota adds back about half of the cuts made in 2017, when DNR managers reduced Chinook Salmon and eliminated lake trout stockings from Indiana waters.


DNR plans to increase chinook stocking by 150,000 fish in 2020, a move made possible through the increase in stocking quota and additional reductions to stockings of steelhead and Coho Salmon.

Fall fingerling Skamania Steelhead will be discontinued on the Little Calumet River and substantial cuts to fall fingerling Coho stockings will be replaced with fewer, but larger, spring Coho yearlings. Similar changes on the St. Joseph River enacted in 2015 have proven extremely successful at increasing salmon returns.


“The new plan gets us back to stocking chinooks annually at all three of our ports,” says Ben Dickinson, DNR biologist for Lake Michigan. “When we cut Chinook stocking in 2017, we promised our anglers that we’d try our best to get back to three ports annually. Today we are pleased to deliver on that promise.”


While some hatchery logistics still need to be resolved, the plan is mostly set for 2020. Price and Dickinson intend to take input from anglers on the plan through one or more public meetings this winter.


“We think most anglers will really like this strategy,” Price says, “but we want to give folks an opportunity to tell us what they think before making this the stocking plan for 2021 and beyond.”


Learn about Lake Michigan fishing at wildlife.IN.gov/3625.htm.

Expect Indy repeats in $100,000 Richmond Stakes at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Expect Indy and Emmanuel Esquivel defended their title with authority in the 19th running of the $100,000-added Richmond Stakes at Indiana Grand Wednesday, Oct. 2. The duo changed up their strategy and sat closer to the lead before finding another gear in the stretch to rally home as the winners in a time of 1:47.37 for the one and one-sixteenth mile event.


Unbridled Class and Rodney Prescott had the inside post in the seven-horse lineup and had a perfect shot for the lead out of the gate. They were joined early by Expect Indy but it was clear they would need to back off the lead heading around the first turn. Expect Indy was content to sit right to the outside of Unbridled Class, the favorite of the field, through the middle portions of the race. As the field moved into the final turn, Charm of the City and Eddie Perez began to press the pace three wide, forcing Esquivel to begin asking Expect Indy for more speed.


In the stretch, Expect Indy and Unbridled Class matched each other stride for stride until Expect Indy got the advantage, striding out to a five-length win in the end. Unbridled Class finished second over a fast closing Fireball Baby and Marcelino Pedroza, who finished third.


“It was part of our strategy today to get close to the favorite (Unbridled Class) early on,” said Esquivel. “Going long, she is a little sharper and she broke well today which helped. It worked out perfect. We were able to sit right off the favorite. You have to get her (Expect Indy) going or she gets a little lazy. She dug in today.”


It was the 11th career win for Expect Indy and her seventh over the Indiana Grand dirt course. The six-year-old Mr Mabee mare now has in excess of $450,000 for Andrew Berg’s Gumpster Stable. Cipriano Contreras handles the training duties for the multiple stakes winning Indiana sired standout, who originated from Lake Shore Farm.


“I didn’t get involved in the strategy,” said Contreras, who is among the top 10 trainers at Indiana Grand this season. “It was the first time the owner called me and said this is what I’d like, so I had Manny (Esquivel) call him and they worked it out. She’s just a nice little mare.”