Community News

Gov. Holcomb announces restoration of weekly work search requirement for unemployment benefits

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb Tuesday signed Executive Order 21-13 requiring Hoosiers requesting unemployment benefits from the state to be actively seeking full-time work starting on June 1.


The federal government authorized states to waive work search requirements during the height of the pandemic.


The Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will once again require a weekly work search report from Hoosiers requesting unemployment benefits. Work search activities include applying for a job, attending a job fair, participating in a WorkOne orientation, or completing an online workshop.

DWD will notify affected Hoosiers about these changes to allow time to prepare for the renewed requirements. For more information on the state’s work search program, visit


The order also rescinds other emergency provisions that are no longer needed or will become effective by law. This action will enable an effective transition.


Click here to see the executive order:

MHP celebrates National Nurses Week with nursing awards

Each year during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, MHP selects six outstanding nurses who are honored with the title "Nurse of the Year."  Of those six honorees, one nurse is chosen as the recipient of the Monna Linne Award for Nursing Excellence and it is the highest honor at MHP.


There are over 300 nurses at MHP, providing care in a wide of range of departments and environments, all essential to the heart of MHP. This year there were many nurses nominated for the esteemed distinction.



The 2021 MHP Nurses of the Year are:


Amanda Fralich, RN – MHP Family and Internal Medicine

Janet Porter, RN – MHP Inpatient

Jill Wells, RN – MHP Clinical Support

Margie Mesidor, RN – MHP Maternity Care

Rachel Davis, RN – MHP Emergency Department

Rachel Zeigler, RN – MHP Inpatient


Rachel Zeigler is this year’s Monna Linne Nurse of the Year award recipient. Rachel is a Registered Nurse who is also Certified in Critical Care and has achieved the highest level on MHP’s nursing clinical ladder program.


During the Covid-19 crisis, Rachel served as a leader and supported an entire team that was brought on to assist through the disaster plan and personnel pool. Rachel’s knowledge and experience in critical care became evident as she worked to develop and institute new treatment plans supporting a patient population we had never cared for before. She role modeled versatility, positivity and demonstrated a faith that was reassuring and inspiring to all those around her.

As the tradition continues, the Monna Linne Award is given to a Major Health Partners nurse who demonstrates excellence in the areas of customer service, clinical practice, collaboration, professional development, and community involvement.


Nurses serve in many varied positions of leadership throughout MHP and they do much more than just delegate and direct; they mentor, guide, teach, and help others achieve their highest potential.


Great nurse leaders develop great staff which results in even better patient care.


About Monna Linne and the award

This is MHP’s 24nd year of presenting the Monna Linne Award for Nursing Excellence. Monna loved nursing and to honor her memory, her family chose to establish this nursing award.  Not only does this award honor Monna, it celebrates the continued practice of nursing excellence at MHP.

Monna Linne was a registered nurse who worked 43 years at Major Hospital. She completed nurses training at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and worked her entire nursing career at Major Hospital. She had three children, Jeff, Eric, and Christi and was married to Charles F. Linne.

Major Health Partners gives the Monna Linne Nurse of the Year Award to a nurse who, like Monna Linne, demonstrates excellence in the areas of customer service, clinical practice, collaboration, professional development, and community involvement.

Monna is remembered by patients and co-workers alike for her soft, gentle approach to patient care. She worked hard to not only administer the medical plan of care but added comfort in the form of back rubs, pillow turns, cool wash cloths, warm blankets, and kind words. She was also very fun to be around. She had a great sense of humor, and her co-workers loved her

Annual tree give-away set for this Saturday at Shelby Co. Fairgrounds

The City of Shelbyville Stormwater Utility and Shelbyville High School Earth Club will host a tree give-away.   The event will be held at the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Saturday, May 8 from 8:00am until the trees are all gone.


The 1400 tree seedlings come from the Department of Natural Resources Vallonia State Nursery.  This year, the event will offer Bald Cypress, American Plum, White Pine, Red Oak, Gray Dogwood, Hazelnut, Swamp Chestnut Oak, Shagbark Hickory, Pecan, Northern White Cedar, Tulip Tree, Persimmon, Chestnut Oak, and Redbud.


The tree give-away would not be possible if not for all of our partners and volunteers.  Over 13,200 tree seedlings have been distributed thanks to the Shelby County Soil and Water Conservation District, Shelbyville High School Earth Club, City of Shelbyville Stormwater Utility, local tree hero Kris Schwickrath, the Shelby County Recycling District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.


For more information or to volunteer to help with the give-away, please contact Derrick Byers, 317.364.4990.

Shelby County Chamber Virtual Job Fair is Wednesday, May 5

Are you or someone you know looking for a new, exciting career opportunity?


The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce encourages you to sign up for the Chamber's first ever Virtual Job Fair, taking place May 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. via Zoom.


Can't make it at 10:00 am. Sign up anyways and the Chamber of Commerce will send you a recording of the event. 


Visit: .

New federal relief grants available through Restaurant Revitalization Fund

The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching the Restaurant Revitalization Fund to provide relief for the restaurant and food service industry, which has been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand for this funding is high, so the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and the Indiana Small Business Development Center (Indiana SBDC) are encouraging Hoosier businesses to register and apply for funding through this program as soon as possible.

Through the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, eligible businesses may receive awards between $1,000 and $5 million per location to offset expenses, such as payroll, supplies, and operating expenses, incurred between Feb. 15, 2020, and March 11, 2023. Interested businesses may register starting today, Friday, April 30, at 9 a.m. EDT, and the portal to submit applications will open on Monday, May 3, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

To help Hoosier restaurant and food service owners apply for and access available funds, the Indiana SBDC is partnering with gener8tor to offer no-cost webinars, including two in Spanish. The first webinar is scheduled for today at 3 p.m. EDT. Consultations and application assistance will also be offered through designated virtual office hours beginning next week. In addition, Spanish interpretation services will be offered through the regional Indiana SBDC offices. Specific dates, times and more details are available on the Indiana SBDC website

“Indiana restaurants and food service owners were quick to respond and pivot during the height of the pandemic,” said David Watkins, state director for the Indiana SBDC. “We’re grateful for their perseverance and want them to know more federal funding will be available through this new relief program. It is vital for eligible Indiana businesses to apply as soon as possible, as we anticipate these federal funds will be distributed quickly across the nation.”


Grant Details:

  • The SBA may provide funding up to $5 million per location, not to exceed $10 million total for the applicant and any affiliated businesses.
  • The minimum award is $1,000.
  • Eligible expenses include business expenses such as payroll, supplies, and operating expenses, construction of outdoor seating and some business debt.
  • Funds must be spent on expenses that were/are incurred between February 15, 2020 and March 11, 2023. 


  • Eligible entities are businesses that are not permanently closed and include businesses where the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink.
  • This includes:
    • Restaurants
    • Food stands, food trucks, food carts
    • Caterers
    • Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
    • Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars (e.g., coffee shops, ice cream shops)
    • Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Breweries and/or microbreweries* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Wineries and distilleries* (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Inns* (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
    • Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products
    • Other similar places of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink

Register & Apply
Registration, more details and the application are available at Account registration opens today, Friday, April 30, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, and the portal to submit applications will open Monday, May 3, at 12:00 p.m. EDT. 

For more information on available recovery and relief resources, programs and grants available to small businesses, including the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant and Indiana Hospitality and Entertainment Grant, please visit

Shelby Co. Health Dept announces upcoming J&J vaccine clinics

The Shelby County Health Department will be hosting the following Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccination sites:


Tuesday, May 4:  9:00 am  –  3:00 pm  at Indiana Grand Casino & Racing

4300 North Michigan Road, Shelbyville


Saturday, May 8:  9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Occasions Banquet Hall

415 East Hendricks St, Shelbyville


Walk-ins are welcome.


For faster service preregister at

USDA issues pandemic flexibilities for schools and day care facilities through June 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a broad range of flexibilities to allow school meal programs and childcare institutions across the country to return to serving healthy meals in fall 2021 as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to reopen schools safely.


Several meal service flexibilities that enable social distancing are now extended through June 30, 2022. The waivers continue the Administration’s commitment to provide safe, healthy meals free of charge to children as the pandemic continues to threaten the food and nutrition security of our most vulnerable.


“USDA will remain relentless in ensuring our nation’s children get the critical nutrition they need,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “States and districts wanted waivers extended to plan for safe reopening in the fall. USDA answered the call to help America’s schools and childcare institutions serve high quality meals while being responsive to their local needs as children safely return to their regular routines. This action also increases the reimbursement rate to school meal operators so they can serve healthy foods to our kids. It’s a win-win for kids, parents and schools.”

A recent study from Tufts University found that in 2018, schools were the single healthiest source of U.S. food consumed across a sample of children and adults. The 2018 study found that diet quality for foods from schools improved significantly from a similar study conducted in 2003-2004.


Schools nationwide will be allowed to serve meals through USDA’s National School Lunch Program Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which is typically only available during the summer months. This option maintains the nutrition standards of the standard school meal programs – including a strong emphasis on providing fruits and vegetables, fluid milk, whole grains, and sensible calorie levels, while allowing schools to serve free meals to all children. In addition, schools that choose this option will receive higher-than-normal meal reimbursements for every meal they serve, which will support them in serving the most nutritious meals possible while managing increased costs associated with pandemic-related operational and supply chain challenges. This option also affords schools the financial flexibility to further customize their meal service design to fit their local needs.


“Students’ success in the classroom goes hand in hand with their ability to access basic needs like healthy and nutritious meals,” said Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “It’s critical that our efforts to reopen schools quickly and safely include programs that provide access to free, healthy meals for our most vulnerable students, particularly those whose communities have been hardest hit by the pandemic. This program will ensure more students, regardless of their educational setting, can access free, healthy meals as more schools reopen their doors for in-person learning.”


USDA will continue to offer targeted meal pattern flexibility and technical assistance as needed. In addition, schools and both child and adult care institutions can continue providing breakfasts, lunches, and after school snacks in non-group settings at flexible meal times. Parents or guardians can also pick up meals for their children when programs are not operating normally, all while maintaining social distancing consistent with federal recommendations.


Up to 12 million children are currently living in households where they may not always have enough to eat during the pandemic. During the past year, America’s schools and childcare centers have provided a nutrition lifeline for children across the country, many of whom depend on USDA’s child nutrition programs for the nourishment they need to grow and thrive. Some kids rely on these programs for as many as three?meals a day, underscoring how essential it is for USDA to empower schools and childcare centers to continue their dedicated efforts to serve healthy meals, safely.

TC's Schweitzer named Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Essay Contest winner

Margaret Mae Schweitzer, a senior at Triton Central High School, is this year’s Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Essay Contest winner for Shelby County.  Schweitzer is the daughter of Alan and Susie Schweitzer of Fairland.


Mary Mott Green chapter of DAR sponsors the contest annually. Guidance department staff or teachers select one student as their school’s Good Citizen. Each Good Citizen participates in the contest by submitting requirements that include an essay written on a topic provided by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. A panel of judges then selects one of the Good Citizens to represent the county at the state competition level.


Judges review each Good Citizens’ personal accomplishments within school and the community during their academic careers, letters of reference, grade transcript, and future plans.


Representing their respective schools as DAR Good Citizens are:


Rylee Suzanne Kleine, a senior at Morristown Jr.-Sr. High School, daughter of Brandon and Rachel Kleine of Shelbyville.



Ethan Wendling, a senior at Southwestern High School, son of Albert and Tonya Wendling of Shelbyville.



Malea Nashel Terrell, a senior at Shelbyville High School, daughter of Samuel and Nicole Terrell, Shelbyville.



Caroline Rae Sheaffer, senior, Waldron Jr.-Sr. High School, daughter of Steve and Jill Sheaffer, Waldron.



SHS graduate Sarah Work gains experience at the Statehouse

Shelbyville Senior High School graduate Sarah Work is gaining experience as an intern with State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) and his fellow members of the Indiana House of Representatives during the 2021 legislative session.


Work, a Shelbyville resident, is the daughter of Nathan and Julie Work. She attends Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis where she is majoring in political science, and law in liberal arts.


"My passion for state government began in high school through my government class, and this internship has only sparked my interest even more," Work said. "Someday, I want to represent the people of Indiana and continue playing a role in improving Hoosier lives. The connections and experiences I am gaining while interning at the Statehouse will help me achieve my goals of attending law school and starting my political career."


As a legislative intern, Work corresponds with constituents through phone calls, letters and emails while also staffing committee hearings and floor proceedings.


"Throughout this internship, Sarah has the opportunity to hone her skills that will set her up for success," Eberhart said. "She and other House interns do a tremendous job every day. I have enjoyed getting to know this intern class, and I encourage other Shelbyville students to apply."


Each year, the House of Representatives offers paid internship opportunities to college students, law school students, graduate students and recent college graduates for the duration of each legislative session.

2021 Voices of SCUFFY

Two third graders from each Shelby County elementary school are chosen by each year to share a special message as the Voice of SCUFFY.





Harper McInerny

Matthew Sipes


Triton Central



Sydney Allen

Ruben Lotz






Vivian McIntire

Mason Miano



St. Joseph



Maggie Kolkmeier

Wyatt Lancaster





Kailee Vaiagae

Elijah Brock





Dafne Bejar Gonzales

Chandler Tucker





Gracie Walker

Noah Leap





Bailey Conners

Brian Reyes-Abundiz









































































































































Indiana General Assembly approves funding to extend relief for entrepreneurs & small businesses

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced a significant expansion of the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant that will add $60 million to the program, tripling the total allocation, and allow small businesses to seek reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021. 

The program, which was first announced in May 2020, is designed to accelerate the speed of economic recovery by providing working capital to Indiana's entrepreneurs and small business owners. The state issued $34.5 million in grants through the first iteration of the program and is now adding another $60 million in federal dollars made available through the CARES Act and approved for allocation by the Indiana General Assembly. 

“I’m grateful to the Indiana General Assembly for their supportive collaboration that made it possible to extend this program for Hoosier entrepreneurs," said Gov. Holcomb. "The Small Business Restart Grant program has already done a tremendous amount to get small businesses back on track, and this extended relief funding will continue accelerating our economy’s recovery.”

Small businesses that meet the eligibility requirements can apply for reimbursement of qualified business expenses incurred at their Indiana operations between March 1, 2020, and May 1, 2021. These qualified expenses include payroll – which may be reimbursed up to 100% – and non-payroll expenses, such as insurance premiums, rent or mortgage payments, utilities, lease payments, food delivery software service payments, and safety investments – which may be reimbursed up to 80%. 

Reimbursements may be awarded up to $10,000 for each month, but may not exceed $50,000 over a 12-month period. Businesses that have already received Small Business Restart Grants, but have not reached the maximum reimbursements, may re-apply and submit new expenses (that have not already been reimbursed through the program) for reimbursement. 

Registered Indiana businesses must: 

  • Have been established prior to Oct. 1, 2019;
  • Be registered to operate in Indiana, except sole proprietors, and must be seeking reimbursement for expenses related to their Indiana operations;
  • Be in good standing with the Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) or have a DOR-approved payment plan;  
  • Have had fewer than 100 full-time employees as of Dec. 31, 2019;
  • Have been profitable in 2019 (determined by EBITDA) and have had less than $10 million (Gross Receipts or Sales) in revenue in 2019; and
  • Demonstrate a monthly gross revenue loss of at least 30% compared to pre-COVID-19 revenues (average monthly revenue in 2019).

The application, along with additional details and instruction, is available at Eligible small businesses may apply until Dec. 31, 2021, but are encouraged to apply and submit expenses for reimbursement as soon as possible, as grants will be issued in the order they are received until funding is exhausted. 

About the Indiana Small Business Restart Grant
The Indiana Small Business Restart Grant was initially announced in May 2020. The program, which, until now, reimbursed expenses incurred before Dec. 31, 2020, has already provided $34.5 million in grants to 1,644 small businesses in 85 counties across Indiana. Of the 1,644 small businesses that were issued grants, 190 are certified minority-owned and women-owned businesses (11.5%). 

For more information on support, resources and funding available to Hoosier entrepreneurs and small businesses, visit

Shelbyville Public Utilities opens new office location on Monday

The Shelbyville Public Utilities office was on the move this past week. It will open in the former Bradley Hall Furniture building on the Public Square on Monday, April 5.


The payment collection box behind city hall will remain in its current location for payment drop-offs.

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino donates $100,000 to Shelby County Fairgrounds pavilion project

Indiana Grand Racing & Casino is committed to providing assistance for the region and recently stepped up to assist in a huge project in the works at the Shelby County Fairgrounds. The fair board is working to add a pavilion to the property this year, and with a $100,000 donation from Indiana Grand, the project is well on its way to becoming a reality.


Photo caption:  From left, Mike Cochran, Fair Board Secretary, Dave Howell, Fair Board Vice President, Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Indiana Grand, Jeff Pruitt, Fair Board President, Jennifer Thopy, Fair Board Second Vice President, Casey Gideon, Indiana Grand Guest Services Manager, and Mike Schantz, Fair Board Treasurer.


“This is something we’ve talked about for 20 years and now this is a priority for our board,” said Jeff Pruitt, Fair Board President. “Our board is made up of 11 volunteers and we want to do everything we can to make things grow and progress. By adding this pavilion, we will be able to host numerous events throughout the year that we could not accommodate in the past. It’s good to see this type of local support for our fairgrounds.”


The current structure is located on the southwest side of the racetrack and will undergo major renovations to provide a new temperature-controlled pavilion. The building will create venue space for everything from goat shows to indoor flea markets and meeting space. A groundbreaking will take place soon as weather becomes more favorable.


“The Shelby County Fairgrounds has been a great partner of Indiana Grand for years and they are a vital part of this community,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Indiana Grand. “Having space for additional events and programs year-round will benefit a lot of area residents and ultimately generate more visitors to Shelbyville. We are dedicated to continue our investment in Shelbyville and Shelby County and hope this is just the beginning of growth and development for this facility.”

Meltzer Woods in Trek Our Trails Challenge

You’ve been cooped up for months, and it’s time to get out and explore some of the most beautiful places in Central Indiana. Soon, wildflowers will be peeking through the forest floor, birdsong will be in the air, and Indiana’s nature preserves will be coming to life.


Central Indiana Land Trust is encouraging Hoosiers to take part in a Trek Our Trials Challenge by hitting the trails at five of its most popular nature preserves. The best part: you can go at your own pace, on your own schedule, as long as you hit the trails at five participating preserves in Hamilton, Hendricks, Johnson, Morgan and Shelby counties.


When you’re on the trail, keep your eyes and ears open to the wonders of nature. You’ll want to take plenty of photos to remember and share the magic of the nature preserves, where you can enjoy gently flowing streams, lively birds and trees that are more than 300 years old.


To enter the Trek Our Trails Challenge:


1. Take a photo of yourself and any companions at the nature preserve sign or trailhead, either before or after your hike.

2. Email your photos to or post them to the Central Indiana Land Trust Facebook or Instagram using hashtags #cilti #trekourtrails2021.


Once you’ve visited all five sites, you’ll receive a Central Indiana Land Trust pin, plus, you’ll be entered into a drawing for prizes.


Your deadline is Nov. 26 (Black Friday), 2021. That gives you plenty of time to get out for a hike. And, if you want to go the extra mile, let the land trust plant trees to offset the carbon of your travel to and from the preserves. Enter your mileage in the carbon calculator at to get started.


These five nature preserves are part of the challenge:


  • Burnett Woods offers a perfect spring hike for the whole family, with an easy 1.5-mile trail. Located on 80 acres near Avon, this special woodland features a stunning display of wildflowers, including wild geranium, woodland phlox and trillium.
  • Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve near Martinsville has steep slopes, ridges and valleys that give hikers a dramatic view of the forest. While on this moderately difficult hike, you may see rare species like hooded and worm-eating warblers, Eastern box turtle and the state-endangered cerulean warbler.
  • Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow near Trafalgar is prime habitat for migratory birds and forest interior nesting birds. As you walk the two-mile moderate trail, listen for the fluting of the wood thrush and the voices of worm-eating and hooded warblers.
  • Meltzer Woods is one of Indiana’s last remaining fragments of old growth forest where you’ll find trees more than 300 years old. Level trails make for an easy 1.2-mile walk through this majestic forest near Shelbyville.
  • Nonie Werbe Krauss Nature Preserve offers a two-mile, easy walk through prairie and woodland in Fishers. Particularly in summer, its wildflowers draw butterflies galore.


Find more information about the properties and the challenge at

INDOT to host Virtual Career Fair Thursday, April 1

The Indiana Department of Transportation will host an online, virtual career fair on Thursday, April 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. ET.


INDOT is recruiting applicants for open full-time and seasonal positions in highway maintenance, fleet services, construction engineering and construction project inspections. Recruiters from INDOT will be available to answer questions and provide information on the benefits of joining the State of Indiana team. INDOT offers $250 sign on and $500 retention bonuses for eligible candidates.


Click here or visit to attend INDOT’s virtual career fair. Advance registration is not required.


Summer seasonal positions run from April through October at a starting pay of $16 per hour.


Candidates should have a valid driver's license and commercial driver's license (CDL). A high school diploma or GED is preferred but not required.


For questions, please email

Shelbyville - Shelby County Animal Shelter receives $2,500 donation from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino

Shelbyville–Shelby County Animal Shelter plays a vital role in the community and with recent assistance from Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, their mission will extend a little further. Indiana Grand recently provided a $2,500 donation to the organization who is committed to assisting cats and dogs in the area.


“Animal shelters in the area were hit hard in 2020 due to the pandemic and their numbers have continued to increase as a result, which has put a great strain on a lot of the facilities in the area,” said Mike Rich, Senior Vice President and General Manager. “We recognized these hardships and wanted to step in to provide some monetary relief for several shelters in the area, including the facility in Shelbyville. We are proud to continue our partnership with an organization that is so committed to their mission of assisting unwanted animals.”


The Shelby County Animal Shelter provides a much-needed service to the area, taking in dogs and cats that can no longer be cared for. They also receive strays, getting them off the streets and send them through a spay/neuter program before setting them up for adoption into new homes. One resident has made himself at home at the facility and has become a “poster cat” for the operation.


“Max Dyar came to us 16 years ago as an owner surrender, and we adopted him back out,” said Chris Browder, Administrative Assistant for the facility. “He came back to us last year when his owner could not care for him any longer. We tried to find him a home but because of his age, he was difficult to place. Our facility couldn’t adopt him, so he ‘adopted’ us. He now has his own social media following from coast to coast and has been featured on local television stations. He’s become a local celebrity.”


Known for his iconic expressions, Max was available for the check presentation from Indiana Grand, outfitted in his bow tie collar. He will benefit from some of the plans already underway through the donation from Indiana Grand.


“We will use this money for much needed dog beds and cat towers,” added Browder. “We will also use some of the funds for the exterior of our property. Spring always presents us with projects to fix. We want to beautify our facility and make it as inviting as possible, and we always welcome people in to adopt or to volunteer.”


The Shelbyville – Shelby County Animal Shelter is equipped with an outdoor walking trail behind the building, complete with a waterfall, to get the dogs out for exercise. They also have a play area for the canine residents, ideal for interaction with potential adoption families and volunteers. The facility is very community focused and works to “give back” as much as they can to the area.


“Twenty-five hundred dollars is a blessing to us,” added Browder. “We are very grateful for the continued support from Indiana Grand.”


Eberhart: New online tool connects Hoosiers to job and career opportunities

Hoosiers seeking a better-paying job can use the state's new Hoosier Talent Network website to match to 1 of more than 135,000 job openings, according to State Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville).


Eberhart said the Indiana Department of Workforce Development's new online tool located at connects individuals searching for work directly to employers in their desired location. Companies that are hiring can also use the website to connect with candidates.


"Searching for a job can be difficult for some, and this site provides another helpful resource," Eberhart said. "By matching users with opportunities based on their skill sets, this is helping both job seekers and businesses that are searching for strong candidates."


According to Eberhart, the platform is powered by artificial intelligence and can understand a job seeker's skills and capabilities to match them to relevant jobs. To get started, Hoosiers create a profile by answering basic questions about themselves, which takes about 5 minutes. Job recommendations will appear based on qualifications and capabilities. Applications can be submitted through the website or through company career sites.


Eberhart encourages local Hoosiers to visit to connect to the Hoosier Talent Network, and other education and training resources.

You're encouraged to check for recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week

The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) and Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) are encouraging motorists to check for vehicle recalls during Vehicle Safety Recalls Week.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, there were 886 safety recalls affecting 55 million vehicles and other equipment in the U.S. Unfortunately, approximately 25% of vehicle recalls go unrepaired, which puts drivers, passengers and other road users at risk.

Checking for vehicle recalls is a quick and easy process:


Find the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN number, which is located on the lower portion of the car’s windshield on the driver’s side. It may also be on the vehicle’s registration or insurance card.


Enter the VIN number into the search bar at


Within seconds, drivers will know if the vehicle is subject to an open safety recall.  If one exists, motorists should contact a dealer for the vehicle manufacturer to schedule an appointment as soon as possible for the free recall repairs.


If you think your vehicle may have a safety-related defect that isn’t part of a current recall, contact NHTSA online or by calling the agency’s Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236. Even one complaint is enough to trigger a safety recall.


For more information about vehicle or equipment recalls, visit

INDOT Unveils "Hoosier Hoops Highway" for NCAA Tournament

The Indiana Department of Transportation this week began unveiling its "Hoosier Hoops Highway" signs in advance of a busy basketball month in Indiana, with the Big Ten, Horizon League and NCAA tournaments being hosted in the Hoosier State.


Games will be played throughout Indiana in basketball arenas in Indianapolis, Evansville, West Lafayette and Bloomington. 


INDOT is placing temporary signs on highways leading to host cities to commemorate the historic month and help guide fans and teams.


March Madness

Signs will be visible along major routes serving tournaments, such as I-65, I-70, I-465 and I-69 during the month of March.

Follow INDOT on Facebook and Twitter for traffic and road construction updates as you travel to tournament games.

Police conducting 'full-court press' in March to combat impaired, dangerous driving

The Shelby County Traffic Safety Partnership today announced that officers will be cracking down on dangerous and impaired driving in March, as part of a statewide enforcement campaign. From February 26, through March 21, 2021, officers will be conducting high-visibility patrols showing zero tolerance for those driving aggressively, over the speed limit or under the influence.


The overtime patrols are funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) through an Indiana Criminal Justice Institute grant.


“Dangerous and impaired driving continues to be a problem, especially around high-risk events like St. Patrick’s Day and the NCAA Tournament,” said Sheriff Louie Koch.“However, you celebrate this year, do so responsibly. Slow down, buckle up and if you drink, don’t drive. It’s that simple.”


On average, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year in the U.S., according to NHTSA. Although 2020 was a unique year due to the pandemic, preliminary data from the federal safety agency shows that while miles traveled had decreased by about 14.5 percent in the first nine months, overall traffic fatalities increased by 4.6 percent nationwide.


In addition, a separate report released from NHTSA revealed that more road users engaged in risky behaviors in 2020 such as speeding or driving under the influence, and that fewer motorists wore seat belts.


Despite having fewer drivers on the road in Indiana, 2020 was the third highest year for traffic fatalities (850) in the past decade, according to ICJI.


“We’re seeing an uptick in dangerous driving during the pandemic, and it’s very concerning,” said Devon McDonald, ICJI Executive Director. “That’s why we’re pulling out all the stops this March to reverse that trend and encourage safe driving behavior. Preventing loss of life is our top priority.”


Dangerous driving includes such factors as speeding, tailgating and disregarding a traffic signal – all of which are against the law in Indiana. Additionally, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher are subject to fines and a license suspension for up to 1 year.


To avoid the potential for legal fees and criminal charges, the department recommends following these simple steps:


  • Slow down and follow all posted speed limits.
  • Never drive impaired. If you plan on drinking, plan for a safe, sober ride home.
  • Do not tailgate or drive aggressively.
  • Put down the phone and avoid distracted driving.
  • Buckle up – every trip, every time.


USDA temporarily suspends debt collections, foreclosures and other activities on farm loans due to coronavirus

Due to the national public health emergency caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the temporary suspension of past-due debt collections and foreclosures for distressed borrowers under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). USDA will temporarily suspend non-judicial foreclosures, debt offsets or wage garnishments, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice. USDA will work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to stop judicial foreclosures and evictions on accounts that were previously referred to the Department of Justice. Additionally, USDA has extended deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions, including loan deferral consideration for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers. In addition, for the Guaranteed Loan program, flexibilities have been made available to lenders to assist in servicing their customers.


Today’s announcement by USDA expands previous actions undertaken by the Department to lessen financial hardship. According to USDA data, more than 12,000 borrowers—approximately 10% of all borrowers—are eligible for the relief announced today. Overall, FSA lends to more than 129,000 farmers, ranchers and producers.


“USDA and the Biden Administration are committed to bringing relief and support to farmers, ranchers and producers of all backgrounds and financial status, including by ensuring producers have access to temporary debt relief,” said Robert Bonnie, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary. “Not only is USDA suspending the pipeline of adverse actions that can lead to foreclosure and debt collection, we are also working with the Departments of Justice and Treasury to suspend any actions already referred to the applicable Agency. Additionally, we are evaluating ways to improve and address farm related debt with the intent to keep farmers on their farms earning living expenses, providing for emergency needs, and maintaining cash flow.” 


The temporary suspension is in place until further notice and is expected to continue while the national COVID-19 disaster declaration is in place.


USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides several different loans for producers, which fall under two main categories:


  • Guaranteed loans are made and serviced by commercial lenders, such as banks, the Farm Credit System, credit unions and other non-traditional lenders. FSA guarantees the lender’s loan against loss, up to 95%.
  • Direct loans are made and serviced by FSA using funds from the federal government.


The most common loan types are Farm Ownership, Farm Operating and Farm Storage Facility Loans, with Microloans for each: 


  • Farm Ownership: Helps producers purchase or enlarge a farm or ranch, construct a new or improve an existing farm or ranch building, pay closing costs and pay for soil and water conservation and protection.
  • Farm Operating: Helps producers purchase livestock and equipment and pay for minor real estate repairs and annual operating expenses.
  • Farm Storage Facility Loans are made directly to producers for the construction of cold or dry storage and includes handling equipment and mobile storage such as refrigerated trucks.
  • Microloans: Direct Farm Ownership, Operating Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans have a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional and niche-type operations.


Contact FSA

FSA encourages producers to contact their county office to discuss these programs and temporary changes to farm loan deadlines and the loan servicing options available. For Service Center contact information, visit For servicing information, access

Luke Schonfeld's Barnyard Party Pals mobile petting zoo is a growing business

A love of animals combined with an 8th grade Agriculture class and time in FFA has turned into a business endeavor for one Shelby County man. 


Luke Schonfeld has managed to combine all three into Barnyard Party Pals, a mobile petting zoo that features pony and unicorn parties, pony rides, live nativities, educational programs and more. 


"When we started, we started with a couple of goats, one alpaca and a pony. Since then, we have grown tremendously. We have a multitude of species as part of our Critter Crew here at Barnyard Party Pals," Schonfeld tells Giant FM. 



Schonfeld says his love for animals comes from the "best role model I had growing up," his grandfather, Frank Schonfeld, Sr. 


"Growing up, he taught me amazing lessons about raising animals and sharing them with others. He and I would take day trips to amazing places and meet amazing people who had all kinds of animals. One trip to this day I remember was seeing buffalo, ostriches and camels on one trip. That is where I get my love for sharing my animals. I am also a huge fan of Dr. Pol, Steve Irwin, and his son, Robert, all of them are animal lovers as well," Schonfeld told Giant FM. 


Currently, Barnyard Party Pals features alpacas, ducks, donkeys, geese, goats, ponies, turkeys, rabbits, iguanas, bearded dragons, hedgehogs and more, according to Schonfeld. 



As for growing too fast, Schonfeld said he wanted to start his business slowly.


"I am not the person who wants to get crazy, big fast. I want the chance to slowly grow that we can handle the growing pains that come with it. Everything is planned and has to be in order to work with animals," he said. 


Schonfeld said his business initially started out by bringing animals to various nursing homes and doing a few family birthdays, but now they supply the animals for the week of the Shelby County Fair, as well as at the Shelby County Ag Promotion and Farm Bureau Children's Animal Farm and Shelbyville Parks Department events. 


"We are a mobile petting zoo, which is definitely different among the rest. We bring the zoo to you," he said.  


In 2021, Schonfeld said his business will be featuring pony rides, ponies and unicorn parties, as well as animal educational programs.


"We do all kinds of events for all different age groups. Whether you are one or 100, when you see an animal for the first time, I get to see that sparkle in their eyes. It is truly why I do what I do, sharing my animals with people," he said. 


Schonfeld said his thinking of a future changed over time into something he truly loves.


"Honestly, with my love for animals growing up, maybe I would work at a zoo or a vet office, but I must say, I like sharing my animals this way," he said. 


For more information, contact Schonfeld at 317-696-8419 or

Chamber Chat talks with new Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Donna Christian

Retiring Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Julie Metz and the new Executive Director Donna Christian appeared on Chamber Chat on Friday, January 15.



The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Donna Christian has been named the Executive Director of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce.


She will be replacing Executive Director Julie Metz who has held the position for 14 years.


Metz is eager to retire but she said, “knowing that Donna shares my passion for the county and the mission of the Chamber makes it easier to move on. Donna has exciting ideas that will continue to meet the needs and expectations of our members and the community.”


Donna Christian has a varied background that is well-suited for the job of Executive Director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Journalism from the University of Indianapolis and has continued her education with certifications from Michigan State University and the University of Notre Dame.


Her background includes serving in positions in Governor Orr’s public relations department, WWWY Radio, Irwin Management Company of Columbus as The Commons Mall and Downtown Main Street marketing director, general manager of Indiana Premium Outlets with Simon Property Group, and operations in the Rotary Club of Indianapolis. She has served on numerous boards and committees. She was appointed by Gov. Evan Bayh to serve on the State Tourism Board, Columbus (IN) Visitors Center, Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Zonta Club, Columbus Jaycees, Columbus Farmers Market, Columbus Area Arts Council, and the Foundation for Youth to name a few. She is a current member of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis.


Travis Edington, President of the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce said, “Hiring someone with Donna’s experience and talent is a clear example of the Chamber’s determination to continue the momentum and positive impact for our members’ businesses under Julie’s leadership. The Hiring Committee interviewed outstanding candidates, but Donna stood out for her experience, marketing and ability to develop relationships with members, the media and the county. We found her to be engaging, energetic, and experienced. She certainly has a “can-do” attitude.”


Donna Christian is a life-long resident of Shelby County and a graduate of Southwestern High School.


“I have always wanted to work in my hometown. Shelbyville and the county have always held a special affection. I am always quick to tell others that I’m a resident of Shelby County. The people in the county are authentic and caring – it’s just a great place to live, work and raise a family. I’m excited about the opportunity to be instrumental in adding valuable programs and educational opportunities for our members while promoting business growth in Shelbyville and the surrounding area,” Christian said. “I look forward to fulfilling the needs of our current membership while spearheading a push for new members. I believe passionately in the Chamber and its capacity to enhance the economic and business climate of our area. It’s going to be great to be at home in Shelby County and serving my community.”


“I am anxious to start training with Julie for this job. I know she will get me prepared to take the helm and chart a course for success. Julie is such a seasoned, well-known professional – it will be a challenge to meet her high standards. I know the Directors and members of the Chamber join me in wishing her all the best in her endeavors. She will be sorely missed,” Donna Christian said.

Shelby Materials marks its 70th year in business

First, a few things that happened in 1951:  


Congress passed 22nd Amendment, limiting a President to two terms


The Rosenbergs convicted of passing U.S. nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union


General Douglas MacArthur relieved of command in Korea


Joe DiMaggio announced retirement after the Yankees beat the NY Giants in the World Series


Notable movies included The African Queen and A Streetcar Named Desire.  I Love Lucy began its TV run.


1951 was also the beginning of a business celebrating an anniversary this year.  Shelby Materials is in its 70th year of operation.


Vice President of Operations and Sales Matt Haehl.



Haehl says it’s wonderful to be a part of a successful, growing company.



70 years is something to celebrate.  Haehl hopes they get that chance with Covid still having its impact.



In 1997, the business was renamed Shelby Materials, from Shelby Gravel, Inc., in order to showcase the vast variety of concrete, aggregates and custom blends offered.