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Shelby County Sports Royalty: Dave Ross' accomplishments span seven decades

While riding home from one of his grandchildren’s youth baseball games recently, Dave Ross reflected on a life that has been filled with athletic participation, competition and remarkable success.

“I guess growing up in a family where we were always playing and competing gave me a real love for sports,” said the Morristown native.

It was fitting that Ross, now 82, recounted his history after yet another sporting event.

Athletics have been a constant in Ross’ life. He is part of, arguably, Shelby County’s most accomplished sports family. Former Indiana University standouts and Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame members Gary Long and the late Jerry Bass are Ross’ first cousins. Late 1950s Shelbyville star athlete Ronnie Richardson is also a cousin as is former Morristown basketball player and track record-setter Phil Batton.

“We all played so much together that I think it motivated us to always want to get better,” said Ross. “There was that constant desire to be good; the drive to win.”

One would be hard-pressed to find anyone to equal Ross’ more than seven decades of sports participation and pursuit of athletic success. His achievements as a competitor and his efforts in sports organization have earned him the genuine respect of the Shelby County community.

There were limited options for Ross and many like him growing up in rural areas in the 40s and 50s.

“There was farming, school and sports,” said Ross. “Those were pretty much the available activities. That is what we all learned to do.”

His diligence as a youth was rewarded with success as a three-sport Morristown High School athlete. He was a three-year basketball letterman and a member of the Yellow Jackets’ 1957 sectional championship team (main photo, Ross is back row, far right with net around neck).

“We ended up 23-2 that year,” remembered Ross. “Many sportswriters picked us to win the regional but we lost Jerry Ernst who was a key player. We were up 10 points at the half but ran out of gas and Connersville beat us.”

Connersville (coached by former Shelbyville and Indiana University star Ken Gunning) would go on to win the regional championship that evening.

 

 

Ross (photo above) experienced his first real brush with fame in 1955 as a Morristown sophomore on the varsity basketball team during preparations for a game against Morton Memorial, a school at the Soldiers and Sailors Home for homeless children of military veterans.

“Tim Brown was a tremendous athlete for Morton,” said Ross. “I played the role of Tim Brown for the practice squad and got to shoot all week.”

Brown, who graduated from Morton in 1955, went on to be a three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection and is in the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame. He later became a successful actor, appearing in such films as “MASH” and “Nashville.”

“He was a great player,” said Ross. “I got to watch him from the bench a lot that game.”

Brown died in 2020.

Ross won Shelby County and conference high jump titles as a senior in 1957. He was one of the favorites at the sectional meet, however a conflict with Morristown High School’s graduation precluded his participation.

“I think I would have had a good shot at winning the sectional high jump but they told me I had to be at graduation,” said Ross. “I could jump my height which was over six feet and that would have won it.”

The decade following graduation would be filled with adversity and significant change for Ross.

He married Beverly Stohry in August of 1957. The couple welcomed their son, Jeff, in 1958. Complications during the birth of their second child, Chris, in 1961, resulted in Beverly’s untimely death.

“It was really tough," he said. "The three of us moved back in with my parents. They were very helpful during those years. When you are single and have two kids under the age of four, it presents a challenge.”

A freak accident while he was cutting wood in 1966 caused a traumatic eye injury and permanent loss of vision in his left eye. Dave married Janet Main that same year.

Ross would press forward through all the changes and hardships. He worked at Pittsburgh Plate Glass (now Knauf) in the early 1960s, and would later begin a 30-year tenure at Eli Lilly. He played for the PPG team in the local men’s basketball league at the old downtown Shelbyville armory.

From 1960 until 1972 Ross played with the F&M Oil team out of Findley. F&M would have resounding success. Fairland native Jack Judge assembled and coached the team that through the years included a legion of area superstars.

The aforementioned Long and Bass joined forces with exceptional players that included Doug Linville, Howard Wilkerson, Duke Watson and Gordon Pope.

“Jack always found great talent and he put together some excellent teams,” stated Ross.

Judge died in 1977.

F&M would win three Indiana AAU titles while recording amazing point totals. For example, they captured the 1965 state crown with a win over Indianapolis Warco Supply, 129-126.

“We had some of the best players you could find,” said Ross. “Howard Wilkinson became a scoring legend in men’s basketball circles, Jack Krebs from Shelbyville is in the Butler University Athletic Hall of Fame for two sports and Gordy Pope played at Purdue and Butler.”

Outdoor basketball tournaments were very popular from the mid-1950s through around 1985. Parks in Lebanon, Zionsville, Logansport, Elwood and Franklin provided sites that drew some of the state’s most prolific players.

“We defeated a team of former high school stars that included eventual Purdue All-American Rick Mount in 1966,” said Ross. “We later beat a team that had 1968 Mr. Basketball Billy Shepherd, who starred at Butler.”

F&M narrowly lost a championship game in a Logansport tournament to a team led by former UCLA standout Mike Warren. Warren was a starting guard for UCLA’s 1967 and 1968 NCAA championship squads that produced a collective record of 59-1.

Ross continued to indulge his love of sports even as his teammates steadily retired from competition. He would play in a variety of softball competitions for more than 50 years, including age 35- and 45-and-older leagues.

He also participated in the Senior Division and finished his softball career in 2019.

Ross became involved in the Master’s Basketball Tournaments held in Florida. These festivities were inaugurated in 1985 in conjunction with the World Master’s Games for participants age 45 and over. He organized teams that would win age 60-and-over Master’s championships in 2003, 2004 and 2010.

Ross, similar to Judge, seemed to have a knack for finding remarkable players.

“In 2004, former NBA player Walli Jones played with us. He was still amazing and led us to the title,” said Ross.

 

 

Jones (photo above, left with Ross) had a 12-year NBA career and was a starting guard on the 1967 Philadelphia 76ers championship team.

Ross’ achievement and contributions to the Master’s division were recognized with major honors. He received the Master’s Sportsmanship Award in 2002 and was inducted into the Master’s Hall of Fame in 2015.

“The Hall of Fame honor was very special because I was nominated for that by Sam Jones and Artis Gilmore,” said Ross. Jones and Gilmore are former NBA stars and members of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.

Dave and Janet continue to reside in the Morristown area. They maintain close relationships with sons Chris and Jeremy and all their grandchildren. Oldest son Jeff fell victim to lung cancer in 2003 at the age of 45.

Ross is forever thankful for the lifetime of sports enjoyment and the lessons learned from athletic competition. Approaching age 60, he would regularly play pick-up games at the Boys and Girls Club on Sunday afternoons with players spanning a wide age spectrum. It was always evident that Dave Ross appreciated the opportunity to play.  

He evinces a sense of pride in the significant accomplishments of his numerous teams and the longevity of their success.

“Timing is everything. I was fortunate to come in contact with and play with and against so many talented people,” said Ross. “I am fortunate to have a lifetime of memories and a history of relationships with many special people.”

Reflecting on his years of competition he says with a hint of satisfaction: “Well, when we were young we beat the older guys, and when we got older we beat the younger guys. I guess that means we were pretty good.”  

Arbor Homes' Isabelle Farms subdivision preliminary plat not yet approved

Arbor Homes’ proposed Isabelle Farms subdivision did not get preliminary plat approval from the Shelbyville Plan Commission.

At Monday night’s meeting at City Hall, too many questions arose as to public notice of the meeting and an aforementioned landscape buffer around the entire property for the Plan Commission to approve the plat.

The commission chose to continue the discussion at its next meeting on June 27.

Arbor Homes appeared before the Plan Commission for the first time since a June 28, 2021, meeting where the project’s planned unit development detail plan was presented.

Lantz McElroy represented Arbor Homes Monday and cited drainage issues that had to be addressed before the project could move forward.

Isabelle Farms is now slated to be a 254-lot subdivision with entrances on N. Riley Highway (State Road 9) and Michigan Road. The project now includes the city building a roundabout on N. Riley Highway at the subdivision’s eastern entrance.

What the project no longer includes is a 30-foot landscape buffer around the entire project. That was pointed out by Duane Schuler, 1574 Rolling Ridge Rd., who attended and took notes during the June 28 meeting.

Plan Commission president Michael Evans asked city plan director Adam Rude to find the meeting minutes from the June 28 meeting where it was noted that then Arbor Homes representative Caitlin Dopher stated the landscape buffer would indeed surround the property.

McElroy could not answer when or why the change in the plat was made, although Evans noted there were still buffers in place and some of the property originally detailed as landscape buffer was added to lots within the subdivision.

Several residents that live in the area attended the meeting and expressed a lack of communication on Arbor Homes’ part with regard to presenting at a public meeting. McElroy stressed that letters were delivered to the post office, but there was no direct answer why the residents did not receive them.

Much of the discussion Monday centered around separating Isabelle Farms from the Rolling Ridge subdivision to the north and from residences already established along N. Riley Highway.

“I’m not part of this subdivision. I don’t want to be part of this subdivision,” said Charlie Hentz, who lives at 1443 N. Riley Highway.

With several steps to complete before dirt can be moved, McElroy estimated it will be spring of 2023 before construction equipment will arrive on site.

In other commission business Monday:

  • The commission sent a favorable recommendation to the city’s Common Council with regard to the Pyatt Builders’ Twelve Oaks subdivision phase II detailed plan and approved the preliminary plat. Pyatt intends to build 148 homes on the city’s southwest side to expand the Twelve Oaks subdivision.
  • The commission sent a favorable recommendation to the council to rezone two vacant lots at the corner of Pike St. and Locust St. from PK (parks and open space) to R2 (two-family residential). The property owned by Allen & Allen LLC is being prepared for development of building that would house two rental apartments.

 

 

  • The commission sent a favorable recommendation to the council to rezone 310 Second St. from R1 (single-family residential) to BN (business neighborhood) so that it may be developed for commercial use by Allen & Allen LLC. While sitting in a residential neighborhood, the building (photo) has been used for prior commercial businesses.

Waldron cleaning up after EF-1 tornado roars through town

A walk through the neighborhoods near downtown Waldron on a Sunday afternoon is typically peaceful.

However, less than 24 hours after a tornado roared through southern Shelby County Saturday, the buzzing of chainsaws was ever present this past Sunday.

A confirmed EF-1 tornado began near Edinburgh just before 4 p.m. Saturday and ended approximately 15 minutes later in St. Paul. Wind speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour damaged buildings and trees along its path and contributed to a destructive house fire in Waldron.

Downed electrical lines led to downtown Waldron being without power for about 22 hours. Residences further south experienced longer power outages as Duke Energy and RushShelby Energy worked tirelessly to restore electricity to those affected.

“It got windy,” recalled Jeff Mitchell as he sat in front of his business, Waldron Takeout and Flea Market, 110 W. Washington St., in downtown Waldron Sunday afternoon. “I was inside and the (tornado) sirens went off and it started really raining horizontal for about 15 seconds. And that was about it.”

Mitchell walked outside after the storm subsided and saw a nearby house on fire.

A large tree toppled over on to a residence (main photo) and pulled down a live power line that sparked a nearby fire at 205 Main St. The brick home with a full basement owned by Carl Kremer was completely destroyed.

 

 

No one was injured at the residence (photo above), according to neighbor James Day, who was in Shelbyville at the time of the storm and returned to his W. Pearl St. home to find the Kremer residence engulfed in flames.

Once the sun rose Sunday, Waldron residents went into full clean-up mode.

“We drove through here last night about 1 a.m. and saw all the damage,” said Melvin Pierce. “We knew there wasn’t electricity or power so we decided we would come down.”

Pierce, owner of Mel’s Catering, brought his food truck to Waldron late Sunday morning and started serving pulled pork sandwiches, chips and water to anyone that needed a meal. He set up across the street from Mitchell’s business that was offering up free donuts and coffee.

“Hopefully, we can put a smile on someone’s face,” said Pierce.

Around 1 p.m. Bellacino’s Pizza and Grinders out of Shelbyville arrived in front of Waldron High School and served pizza to area residents and workers.

“The bigger story, in my opinion, is how everybody got together and helped their neighbors,” said Mitchell. “To me, that’s bigger news than a storm.”

 

 

Scott Kremer got word that a large tree fell onto the two apartments he owns on E. Tinker St. near the high school. While the damage was mostly superficial to the buildings, one tenant’s Chevy Equinox was flattened by the tree (photo above).

“Structurally it’s OK,” said Kremer of the apartment buildings. “The outside has cosmetic damage where the tree set down on each corner of the property.”

 

 

Kremer watched diligently as members of Pierce Tree Service (photo above) worked to dismantle the large tree.

By 2 p.m. Saturday, power was restored to downtown Waldron.

Duke Energy issued a media release Sunday afternoon stating power was restored to 43,000 customers after two waves of storms broke numerous utility poles and brought down power lines.

Repair work on power outages continues today for the hardest hit areas.

Shelby County ICO Karl Kelley among those honored during Friday ceremony, awards

A ceremony was held Friday to remember fallen Indiana Conservation Officers and recognize current officers for their excellence while serving the state of Indiana and its citizens.

 

The seven members of the DNR Division of Law Enforcement who have died in the line of duty since its inception in 1911 were honored in the auditorium of the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis. Those officers, listed with their end of watch date:

 

Sgt. Ed Bollman, Feb. 13, 2018

 

F/Sgt. Karl E. Kelley, April 17, 1998

First Sgt. Karl E. Kelley, 56, of Waldron, died from injuries suffered while on duty as he was attempting to rescue fellow officers trapped below a low head dam on April 16, 1998.

Sgt. Kelley was a 1960 graduate of Waldron High School. He served as an Indiana Conservation Officer for 28 years.

He was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 84 in Shelbyville, Indiana Conservation Officers Organization and the Lewis Creek Baptist Church.

 

ICO Thomas Deniston, Oct. 16, 1990

ICO James D. Pitzer, Jan. 2, 1961

Robert S. Perkins, May 27, 1958

Warden William J. Nattkemper, April 27, 1926

Warden William J. Peare, April 27, 1926.

 

Indiana Conservation Officers are law enforcement officers for the DNR, and the DNR Division of Law Enforcement is the oldest Indiana state law enforcement agency. A total of 214 conservation officers serve the state.

 

After the memorial ceremony, the division recognized current individual officers for their outstanding service.

 

District 2 Officer Andrew Harmon, assigned to Wells County, was selected as the James D. Pitzer Indiana Conservation Officer of the Year. The award establishes Landis as the top officer of 2021, as selected from the 10 district Officer of the Year recipients.

 

The Pitzer award is named for Conservation Officer Pitzer, who was killed in the line of duty in Jay County. The Pitzer recipient demonstrates professional ethics, attitude, and service to the public while demonstrating dedication to the principles of the conservation of natural resources and the enforcement of laws affecting the department. The officer must also demonstrate the ability to provide a positive influence, develop camaraderie within the ranks, and gain the confidence and respect of fellow officers.

 

Capt. Nate Berry received the Director’s Leadership Award for his work overseeing officers in the southern portion of the state and assisting the agency to navigate COVID-19 and the 2021 ICO hiring process

 

District 6 Officer Joe Tenbarge was recognized by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) as the state’s Boating Enforcement Officer of the Year and for his leadership in in boating education.

 

District 1 Officer Matt Maher was presented with the 2021 Waterfowl Protection Officer of the Year award for his enforcement of waterfowl regulations and his related performance in public education and community interaction.

 

Conservation Officers Hunter Law of District 1, Rob Klakamp of District 8, Travis Stewart of District 9, and Terri Millefoglie and Alex Neel of District 10, were honored with Life Saving Awards for their exceptional actions that resulted in the saving of a life. 

 

 

Nucor announces growth, $3 billion acquisition

A company with Shelbyville ties is expanding again.

 

Nucor has announced that it is buying an overhead door manufacuterer based in Illinois.  The $3 billion deal should close in June.

 

Nucor, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, will purchase C.H.I. Overhead Doors.  C.H.I makes overhead doors products for residential and industrial customers along with rolling steel and rubber doors.  It has over 800 employees in Arthur, Illinois, and Terre Haute.  There are also regional warehouses across the country.

 

Nucor has also recently added a $1 billion acquisition of two insulated metal panel brands from Cornerstone Building Brands and a steelracking manufactuerer, Elite Storage Solutions, for $75 million.

 

Nucor employs almost 27,000 workers throughout its more than 300 facilities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. 

 

The North Carolina-based steel products maker Nucor Corp. (NYSE: NUE) has acquired the state-of-the-art coil processing facility in Shelbyville last year.  In addition to coil processing, Nucor is expanding its fastener manufacturing capabilities by installing bolt making equipment at the Shelbyville facility.

 

American Legion organizes cross placement at Shelby County Courthouse

One by one the white crosses were laid out on the lawn at the Shelby County Courthouse.

Members of the local American Legion Victory Post No. 70, Sons of American Legion, American Legion Riders and volunteers worked diligently Saturday to grid out 147 crosses to honor those that lost their lives in service of their country.

The crosses serve as a stark reminder of those lost during the annual Memorial Day service.

Set up 48 inches from the S. Harrison St. sidewalk and 48 inches from each other, the process is a labor of love for those volunteering their service.

The crosses have been a tradition in Shelbyville since the late 1950s.

 

Farmer's Market returns to downtown Shelbyville

The Shelbyville Farmer’s Market opened Saturday morning on the Public Square.

The market will be open every Saturday morning through Sept. 24 from 8 a.m. to noon in downtown Shelbyville on the west side of the Public Square.

Foot traffic was steady Saturday throughout the first market setup of 2022.

Regular live music performances are scheduled throughout the market season.

Kip Haymond performed Saturday morning at the southwest pavilion.

Greenfield PD looking for reported missing woman

Greenfield Police have asked for the public’s assistance in finding Mary “Sirosky” Helsley.

 

Helsley, 44, is five-feet-four-inches tall and weighs about 145 pounds.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Hancock County non-emergency number at 317-477-4400 or the Greenfield Police Department at 317-477-4410.

Gov. Holcomb announces a judicial appointment for Johnson County Superior Court 3

Gov. Eric J. Holcomb Thursday announced Douglas B. Cummins as his appointment for Johnson County Superior Court 3.

 

Cummins is currently the Magistrate for Johnson County Superior Courts and has served in this role since 2015. He was in private practice from 2013-2015, and was a deputy prosecutor in Johnson County for 12 years prior to that. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Cummins served in the United States Air Force for 10 years.  He is also currently co-owner of Rock of Ages Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, an animal rescue and rehoming organization.

 

Cummins earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland College Park and a law degree from Indiana University McKinney School of Law.

 

He is filling the vacancy left by Judge Lance Hamner who resigned in February.  Hamner, the former Johnson Co. prosecutor, won the Republican nomination on May 3 for Johnson County Prosecutor with 58% of the vote over incumbent Joe Villanueva.

 

Cummins will be sworn in on a date to be determined.

Shelbyville High School Alumni Hall of Fame nominations due June 1

The Shelbyville High School Alumni Hall of Fame will induct its 13th class on Aug. 18 with a ceremony and reception at the school.

Nominations will be accepted until June 1, according to SHS assistant principal and program coordinator Jarod Evans.

“The alumni hall of fame was created to recognize exceptional Shelbyville High School graduates who have distinguished themselves and made a positive impact on their communities,” said SHS administrator Andy Hensley, the original program chairman in 2008 who now serves as an adviser. “We will hold the hall of fame event in August and honor those inducted at the home football game the following night.”

Selection criteria specifies that a nominee must: “Be a graduate of Shelbyville High School, have made significant contributions to community, society or profession and positively promote Shelbyville Central Schools.”  

The nominee’s honors, awards, special achievements and other recognition also will be considered.

Thirty-six SHS graduates from a period spanning 140 years have thus far been inducted.

The recent pandemic preempted 2020 and 2021 hall of fame ceremonies, however the program held a reception honoring inductees at a Golden Bears football game last season (Above photo: Members of Gene Sexton's family at McKeand Stadium; below photo: Joe Harlan, far right).  

“Twelve of our hall of fame members or their representatives attended and several others sent regrets,” said Hensley. “It turned out to be a very special evening.”

Nomination forms can be found at www.shelbycs.org and should be emailed to jsevans@shelbycs.org or dropped off at the high school to his attention.

 

Public's assistance requested to find car stolen from Henry Co. barn

The Henry County Sheriff's Office is requesting public assistance in locating the pictured stolen vehicle.

 

The pictured black and gold 1981 Camero Z-28 with "Q-95" front license plate was stolen from a barn in Henry County sometime between December 2021 and May 17, 2022. The vehicle was parked for over eight years and was in disrepair compared to the provided photo.

 

The original owners of the vehicle would love to have their prized possession back.

 

Any information can be provided anonymous by calling the Henry County Sheriffs Office at 765-521-7032

Silver Alert: Timothy Arrington, 62, of Hope

A Statewide Silver Alert has been declared.

 

The Hope Police Department is investigating the disappearance of Timothy Lee Arrington, 62.  Arrington is a white male, 6 feet 3 inches tall, 330 pounds, with gray hair and hazel eyes.

 

He was last seen driving a black 2014 Chevrolet Impala with Indiana license plate D955XV.

 

Timothy is missing from Hope and was last seen on Tuesday, May 17, at approximately 2:00 pm. He is believed to be in extreme danger and may require medical assistance. 

 

If you have any information on Timothy Arrington, contact the Hope Police Department at 812-546-4015 or 911.

Backpacks still banned in classrooms for SHS, SMS students

The Shelbyville Central Schools board approved the middle school and high school student handbooks Wednesday night with no discernible changes to the dress code or backpack policy.

Shelbyville High School assistant principal Bri Kompara and Shelbyville Middle School assistant principal Wes Hall appeared before the school board in March to discuss possible changes to the handbooks.

Board members discussed what would be considered appropriate clothing for a school environment but wanted more time to fine tune the language for the handbooks.

Approval of the handbooks were not granted at the board’s April meeting.

Examples of clothing considered inappropriate are that which is designed to reveal students’ bare midriff, chest, back, buttocks, undergarments, or lack of undergarments.

Pajama pants became a talking point in the early discussion. The approved clothing guidelines continue to state “pajamas, pajama pants and house shoes are not appropriate school attire and should not be worn.”

“Fundamentally, speaking for myself and not necessarily the board, we have to trust our administrators and in some level empower them to make the right decisions,” said school board president Curt Johnson. “I’m not sure if this is the decision I would have made but at the end of the day they are the boots on the ground. Empowering our staff and trusting their judgment on something like this is the right thing to do.”

A staff survey of 118 teachers at the middle school and high school came back 79% in favor of not allowing backpacks in the classroom. Twenty-four teachers voted to allow backpacks.

Students may bring backpacks to school but they must be stored in their lockers.

“The teachers have been against it. I can tell you that this was maybe the most commented upon issue that I’ve had since I’ve been on the board,” said Johnson. “There was an initial shock and trouble initially adjusting but in talking to people, I think the kids adjusted. It’s not the emotionally-wrought issue it was at the beginning of the school year.”

Johnson confirmed there was no formal survey taken of students with regard to the backpack issue.

“I think the backpack issue resolved itself because people learned to deal with it,” said Johnson.

 In other board business Wednesday:

  • Approved the Shelbyville High School marching band’s trip to Orlando, Florida, in June 2023. Approximately 80 students will travel to DisneyWorld and Universal Studios from June 5-June 11 and march in a Disney parade and participate in a workshop with a professional Disney musician.
  • Approved Shelbyville High School’s Youth Summer Camps schedule – boys basketball (June 13-15), football (June 20-22), volleyball (June 20-22), girls basketball (July 11-13), tennis (July 18-22) and cheerleading (fall/winter).

SWAT responds to arrest man barricaded into St. Paul home

A man was arrested in St. Paul after a brief standoff with SWAT Tuesday afternoon.

 

Witness reports indicate that a man, name unavailable as of this report, was shooting at something or someone in St. Paul.  From there, he barricaded himself into his home leading to a call to law enforcement and the involvement of a SWAT team at the site.

 

During the standoff, a bus from nearby Waldron schools was recalled because it wasn't allowed to drop off kids in the proximity of the incident.

 

  Photos in this story courtesy of Joe Wright

 

The man was taken into custody after tear gas was deployed.

Shelbyville Police looking for Conoco robbery suspect

The Shelbyville Police Department is asking for the public's help in the search for a robbery suspect.

 

At 10:17 pm Tuesday, officers responded to the Conoco Gas Station located at 207 N. Harrison Street.  The employee reported he had been robbed at gunpoint. 

 

Officers responded and set up a perimeter.  The suspect was reported to be a black male wearing a red hoodie, medical style mask, and dark colored shorts.  The male left in an unknown direction.

 

 

At this time, Shelbyville Police are asking the public if anyone has any information to please contact the police department.  Police are also seeking anyone in that area that may have a security camera that could have captured any images of the suspect to contact them. 

 

If you would see a person matching the description of the suspect, please call 911 and do not approach the suspect.  At this time the suspect is considered armed and dangerous.

 

To report any information on this case, please call 317-392-2511. 

 

Downtown businesses express frustration with lack of communication regarding upcoming event

A representative of downtown Shelbyville business establishments expressed frustration regarding the upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony for the recently-completed Public Square redevelopment project.

Adam Tindall, one of the owners of Munchies, 39 Public Square, addressed the Common Council Monday morning at City Hall about a perceived slight of the downtown businesses with regard to the June 3 ribbon-cutting ceremony in downtown Shelbyville.

The ribbon cutting is set for 5 p.m. and a downtown celebration including lawn games, two food trucks and music will follow until 9 p.m.

“We feel like we were grossly neglected during this project that this is celebrating and we would ask that, moving forward, we be more informed, more included, and thought of and represented better from this council,” said Tindall.

The mayor pointed out that the Common Council had nothing to do with the planning of the event. That happened within his office and he took responsibility for the notion that downtown businesses felt slighted.

“It’s not the council’s fault. The council was not involved in the planning,” said DeBaun to Tindall. “I will take the blame for that.

“I appreciate you making the effort to come and make those comments. What seemed obvious to me clearly was not in a sense that I assumed by creating the event, frankly the only ribbon cutting we will have, that in conjunction with the Strawberry Festival, there would be a significant number of people drawn downtown, that it wasn’t an issue. If the city sponsors any events in the future, we certainly will have an outreach effort.”

Shelby Senior Services’ annual Strawberry Festival returns to downtown Shelbyville on June 3. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Simultaneously, the City of Shelbyville will host Municipal Government Day with various city departments in attendance and city equipment on display. The annual event offers a free lunch (hot dogs, chips, drink) to those in attendance.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony and downtown celebration runs from 5 to 9 p.m.

This is the second downtown event scheduled since the completion of the redevelopment project. The Christmas holiday celebration in December drew more than 5,000 people downtown.

City to celebrate finished downtown redevelopment project with ribbon cutting ceremony

The City of Shelbyville will celebrate the grand opening of the downtown Public Square on June 3 from 5 to 9 p.m.

There is a full day of activities slated for the day starting with the return of Shelby Senior Services’ Strawberry Festival.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on E. Washington St. off the Public Square.

Strawberry shortcake and ice cream will be sold for $7.

The city also will celebrate Municipal Government Day on June 3 in conjunction with the Strawberry Festival.

There will be hot dogs and hamburgers available downtown and various city departments will be on site along with equipment on display.

The ribbon cutting to officially dedicate the three-year, $20-plus million downtown redevelopment project is set for 5 p.m. on the northeast quadrant of the Public Square.

A bounce house, adult games, food and music will be part of the four-hour celebration.

“We are hoping for a big crowd. We are hoping it will bring a significant amount of business for the local establishments downtown as well as people getting out and enjoying the space,” said Shelbyville Mayor Tom DeBaun.

Greenwood PD releases video of March 29 police action fatal shooting

Official police video has been released by the Greenwood Police Department involving the fatal police action shooting of Monica Vaught as a pursuit ended in the department's parking lot.

 

Greenwood Police officers involved in the fatal police action shooting of Monica Vaught that occurred on March 29, 2022.  

 

Sgt. Brandon Cox   (6.5 years)

 

Officer Elijah Allen (3 years)

 

Officer Ben Louzon (1.5 years)

 

Officer Zane Hennig (8 months)

 

Video link, paste into your browser to download video

https://media.greenwood.in.gov/files/Greenwood%20PD%20-%20OIS%20Surina%20Way%202.mov

Arrest of IMPD officers results in brief lockdown of New Palestine schools

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department aided New Palestine Police in an investigation involving the arrest of an IMPD officer.

 

New Palestine schools were placed under lockdown Wednesday during the arrest of Michael Price who lives in the area.  It’s his second arrest in the last several days on battery charges on a child less than 14.

 

Price has been on administrative leave from IMPD since an April arrest in Marion County on a separate case of domestic battery.

 

The charges in New Palestine involving a child less than 14 come from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department investigation.

Indiana's Public Access Counselor featured at The Strand Theatre Lecture Series

The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville welcomes a special guest for its continuing Lecture Series Thursday night.

 

Luke Britt, Indiana's Public Access Counselor, will provide insight into government officials responsibilities under Indiana’s access laws.  

 

David Finkel appeared on the Giant FM on The Morning Show to preview Britt's visit.

 

 

Luke H. Britt was appointed by Governor Mike Pence to serve as Indiana's Public Access Counselor in August of 2013.  Now the longest-serving PAC in state history, he previously served as an attorney and operations manager for the Indiana State Department of Health and as an attorney for the Indiana Department of Child Services after beginning his career in private practice in Johnson County.

 

Britt regularly guest lectures on journalism, civics and law at Indiana universities and colleges. 

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

Governor Eric J. Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff in remembrance of the one million American lives lost to COVID-19.

 

Per President Biden's order, flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset on Monday, May 16.

 

Gov. Holcomb is asking businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags.

Mickey's T-Mart: Shelbyville's last family grocery store

Many Shelby County residents embarking on shopping trips these days will undoubtedly succumb to habit and pull into the Mickey’s T-Mart parking lot.

Their intentions might include a lengthy weekly visit to stock up for many days, a quick stop to pick up a few items or perhaps breakfast doughnuts or lunch from the deli.

These would-be patrons will then suddenly realize that Mickey’s, located at 748 S. Harrison St., the family-owned and operated supermarket that served the community for just shy of 44 years, is now closed.

“Everything has its time and we had a great run in Shelbyville,” said Mickey’s T-Mart vice president Brian Meeke. “Economics and the ever-changing times made the decision to close inevitable. Supply issues were a concern before the pandemic and were going to be ongoing. We were also unfortunately losing a good portion of our traditional, loyal customer base as people got older.”

Meeke indicated that there were myriad factors that resulted in Mickey’s ultimately ceasing operation on Nov. 6, 2021.

The Mickey’s family will maintain a business presence and entertain potential tenants for the store space. The corporation owns the former store building that currently leases space to NAPA, Edward Jones and Don’s Pizza. The company also owns apartments and other rental properties in the neighborhood and around town.

“There will still be a good deal of work managing properties, however we will not have the daily grind of running a full-scale store,” stated Meeke.

In an ironic twist, the Meekes also own the late-1960s Kroger building located adjacent to Mickey’s which is the present-day home of Family Dollar.

Family-owned groceries became increasingly prevalent in small to medium-sized towns following World War II. Postwar prosperity spurred the growth of small-town and suburban communities such as Shelbyville.

Chain groceries began in the 1920s, primarily in bigger cities, however it was not initially profitable for these companies to widely expand their reach to outlying areas. Even when they did, as with Kroger and the A&P in Shelbyville, the operations, if somewhat larger, were similar to the local independent establishments. There was still a place for the “mom and pop” grocery.  

Modern advancements in technology, communication and transportation made for a steady stream of chain encroachment on smaller cities and towns that gained significant momentum in the 1960s. This would eventually result in the mega-store boom of the past quarter century.   

The small-town family grocery enjoyed considerable success and widely prospered from the mid-40s through the mid-70s. It seemed every Shelbyville neighborhood had a family-owned-and-operated grocery store.

Wiley’s on Noble Street served the Sunrise Park community; the Zerr family offered stores at Five Points and E. Mechanic Street; Dean’s Market was at the corner of Colescott and Montgomery and the Thomas family managed three stores in town -- The Guinea Pig, The Superette and Thomas 421. There were many other similar examples in Shelbyville.

These were grocery stores with identities closely associated with the families. Store customers would regularly come in contact with the owners and their children, even their extended families.

“Shelbyville Today,” a 1976 documentary reported that Shelbyville had 49 grocery stores in 1950 -- many were family owned. That number had dwindled to 11 by 1976. Today there are three.       

 

Photos provided: Harry Meeke, far right, early in his career working for Rudy's in Aurora, Illinois.

 

Harry Meeke, Brian’s father and president of Mickey’s, is a native of Joliet, Illinois. He began work in the grocery industry in Kankakee for Rudy Jaggersma in 1953.

”Rudy owned several stores and taught my dad the grocery business,” said Brian. “Harry moved to Springfield to be a district supervisor for Rudy’s Market in 1967. He accepted a supervisor position with Scot-Lad in Indianapolis in 1971. When Scot-Lad gave notice that they were selling their stores in the late 1970s, dad had to find other employment.”

The elder Meeke (main photo), intent on becoming an entrepreneur, took the measure of several Scot-Lad franchises in the central Indiana area. He knew these businesses would soon be on the market and was looking for the best opportunity.

“Dad would sit in store parking lots and evaluate the customer traffic,” said Brian. “He determined that the Shelbyville Thrif-T-Mart presented the best opportunity. He did his homework.”

The Mickey’s building, constructed in 1960, originally housed Louden’s Grocery. Louden’s and next-door neighbor Hook’s Drugs provided a solid one-stop shopping opportunity for local residents for many years. Thrif-T-Mart (the Scot-Lad company) purchased Louden’s in  1973.

Harry and his wife, Brenda, purchased the business and established Mickey’s T-Mart (German pronunciation of Meeke) in early 1978. The family was living in Whiteland at the time. The store opened on January 28, in the midst of the blizzard of 1978.

“Mom and dad could not make it in to the store on opening day,” said Brian. “It was a hectic first day.”

 

 

Brian (photo) was in the middle of his first year at Franklin College. He had a good deal of experience from working in Scot-Lad area stores. His sister, Pam, was a junior at Whiteland High School. The family moved to Shelbyville following Pam’s 1979 high school graduation.

“Moving to Shelbyville was an easy transition,” said Brian. “I had met a number of friends at college who were from Shelbyville and we all quickly met a great many people through the store who would become long-time friends.”

Brian would earn a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1981; Pam completed an associate’s degree from Ball State in 1982. Both would work a multitude of hours between their school obligations. After graduation, they began their full-time careers at Mickey’s T-Mart.

Mickey’s presented an attractive combination to the shopping public: the size and stock of a supermarket along with the familiarity and relationships of a hometown entity. Harry was ever-present and Brenda worked as head cashier for many years. Pam would eventually handle the morning duties while Brian moved into the role of general manager. All four of Harry and Brenda’s grandchildren would at some point as teens and young adults work at Mickey’s.  

The company built on early success. The family purchased the store building and some nearby properties. In the ensuing years they built apartments behind the business that would provide the foundation of their rental business, Parkside Apartments.

The Meeke family became active members of the Shelbyville community. Brian, a standout baseball player at Whiteland, played in local softball leagues for 20 years.

“I played three or four nights a week during my twenties and thirties,” he said.  

He and Harry also served on the Chamber of Commerce board of directors with Brian co-chairing the annual “Cash Bash” fundraiser for several years. Pam served on the recycling board and Strand Theatre board of directors. 

Brian and his wife, Jill, recently sold their Shelbyville home and moved to Lake Santee. Pam, who lost her husband Rob to lung cancer many years ago, continues to reside in Shelbyville. Their children have all moved away from town.

Harry and Brenda live in the Smithland Road home they bought in 1980.

Mickey’s T-Mart flourished in the Shelby County community for more than four decades. It serves as a local American success story and reinforces the value of family investment and commitment.

“We will always be grateful for the community accepting us and allowing us to work with them for all these years,” stated Brian.

Now 62, he is somewhat sentimental about the past but sanguine concerning the future.

“I enjoyed the great experience of Mickey’s but I am looking forward to the future,” he said. “We are new grandparents which is wonderful and there will be other projects as well. I am looking forward to what is next.”

I am sure many of us traveling south on Harrison Street will, at some time, absent-mindedly turn into the Mickey’s lot. We will then, with a twinge of nostalgia, remember that Mickey’s T-Mart is a part of Shelbyville history.   

St. Joseph Spring Festival kicks off Thursday

The three-day St. Joseph Spring Festival opens Thursday in Shelbyville.

Hosted by the St. Joseph Catholic Church, 125 E. Broadway St., the festival offers food, music and amusement rides.

“Faith, family, food and fiesta all at one time,” said Fr. Mike Keucher, pastor at St. Joseph Catholic Church, during an interview with GIANT fm Real Radio. “That’s what we are all about.”

The festival runs Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m., Friday from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from 3 to 11 p.m. All the revenue from the event supports the church’s ministries.

La Cocina will offer authentic Mexican food each night and a beer garden will be open throughout the festival.

On Thursday, there will be a pulled pork dinner with music by Digital Monkey Music Mobile DJ Entertainment.

Friday is the festival’s Fish Fry. There will be a live Mariachi band for entertainment.

Saturday night will feature a pork chop dinner and music from Ghost Radio as well as Betty Duval & the Chord Strokers.

Ride tickets are currently on sale at four locations – the parish office, Knights of Columbus, Mathies Landscaping and Dean’s Cleaners. Twenty ride tickets can be purchased for $18 up through the start of the festival at 5 p.m. Thursday.

There will be a raffle running throughout the festival hours with the prize drawing Sunday night during a fried chicken dinner at the Knights of Columbus.

First prize in the raffle is $2,000. Second prize is a BBQ package estimated to be worth $1,000. Third prize is a $300 gift certificate from Mathies Landscaping.

“What it means to the community … we are blessed with a great location and it’s a place everyone can come together and just have fun and be together,” said Keucher.

The Bears Den for sale; yet to open in 2022

An iconic restaurant site in Shelbyville is for sale.

 

The Bears Den, 1837 E Michigan Road,  is listed for sale for $750, 000.  The popular season drive-in has not opened for business in 2022.

 

The sales information details the site as a staple in Shelbyville since 1977.  It sits on just over an acre in an area zoned Business Highway.

 

The listing also says that "The Bears Den" name and business rights including the original recipes and resturant equipment are included in the sale.

 

The property is being sold AS IS.

 

 

 

 

 

Volunteers needed for Forest Hill Cemetery Spring Clean Day

Carrie Ridgeway, a new member of the Forest Hill Cemetery board, is organizing a Spring Clean Day Saturday at the cemetery.

Volunteers are needed to help spruce up the Shelbyville cemetery, 704 Morris Avenue, ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.

Weed eaters, leaf blowers and brooms are needed.

The Spring Clean Day is a great way to collect volunteer or community service hours. Officials will be on site to sign off on service hours.

Interested participants can meet at the cemetery at 8 a.m. to be assigned a clean-up duty. Work is expected to continue until approximately noon.

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