Local News

Taste of Shelby County Agriculture event March 6 at Horseshoe Indianapolis

It’s a celebration of Shelby County’s farm community.

The “Taste of Shelby County Agriculture” Presented by the Shelby County Ag Promotion Committee is set for March 6 at Horseshoe Indianapolis Racing and Casino in Shelbyville. The social hour will start at 5:30 p.m. and the dinner begins at 7 p.m.

This year’s event will feature an “Indiana Agriculture All-Star Panel” moderated by C.J. Miller with Hoosier Ag Today discussing Indiana ag policy, planting, pricing, and topics impacting farmers and ag businesses.The audience will also have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions during the event.

The panelists include:

   • Bruce Kettler, President & CEO of the Agribusiness Council of Indiana

   • Courtney Kingery, CEO of Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Corn Marketing Council and Indiana Corn Growers Association

   • Kendell Culp, Vice President of Indiana Farm Bureau and State Representative (District 16)

   • Don Lamb, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture

   • Dr. Michael Langemeier, Purdue University Professor of Agricultural Economics and Associate Director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture

   • Mike Silver, Manager and Commodity Market Analyst with Kokomo Grain

In addition, scholarships will be awarded during the event to Shelby County students, and one member of the Shelby County ag community will receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award.”

“Just a little over 230,000 acres here in Shelby County are used for agriculture, and nearly 200,000 acres are used specifically for row crops, so it's important that we raise the aware of agriculture and the impact our producers and ag leaders have here in our community,” says Scott Gabbard, County Extension Director and Ag Educator with Purdue Extension—Shelby County.

The proceeds from the event will be used by Shelby County Ag Promotion to fund and coordinate community activities and programs including the renewable scholarships awarded during the banquet, as well as support for the FFA chapters at each of the county’s high schools.

Sponsorship opportunities and tickets are still available for this year’s event.

For more information, call the Purdue Extension—Shelby County Office at 317-392-6460 or visit the website: http://tinyurl.com/scapc.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Fire Chief embracing role as leader of ever-growing younger Shelbyville Fire Department

Veteran firefighter, medic and instructor Doug Lutes is nearing the completion of his second month as Fire Chief of one of the youngest iterations ever of the Shelbyville Fire Department (SFD).

The department is in the process of hiring its 14th person in the last 12 months. Many of those openings created by the retirement of veteran personnel.

“A lot of people that left had 20 to 35 years of experience and training and leadership,” said Jay Tennell (main photo, right), SFD Deputy Director, who deals with the fire side of operations. “A lot of them stepped out of supervisory leadership roles. Now you don’t have the long-time experience in people that know all these buildings and all these streets watching over our group.

“So there is training at every level that has had to take place these past couple of years. You have to identify who is going into that next spot. You’ve got a wave of experienced firemen that lead well going into a Battalion Chief role, a Captain’s role or a Lieutenant’s role. Everybody is learning a new job while we’ve got 10 to 15 brand new people (on the job).”

Lutes (main photo, center), who retired in February of 2023 after 25 years as a firefighter and medic, filled every role in the department during his career except the top role.

“This was never really one of my notches on my belt to sit in this seat,” said Lutes from his new office at the downtown firehouse. “It wasn’t anything I was striving for my whole career. I’ve seen guys come in and out of this office and they get pretty disheveled by the end of it. It is one of those thankless jobs where you have to make a lot of decisions.”

While Lutes walked away from the day-to-day workings of the fire department, he continued his fire and medic instructor role at Shelbyville’s Blue River Career Center. For a little over a decade, Lutes introduced fire and medic careers to Shelby County youth.

“I enjoyed it. It took me a minute to navigate a few things,” said Lutes. “I was doing the teacher side of stuff, then they would take the state test. Not every kid passed the state test. I had about an 80% pass rate totally for all the kids, which is pretty good at that level. It’s an adult class. I treated them like they were adults.”

While Lutes had to pass his teaching duties off to a pair of new instructors to become fire chief, his experiences in the classroom provides him keen insight into an area of recruitment that could help the department build from within its community.

“One of my goals is recruitment and retention,” he said. “To me, that is one of the biggest things we’ve got to do. Hire someone new, train someone new, outfitting someone new. … We are spending too much time doing that. That’s why I want a little more local (recruitment) so it keeps people here.”

 

 

Before accepting new mayor Scott Furgeson’s offer to become fire chief and replace the retiring Brian Tackett, Lutes had to assess if he wanted to return to the firehouse setting five days a week.

“Scott and I chatted in years past about some things,” explained Lutes. “I decided I did want to jump back in. I know this business. I like these people. It’s fun. And I get to sleep in my own bed now. That’s the key.”

Tennell was already in place as a deputy chief and Lutes promoted Matt Stone to Deputy Chief of EMS.

One of Stone’s first assignments was to implement a new 10-year contract with Stryker to modernize the department’s EMS equipment, including eight new cardiac monitors.

“The Stryker contract is all signed, sealed and delivered,” confirmed Stone (main photo, left). “All the equipment is in and in service. We just took the last step on getting the cardiac monitors put into service.

“One of the things talked about a lot (with the $2.7 million contract), Stryker is far above and beyond any other provider of these services. These guys want their stuff to work more than we do. … They are very good to work with. We were in a position where it was kind of day-to-day on some of the devices we had in service, whether they would make it through the day. We are in a much better position. Our patients are in a much better situation.”

Again, Lutes experience as an educator could prove beneficial to Stone when it comes to finding certified personnel to staff ambulances.

“Blue River (Career Program) had an EMT program but they let that go,” said Lutes. “I didn’t want to teach it. It is a lot of paperwork on the state side and testing.”

Lutes did eventually restart the program and hopes it can grow to be a talent recruiter for a department that counted 76% of its 2023 runs as “medical.”

“You have to be cross trained (as a medic and firefighter) in the fire service,” said Lutes. “You don’t have to be, that’s not true, but for Shelbyville you need to be cross trained. We run a whole county with an ambulance and that’s a whole other issue. Our medics fight fires. It’s what we do. In this community, you have to be cross trained. Our goal is to get that program going again.”

 

 

Lutes also wants to identify individuals, especially those in Shelby County, looking for a career change.

“We are getting younger and younger but there are a lot of people out there in their mid 20s that might want a career change and would be good at this job,” said Lutes, who joined the SFD after turning 30. “My goal is to give them a chance. You can get hired up to (age) 40 now. That used to be 36. The trend right now, we’ve lowered our (hiring) age to 20. We have 20-year-olds we hire.

“There are still a lot of good people that would stay in the community and we can train them the way we want them.”

If Lutes can get qualified candidates in the door and through the stringent hiring process, he trusts Tennell and Stone to get them prepared to go out on calls.

“I think the transition has been good because they guys (Tennell and Stone) have done a good job,” said Lutes. “I know their job. Those guys do a good job.

“I’m not a fireman anymore. I just let the firemen be firemen and do their jobs.”

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Ball State professors hosting open forum to discuss future of Morrison Park

The City of Shelbyville and the Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department invites the public to a meeting Monday to discuss the future of Morrison Park.

The city is collaborating with the Ball State University R. Wayne Estopinal College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) to create ideas on how to improve Morrison Park, 801 S. West Street.

Ball State Assistant Professors of Landscape Architecture Dorna Eshrati and Jeremy Merrill will conduct an open forum meeting Monday from 5-7 p.m. in the Activity Room at Girls Inc., 904 S. Miller St. in Shelbyville.

Ball State CAP students are participating in a project to provide new ideas for a city park more than 110 years old.

 

 

The meeting will be a platform for discussion and brainstorming with community members about their thoughts and ideas for the park.

“We believe that involving the community in the planning and design process is crucial to creating spaces that truly serve the needs of the people who live and play in those areas,” said Adam Rude, Director of Planning for the City of Shelbyville.

The event is open to all residents, businesses and organizations wishing to contribute to the development of Morrison Park.

“We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the Shelbyville community and apply our knowledge and skills to create a shared vision for Morrison Park,” said Merrill.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Mayor hears frustration over Dollar General Market proposal for city's southeast side

Citing a zoning classification set in 2006, Second Circle Investments, LLC, believes a Dollar General Market will be successful near the intersection of McKay Road and Progress Parkway in Shelbyville.

At the February Board of Zoning Appeals meeting at City Hall, attorney Briane House requested a special zoning variance on behalf of the Carmel-based Second Circle Investments to create a 10,640 square foot building for a Dollar General Market – larger than typical Dollar General stores.

Because the Business Neighborhood zoning classification was established 18 years ago as part of the Twin Lakes subdivision planned unit development, Second Circle Investments needs a special variance to construct a building larger than 10,000 square feet on the property.

Shelbyville Mayor Scott Furgeson has heard many complaints from residents on the city’s southeast side that are opposed to the project.

“I don’t know if it’s a problem for the city,” said Furgeson earlier this week. “I mean it’s a problem for the residents that feel that way but it was originally zoned and there were hearings back then (in 2006) when it was zoned that way. It’s not something we can go out and change now even if we wanted to.

“Say we looked at it before anything wanted to build there and we wanted to change the zoning on it, we could not do it without the authority of the property owner. Then it’s an adverse condemnation of the property. We would have to buy the property and the potential profits of what they could make selling it. I don’t think we’re in that property game.”

Residents from the Twin Lakes subdivision and Southern Trace subdivision, located directly south of the proposed market, addressed their concerns before the five-member Board of Zoning Appeals at its Feb. 13 meeting at City Hall.

Traffic issues, safety issues and the need for a third Dollar General within city limits were all discussed.

There is a Dollar General located at 315 E. Broadway and another at 951 Miller Avenue. The ownership of both stores does not match with Second Circle Investments, according to information available at the Shelby County GIS map.

“It’s the connotation of the Dollar General,” agreed Furgeson when asked if the company’s public reputation was an issue. “Now it if was the Five Hundred Dollar Store or the Five Dollar Store, it would be different. If it was Five Below, I think people would welcome it. I do think it’s the Dollar General that bothers people the most.”

 

 

A “market” attached to a neighborhood or firmly entrenched in a residential area in not a new concept. Decades earlier a market would service several surrounding neighborhoods. The Dollar General Market carries not only traditional dry goods selections associated with a typical Dollar General but also features refrigerated coolers for expanded shopping options.

So why is Dollar General bringing another storefront to Shelbyville? Furgeson knows the answer.

“It all goes back to our median income,” he said. “That’s the whole conversation that no one likes to add. The city didn’t go out and recruit a Dollar General. We don’t really go out and recruit businesses.

“Our goal and our job is to get us in better shape than we are in now. The median income drives all our retail and restaurants, and our median income is $15,000 lower than Franklin and Greenfield. So we don’t get the choices that they get. So that’s important.”

According to the Shelby County GIS map, available to view at the city’s website, www.cityofshelbyvillein.com, the Dollar General on Miller Avenue sits on a 2.6-acre tract. The building occupies the front half of the property.

So could that store be converted into a Dollar General Market and service a part of the city where there is a greater need?

“We would love for them to put it on the corner of Miller Avenue and McKay Road but, unfortunately, we don’t have that control,” said Furgeson.

The only real power the city will have over the project is enforcing code violations once it is operational.

“This is a perfect example of no one pays attention until it’s in my backyard,” said Furgeson. “As a public, we all do it. We don’t pay attention. You get excited about buying a house and you don’t do your due diligence and realize maybe something will be there one day.”

The nearly two-hour BZA meeting ended with the discussion of the Dollar General Market project continued to its March meeting so the board can further research the types of restrictions it could put in place before the project moves forward.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Two men arrested in Hancock County with cocaine in produce shipment

Indiana State Police found a large amount of cocaine hidden in produce while conducting a traffic stop.

An Indiana State Police trooper was patrolling I-70 near Mount Comfort Road Sunday afternoon when an eastbound semi caught his attention. The trooper is certified to perform Federal Motor Carrier Inspections on commercial vehicles.

Just after 1 p.m. Sunday, the trooper pulled over a semi to perform an inspection. Part of the inspections includes a review of the required paperwork and log book, which revealed a log book violation. The ISP report states that while interacting with the driver and co-driver, the trooper noticed criminal indicators that, based upon his training and experience, led him to ask for consent to search the semi, and the driver agreed.

The trooper located dozens of packages he suspected to be cocaine. A field test later confirmed his suspicion. The drugs were located inside boxes of onions among other produce in the trailer.

The driver of the semi and the passenger were both arrested and transported to the Hancock County Jail on probable cause of possession of cocaine. 

The Hancock County Prosecutor's office has reviewed the case and subsequently filed formal charges against both individuals in Hancock Superior Court.

  • Jose N. Perez (66) of California
    • Count I - Dealing in Cocaine  I.C. 35-48-4-1(a)(2) and I.C. 35-48-4-1(e)(1)
      • Level 2 Felony
    • Count II - Possession of Cocaine  I.C. 35-48-4-6(a) and I.C. 35-48-4-6(d)(1)
      • Level 3 Felonly
  • Miguel Rodriguez (60) of California
    • Count I - Dealing in Cocaine  I.C. 35-48-4-1(a)(2) and I.C. 35-48-4-1(e)(1)
      • Level 2 Felony
    • Count II - Possession of Cocaine  I.C. 35-48-4-6(a) and I.C. 35-48-4-6(d)(1)
      • Level 3 Felonly

The Indiana State Police was assisted by the Hancock County Sheriff's Office and worked closely with the Hancock County Prosecutor for charges. The truck was towed to Johnson's Towing in Greenfield to be offloaded to complete the search. 

"I am grateful for the effort and cooperation of all involved that has provided us with the evidence to bring these charges.  This is a great example of the type of alert police work and interagency cooperation that keeps our community among the nation’s safest," said Hancock County Prosecutor Brad Eaton.

Golden Bear Preschool offering summer childcare option, fall and spring day care

The Golden Bear Preschool will offer a childcare solution in June and July for current Golden Bear Preschool families.

At Wednesday’s Shelbyville Central Schools board meeting, the summer dates, operational hours and tuition were approved to create another childcare opportunity in Shelbyville.

“I think it’s a great opportunity to help in many ways,” said SCS Superintendent Dr. Matt Vance during the meeting. 

One classroom at the preschool, 1115 East State Road 44, will be operational from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from June 3 to June 28 and July 1 to July 26. There will be no childcare option on July 4 and July 5.

Similar to school days, all children will be at the facility five days a week. Tuition is $35 per day or $700 per month.

The classroom will be staffed by one lead instructor and one assistant. The preschool’s indoor gymnasium and outdoor playground also will be available for use.

Chartwells will provide breakfast and lunch through its summer food program.

Enrollment is based on a first come, first serve basis and is capped at 16 students.

In addition to the summer childcare option, the SCS board also approved a new Golden Bear Early Learning Program that will offer daycare during the 2024-2025 school year to all SCS staff.

The program will be available for children ages 1-2 and will be hosted at the Golden Bear Preschool from 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the 185 operational days on the school calendar.

Cost is $45 per day. The school system received a grant to help with the cost of this startup program.

There will be two rooms available to the program with a maximum of 10 children per room. A district childcare survey showed an interest for as many as 18 children in the age group. 

The goal is to have 5-6 staff members, potentially two full-time and the rest part-time, available on a daily basis. SCS plans to use current staff until the need arises for further hiring.

“This is something not every district is doing,” said Vance. “We feel like this would be a good opportunity to help our staff that have children. We feel like this is a good way to start this program.

“We really want to make sure we do this right. We do have a grant from the state to help us get started a little bit. We can look at some other grant opportunities to try and help us get this going and sustain it.

“This is exciting. It’s been a good step forward for us as a district,” continued Vance. “I know it’s been talked about here before but I feel we have some things in place that we can go ahead and get started.”

In other board business, the regularly-scheduled school board meeting on March 20 has been moved up to March 13. The school system is on spring break the week of March 18.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Canine bill through Indiana Senate

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would allow for the retail sale of dogs in Indiana passed the Senate.

House Bill 1412 would restrict and overturn ordinances banning the retail sale of dogs while also raising the standards for breeders allowed to sell dogs in pet stores.

"Some local government units are being coaxed into preventing the retail sale of dogs, which prevents businesses from selling things related to their trade and limits what consumers can purchase," Leising said. "This bill would address this issue by expanding commerce rights for businesses and consumers in Indiana while protecting companion animals."

Breeders would be required to provide additional records for companion animals, including vaccination and pedigree information.

"This bill would put in place the strictest standards in the country for the retail sale of dogs, starting from when the dog is bred until after the dog is sold to the consumer," Leising said. "This means there would be protections for the sale of dogs and consumers who wish to purchase a puppy from a pet store, and our state and local government can promote good breeders in the state."

Since the Senate Committee on Agriculture amended HB 1412, the bill will now return to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

The Indiana General Assembly has until March 14 to complete legislative business during the 2024 legislative session. Committee hearings, agendas, vote tallies and proposed legislation can be viewed online by visiting iga.in.gov.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

 

Elkhart man identified as deceased in single vehicle crash on Interstate 74

An Elkhart man had been identified as the person killed Tuesday morning in an Interstate 74 single vehicle crash.

Marlon Banks, age 46, from Elkhart, Indiana, was named as the deceased in the crash by the Shelby County Coroner’s Office.

The crash occurred early Tuesday morning near the 121-mile marker on I-74. The Shelby County Coroner’s Office was dispatched to the scene at 7:17 a.m.

According to information released Tuesday, Banks was the passenger in the vehicle. The driver was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis. There is no update on that person’s condition.

The cause and manner of Banks’ death are pending an autopsy scheduled for later this week, according to Coroner Bradley Rund.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.


Common Council presented marketing proposal to attract out-of-state remote workers to Shelbyville

Internet-based company MakeMyMove wants to help the City of Shelbyville recruit.

Ben Ledo of MakeMyMove appeared before the Shelbyville Common Council Monday at City Hall to present a proposal to assist the city with marketing itself to out-of-state employees.

“Think of us as economic development through talent,” said Ledo (photo), a vice president with MakeMyMove. “What our site is, essentially, is a marketplace that enables communities to attract talent primarily outside of Indiana.”

MakeMyMove would target individuals working remotely and market them to Shelbyville for potential relocation. A total of 23 Indiana communities have enrolled with the Central Indiana based company.

Noblesville is the closest location to Shelbyville. The company has assisted bringing 31 households and 81 people to Noblesville.

“Across Indiana, the average household salary we are moving is $108,000,” said Ledo. “We are bringing a person that is bringing a job making $108,000. So you are pipelining a new job into your community.

“Fifty percent of the time they are bringing another adult with them, a spouse or a significant other. Thirty percent of the time those folks are taking employment with your local employers. And then about 30% of the time they are bringing at least one school-aged child with them that hopefully goes into the school system.”

There is an economic impact bringing these folks here, stated Ledo.

“In the state of Indiana, we’ve moved over 330 households, over 780 people,” said Ledo, “with the average salary at $108,000.”

MakeMyMove would talk with local city and business officials to create a marketing strategy for Shelbyville and then target people out of state to consider relocating to a desirable destination.

No formal contract was agreed upon Monday. The council will take the presentation under advisement.

In other council business Monday:

  • Agreed to move $75,000 to fund the city’s Crime Suppression Unit that works to create a drug free community. This contribution is made annually, according to Mayor Scott Furgeson.
  • Received an update from Melissa O’Connor, Director of the Shelby County Youth Assistance Program on the work it does in Shelby County. The organization, which receives funding from the common council, is currently working with 136 at-risk youths that have been referred to the service.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

One killed, another injured in I-74 single vehicle crash

A fatal crash on Interstate 74 remains under investigation.

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department reports the single vehicle crash happened in the westbound lanes near the 121-mile marker just after 6:30 a.m. today. 

No details on the cause of the crash or names of those involved have been released. A passenger in the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver was transported to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greenfield Police still looking for Diamond Davis

The Greenfield Police Department is continuing its search for a missing teen.

Diamond D. Davis was reported earlier this month by her guardian as an endangered runaway. Her guardian reported that Davis did not return home from school on Fe. 7 and that she has been unable to make contact with her. Davis is in possession of a cell phone, but the guardian stated at that time that each call went straight to voicemail. 

Davis attends Greenfield-Central High School which is the last place she has been reported to have been seen. 

Davis' guardian was unable to provide a clothing description or who she could possibly be in company with.

Davis is reported to have multi-colored hair and a noticeable scar on her left eye.  She is five feet, seven inches tall and 130 pounds. She is reported missing from 1079 King Maple Dr. 

If you have any information about where Davis may be located, please call the Hancock County 911 Center at 317-477-4400 or submit a tip using Tip411. You can send a text to 847411 and start your message with GPDTIP, submit a tip through the app or online through our website.

All tips are completely anonymous.

 

Waldron Elementary among local schools recognized for high literacy scores

The Indiana Department of Education celebrated local schools in Senate District 42 that achieved the state's 95% literacy goal in 2023 at the Statehouse Thursday, Feb. 15, said State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg).

The literacy goal is shared by the state, school corporations and individual schools to ensure that at least 95% of Indiana students pass IREAD-3 by 2027.

At least 95% of students at the following schools in Senate District 42 passed the IREAD-3 in 2023.

  • Batesville Intermediate School, Batesville Community School Corporation
  • Graham Creek Elementary School, Jennings County School Corporation
  • Mays Community Academy
  • North Decatur Elementary School, Decatur County Community Schools
  • Saint Gabriel Catholic School in Connersville, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • Saint Louis School in Batesville, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • Saint Mary School in Greensburg, Archdiocese of Indianapolis
  • Waldron Elementary School, Shelby Eastern Schools

"Reading is one of the most important foundational skills our students learn to set themselves up for successful academic and professional futures," Leising said. "I am pleased to see schools in Indiana take the necessary steps to support our students and receive successful outcomes. Congratulations to these seven local schools for achieving our 95% literacy goal."

Each year, about 1 in 5 Indiana students end third grade without basic reading skills, as measured by Indiana's IREAD assessment. This is why Senate Republicans are prioritizing Senate Bill 1, which Leising co-authored, this legislative session. SB 1 would create a comprehensive plan to help students achieve reading proficiency by addressing the issues of curriculum, assessment, remediation and retention.

"To better prepare our children with the skills they need to succeed, the state has to work with local schools to equip them with the tools to best educate our students," Leising said. "Senate Bill 1 would do this by comprehensively working to better prepare and educate our students and support those who are at risk of falling behind their peers."

The Indiana General Assembly has until March 14 to complete legislative business during the 2024 legislative session. Committee hearings, legislative calendars, agendas, vote tallies and proposed legislation can be viewed online by visiting iga.in.gov.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

INDOT prepared for winter weather, impacts to evening commutes possible

The Indiana Department of Transportation is prepared for a quick burst of snow expected to move across much of Indiana starting late Friday morning and afternoon through the evening hours.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued winter weather advisories for most counties from the Lafayette area to the Ohio River.

NWS is calling for a range of one-to-four inches of snow across the state, with locally higher amounts possible. Heavier snow is expected along and south of the I-70 corridor.

 

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American Blonde performs Saturday at The Strand

Principal songwriter/guitarist Nata and drummer Tinka Morris of American Blonde paid a visit to The Morning Show to preview their Saturday show at The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville.

 

 

American Blonde's A Man Like You

 

 

General admission and premium seating are available.

General admission - $25 - First come, first served seating. We cannot guarantee groups will be able to sit together.

Premium seating - $35 - Reserved seating in the first 3-5 rows. Seats will have the name of the person who purchases the tickets on each seat. Groups are guaranteed to sit together.

Tickets will available the day of the event at the door in addition to being available online and at Shelbyville Paint, Flooring & More.

 

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

 

 

Residents voice concerns over Dollar General Market proposal along McKay Road

Residents on the city’s growing southeast side expressed their displeasure with a proposed Dollar General Market coming to a track of land near the McKay Road and Progress Parkway intersection.

Second Circle Investments, LLC, wants to construct a Dollar General Market just south of the Twin Lakes subdivision (photo) but needs a special exception variance because the property is zoned Business Neighborhood (BN), which requires structures to be less than 10,000 square feet.

The Dollar General Market proposal is 10,640 square feet.

Briane House, an attorney with the Greenfield law firm Pritzke & Davis, presented the special variance request Tuesday to the City of Shelbyville’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). House reiterated to the crowd in attendance that the property, which was zoned BN nearly two decades ago as part of the original Twin Lakes planned unit development project, would not even need a public hearing like Tuesday’s if the building, like traditional Dollar General stores, was under 10,000 square feet.

Dollar General Markets require larger buildings to house refrigerator coolers.

“Dollar General Market compared to Dollar General offers a different product mix including produce, coolers with frozen foods, refrigerated foods, and meats to give it more a feel of a grocery store rather than a Dollar General convenience store which is cleaning supplies and laundry supplies and things like that,” said House.

The objections from various residents in the area included traffic patterns associated with this type of store, public safety, landscape requirements and the footprint the store will have on the residential area.

There are two Dollar General stores already located in Shelbyville at 315 E. Broadway and 951 Miller Avenue.

An approval of the special variance request is only the first step in the process to start building. Once the variance is approved, Second Circle Investments must provide a detailed site plan that will go through the city’s Technical Review Committee where it will be thoroughly scrutinized by different departments, including emergency services.

The next step would then be a public hearing before the Plan Commission. A favorable recommendation would then be needed for approval by the Shelbyville Common Council.

The Board of Zoning Appeals started listing restrictions that would need to be in place before the variance could be approved. City Plan Director Adam Rude did not have enough information at hand to say what restrictions could legally be attached.

Therefore, the BZA voted to continue the variance discussion to its March meeting.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Parks department working to fix lighting issues at Blue River Memorial Park

The Shelbyville Parks and Recreation Department is talking with Duke Energy to deal with lighting issues at Blue River Memorial Park.

“There are so many (lights) out and it’s an issue now,” said Parks Department Director Trisha Tackett at Wednesday’s parks board meeting.

A deal with Duke Energy also could include lighting issues along Lee Boulevard leading to Blue River Memorial Park.

The city’s largest park includes soccer and softball fields, a cross country course, splash pad, playground and large shelter house. It also includes the parks department’s newest amenity — pickleball courts (photo).

Shade structures at the courts will soon be installed, according to Tackett. She expects to have a public ribbon-cutting ceremony once the facility is completed.

Registration for pickleball leagues has been steady since it’s announcement with limited spots still available. There will be a pickleball tournament at the facility in late June.

Other upcoming parks department events include:

  • Easter Egg Hunt March 30 at Kennedy Park
  • Total solar eclipse viewing April 8 at Blue River Memorial Park
  • Community Garage Sale May 4 at the parks department gymnasium
  • Highland Games May 18 at the Shelby County Fairgrounds 

Registration continues for adult and youth softball leagues. Adult softball leagues start in April.

The parks department is planning to renovate the concession stand at Sunrise Park.

“The concession stand is old and dated and doesn’t accommodate our needs,” said Tackett.

Water structures at the splash pad will get painted prior to opening. The parks department also is looking to replace non-working water units.

There are still summer employment opportunities available. For more information on jobs, programs or leagues, contact a parks department representative at 317-392-5128.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

Southwestern's technology director abruptly resigns

Southwestern Consolidated Schools Technology Director Stacy Baute resigned at Monday’s school board meeting — effective immediately.

Baute expressed her dissatisfaction with recently-approved administrative payroll increases that did not include her.

The Southwestern graduate and 10-year educator in the school system who assumed the technology director’s role prior to the start of the 2022-2023 school year stated she was told her salary was comparable to other technology directors in the area.

Baute did her own research. 

The average salary of the other three technology directors in Shelby County school systems is $98,100. In addition, the Shelbyville and Shelby Eastern school systems each employ eight people in their technology departments. Northwestern Consolidated Schools (Triton Central) employ four people in their technology department.

Baute’s research also determined that the Flat Rock-Hawcreek school district (Hauser) has five technology department employees with the director making $82,000 per year. The Edinburgh school system has three technology department employees with the director earning $81,000 per year.

Baute’s salary at Southwestern is $70,000 and she has one technology coach available to her when that person, who is a full-time employee in a different position with the school system, is available.

Baute went on to state she did not seek the position but was suggested for the role after an initial interview process led to a job offer that was turned down. Leaving the classroom was a difficult decision for her but she accepted the challenge and immersed herself in her new role.

“I’m not saying the raises approved in the last six months we’re not needed. I’m also not saying I deserve thousands of dollars like the rest of the administration received,” said Baute. “I feel like being the only administrator that did not receive any kind of raise was a slap in the face. The salaries don’t match which felt like a bigger slap in the face and somewhat personal. I hope you decide to do your own research when you look for the corporation’s next technology director.

“Over my 11-and-a-half years as an employee of the corporation, I have been a teacher, soccer clock keeper, basketball coach, Spell Bowl coach, Science Fair coordinator, sixth grade sponsor, technology coach, technology director in addition to being a mentor, role model, advocate and supporter for all students. I will continue to support the students but not as an employee of this district. My resignation is effective immediately. I have loved every opportunity I’ve had here at Southwestern but I cannot work for a school that is willing to treat somebody like this.”

Former superintendent Josh Edwards then appeared before the board asking for an explanation why he was not being allowed to continue as a volunteer coach with the youth wrestling program he founded when he was principal of Southwestern Elementary School. 

Edwards was placed on administrative leave by the school board in November. Edwards then tendered his resignation before the end of the 2023 semester. 

Edwards, who has a child in the school system, stated the wrestling coach followed the chain of command when requesting Edwards be allowed to be a volunteer coach with the after school hours club but was told no without any explanation.

Edwards asked if the board knew of the decision and, if so, was seeking an answer as to why he could not continue working with the program.

School board president Derrek Tennell stated he could not comment publicly on the personnel matter and because there was not a board meeting agenda item on the issue, there was not a requirement for the board to comment. Interim superintendent Walter Bourke was not familiar with the club program but stated he would look into the situation and would inform Edwards directly. 

The non response from the board and Bourke left several people in the crowd frustrated.

Prior to Baute’s resignation, a man whose name was not captured on the video coverage of the school board meeting spoke on the search process for a new superintendent and a recent boys basketball game at the school that ended early following several technical fouls.

The school board has announced there is an electronic survey available at the school system’s website to allow parents to provide input on the corporation and the skills and traits the next superintendent should possess. The request at Monday’s meeting was for the survey results be made public once completed to assist with transparency in the hiring process.

The basketball game in reference was a Feb. 8 meeting between Morristown and Southwestern. Both coaches were assessed technical fouls in the game and three technical fouls and a flagrant foul were called on four Southwestern players.

Despite several more technical foul free throws left to be attempted by Morristown, the referees ended the game with two seconds left on the clock and Morristown was declared the winner, 55-48.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

Greenfield Police report missing teen found

Greenfield Police reported Thursday morning that Audrey E. Rowe had been located.

 

Original release

Rowe was reported as an Endangered Runaway. She was last seen leaving her residence at 402 Pratt Street on Monday at approximately 3 p.m. Audrey was last seen wearing a black hoodie, jeans, and black converse shoes. 

Pratt is 5'0", 140 pounds. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Audrey, please contact the Hancock County 911 Center immediately at the non-emergency number 317- 477-4400.  

Edinburgh Police Department's K9 Xta to get donation of body armor

Edinburgh Police Department’s K9 Xta will receive a bullet and stab protective vest thanks to a charitable donation from non-profit organization Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.

K9 Xta’s vest is sponsored by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. and will be embroidered with the sentiment “This gift of protection provided by Vested Interest in K9s, Inc.” Delivery is expected within eight to ten weeks.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., established in 2009, is a 501(c)(3) charity whose mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests and other assistance to dogs of law enforcement and related agencies throughout the United States. This potentially lifesaving body armor for four-legged K9 officers is U.S. made, custom fitted, and NIJ certified.

Since its inception, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided over 5,472 vests to K9s in all 50 states at a value of $6.9 million, made possible by both private and corporate donations.

The program is open to U.S. dogs that are at least 20 months old and actively employed and certified with law enforcement or related agencies. K9s with expired vests are also eligible to participate. There are an estimated 30,000 law enforcement K9s throughout the United States.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. accepts tax-deductible contributions in any amount, while a single donation of $985 will sponsor one vest. Each vest has a value of $1,800, weighs an average of 4-5 lbs., and comes with a five-year warranty.

For more information, or to learn about volunteer opportunities, please call 508-824-6978.

Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provides information, lists events, and accepts donations at www.vik9s.org, or you may mail your contribution to P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

Greenfield PD asks for public's help to find runaway

Greenfield Police are looking for Audrey E. Rowe

Rowe is being reported as an Endangered Runaway. She was last seen leaving her residence at 402 Pratt Street on Monday at approximately 3 p.m. Audrey was last seen wearing a black hoodie, jeans, and black converse shoes. 

Pratt is 5'0", 140 pounds. She has blonde hair and hazel eyes.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Audrey, please contact the Hancock County 911 Center immediately at the non-emergency number 317- 477-4400.  

Zink Distributing Company acquires Greenfield Beverage

Zink Distributing Company, LLC, headquartered in Indianapolis, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Greenfield Beverage Company in Greenfield, Indiana. The purchase is anticipated to close on February 16, 2024, pending supplier approvals.

“We are extremely pleased to grow our family business as we acquire additional territory in the Anheuser-Busch network from a fellow distributor we highly respect,” said Jim Zink, Jr., president of Zink Distributing Company. “We are excited to serve our new customers and are confident they will continue to receive excellent service and high-quality products.”

Since opening in 2001, Zink Distributing has grown to become the largest Anheuser-Busch distributor in Indiana. The company distributes more than 600 brands including Budweiser, Bud Light, Busch Light, Michelob Ultra, Stella Artois and Goose Island. Zink Distributing also supplies local, regional and national craft beer brands, as well as wine and some non-alcoholic beverages.

Nearly 180 employees are currently employed by Zink Distributing. Zink Distributing anticipates hiring many Greenfield Beverage employees and the Greenfield operation will move to the Zink Distributing headquarters in Indianapolis.

“We are proud of the company we’ve built in Greenfield, and thankful for the opportunity to serve our friends and neighbors in our backyard for more than 60 years,” said Tom Duffy, president, Greenfield Beverage. “I’m thrilled Zink Distributing, a family-owned business with similar values and a proven track record of operating a successful beer company, will continue to meet the needs of our customers.” 

The acquisition of Greenfield Beverage expands Zink Distributing’s footprint to include Hancock, Rush and Fayette counties. Zink Distributing will continue to serve the counties of Marion, Hendricks, Morgan, Vigo, Montgomery, Parke, Putnam, Vermillion, Clay, Sullivan, Greene as well as northern Johnson and Owen counties. 

Actively involved in the community, Zink Distributing supports numerous Indiana charities including St. Mary’s Child Center, Riley Hospital for Children and Multiple Sclerosis Society. Zink Distributing will examine opportunities to provide charitable support to additional organizations in the Greenfield Beverage service area.

Zink Distributing was founded by Jim Zink, Jr.’s father Jim Zink, Sr. who has more than 50 years experience in the beer industry and remains active in the company as chairman. Jim Jr.’s brother, Chris Zink is vice president of sales and their sister, Cassandra Zink-Highbaugh, also works in the family business.  

Shelby County Chamber appoints new Executive Director

The Shelby County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the promotion of Courtney Chapella to the position of Executive Director. 

Chapella has served the chamber for over 13 years, most recently in the role of Director of Member Relations and Accounting. She is excited to continue her great work at the chamber in this new position.
Chapella is a long-time Shelby County resident, graduating from Morristown High School. She received her degree in Sports Marketing from the University of Indianapolis. Chapella began working at the Shelby County Chamber in 2010 as an Executive Assistant. Throughout her 13 years, Chapella has worked every position at the Chamber, including creating new positions to reflect her work.
As the Executive Director, Chapella will oversee all aspects of the Shelby County Chamber's operations, including membership growth and community engagement. With a proven track record of fostering strong relationships with members, stakeholders, and the community, Chapella is well-equipped to lead the chamber into its next phase of growth and success.
"We are thrilled to appoint Courtney as our new Executive Director," said Joshua Georgen, Chamber Board of Directors President. "Throughout her time with the Chamber, she has consistently demonstrated a deep commitment to our members and a strong vision for the Chamber's future. We are confident that she will excel in this new role and lead the Chamber to even greater success."
In her new capacity, Courtney will work closely with the Board of Directors, staff, members, and community partners to advance the Chamber's mission of promoting economic growth, advocating for business interests, and enhancing the quality of life in Shelby County.
"I am deeply honored and excited to take on the role of Executive Director at the Shelby County Chamber," said Chapella. "I am committed to building on the strong foundation established by my predecessors and working collaboratively with our members and stakeholders to drive positive change and growth in our community.” 
Courtney can be reached at the chamber at 317-398-6647 or by email at courtneychapella@shelbychamber.net. 

Shelbyville man charged with attempted murder

An arrest has been made related to a December shooting in Shelbyville.

Alexander Russell, 23, of Shelbyville, was arrested on an attempted murder charge. A search warrant was executed Friday by the Shelbyville Police Department SWAT team and the detectives working the case. Russell was taken into custody and booked into the Shelby County Jail.

During the early morning hours on December 29,, a 16-year-old juvenile was walking home when a vehicle approached him.  Shots were fired from the vehicle striking the juvenile several times.   The vehicle left the scene and the juvenile was able to get help.

The Shelbyville Police Department wants to thank everyone who has been a part of this case to this point.  It was due to the hard work and dedication to their professions that a case like this could result in the arrest of a suspect. 

 

Skunk rabies circulating in southern Indiana

The Indiana Department of Health urges residents to vaccinate their pets against rabies and to keep a safe distance from wildlife after skunk rabies was detected in two southern Indiana counties.

Skunk rabies is normally present in northern Kentucky, but these are the first cases confirmed in Indiana since 2004. No human infections are suspected.

“When rabies is spreading among skunks, it can increase the risk for both animals and people,” said Indiana State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jen Brown. “Now is the time to make sure that your pets are up to date on their rabies vaccinations.”

Hoosiers can reduce the risk of rabies in people and animals by doing the following:

  • Vaccinate dogs, cats and ferrets for rabies
  • Keep cats and ferrets indoors and dogs on a leash or under direct supervision
  • Leave stray animals and wildlife alone
  • Spay or neuter your pets to help reduce the number of stray animals in the community
  • Contact animal control or law enforcement to remove stray animals from your neighborhood

The rabid skunks were from Clark and Washington counties. The Indiana Department of Health is working with partners to determine whether other southern Indiana counties are affected. Hoosiers can help by reporting sick or dead skunks to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Fish & Wildlife Health Program at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife. Members of the public should not approach or touch skunks or any other wild animals, even those that appear healthy.

Rabies is a viral infection that is primarily spread in saliva through the bite of an infected animal. The virus isn’t spread through blood, urine, feces or skunk spray. In the United States, the virus is typically found in wild animals such as bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes, but unvaccinated pets and livestock can also become infected. While the detection of skunk rabies in south central Indiana is new, rabies has always been present in bats throughout the state.

It’s not always possible to tell if an animal has rabies just by looking at it. The only way to know for sure is to have it tested. Animals with rabies typically act strangely; some may be aggressive and try to bite people or other animals, while others may act shy or be dull and unresponsive. Some rabid animals drool more than normal (“foaming at the mouth”), but this isn’t always the case.

Untreated rabies infection in people is almost always fatal, but it can be prevented with prompt treatment after a bite. If you believe that you have been exposed to rabies, immediately contact your healthcare provider. If you believe that a pet or livestock animal has been exposed to rabies, immediately contact your veterinarian.

Gov. Holcomb directs Indiana National Guard to support Texas border security mission

Governor Eric J. Holcomb announced today that effective immediately he is deploying the Indiana National Guard to support the ongoing border security mission in Texas.

Gov. Holcomb joined 13 other governors at the U.S. – Mexico border in Texas earlier this week to receive a detailed briefing from the front lines.

“Federal negligence enforcing immigration law and the failure to secure our country’s border jeopardizes national and economic security, affecting every state, including Indiana,” Gov. Holcomb said.  “We’ve worked too hard in Indiana attacking the drug epidemic for more Hoosier lives to be put at risk by a constant supply of killer drugs spilled over an open U.S. border. The only way to resolve this is to stop the historically high flow of illegal immigrants crossing the border.”

Following the recent direct request from Governor Greg Abbott, Gov. Holcomb is sending 50 Hoosier Guardsmen to the southern border to support the Texas National Guard on their security mission. These soldiers will begin mobilizing for the mission immediately and will arrive in Texas in mid-March. The soldiers being deployed will spend one week at Camp Atterbury for training on the operations of the mission and will then deploy to Texas for ten months.

“Whatever the mission – whether it’s supporting a Hoosier community in the face of natural disaster, standing with our allies or against our adversaries overseas, or protecting the border – the soldiers and airmen of the Indiana National Guard are uniquely trained, equipped and capable of mobilizing whenever and wherever we’re called,” said Major General Dale Lyles, the adjutant general of the Indiana National Guard. “We stand ready to support the Texas National Guard in securing the southern border.”

The Indiana National Guard has a long history of supporting the mission to secure the southern border. From October of 2020 to October 2023, 300 Indiana Guardsmen and women have served various federal missions at the southern border.

The Indiana National Guard is comprised of thousands of soldiers and airmen, Army National Guard armories and units across the state, training facilities at Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Center and Air National Guard wings in Fort Wayne and Terre Haute.

The Shelby County Post is a digital newspaper producing news, sports, obituaries and more without a pay wall or subscription needed. Get the most recent Shelby County Post headlines delivered to your email by visiting shelbycountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.

 

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