Local News

Registration ongoing for Future Tiger Athletics baseball leagues

Future Tiger Athletics will continue registration until March 12 for 2021 T-ball, coach pitch, and kid pitch leagues.

 

Registration fee is $50 per child ages 3-8. If there are enough interested participants, there will be a league for 9- and 10-year-olds.

 

Kids ages 3-5 will play T-ball. Kid pitch and coach pitch leagues will be for boys and girls ages 6-8.

Registration fee is due April 3. Skills evaluation day for those ages 6-10 is 1 to 3 p.m. on April 3. If weather postpones the evaluation day, it will be April 10.

 

Evaluations will be held at the ball fields behind the main concession stand on the Triton Central campus in Fairland.

 

There will be a mandatory coaches meeting for all FTA baseball coaches at 3 p.m. on April 18 in the Triton Central High School cafeteria. Teams will be drafted at this time.

 

Each league participant will receive a T-shirt, socks and hat.

 

Teams will play eight regular season games followed by a single elimination tournament. The leagues will run from May 15 through June 12.

 

For more information, contact Heather Krueger at heather.fta.baseball@gmail.com or call 317-767-1209.

Hoosiers age 50 and older now eligible for Covid-19 vaccine

The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 50 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 412,000 Hoosiers.

 

Due to limited vaccine supplies nationally, Indiana has prioritized healthcare workers, first responders and those who are most vulnerable in its vaccine rollout. Individuals age 50 and older account for just over 35 percent of the state’s population but represent 80 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and 98 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

 

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

 

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state. Hoosiers are encouraged to take advantage of one of three mass vaccination clinics scheduled at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg and the University of Notre Dame this month.

 

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of nearly 390 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Meijer and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

 

As of Wednesday, 1,031,266 individuals have received a first dose of vaccine in Indiana and 608,638 are fully vaccinated.

Fieldhouse renovations enhance Triton Central's 'small college campus' vision

Bryan Graham opened his cell phone and pulled up Triton Central’s master schedule of events. He kept scrolling and scrolling to make his point about how busy the school facilities are on a daily basis.

 

As soon as the renovations to the fieldhouse are complete, that schedule will get even busier.

“Some days there are 16 different events going on. Here are 13 different things on a Thursday,” said Graham, Triton Central High School’s athletic director and girls basketball coach.

 

Superintendent Chris Hoke and Graham showed off the updates Thursday afternoon that only strengthen Triton Central’s belief that it provides one of the best educational opportunities in the state.

 

All three basketball courts in the fieldhouse have new flooring that was expected to be painted this week.

 

A new weight room runs parallel to court No. 1. It is ready for equipment set up.

 

A new second level within the facility has a classroom area overlooking the courts, an office and a new wrestling room that will bring the high school and middle school wrestlers back into the high school.

 

More restrooms, an actual concession stand, a hitting cage and portable tennis nets make the fieldhouse multi-functional for TC’s athletes and the thousands of athletes and their families that visit Fairland for events.

 

Jeff Brown photos

Triton Central's renovation to its fieldhouse is nearly complete. A new first floor weight room runs parallel to the basketball courts (top photo). A second floor viewing area/classroom overlooks the basketball courts. And the new hardwood basketball surface is top of the line, according to TC athletic director and girls basketball coach Bryan Graham.

 

The price tag for the renovation is approximately $3.1 million, according to Hoke, who estimated the total fieldhouse investment to be about $5 million.

 

That is a sizable price tag for a Class 2A school surrounded by farm fields.

 

“It’s a marketing and branding effort,” said Hoke. “It’s the largest billboard we own. We are a business. We have a product. It’s an educational experience. Our customers are kids and their families.

 

“They can buy that any place in the state of Indiana. We better give them a reason to choose us. That comes down to a lot of things. It’s culture. The size of the school is critical to that. It’s programming. What do you offer? When we talk about it from a business standpoint, this is some of the best advertising and marketing we can put out there.”

 

Based on the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s most recent sports classifications, Triton Central is firmly lodged in the upper fourth of the Class 2A field. With 466 students counted for the two-year classification cycle, TC is the 25th largest school in 2A with football, 20th in volleyball and girls basketball and 19th in boys basketball.

 

South Vermillion has the largest enrollment (544 students) in 2A football; Eastern (Greentown) (522) in volleyball and girls basketball; and Boone Grove (520) in boys basketball.

 

So Triton Central is in no danger of bumping up to Class 3A in the next classification cycle.

 

Hoke credits good planning from the school board more than a decade ago for creating the positive financial situation the school is currently in which allows it to take on large infrastructure projects.

 

A strategic planning session in 2018 then created a vision for the school system.

 

“The vision the board articulates really clearly is we want to be the largest 2A school in Indiana with small college facilities,” said Hoke. “Everything we’ve done has been informed by that vision.

 

“We don’t want to grow outside of a 2A school because what makes us unique is a small school environment. We know our kids and our kids know us. We don’t want to lose who we are but we know if we are smart financially we can do the facilities so this thing looks like … well you just don’t see this in most 2A schools. We can do that and be financially responsible.”

 

Over the last five years, the school system has opened a fieldhouse, upgraded that fieldhouse, added artificial turf to the football stadium, replaced the running track, added a golf complex, improved the bus garage and completed building work on the elementary and middle schools.

 

“We dropped our tax levy this year,” said Hoke. “We did this project (in the fieldhouse) and cut our tax levy. It really comes down to just good planning and I can’t take credit for all that.

“Boards in years past layered their debt service schedule here in a way that as one rolls off we are able to replace it dollar for dollar and do this in an ideally levy neutral way. Our tax rate and tax levy went down for 2021 on the back end of this project because of good planning that was done 15 years ago.”

 

The Triton Central school district is one-stop shopping for families. The elementary, middle school and high school are all located on one campus. That allows three schools to share facilities when needed.

 

“The No. 1 thing is Triton Central is such a family community atmosphere,” said Graham, who has been with the school system for over two decades now. “This is a community center. It was never about making money but if it serves that purpose while at the same time serving the kids, you are going to take advantage of that. I think we use our resources very well.”

 

Triton Central has hosted basketball, volleyball and wrestling competitions in the fieldhouse with overflow opportunities on courts at all three schools.

 

“(The fieldhouse) can be as busy as we want it to be,” said Graham. “I have tons of emails and messages right now wanting to book.”

 

Triton Central is firmly a 2A school in athletics. The number of students based on the last classification cycle puts Triton Central as the 220th largest school in the state.

 

Start looking at facilities, though, and Triton Central climbs much higher in terms of educational and athletic experiences.

 

“It’s the new standard,” said Graham. “I’ve never seen anything like it. And, quite honestly, I don’t think you have to put the ‘2’ in front of the ‘A.’

 

“If you didn’t know Triton Central and I started taking pictures and sending them to you, you wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, that’s a good 2A facility.’ It’s just a really good facility.”

Councilman questions assisting Duke Energy with new training facility

The Shelbyville Common Council approved a resolution Monday setting up and economic revitalization area to assist Duke Energy create a local training facility.

 

The establishment of the economic revitalization area allows Duke Energy to apply for a tax abatement to help construct the new structure.

 

“The next step is an ordinance to get approval of the tax abatement,” said Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun.

 

Duke Energy representatives have met with the council’s tax abatement committee. The request for approval could come before the common council at its next meeting on March 15.

 

Before the abatement is approved, there will be a discussion amongst the council on the worthiness of the abatement.

 

Council member and former mayor Scott Furgeson (R-4th ward) questioned whether Duke Energy has worked well with the city in the past.

 

“I’m not sure Duke Energy has been very receptive to anything that helps the city,” said Furgeson during the council meeting Monday night.

 

Councilman Brian Asher (R-at large) countered that Duke Energy, located at 2910 East State Road 44 in Shelbyville, aided in the recruitment of Greenleaf Foods to Shelbyville in 2019.

 

“I think Scott raises some valid questions to be presented at the next council meeting,” said DeBaun Tuesday afternoon.

 

Duke Energy is looking for a location for a new training facility that will service Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky.

 

Most of the training would be performed indoors, according to Jean Renk of Duke Energy.

 

The facility would potentially bring as many as 300 men and women a year to Shelbyville for training purposes.

 

“It would be coordinated curriculum over multiple days,” said Renk.

 

Shelbyville is one of several sites being considered for the regional training facility.

 

SCUFFY 2021 drive to kickoff Wednesday

The annual Shelby County United Fund Drive will kickoff Wednesday.  Unfortunately, due to the ongoing pandemic, the word breakfast won’t be tied to it.

 

Executive Director Alecia Gross says they will virtually kickoff the 2021 drive Wednesday morning.

 

 

Gross says the annual Giving From the Heart will wait until a little later.

 

 

But outside of that, it’s drive time.

 

 

Drew Little will serve as this year’s drive chair with Ricca Macklin as co-chair.

 

Indiana announces 3 mass vaccination clinics for Covid-19, opens eligibility to Hoosiers age 55 and older

The Indiana Department of Health today announced that it has partnered with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, University of Notre Dame and Ivy Tech Community College to host three mass vaccination clinics to help eligible Hoosiers receive a free COVID-19 vaccine.

 

In addition, effective today, Hoosiers age 55 and older are now eligible to receive a free vaccine.

“Getting tens of thousands of vaccines in arms in a matter of days is a huge undertaking that requires incredible partnerships,” Governor Eric J. Holcomb said. “We are incredibly grateful to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Notre Dame and Ivy Tech for their willingness to meet this challenge head-on to help save Hoosier lives.”

 

The mass vaccination clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received its Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA on Saturday. The vaccine requires only one dose and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials involving nearly 44,000 participants from all races and ethnicities.

 

“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives eligible Hoosiers a safe, effective and convenient way to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “Because it requires just one dose, every shot administered represents a Hoosier who can rest easier, knowing their risk of severe illness from this disease has dropped exponentially.”

 

The Indiana Department of Health has also begun planning for a future mass vaccination clinic in Gary in collaboration with local health officials. Additional mass vaccination sites in other locations will be planned as more vaccine becomes available.

 

All clinics will require advance registration through https://ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. Proof of age and residency will be required. The mass vaccination clinics are listed as sites that eligible Hoosiers can select when making an appointment. No walk-ups will be permitted.

 

Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging, AARP and nearly 70 libraries around the state also can help Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

 

The clinic schedules are as follows:


Indianapolis Motor Speedway
4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis
March 5-7
8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Enter through main gate off 16th Street; participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

 

Ivy Tech Community College
8204 County Road 311, Sellersburg 
March 12-13
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

 

University of Notre Dame
Compton Family Ice Arena
100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame
March 26-27
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

 

Additional dates may be added to each of the above sites depending on demand and vaccine availability.

 

A separate advisory with instructions for media interested in covering the clinics will be issued closer to the events.

 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

Shelby County Drug Free Coalition staging virtual learning series

The COVID-19 pandemic has kept the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition from staging public education events for nearly a year now.

 

The message is still very much necessary according to Lori Springer.

 

So Shelby County Drug Free Coalition will go online and conduct the first of a three-part virtual learning series Tuesday.

 

Titled “Secondhand smoke in casinos and multi-unit housing in the county,” the virtual meeting will feature presentations by Traci Kennedy on nonsmokers’ rights and Khadijah Omar from the American Lung Association.

 

The meeting runs from 10 to 11 a.m.

 

“Most of our work is community education type of work,” said Springer of the Shelby County Drug Free Coalition. “With COVID-19 we are not out in the community as much. So we talked about how we get the message out to the community to educate them on the dangers of tobacco and the dangers of drug abuse.”

 

On April 6 at 10 a.m., the virtual series continues with a meeting to discuss e-cigarettes, vaping and tobacco laws. The guest presenter will be Nick Torres of the American Lung Association.

 

The series finishes on May 4 at 10 a.m. with a meeting on prevention and recovery in Shelby County and surrounding areas. The meeting will be directed by Victoria Harris of ER Counseling. There will be elevator speeches from several local and surrounding area prevention and treatment facilities and programs.

 

For more information on the virtual learning series or to receive the online link to Tuesday’s meeting, contact Lori Springer at scdfc.office@gmail.com.

Missing Super Bowl ring could be in Greensburg

A man from Wisconsin man needs help finding a Super Bowl ring he last saw in Greensburg.

 

It’s been a tough week for Mike Kostelnik and his family. He said he hasn’t slept since Feb. 21, when he lost the Super Bowl ring.

 

It belonged to his father, Ron Kostelnik, a former Green Bay Packer defensive tackle. It’s a family heirloom he wears daily.

 

Now people hoping to help have been reaching out to him on social media. He said he can’t believe the power of the internet.

 

“I’m not proud to be going viral because of an embarrassing situation, but I am very pleased and kind of taken aback by the amount of people who have graciously moved this story forward,” said Kostelnik.

 

Mike has spent the past week mentally retracing his footsteps, starting with his trip to visit his daughter at Indiana University in Bloomington. Then on his way to visit Miami University in Ohio, he stopped at a BP gas station in Greensburg, which is the last moment he remembered seeing the ring.

 

“We ended up going back to Greensburg. It was not at the gas station,” said Kostelnik.

 

Mike’s father wore the ring every day until he died in 1993. He left the ring to Mike, who has worn it every day since. Now that it’s gone, he feels like a piece of him is missing, too.

 

“I got married in that ring. That’s actually my wedding ring,” said Kostelnik.

 

Mike is giving out a $5,000 reward, no questions asked, for its return.

 

“On the other side, it has his uniform number 77 and it has his name on there as well,” said Kostelnik.

 

He has hope the ring will be returned to him where it belongs.

 

“Any type of difficult times I would have faced. It’s nice to reflect back and have that ring close to me,” said Kostelnik.

 

The local police are aware of the situation. If you find the ring and want the reward, you need to contact a representative from the Packer Hall of Fame by calling 715-252-9364.  

Indiana FFA celebrating National FFA Week

Julia Hamblen is making the most of a difficult situation.

 

The 2020 Shelbyville High School graduate accomplished her goal of becoming the Indiana Future Farmers of America State President only to have the normal routines and experiences altered by a worldwide pandemic.

 

“If you would have questioned me 2-3 years ago if I would have done this I would have said absolutely not,” said Hamblen. “This is horrible.”

 

Still, Hamblen opted for a gap year before enrolling at Purdue University to get the experience of FFA leadership and administration.

 

Indiana FFA State President Julia Hamblen

 

“I knew it would be different,” she said. “It’s not how I dreamed of but I am satisfied with what we’ve been able to do. We are a team that no one will forget.”

 

Hamblen is one of seven young men and women running the state chapter from the FFA facility in Trafalgar. She still has approximately five months left on her one-year commitment.

 

This week, Indiana FFA is celebrating 2021 National FFA Week.

 

“Our goal is to share the message,” said Hamblen. “A lot has been done in the past year. We want to celebrate with our members.”

 

On Tuesday, Hamblen stepped foot inside a school for the first time in almost a year when she visited the Seymour FFA chapter. Her senior year was cut short in March when COVID-19 made school learning at Shelbyville virtual.

 

Hamblen graduated and chose the unique opportunity of FFA leadership before starting her own agricultural education track at Purdue.

 

One of her tasks is to increase enrollment in FFA to help students gain knowledge through classroom instruction and hands-on work-based learning.

 

Indiana currently has more than 12,500 FFA members spread over 215 local chapters in 90 of the state’s 92 counties.

 

National FFA Week runs from Feb.20-27 and gives FFA members an opportunity to educate the public about agriculture, according to an Indiana FFA media release. Chapters conduct activities to help others in their schools and communities learn about FFA and agricultural education.

 

Many county fairs and the Indiana State Fair were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19. Hamblen believes the state is on track to see those events, as well as others, resume in 2021.

 

“That’s the goal right now … to sway back to normal,” she said. “We are advertising all our normal programming and we are hoping to have the state convention (in June).”

Registration continues for Shelby County Babe Ruth Baseball

Shelby County Babe Ruth Baseball postponed its 50th anniversary celebration in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

That celebration will happen later this year, according to local president Mark Tackett. More details will be released as the event gets closer.

 

In preparation for what Tackett expects to be a full summer slate of games at Donald L. Johnson Memorial Park, registration is currently open and player evaluations take place Saturday at Shelbyville High School’s auxiliary gym.

 

There are four league age groups within Shelby County Babe Ruth: 4-6, 6-8, 9-10 and 11-13.

Registration cost is $80 per player or a maximum of $240 per family living in the same household.

Player evaluations begin at 8:15 a.m. Saturday for those ages 6-7. The age 8 age group follows at 9:15 a.m. Evaluations continue at 10:15 a.m. for 9s and 10s. The session ends with 11-13s at 11:30 a.m.

 

There is no player evaluation session for the 4-5 age group.

 

Registration can be done online at shelbycountybaberuth.com. The website also contains more information about the organization.

 

Coaches for all leagues are still needed. Volunteers to work concessions and field maintenance also are needed.

For more information, contact Tackett at marktackett@shelbycountybaberuth.com.

 

Shelby Co. seeks funds to help small businesses hit by pandemic; federal $ granted for Pleasant View infrastructure

Shelby County is seeking money to aid small business dealing with the pandemic.

 

Commissioner Chris Ross says they have applied for $250, 000 in funds.

 

 

Ross says that SIRPC will aid in the administration of the funds if they are granted including the application process when the time comes.

 

 

Ross also noted the grant of federal dollars to aid the county in infrastructure and roads for the growth at the Pleasant View site of the I-74 corridor.

 

 

The grant is for $1.46 million.

Lieutenant governor believes local government should have say on local issues

Shelby County farmland is under siege from out-of-state power companies looking to create “solar farms.”

 

An 1,800-acre facility has already been approved for installation in northeastern Shelby County.

 

Southwestern Shelby County is the next target site but there is strong opposition from local residents determined to keep a second local “solar farm” from setting up shop.

 

Indiana lieutenant governor Suzanne Crouch believes the state should allow communities to make their own decisions as to how much “green energy” originates from land inside its borders.

 

“We very much support local decisions being made regarding those kinds of issues,” said Crouch Friday during a visit to Fischer Seeds in Shelbyville. “I’m a former county commissioner and no one knows their community better than local elected officials. So there is a role for them and they are the ones that have their fingers on the pulse of the community. They are the ones that should be making the decisions for what is best for their county. And they can be held accountable to the voters.”

 

Fifty-eight state representatives believe differently. House Bill 1381, which would remove the veto power of county commissioners, was approved last week, 58-38. State representative Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) was one of the 58 votes.

 

The bill next goes in front of the senate.

 

SPower, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, has been identified as the latest power company looking to create a solar facility in Shelby County. A representative has approached several land owners seeking to lease or purchase land. The landowner can then make a decision to be a part of the project or decline to become involved.

 

Money is certainly a factor in the decision. And landowner’s rights are protected to an extent. That makes getting involved a sticky proposition.

 

“It’s almost one of those economic development vs. quality of life issues,” said Crouch. “And what you want is for economic development and quality of life to be able to intersect so it benefits the community the most.”

 

COVID-19

 

As vaccinations mount across the state, COVID-19 statistics are in decline.

 

“When you look at the statistics, and everything is driven by data, almost 93% of Hoosiers that are dying are 60 and above,” said Crouch during her one-on-one interview with the Shelby County Post. “That’s 93% of the deaths. So if you can get that older segment of the population vaccinated, while other people may get sick and be asymptomatic and have other symptoms, the likelihood of them dying is not as great.

 

“So that’s why a couple weeks in January we were at a 17% positivity rate and we are 5% right now. As you are getting that population vaccinated, you are cutting down on those deaths and the hospitals have a chance.”

 

Vaccinations started with first responders and those in the oldest age groups. The age groups eligible for vaccination have been lowering but last week’s winter weather slowed down the process, according to Crouch.

 

One group that has not yet been approved for vaccinations is teachers.

 

“We’re focused on saving lives,” said Crouch. “That’s why we are focusing on those elderly Hoosiers getting vaccinated. Then, as we get those vaccinated, and we feel the data is compelling enough, we will start moving into other groups.

 

“And I can’t tell you how many teachers that have told me and Gov. (Eric) Holcomb that they are so grateful that their parents and grandparents are getting vaccinated because they realize that they are the ones most vulnerable.”

Shelbyville's Robert P. Inlow, M.D., passed away at the age of 90

A renowned doctor from Shelbyville has passed away.

 

Robert P. Inlow, M.D., passed away on February 16.

 

Inlow was born in Shelbyville in 1930 to Norma and Dr. William DePrez Inlow.

 

He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in 1951 and his medical degree in 1956.

IU is also where he met his wife of 70 years, Roberta Graber Inlow.

 

Inlow completed his medical internship at Ohio State University and his residency in surgery at the Mayo Clinic. He was also a Captain in the United States Army.

 

Inlow served and worked at the Inlow Clinic which provided medical services to the greater Shelbyville community for 68 years. The clinic was started in Shelbyville by his father, Dr. William DePrez Inlow, and uncles Herb and Fred in 1923. Bob Inlow joined the clinic in 1963, and served as President until it closed its doors in 1991.  Over the years the clinic employed 40 different doctors and served countless patients in Shelby County.

 

Inlow also continued the tradition of the Mayo Clinic Priestly Society which bestowed the “Inlow Award” annually for top surgical research by a fellow in the surgical training program. Even after his retirement he continued his medical pursuits in the Medical Reserve Corps and CERT in Redondo Beach, California.

 

Due to COVID, only a family memorial will be scheduled at this time.

 

Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville.

 

Interment will be at Forest Hill Cemetery in Shelbyville.

 

 

Lt. Governor Crouch tours Fischer Seeds facility

Fischer Seeds hosted Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch Friday morning to discuss its role in the state’s agriculture industry.

 

“I heard that Fischer Seeds was a unique company for a number of reasons and I wanted to come and see for myself what made them so successful,” said Crouch.

 

Located at 3387 South 375 East in Shelbyville, Fischer Seeds, founded in 1938 by Charles and Dorothy Fischer, is a third generation, family-owned and operated company.

 

“The governor’s office has always been supportive of agriculture and I would see emails that (Lt. Gov. Crouch) is visiting this farm or that farm and seemed like she is always keeping abreast of what the farming community is doing,” said Fischer Seeds vice president Bryan Fischer. “We thought we should have her down here. It was fun just talking about what we do.”

 

 

Fischer Seeds vice president Bryan Fischer (right) talks about company operations with Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch (center) Friday morning at the Fischer Seeds facility in Shelbyville.

 

Fischer Seeds produces food grade corn, food grade soybeans and soybean seeds that are used for a variety of products including snack foods, tortillas and for distillery markets.

 

“What makes them special is their dedication and commitment to quality,” said Crouch. “Agriculture is big business in Indiana. It represents $31 billion dollars of our gross domestic product. We are the fifth largest producer of corn and soy products, and we are the 10th largest farming state. So Fischer Seeds is actually an important part of the story of agriculture here in Indiana because of their commitment and their dedication to really looking at new ways to have better markets for products and to have more value added to their product.”

 

Crouch was given a tour of the facility before sitting down to talk with local media and carrying on further discussion with the Fischer Seeds staff.

 

“They are a well-kept secret that we intend to make better known throughout Indiana because they uphold the values that we hold dear here in Indiana,” said Crouch.

 

Shelbyville BOW gives tentative bid approval for project to alleviate flooding

Seven bids were submitted for a relief sewer project for the City of Shelbyville.  All fell under the engineer's estimate.

 

The project is to construct a relief sewer for the undersized storm sewer main running through the South Central Basin to the Fortune Ditch.  The pipe and detention basin included in the proposed work are specifically designed to reduce the flooding surcharge that happens in short, heavy rain events north of Evans St, and also designed to reduce flooding throughout. 

 

The reduced water in the Fortune Ditch storm sewer main will also allow the City of Shelbyville the ability to add further storm sewer runs in the near future.

 

 

ENGINEER'S ESTIMATES

 $                               1,087,668.00

Morphey Construction

 $                                  994,000.00

Schutte Excavating

 $                                  566,192.75

Rohe Excavated

 $                                  618,136.00

JKES Smith Projects

 $                                  896,854.25

 All Star Paving, Inc

 $                                  696,263.53

 Beaty Construction, Inc.

 $                                  869,992.97

 King's Trucking & Excavation, Inc.

 $                                  875,578.00

 

 

The board awarded the contract to Schutte Excavating - Greensburg.  At this time, it is tentative and subject to a more thorough legal and engineering review. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No RED on state's latest coronavirus map

We aren't out of the woods yet, but Indiana's counties are in better shape when it comes to the pandemic.

 

As of Wednesday's update, Indiana has no counties in the red on the coronavirus map. Eleven counties are now in blue.  That's the best rating on the state's color coded map, meaning the lowest risk of COVID spread.

 

Shelby and all surrounding counties are in yellow at this time.

 

 

Common Council applying for another grant to assist local businesses

A third wave of financial assistance is on the horizon for local businesses.

 

The Shelbyville Common Council approved a resolution Wednesday morning to authorize the submittal of a phase three grant application to the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

 

Shelbyville mayor Tom DeBaun estimates approximately 60 grant applications have been approved locally in the first two phases. The grants deliver funds to local businesses struggling with COVID-19 restrictions.

 

“I think all (local businesses) are struggling. We’ve talked to them. Their attitudes are still good and this will be a welcome shot in the arm,” said DeBaun.

 

Applying for the grants locally will go through the same process, according to DeBaun. He anticipates the funds to be available in April.

 

 

Toray Resin Company received a 10-year tax abatement Wednesday morning from the Shelbyville Common Council. The Shelbyville manufacturing facility has 85 employees.

 

Tax abatement

 

A Shelbyville manufacturing facility was granted a tax abatement Wednesday morning for the installation of new equipment.

 

Toray Resin Company, 821 W. Mausoleum Road, develops plastics for electrical, electronic and appliance products.

 

The company will install new manufacturing equipment totaling nearly $2,000,000.

 

Seven new jobs will be created with projected salaries of approximately $40,000 per position.

Toray Resin currently has 85 employees.

 

Phase one of the installation is expected to be complete by March. Phase two has a tentative completion date of July.

 

The 10-year abatement schedule starts at 100% tax abatement in year one, 90% in year two,  80% in year three, and so on until the completion of the schedule.

 

The tax abatement committee sent a unanimous approval recommendation to the common council for approval Wednesday.

 

Rezoning

 

The council approved at first reading a request to rezone a parcel of property near 1451 McKay Road.

 

The vacant property sits behind an apartment complex on McKay Road, near fire station No. 2, and is zoned R2 (two-family residential).

 

Owned by Christian Investments, LLC, the plan is to rezone the property to RM (multi-family residential) so multi-family apartments may be constructed, according to DeBaun.

 

The property does not currently have access to McKay Road.

 

The project now moves to the Plan Commission for further inquiries.

 

Property development

 

The council approved a resolution to purchase land owned by Flagstone Properties. LLC, to continue the development of the Clearview subdivision.

 

The land is approximately 13 acres and will have 30 lots for purchase.

 

The city will invest $170,000 into the land purchase and infrastructure development. Flagstone will then develop the residential sites.

 

DeBaun believes the city will have its investment returned within four years.

 

Shelby County blanketed by heavy snowfall

A heavy blanket of snow covered all of Shelby County Monday afternoon and evening forcing businesses to close early and keeping area students at home Tuesday for an E-learning day.

 

All four Shelby County school systems remained closed Tuesday with hopes of returning to the classroom Wednesday. That will prove difficult, though, with some county roads yet to be plowed Tuesday morning.

 

“We started out with a truck in every township but there are almost 900 miles of road and you need two passes on each road,” said Shelby County commissioner Kevin Nigh.

 

Trucks were working county roads Monday afternoon but that process was hampered by winds pushing freshly plowed snow back on the roads while snowfall continued well into the night.

 

The call was made to send most of the trucks home. The plan was to have all trucks out working by 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to Nigh.

 

“The trucks had been out all day (Monday) but with the wind blowing they weren’t getting anywhere,” said Nigh, who hoped to have most or all of the county roads cleared before Wednesday morning.

 

City of Shelbyville snow trucks worked diligently into the night Monday to keep major roads passable.

 

 

GIANT fm staff photos

A winter snowstorm dropped more than six inches of snow across Shelby County Monday, making travel dangerous and forcing schools to remain closed Tuesday.

 

With snow drifting, determining an exact amount of snowfall is difficult. Staff at the Shelbyville Municipal Airport estimated 6-7 inches covered the ground with drifts going closer to one foot tall.

 

At the GIANT fm facility on Morristown Road in Shelbyville, snowfall measured between 8-9 inches which included snow that had previously fallen.

 

The Shelbyville Police Department dealt with limited calls overnight as conditions deteriorated.

“We had five or six slide offs … just normal stuff,” said Shelbyville police chief Mark Weidner Tuesday morning. “We assisted several motorists. There was nothing serious overnight.”

 

The police department is fully-staffed Tuesday, according to Weidner, and on patrol in all-wheel drive vehicles.

 

Despite roads being cleared, Weidner asked residents to avoid traveling if possible.

 

“I wish people that didn’t need to get out to stay home and let us do our thing,” said Weidner.

Shelbyville, Northwestern Consolidated among schools adapting to changes to quarantining, contact tracing

As Shelby County schools continue to get more insight from the State Department of Health, local educators continue to refine their plans for students and faculty in the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic. 

 

Superintendents from both Northwestern Consolidated and Shelbyville Central Schools have told Giant FM their plans, which are outlined by the CDC, State Department of Health and the Shelby County Health Department, and comes on the heels of the State Department of Health relaxing quarantine and contract tracing expectations. 

 

One of the biggest changes is quarantining and contact tracing will no longer be mandatory if students and teachers remain at least 3 feet apart and are wearing a mask at all times. State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said quarantining should occur with exposures that will take place at lunch, athletics or extra curricular activities or if students and staff have removed masks.  In addition, schools will receive rapid tests and the state health department will send out more than a million KN95 masks for teachers and 600,000 children's masks and hand sanitizer.

 

Northwestern Consolidated Schools superintendent Chris Hoke welcomes the changes.

 

"The reduction in quarantine time period is helpful in returning students identified as 'close contacts' back to the classroom.  It has been enthusiastically embraced by our parents who want their children in school," Hoke said.  

 

As for the tests, Hoke said staff is educating themselves on the tests. 

 

"Our intent would be to utilize them for staff only if at all.   We are still going about the process of learning what they are, how they would work, what training is necessary and what protocols are needed.   It was not something that we were aware of being considered by the state prior to the announcement.  We were a bit surprised and  there is a lot to understand and unpack before we make a definitive decision," Hoke told Giant FM.

 

Shelbyville Central Schools Superintendent Mary Harper tells Giant FM her district began adhering to the three feet for contact tracing on Feb. 8. 

 

However, the change does not include high risk situations such as athletics, bus, lunch, band, choir, show group or elementary music classes if singing. 

 

"For now, we are allowing staff to come back on day 8 as allowed by the CDC and Indiana State Department of Health," said Harper. 

 

Harper added that Shelbyville will be going to the following guidelines for a shorter quarantine period: 

 

After 7 days of quarantine with a COVID test IF (return to school on day 8):

PCR nasal swab on day 5, 6, or 7 is negative OR Antigen (rapid) test on day 8 is negative Staff returning must provide negative test results. Antigen tests must be CLIA approved.

Individual has never developed symptoms

Individual wears mask correctly at all times upon his/her return

The positive individual and the close contact had to be masked at the time of exposure

 

After 10 days of quarantine without a test IF (return to school on day 11):

Individual has never developed symptoms

Individual wears mask correctly at all times upon their return

Individual may NOT participate in athletics or extra-curricular activities if the activities require them to remove their mask  (IHSAA doc updated 1/26/21). 

The positive individual and the close contact had to be masked at the time of exposure

 

For middle and high school students only, they will be brought back to school in the 11th day, and Harper says students must be separated by at least six feet at lunch and cannot remove their masks during extra-curricular or athletic events and must maintain a distance of 6 feet if all parties are not wearing a mask . 

 

In addition, Harper tells Giant FM, corporation nurse Michelle Herbert, is now overseeing the training on how to administer Covid tests, as well as developing a district protocol on when they will be used. 

 

"Once health clinic staff members have been trained, we will begin administering the antigen tests to staff. At this time, we are not ready to administer the BinaxNow Cards to students," Harper said. 

GIANT fm hires veteran journalist

GIANT fm, with stations in Shelbyville, Greenfield and Rochester, has hired Jeff Brown to serve as news editor for its online news presence, including the Shelby County Post.

 

Brown, a former managing editor and sports editor for The Shelbyville News, will provide news and sports coverage for the GIANT fm brands.

 

“I am honored to join the GIANT fm staff and continue to produce quality journalism for local readers,” said Brown. “The local radio station has a distinguished history providing news for all of Shelby County and I look forward to being a part of this team.”

 

With over 20 years of local journalism experience, Brown provides GIANT fm with a strong writing presence familiar with the local issues affecting Shelby County residents.

 

"It's rare to get the opportunity to add a quality reporter with the background, knowledge and ability of a Jeff Brown. GIANT fm is excited to have Jeff join our staff and advance our news gathering operations to better serve our readers and listeners,” said Johnny McCrory, GIANT fm news and sports director.

 

A 1987 graduate of Shelbyville High School, the Shelbyville native is married to Stacy Brown. The couple have two daughters: Sydney, age 13, and Avery, age 7.

 

 

Shelby Co. remains Orange on state's Covid map; only one Red, and now a Blue county

On the COVID map most of Indiana's counties are still in the orange and yellow, but Dr. Kristina Box, state health commissioner, said on Wednesday that Switzerland County is now the only county in Indiana that's red.

 

She said Indiana even has a county in blue now, Starke County.

 

Other area counties show Rush and Marion in yellow while Shelby and its other border counties – Decatur, Bartholomew, Hancock and Johnson remain orange.

 

One month ago, 73 of Indiana's 92 counties were in the red.

Who's next in the Indiana vaccine line

Indiana isn't expanding COVID vaccine eligibility yet, but health officials have announced who's next in line.

 

The health department had already said people 60 and up will be next -- the current cutoff is 65, except for health care workers, first responders and nursing home residents.  Chief medical officer Lindsay Weaver says the next expansion after that will cover two groups: people 50 and up, and people younger than that with one of six specific conditions putting them at risk.

 

 

For now, 60-year-olds are still waiting their turn, and Health Commissioners Dr. Kris Box says it'll be at least another week. She says the state is watching its inventory of vaccine and the expected weekly shipment of 100-thousand doses to make sure nearly a half-million Hoosiers who have already received their first dose will have their second available.

 

Weaver says while other ailments, including coronary artery disease and C-O-P-D, are also risk factors, lowering the age threshold to 50 will reach four out of five of those patients. Governor Holcomb says it'll also encompass 98-percent of Indiana's deaths.

 

Box says the Johnson and Johnson vaccine awaiting F-D-A approval has the potential to be the "workhorse" of the COVID fight. Not only would a third vaccine increase the supply, but the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires one dose instead of two. Box says that'll help with harder-to-reach populations for whom getting them in for a second appointment may be challenging.

 

At 85-percent, the new vaccine is less effective than the 95-percent rate of the already-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but Weaver says that's still an excellent performance.

 

 

Patients won't be able to choose which vaccine they receive.

 

Box says Indiana has the capacity to deliver four times the vaccinations it's administering now, once there are doses available to give.

 

New Covid guidelines as schools resume full-time classrooms

With students back to the classroom, they will do so with relaxed quarantine guidelines, more personal protective equipment on the way and rapid tests available on campuses. 

 

The moves come on the heels of state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announcing the state will be sending BinaxNOW Covid-19 antigen test cards for testing teachers and students who exhibit symptoms. 

 

"If the student or teacher tests positive, the school will know immediately, and this will allow a school to move quickly to isolate the positive individual and reduce the spread of COVID," Box said during last week's announcement, adding each school will get details on how to use the test. 

 

One of the biggest changes is quarantining and contact tracing will no longer be mandatory if students and teachers remain at least 3 feet apart and are wearing a mask at all times. Box said quarantining should occur with exposures that will take place at lunch, athletics or extra curricular activities or if students and staff have removed masks. 

 

Shelbyville Central Schools is one district that will be implementing the new guidelines, according to superintendent Mary Harper. 

 

Harper told Giant FM that her district will begin to use the three feet for contact tracing.

 

"This does not include high risk situations like bus, lunch, athletics, band, choir, show group, cheerleading, classes where students are not forward facing or any time parties are not wearing masks. In these situations, we are required to utilize the 6 feet for contact tracing," Harper said.

 

Harper said Shelbyville Central Schools has to  make sure proper protocols are in place to monitor the safe return of staff and students.

 

"Several driving factors need to be instituted to ensure proper oversight for the shorter quarantine periods. For students participating in athletics, band, choir or other extra-curricular activities, students will need to wear masks at all times if they are returning early. In addition, the students must be able to maintain the six feet of social distancing at all times while observing practicing or participating. If these requirements cannot be met outside of the classroom setting, the students must complete the entire 14 day quarantine period," Harper said. 

 

In addition, schools will receive rapid tests and the state health department will send out more than a million KN95 masks for teachers and 600,000 children's masks and hand sanitizer.

 

Harper said Shelbyville Central Schools has asked for KN95 masks for staff, additional masks for students and the tests. 

 

"We will be accepting the BinaxNow Cards. Prior to using the tests, we will establish the proper policies and protocols and clearly communicate when and how they will be used. As we finalize the protocols on the shorter quarantine periods and BinaxNow Cards, we will communicate to our stakeholders," Harper said.

 

The ongoing pandemic has taken a toll on enrollment at Shelbyville Central Schools, according to Harper. 

 

"We are down about 125 students from last year. Some parents opted to  home school or participate in another virtual option. Others decided to wait a year to enroll their student in preschool or kindergarten. We have been able to maintain our enrollment this school year and are hopeful to have some of the students that left us back," Harper said. 

 

Shelby Eastern Schools superintendent Dr. Todd Hitchcock tells Giant FM his district is also in favor of the new quarantine guidelines. 

 

"We hope it limits the number of healthy students we have to keep away from school," he said. 

 

Hitchcock notes the district is still discussing the pros and cons of accepting the tests.

"We are strongly considering giving those back to the health department for them to use as they see fit," Hitchcock told Giant FM. 

 

Woman recounts her encounter with a "grandson arrested" scammer

Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen last week released information that his office had received two reports of "grandson arrested" scams.

 

In the latest, a lady in her 80's was called and told that her grandson had an accident and was being arrested for having cocaine. The caller knew his name, occupation, and where he lives (which is out of state) - all information likely obtained via Facebook.

 

Fortunately, the teller at a local bank contacted our Prosecutor's Office Adult Protective Services (APS) investigator Mary Ann Turner as the lady was attempting to wire $200,000 (basically her entire life savings). Investigator Turner responded and contacted the lady's son. When the son arrived, the lady demanded that they leave, explaining that the call contained threats if others became involved and she became very worried. A local officer, also, a family member, responded and put her at ease by providing "security". Her grandson called and then drove to her house from out of state before she would accept that this is a scam and he was alright.

 

An area resident talked with GIANT fm about her interaction with a similar scam effort. 

 

Arlington area resident Hannah Davis explains what happened.

 

 

Now, part of what prompted this isthat Davis has the phone number of her grandmother who has since passed away.

 

 

Davis says she asked questions of the scammers who never gave up much information.

 

 

Davis says these scammers can be convincing.

 

 

She notes people should be careful.  Contact directly those that you trust if you have reason to believe in the call you’ve received.

 

 

Overdoses on rise in Shelby County

While Shelbyville and Shelby County residents continue to get settled into a new year, Shelby County Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen admits he is seeing an old problem rear its ugly head – overdoses.

 

Landwerlen tells Giant FM that overdoses are back up in Shelby County.

 

“Though we are still having some overdoses from prescription medication abuse, the majority of overdoses currently seem to involve opiates – primarily heroin and fentanyl. And we are seeing more and more fentanyl, and seeing it in other drugs that we are getting such as cocaine and meth,” Landwerlen said.

 

Landwerlen said fentanyl is used to cut heroin because it is cheaper and sometimes it is sold as heroin.

 

“When a heroin addict takes the same dose size of fentanyl as they normally take of heroin, it will undoubtedly result in an overdose and death, as fentanyl is so much more powerful than heroin,” Landwerlen told Giant FM.

 

Help exists for any resident wanting to get help, according to Landwerlen, as he said residents can find a recovery organization at www.indianarecoverynetowrk.org or by calling 211 for help any time of the day. In addition, there is the Indiana Addiction Hotline at 1-800-622-4357. He said people can also contact him at 317-392-6440 and he will guide them to services.

 

Landwerlen notes the stigma surrounding addiction is starting to change.

 

“Several people, now regularly, post on social media that they are in recovery and how much better they feel. In the past, recovery was a very secretive thing, presumably due to shame for being an addict. I’m very happy that this seems to be changing, increasing the odds that some addicts will be more willing to seek the help they need,” Landwerlen said. 

National News