Latest News Archives for 2021-01

Autopsy inconclusive, toxicology pending in Johnson Co. inmate death

Autopsy results are inconclusive in death of Johnson County inmate.

 

Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess says notification has been made to family members reference the death of inmate Aneesa Lynn Robbins, 31, of Indianapolis.

 

An autopsy was performed by the Johnson County Coroner’s Office. The initial exam was inconclusive but toxicology information will take six to eight weeks.

 

Members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division interviewed all inmates who were housed with Robbins. Jail video is also being reviewed. At this time no foul play is suspected in the death and no physical harm has been uncovered or is suspected.

 

The investigation is continuing and further review will be conducted upon receipt of the toxicology results.

State Senator Leising proposes bill to start school after Labor Day

Hoosier public school students could start classes after Labor Day if a bill being discussed in the State Senate becomes law.

 

A bill being proposed by State Senators Dennis Kruse, Jean Leising, and Linda Rogers would prohibit public schools from beginning classes before the Tuesday after Labor Day, the first Monday in September.

 

The new rule would be in place for the 2022-2023 school year.

 

The bill allows for certain schools, including year-round schools and schools with balanced calendars, to start school before Labor Day.

 

Opponents to similar bills in the past have argued that it should be up to individual school districts to determine when classes begin.

Inmate death at Johnson County Jail

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the death of a female inmate.

 

On Thursday, Johnson County Correctional Officers were summoned by other inmates reporting an unresponsive inmate. Correctional staff immediately began CPR on the inmate until Franklin Fire/Rescue and Seals Ambulance Service arrived. Medics and members of the Sheriff’s Office continued CPR for several minutes but the attempts were unsuccessful. The inmate was pronounced dead at the jail.

 

The Johnson County Coroner Michael Pruitt and Sheriff’s Office investigators are conducting an ongoing investigation.

Walmarts in Columbus, Greenwood, New Castle offering vaccine

Ten Walmart stores in Indiana are now offering the COVID-19 vaccine to Hoosiers age 70 and older.

 

Other states with Walmart stores offering the vaccine include Georgia, South Carolina, New Jersey, and Louisiana.

 

The coronavirus shot is now available at the following Walmart locations:

 

- Columbus: 735 Whitfield Drive
- Greenwood: 1133 N. Emerson Rd.

- Lafayette: 2347 Veterans Memorial Parkway South
- Michigan City: 5780 Franklin St.
- Mishawaka: 316 Indian Ridge Blvd.
- Muncie: 1501 E. 29th Street
- New Castle: 3167 S. State Road 3
- Noblesville: 16865 Clover Rd.
- Terre Haute: 2399 S. State Rd. 46
- Warsaw: 2501 Walton Blvd.

 

Appointments can be scheduled online through ourshot.in.gov.

One man taken by Lifeline from Taylorsville shooting

One man injured and now a shooting investigation for Bartholomew County law enforcement.

 

About 5:32 am Wednesday, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 9400 block of Main Street, Taylorsville.

 

On arrival, a male, identified as Justin Black, was located with a bullet wound to his stomach.  Black, was transported to an Indianapolis hospital via Lifeline.

 

The suspected shooter was detained and, although several streets were closed, there was no threat to the public.  Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers wants the public, especially parents of students at Taylorsville Elementary, to know that BCSO was in contact with school SRO’s (School Resource Officers) and school officials at all times during the incident to make sure they were kept informed and knew that it was safe for students to come to school.

 

The investigation is ongoing.

 

“This call came in at 5:32 a.m. and deputies were on scene at 5:39 a.m.” said Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers.  “Within minutes the scene was secured and the victim was receiving aid.  The weapon was secured and the suspected shooter is cooperating with law enforcement," added Sheriff Myers.

 

“I want to commend BCSO Sergeant Jarod Aspenson, who was first to arrive, did an excellent job getting this situation under control, getting aid for the victim and getting the scene secured," said Sheriff Myers.

 

Inmate who escaped from Hancock Co. found in Indy

An inmate who escaped from the Hancock County Jail earlier this month is back behind bars.

 

Tyrell Deshawn White, 22, was found by police in Indianapolis on Thursday, Jan. 21, in the area of 30th Street and Graham and Graham Avenue, the Hancock Co. Sheriff's Office said.

 

He is being held in the Hancock County Jail, where he faces additional charges for escape.

 

White escaped from jail officers while taking trash out to a dumpster on Jan. 10. Investigators believe White had someone waiting in a nearby vehicle to help him escape.

 

White had been in the jail awaiting trial on multiple charges stemming from a July 2020 arrest by the Fortville Police Department. He also had an outstanding warrant out of Marion County for armed robbery and theft.

Bob Evans sausage recall

The sausage in your fridge could be part of a new recall. 

 

Bob Evans is recalling about 4,200 pounds of raw pork sausage because it could be contaminated with pieces of thin, blue rubber.

 

The recall includes 1-lb tubes of sausage that are labeled "Bob Evans Italian Sausage." The products have a lot code of 0352 and a "USE/FRZ BY" date of Jan. 31.

The recalled sausage was shipped to stores in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

 

Bob Evans did not say how the rubber pieces ended up in the sausage products.

 

If you have any of the recalled sausage, you should throw it away or return it to the store.

Bartholomew Co. Jail under coronavirus lockdown

The Bartholomew County Jail is on lockdown after nearly half of the jail's inmates and four employees tested positive for coronavirus.

A team with the Indiana Department of Health visited the jail over the weekend to test the inmates and found that 91 of 211 inmates were positive for the virus, according to The Republic newspaper.

 

Four inmates refused to be tested and were put in quarantine, according to jail officials.

 

The jail is locked down and will continued to be locked down until at least the end of February, reports The Republic. No one has been allowed in the jail for months, except for the attorneys of inmates. Under the current conditions, not even attorneys will be allowed inside.

 

Jail officials say medical staff are monitoring all inmates and are on call 24/7.

Fortville PD saves kids from house fire

Two Fortville police officers rescued two kids from a house fire over the weekend. 

 

It happened in the 9200-block of North County Road 400 West in Hancock County on Saturday.  The Fortville Police Department says three officers responded to the home when they home heard about the fire at the two-story home. 

 

Two of the officers, identified in a Facebook post by the department as Officer Kessinger and Officer Lockhart, forced their way inside the home after they were unable to determine if anyone was inside. They found two kids asleep in a bedroom upstairs. They woke them up and rushed them out of the home to safety, investigators say. 

 

"Officer Kessinger and Lockhart's quick actions and disregard for their own personal safety led to the rescue of 2 juveniles," the department's Facebook post read. "Their actions reflect great credit upon themselves and the Fortville Police Department."

 

The Vernon Township Fire Department said the improper disposal of ashes from a wood burning stove are what started the fire. 

Shelby Co. schools above state graduation average

The Indiana Department of Education has released graduation rates for high schools and districts across Indiana. 

 

While a global pandemic altered the 2019-20 school year, graduation numbers rose in the state from 87.69 percent to 87.29 percent. The rate reflects the State Board of Education's waiver of the Graduation Qualifying Exam for the class of 2020, which was not given, along with other statewide tests, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

 

In Shelby County, all four school districts had a graduation rate higher than the state average. 

 

Southwestern Consolidated had the highest graduation rate in the county, as 50 of 52 students graduated for a 96.15 percent graduation rate.

 

Right behind them was Northwestern Consolidated, which had a graduation rate of 93.46 percent as 100 of 107 students graduated.

 

Shelbyville Central Schools had the third best graduation rate in the county, as 248 students out of 269 graduated for a 92.19 percent graduating.

 

Shelby Eastern Schools had a graduation rate of 87.34 percent as 69 out of 79 students graduated. 

Within Shelby Eastern Schools, Morristown Junior-Senior High School posted a 93.18 percent graduation rate, as 41 of 44 students graduated. At Waldron, the graduation rate was 80 percent. 

 

While Shelby County's main school districts did well, the Excel Center did not. The Excel Center had the lowest graduation rate in Shelby County. A total of 16 students out of 55 graduated for a total of 29.09 percent. 

Police investigating AT&T robberies in Shelbyville, Greenfield, Indy, possible connections

Shelbyville Police are actively investigating a robbery at the AT&T store, and officials believe the crime may be connected to one that took place recently in Greenfield. 

 

According to Shawn Bennett, deputy chief of detectives for the Shelbyville Police Department, officers arrived Thursday at the business for a robbery call and found two employees, who were uninjured. 

 

The suspects were described as two black males. 

 

The robbery comes on the heels of a similar incident that happened at the AT&T Store, 1346 N. State St., Greenfield. Upon arrival at that case, police were advised two black male suspects entered the store and alerted those inside the store that it was being robbed. 

 

At the time, Greenfield Police Captain Michael Schwamberger told Giant FM, the department is looking into the possibility of this incident being related to other cell phone store robberies in the Indianapolis area. 

 

"As of right now, we don't have any evidence or indication that this is related to some of our other recent robberies in the Greenfield area. Several robbery rings -- not all -- in the past have shown us that groups of suspects will stick with a certain type of location i.e. banks, cell phone stores, fast food restaurants, etc. when they commit robberies. Lots of times, they start out in major cities and eventually spread out to surrounding communities. This robbery could be the case in that scenario based on the amount of cell phone store robberies that Indianapolis has experienced lately," he said. 

 

Bennett told Giant FM Friday morning the Shelbyville Police believe the suspects in the Greenfield and Shelbyville robberies are the same individuals. 

 

Anyone with information in the Shelbyville case is asked to please contact Detective Deborah Tilford with the Shelbyville Police Department at 317-392-5117.

 

Anyone with any information on the Greenfield case is asked to call the Greenfield Police Department at 317-477-4410. 

Keihin workers in Greenfield eligible for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits

On Nov. 18, 2020, Keihin IPT Manufacturing in Greenfield became eligible to apply for benefits and services through the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program.

 

TAA is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD). TAA assists workers who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade, and anyone affected can seek help at their local WorkOne center.

 

Keihin IPT Manufacturing, a manufacturer of automotive parts, laid off 23 workers in July 2020. Any Keihin worker who was laid off on or after July 24, 2019, and before Nov. 18, 2022, may be eligible to apply for TAA benefits.

 

TAA services and benefits include:

 

  • Training—pays 100% of all required training costs
  • Income support—up to 130 weeks of income-support payments
  • Job search and relocation allowances—reimbursement of 90% of allowable costs to travel to a job-search activity or relocation for new employment
  • Wage subsidy—for workers age 50 and older up to $10,000
  • Health care tax credit—IRS tax credit of 72.5% of qualifying monthly health care premiums

Many benefits are time sensitive. Workers have up to 26 weeks from their certification date, or 26 weeks from their separation date (whichever is later) to enroll in training to receive income support benefits.

 

For more information about the TAA program, please visit: https://www.in.gov/dwd/taa/ or call 317-914-7323 or email TradeActPetitions@dwd.IN.gov.

Robbery at Shelbyville AT&T

Shelbyville Police report that they were dispatched to the AT&T store at 2584 East State Road 44 for a robbery.  Two employees were at the store and werenot injured in the incident Thursday morning.

 

The suspects were not located in an initial search of the area.  Police have only released the description as being two black males.

 

Police did not report if anything was taken.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Deborah Tilford with the Shelbyville Police Department at 317-392-5117.

Shelbyville's Mason Ray Fletcher only lived two hours but his impact will live on in others

A Shelbyville child’s life was not long.  Just two hours.  His impact will be felt on lives for years to come.

 

Mason Ray Fletcher, aged 2 hours, passed away Sunday at Methodist Hospital.  

 

The obituary notice from Glenn E. George & Son Funeral Home states that Mason was the very first infant donor at Methodist Hospital. His organs were donated to help save the lives of six other babies. 

 

Survivors include his parents of Shelbyville;  2 brothers and 2 sisters; grandparents- Jack & Mary Maxwell of Indianapolis, David & June Neeley of Shelbyville; and several aunts and uncles. 

 

He was preceded in death by a brother Jacob Fletcher.

 

A private graveside service will be held at Van Pelt Cemetery.

 

Online condolences may be shared at glennegeorgeandson.com

 

 

 

 

 

Millions upon millions available in Powerball, Mega Millions

The Mega Millions jackpot just keeps growing.

 

No one won Tuesday night's drawing, which means the jackpot for the next drawing is worth $970 million, the biggest jackpot in more than two years. 

 

Tuesday night's winning numbers were: 10-19-26-28-50 and a Mega Ball of 16.

 

Also worth more than $700 million dollars is tonight's Powerball drawing, which has a jackpot of $730 million.

 

It's the first time both lottery jackpots have topped $700 million

Hot Pocket recall

More than 762,000 pounds of pepperoni Hot Pockets are being recalled by Nestlé Prepared Foods, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

 

The frozen stuffed sandwiches are being recalled because they may be contaminated with pieces of glass and hard plastic. 

 

At least four people have complained about the product, including one person who reported a "minor oral injury", the USDA said.

 

The recall is for 54-ounce packages of 12 “Nestlé Hot Pockets Brand Sandwiches: Premium Pepperoni". Recalled boxes have a best-before date of Feb. 2022 and lot codes of 0318544624, 0319544614, 0320544614 and 0321544614.

 

The boxes also have the establishment number "EST. 7721A" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

Anyone who has the recalled Hot Pockets should not eat them and should throw them away or return them to the store.

Edinburgh man killed in Sunday night crash

An Edinburgh man died Sunday night in a crash in Columbus.

 

Musa Rahmani, 53, died of blunt force trauma to the head and chest, according to the Bartholomew County Coroner's Office.

 

Police say Rahmani was a passenger in a Buick Rendezvous SUV that lost control while traveling on northbound U.S. 31 near Indianapolis Road. The Buick crossed the center line and hit an SUV and Rahmani was thrown from the vehicle.

 

The driver of the semi was not hurt.  The driver of the Buick was taken to an Indianapolis hospital.

 

Police are still investigating.

New Pal woman killed, two Fountaintown men injured in U.S. 52 crash

A New Palestine woman is dead following a car accident Sunday morning that had U.S. 52 closed for several hours.

 

According to the Hancock County Sheriff's Department, Peggy Brune, 69, New Palestine was transported to Methodist Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

 

Deputies responded to calls of a head on collision in the 2800 block of West U.S. 52 for a two-vehicle, head-on crash involving a 2019 Chevrolet Equinox occupied by two adult males, and a 2012 Ford Escape occupied by one female driver. All parties involved were transported by ambulance to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

 

The Ford Escape, driven by Brune was traveling eastbound on U.S. 52. The Chevrolet Equinox was traveling west bound on U.S. 52. The vehicles were approaching each other when the Chevrolet Equinox apparently crossed the centerline into the path of the Ford Escape.

 

Evidence at the scene indicates Ford Escape tried to move to the shoulder of the road to avoid a collision. The impact occurred in the eastbound lane of U.S. 52. The reason the Chevrolet Equinox crossed into the path of the Ford Escape has not been determined. Roads were wet and there was snow at the time. 

 

The driver and passenger of the Chevrolet Equinox were transported to Methodist with non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was identified as Michael L. Wilcox, 66, Fountaintown. The passenger was identified as the driver’s adult son, Michael A. Wilcox, 45, Fountaintown. 

MHP Covid vaccine clinic opens

Major Health Partners (MHP) began offering COVID-19 vaccines to Hoosiers aged 70 and older as well as healthcare workers and first responders, on Friday, Jan. 15. The COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic is located in the lower level of the MHP Medical Center at 2451 Intelliplex Drive in Shelbyville.  Patients should use Entrance 2 (main entrance) and will be directed by a member of the MHP staff on where to go from there.   

 

Appointments are required.

 

The COVID Vaccine Clinic will be open noon to 8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Appointments can be scheduled on the state’s website at www.ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.  You do not have to be an MHP patient to receive a vaccine at this clinic, which will have the capacity to administer more than 190 vaccines a day.

 

Patients need to bring a photo ID with their date of birth and their insurance card (if they have one). While the Covid 19 vaccine is free to everyone, providing us with your insurance information allows the State to bill insurance companies or Medicare an administrative fee. 

 

“We have been eagerly anticipating this day for many months and are thrilled to join hospitals, community pharmacies and other health care facilities across the state to begin protecting Hoosiers from the COVID-19 virus,” said Linda Wessic, MHP Vice President and CNO.  “True to our mission to improve the health and health care of our community, we are committed to offering our resources and talents to support the Indiana State Department of Health in vaccinating as many Hoosiers as possible as quickly as possible.”

 

MHP’s front-line employees began receiving the first doses on December 18, 2020, but they had to travel to Hancock County to get them.  “I’m pleased that nearly 400 employees have received their first dose and of those, about 175 have already received the second and final dose of the Pfizer vaccine, providing them with 95% immunity from the virus,” said Dr. Paula Gustafson, MHP Chief Medical Officer and pediatrician. “This will help ensure our care teams are healthy and available to care for the patients who need our advanced skills and expertise.”

 

Through careful and strategic planning, the MHP pharmacy, operational and patient care teams developed an efficient process for administering and documenting vaccines. As supplies of vaccines increase, MHP plans to continue its partnership with the Health Department to expand its services as needed to ensure the most vulnerable people across the state have access to the vaccine.

 

To ensure patients get both required doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is necessary for maximum protection, a second appointment will be scheduled for each patient when they receive their first dose.

 

No charges to be filed in Greenfield death during police investigation

Indiana State Police say they have concluded a death investigation that involved officers with the Greenfield Police Department.

 

At the conclusion of the Indiana State Police investigation into the death of,David Donelli, 42, of Indianapolis, which began December 15, 2020, the findings were turned over to the Hancock County Prosecutor for review. This is standard procedure in a case such as this. The Hancock County Prosecutor, Brent Eaton, reviewed the findings of the investigation and has determined no criminal charges will be filed related to this incident. 

 

The three Greenfield Police Officers involved were Patrol Officer Jill Jenkins, Patrol Officer Andrew Pfaff and Lieutenant Matthew Holland. 

 

 

Original release

 

 

At the request of Greenfield Police Chief Jeff Rasche, the Indiana State Police are investigating a death that occurred December 15, 2020, at approximately 11:45 a.m. in the parking lot of 2055 Barrett Drive, Greenfield, Indiana. The death occurred during the course of a police investigation.

 

Preliminary investigation by Indiana State Police Detectives revealed this incident began when three Greenfield Police Officers located a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the business. Further investigation led the officers to the suspect who was inside the business. During the course of the investigation the suspect fled on foot and ran outside into the parking lot. While chasing the suspect, one officer utilized a less lethal weapon commonly referred to as a taser. After the deployment of the taser, the suspect fell to the ground and struck his head on the concrete. Immediately after he was taken into custody, the officers rendered first aid until paramedics arrived. The adult male was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.

 

The Indiana State Police, along with the Hancock County Coroner’s Office continue to investigate this incident. 

First Merchants Bank to close Morristown branch in spring; residents not giving up without a fight

The future of Morristown’s First Merchants Bank branch may be down to just months.  

 

First Merchants has announced an April timeline for the Morristown branch.  Area residents are still fighting to get the word out about how important it is to them to keep it open.

 

One of those residents is Diane Hannell.  She describes her emotions when she heard that First Merchants intended to consolidate the branch and employees into its Shelbyville facility on Marketplace Boulevard.

 

 

Hannell says the community is contacting the bank and more in an effort to prevent the Morristown bank from closing.

 

 

This response was provided to GIANT fm News by First Merchants on the closing of their facility in Morristown:


For the past several years, First Merchants has been investing in our vision for a banking delivery transformation that will serve as a catalyst for our company’s future. We are continuing to build on our commitment of meeting the evolving needs of current and prospective clients, while balancing the needs of our communities. First Merchants is embracing the increased utilization of our mobile and online banking services, along with changes in banking center interactions.


On April 20, the Morristown banking center located at 488 West Main Street will consolidate with and into our Shelbyville banking center located at 2350 Marketplace Boulevard.


We welcome clients who use the First Merchants Morristown banking center to access their accounts and bankers at any of our locations, along with a deposit-capable ATM which will remain in the area. First Merchants recognizes the value of our staff, so we are retaining all banking center teammates and helping each teammate find a position at First Merchants.


We believe these changes will allow First Merchants to remain a trusted choice for our clients and communities, attract and retain high-performing teammates, and continue to serve as a reliable and strong investment for our shareholders.


-        First Merchants

 

Hannell says the community is not satisfied with what they’ve been told.

 

 

Hannell says this is more than just keeping convenient banking in town.  It’s about a staff that has always given its personal attention and care to the Morristown community.

 

 

Many residents have spoken and written that if this closing happens it will end their affiliation with First Merchants.

 

 

A change.org petition that was recently started has over 1, 200 signatures.  You find it at  http://chng.it/vwFDkWXSrj

Update: Fountaintown man killed in Sunday shooting; funeral information

The name of the shooting victim from a Sunday night incident has been released by the Shelby County Sheriff's Department.  

 

Joseph A. Harris 39, of Fountaintown, was declared dead at the scene.

 

No other details have been released in this ongoing investigation.

 

Below is the original Shelby County Sheriff's Department release on the Sunday incident.

 

This is the obituary notice for Joseph Harris submitted by Mrphy-Parks

 

Joseph A. “Joe” Harris, 39, of Fountaintown passed away Sunday, January 10, 2021 at his residence.

 

He was born October 5, 1981 in Anderson, to Bruce A. Harris and Christina A. (Matthews) Epperson.

 

Joe attended Morristown Jr/Sr High School.  He enjoyed listening to music, especially Rock N Roll. 

Two of his favorite pastimes were racing and playing video games.  He loved playing sports in his younger years and watching games as he got older.

 

Joe will be greatly missed by his mother, his sister, Nikki Collins (Darrell Baker) of Greenfield; his step-brother Danny Epperson (wife, Brandi) of Gwynneville; his niece, Mackenzie Collins; his nephews, Dreyton Epperson, Wesley Collins, and Darrell Baker III.  Joe is also survived by his maternal grandmother, Pam Matthews, his uncles, Jeff Matthews, Jason Matthews, and Jamie Matthews (wife, Jennifer), his aunt, Pam Matthews, his former brother-in-law, Ryan Collins, and several cousins.

 

He was preceded in death by his father, Bruce, his paternal grandparents, and his maternal grandparents.

 

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

  

Funeral Directors, Greg Parks, Sheila Parks, and Stuart Parks are honored to serve Joe’s family.

 

Memorial contributions may be given to Huntington’s Disease Society of America, 505 Eighth Avenue, Ste. 902, New York, NY 10018 or hdsa.org/how-you-can-help/donations.

 

Online condolences may be shared at www.murphyparks.com.

 

 

 

Original release

One man is dead from a Sunday night shooting in Shelby County.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department released information about the incident that occurred about 9:40 pm Sunday.  The report of a shooting was at a residence in the 11000 block of North State Road 9.

 

Upon arrival Shelby County officers found a male, 39, deceased from a gunshot wound. There was a another male ,67,also at  the scene , who was suffering from injuries . That male was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department says they are not currently looking for anyone else involved. The incident is still under investigation at this time. 

FBI seeking tips on Hoosiers involved in Capitol riot

Several Hoosiers could have been involved in the riot that happened at the Capitol building in Washington, DC January 6.

 

So far, no one from Indiana has been charged, but that could change.

 

"Like FBI field offices across the country, FBI Indianapolis is receiving tips regarding Hoosiers who may have been at the Capitol building in Washington, DC Jan. 6. Any subjects that are arrested/indicted will be prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Washington, DC," said Christine Bavender, Public Affairs Officer at FBI Indianapolis.

 

The FBI has shared numerous photos of pictures taken from social media posts of people that breached security at the Capitol. On Tuesday afternoon, Steven D'Antuono, the acting director in charge of the Washington D.C. FBI field office, said they have already received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media.

 

“I want to stress that the FBI has a long memory and a broad reach, agents and our partners are on the streets investigating leads, not only here in the D.C. area but also across the country in FBI’s 56 field offices,” said D’Antuono. "We are scouring everyone for investigative and intelligence leads, and we continue to ask for more."

 

To report tips to the FBI, call 1-800-CALL-FBI or send tips to tips.fbi.gov.

Columbus police officer arrested

A Columbus police officer was arrested on felony battery and official misconduct charges after an investigation by detectives with the Indiana State Police-Versailles Post.

 

The Columbus Police Department contacted the Indiana State Police on June 17, 2020 and requested an investigation be conducted after an officer allegedly struck a suspect while the suspect was in custody in the back of a Columbus Police vehicle the previous day. 

 

The investigation by ISP Detectives determined that on June 16, 2020, Officer John Velten, a 14 year veteran of the Columbus Police Department, arrested an adult male after responding to a fight on Indiana Avenue in Columbus.  While handcuffed in the back seat of the police vehicle, the suspect began hitting his head against the interior of the police vehicle.  As a response, Officer Velten struck the suspect with his fist while the suspect was still handcuffed inside of the vehicle.  Officer Velten’s actions caused moderate injuries to the suspect.

 

At the conclusion of the investigation, the case was turned over to a special prosecutor to review the case.  As a result, charges of Battery Resulting in Moderate Injury, Level 6 Felony and Official Misconduct-Level 6 Felony were filed against John Velten.  He was arrested Tuesday when he turned himself in to detectives at the Bartholomew County Jail.   

 

According to the Columbus Police Department, which has been fully cooperative with ISP Detectives, Velten has remained employed with the City of Columbus in a non-law enforcement related capacity since the investigation began.  The Columbus Police Department will be releasing additional information on the status of John Velten’s employment with the City of Columbus.

One man shot dead, another injured in a Sunday night Shelby Co. incident

One man is dead from a Sunday night shooting in Shelby County.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department released information about the incident that occurred about 9:40 pm Sunday.  The report of a shooting was at a residence in the 11000 block of North State Road 9.

 

Upon arrival Shelby County officers found a male, 39, deceased from a gunshot wound. There was a another male ,67,also at  the scene , who was suffering from injuries . That male was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

 

The Shelby County Sheriff's Department says they are not currently looking for anyone else involved. The incident is still under investigation at this time. 

Investigation underway after apparent Bartholomew Co. hunting accident death

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an apparent hunting accident that claimed the life of a Columbus man.

 

About 9:00 am Sunday, officers were dispatched to the area near the 9200 block of South State Road 58 in Columbus after a hunter was found unresponsive by a family member after he failed to return home.

 

John Walker, 54, of Columbus, was found suffering from a gunshot wound that initial investigation suggests came from an accidental discharge of his firearm. Walker was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Exact cause of death is pending autopsy results.

 

This investigation is still ongoing, and more information will be released as it becomes available.  

Governor Eric Holcomb directs flags to be flown at half-staff for US Capitol police officers

Governor Holcomb is directing flags in the State of Indiana to be flown at half-staff to honor United States Capitol Police Officers Brian Sicknick and Howard Liebengood, and all Capitol Police Officers and law enforcement.

 

Flags should be flown at half-staff immediately until sunset on January 13, 2021.

 

Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents in Indiana to lower their flags to half-staff.

Westport man charged with drunk driving wrong way in Columbus

A man was arrested for driving drunk the wrong way on a road in Columbus Friday morning with his child in the truck.

 

The Columbus Police Department (CPD) said Anthony Harris, 43, of Westport, was going north in the southbound lanes of Central Avenue and nearly hit a CPD officer's car. Police say Harris was stopped and arrested. They say they administered a breathalyzer test and Harris' blood alcohol content was .147, which is well over the legal limit.

 

The child is okay.

 

Harris was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail.  

Petition to save First Merchants facility in Morristown

The Morristown First Merchants banking center is scheduled to consolidate with and into the Shelbyville banking center at 2350 Marketplace Boulevard in April.

 

Several residents have signed a petition in an effort to keep the bank in the community.

 

The petition can be found at the following link:

 

https://www.change.org/p/first-merchants-bank-keep-our-small-town-bank-alive?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=custom_url&recruited_by_id=5a702ca0-4eff-11eb-ab5d-037fe6092fdb&fbclid=IwAR1nL0WR7PW76mHojcslMgYVDuR_tOVnKunHS8K_uWky8rRBSnS6Xb0qb_Q

 

This response provided by First Merchants on the closing of their facility in Morristown:


For the past several years, First Merchants has been investing in our vision for a banking delivery transformation that will serve as a catalyst for our company’s future. We are continuing to build on our commitment of meeting the evolving needs of current and prospective clients, while balancing the needs of our communities. First Merchants is embracing the increased utilization of our mobile and online banking services, along with changes in banking center interactions.


On April 20, the Morristown banking center located at 488 West Main Street will consolidate with and into our Shelbyville banking center located at 2350 Marketplace Boulevard.


We welcome clients who use the First Merchants Morristown banking center to access their accounts and bankers at any of our locations, along with a deposit-capable ATM which will remain in the area. First Merchants recognizes the value of our staff, so we are retaining all banking center teammates and helping each teammate find a position at First Merchants.


We believe these changes will allow First Merchants to remain a trusted choice for our clients and communities, attract and retain high-performing teammates, and continue to serve as a reliable and strong investment for our shareholders.


-        First Merchants

 

 

Scammer pretends to be Indiana State Police

A scammer that has called at least one person in southern Indiana, is going through some trouble to seem like a state police detective, to try and get peoples personal info.

 

The victim told police they got a phone call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. The caller said they were alerting them that their Social Security was being suspended due to fraudulent activity in Texas and that they would soon get a phone call from the Indiana State Police. 

 

The would-be scammer also provided the number that would call, with the proper 765 area code.  When that phone call came it actually showed up as Indiana State Police.

 

The state police say neither the Social Security Administration, the IRS, nor the Indiana State Police will ever call requesting personal information over the phone, text, or email. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Social Security, or any federal or state agency who asks for personal or financial information, hang-up. 

 

The Social Security Administration advises reporting suspected fraudulent calls to the Office of the Inspector General at OIG.SSA.GOV. 

 

State Police say never provide information over the phone about your personal identity, social security number, bank account(s), or credit card number(s) to an unknown caller.

Greenfield AT&T robbed at gunpoint

The Greenfield Police are asking for the public's help in solving a robbery that occurred Thursday evening. 

 

Officers were called to the AT&T Store, 1346 North State St., Greenfield, for a robbery call. Upon arrival, police were advised two suspects entered the store at approximately 7:15 p.m. and alerted those inside the store that it was being robbed. There were no customers in the business at the time and there are no injuries. 

 

Police have described the suspects as two males armed with a handgun. 

 

Captain Michael Schwamberger, of the Greenfield Police, tells Giant FM, the department is looking into the possibility of this incident being related to other cell phone store robberies in the Indianapolis area. 

 

"As of right now, we don't have any evidence or indication that this is related to some of our other recent robberies in the Greenfield area. Several robbery rings -- not all -- in the past have shown us that groups of suspects will stick with a certain type of location i.e. banks, cell phone stores, fast food restaurants, etc. when they commit robberies. Lots of times, they start out in major cities and eventually spread out to surrounding communities. This robbery could be the case in that scenario based on the amount of cell phone store robberies that Indianapolis has experienced lately," he said. 

 

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Greenfield Police Department at 317-477-4410. 

Woman's son killed by pit bull; fighting extradition back to Kentucky

A Kentucky woman is fighting extradition from Shelby County to face charges in the death of her two year old son.

 

Jennifer Geiling, 26, of Louisville, Ky, was arrested by local officers on December 30, on a warrant issued out of Jefferson County, Kentucky, on charges of Manslaughter in the Second Degree and Reckless Homicide. 

 

The Shelby County Prosecutor’s Office filed against her as a Fugitive From Justice, as she is fighting extradition back to Kentucky to face the charges.

 

According to Kentucky Court Records that obtained by the Shelby County Prosecutor, the charges stem from an incident on May 2, 2019, when Geiling’s 2 year-old son was mauled to death by a pit bull.  According to the report and information from an investigator with the Jefferson County, Kentucky Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, this not the first time that the pit bull had injured the child, and the pit bull also had a history of aggression against various others as well, up to the point that one neighbor had previously shot at the dog.  It had a history of attacking and biting people, including its owner, and the Louisville Police Department had responded before to calls regarding the aggressive dog. 

 

The report indicates that on May 2, 2019, another woman was lying on a bed and watching television with the child when the pit bull (named “King”) jumped onto the bed and immediately grabbed the child by the head and began shaking him violently.  The dog then pulled the child to the floor, where it clamped onto the child’s head/neck area and resumed violently shaking the child.  By the time that two neighbors were able to get the dog to release the child, it was too late. 

 

One of the neighbors advised that Geiling simply said that the child “always screams and sets the dog off”. 

 

Officers further noted “The house was absolutely filthy covered in animal feces, visible rats/mice, bugs, clutter, disarray, and an extremely foul odor.”  Geiling was charged with the two offenses by a grand jury.

 

Geiling had previously been arrested on the case when it was first filed.  She was given court dates, but skipped court and fled to Indiana. 

 

At her initial hearing in Shelby Superior Court No. 2 on the Fugitive From Justice (extradition) filing, Geiling told Magistrate Jennifer Kinsley that she would not agree to extradition because she thought the case should be dismissed, claiming that she had already suffered enough due to the child’s death.  Prosecutor Brad Landwerlen says the only emotion she showed while making this argument was frustration – stating that her being in custody was interfering with her life. 

 

Geiling remains in the Shelby County Jail and Landwerlen is working with the Indiana Attorney General, the Kentucky Attorney General, and the Governor to obtain a Governor’s Warrant to compel extradition to Kentucky to face the charges.

Edinburgh police officer charged with child molest

An Edinburgh police officer is facing charges for molesting a family member.

 

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office says Michael Nunez, 33, faces two counts of child molesting.


The boy and his mother reached out to police in December. When investigators spoke with the 12-year-old boy, he told them that the molestation started when he was six and happened once a month for the next six years, only when his mother was out of the house. The boy said Nunez forced him to touch his privates and do other sexual activities.

 

Nunez was arrested Tuesday. Each charge could be worth 20-50 years in prison, meaning Nunez could face up to 100 years.

Donna Christian named new Shelby County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Donna will start her position on Monday, January 11.

 

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

Big money in state's lottery games this week

Feeling lucky? This week's lottery jackpots have big prizes.

 

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot is worth an estimated $432 million dollars.  Wednesday's Powerball jackpot is worth $384 million.

 

Drawings are held at 11 p.m. Eastern time. Players have one hour until then to purchase a ticket.

Sportmix dog and cat food recall due to potentially fatal level of a toxin called aflatoxin.

Your cat or dog food may be part of a new recall.

 

Midwestern Pet Foods is recalling certain varieties of Sportmix dog and cat food because it may contain a potentially fatal level of a toxin called aflatoxin.

 

The FDA says Sportmix High Energy Dog Food is linked to at least 28 dog deaths and 8 illnesses.

Aflatoxin is a toxin produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus, which can grow on grains like corn used as ingredients in pet food. At high levels, it can cause illness and death in animals.

 

Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, and/or diarrhea.

 

The list of recalled dry pet food products announced by Midwestern Pet Food, Inc. on December 30, 2020 is:

 

Sportmix Energy Plus, 50 lb. bag
 - Exp 03/02/22/05/L2
 - Exp 03/02/22/05/L3
 - Exp 03/03/22/05/L2

 

Sportmix Energy Plus, 44 lb. bag
 - Exp 03/02/22/05/L3

 

Sportmix Premium High Energy, 50 lb. bag
 - Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

 

Sportmix Premium High Energy, 44 lb. bag
 - Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

 

Sportmix Original Cat, 31 lb. bag 
 - Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

 

Sportmix Original Cat, 15 lb. bag
 - Exp 03/03/22/05/L2
 - Exp 03/03/22/05/L3

 

Pet owners should throw the recalled products out immediately.

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