Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Real Estate Developer Eyeing City's West Side

The remains of a burned warehouse stand on a Webster Street property that could become a multi-family complex. | photo by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS

The west side of Shelbyville could get a major boost if a national real estate developer’s plans come to fruition. TWG Development, headquartered in Indianapolis, has proposed a 138-unit apartment complex, with green space, to be built at 837 Webster Street, the site of a warehouse that burned in 2019. City Council last night unanimously approved on first reading a request to rezone the vacant lot.

The proposed Workforce Housing development is dubbed 837 Lofts, which would include a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units reserved for individuals and households making between about $33,000 to $63,000, depending on the number of people in the unit, a company official told the council.

“(Tenants) typically (include) people doing certain service industries: public service employees, teachers, employees in that range, which helps make the community options a little bit better,” Marisa Conatser, development director at TWG Development, said.

TWG projects with similar designations include The Assembly, a former Ford Model T manufacturing plant on East Washington Street in Indianapolis, and Illinois Place, just outside of downtown Indianapolis.

The Shelbyville development would sit on approximately 7 acres, and TWG is in talks to potentially gain access to Hale Road and the pedestrian trail through property to the west, but it is not yet under contract, Conatser said.

“I think that something like this could really spark the folks in the area to reinvest in their properties,” she added.

The development would include on-site management and maintenance, and TWG would be required to oversee the property for at least 15 years. City Council’s approval moves the matter to a public hearing with the city plan commission next Monday, June 12, 7 p.m. for a formal recommendation. If the rezone is approved, TWG will seek housing credit awards in November. If received, construction would start spring or early summer next year with construction taking 16 to 18 months, Conatser said.

Mayor Tom DeBaun expressed support for the project, noting that the existing N. Harrison Street apartments also have tax credits.

“We often talk about the opportunity to keep our children home; this gives them an opportunity to come back home,” DeBaun said. “Unlike some communities in the metro area, we would gladly accept newly minted engineers, architects, accountants and so forth.”

The Shelbyville Redevelopment Commission last night approved allocating $50,000 to both Shelbyville Central Schools and the Northwestern Consolidated School Corporation to primarily be used for their robotics programs.

Northwestern superintendent Chris Hoke said 75-80 students in grades 3-12, approximately 10 percent of the student population, participate in the competitive program, which started as a club activity and has since expanded to include four state championships in the last six years.

“It’s an economic development piece. These are the kids who are going to come out and be business leaders in our community,” Hoke said.

Mayor Tom DeBaun said that is already happening, noting that robotics students often go to places such as Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Purdue University and Trine University, and then return to the community to work in local industry.

“The exposure through the robotics program, the activities that they engage in, are directly relatable to the tasks that are being performed at Makuta (Technics) and Kimura (Foundry) and other places,” he said.

Members of the Commission - Mark McNeely, Samuel Terrell, Nancy Smith, Mike Johnson and Phil Haehl - expressed support for the project and approved the motion unanimously.

In other action, the Redevelopment Commission amended an agreement to clarify that Davis Homes may market lots in addition to completed homes in the Major Hamilton subdivision.

Summer of Reading Kicks Off

The Shelby County Public Library officially kicked off its annual Summer Reading initiative yesterday with games, crafts and music at the main branch. Above, Jakobi Pearce, holding the microphone, performs a Johnny Cash tune with help from Trent Moss (standing) and Jeff Sullivan.


Library employee Hannah DeLong watches Audrey Diehl, Mallory Diehl and Reagan Nicholson play lawn games.
Siblings America and Charles Leon-Torres prepare to make a craft.
Adam Hoover, Serenity Gross and Courtney Gross enjoy festivities at the library's summer reading kickoff yesterday.


  • The Shelbyville Rotary Club recently recognized local high school athletes and scholars at a banquet and awards ceremony held at Queen's Cafe and Dining, Shelbyville. The following Shelbyville High School athletes were selected by their respective coaches based on athletic performance, sportsmanship and special achievements, and recognized by Rotarian Amy McQueen:
    • Luke Dwyer, Boys Wrestling
    • Angelique Kreider, Girls Wrestling (a new team sport at SHS)
    • Oliver Sandman, Paul Cross Award for Boys Basketball (two-time winner)
    • Abigail Brenner, Girls Basketball
    • Miriam Garringer, Girls Swimming
    • Will Rife, Boys Swimming
  • Rotary Academic Scholarships are managed through the Blue River Foundation, and criteria for the scholarships include outstanding academic achievement, strong moral character, community service and extra-curricular activities and a desire and drive to complete a college education. Recipients receive $1,000 each and hail from high schools throughout the county. They were recognized by Rotarian Bill Poland:
    • Abby Mendoza, Morristown High School
    • Antonio Harbert, Shelbyville High School
    • Camile Thopy, Southwestern High School
    • Hannah Hernandez, Waldron High School
    • Maggie Lutes, Blue River Career Programs/Morristown High School
    • Riley Ross, Triton Central High School.
  • STATE NEWS: Conservative pastor Micah Beckwith announced his run for lieutenant governor Monday. It’s a highly unusual move that bucks how Indiana traditionally selects the lieutenant governor. Historically, gubernatorial candidates run in party primaries in May. In June, state party conventions generally confirm the primary winner’s selection for lieutenant governor because both positions are voted on a single ticket – much like president and vice president. Beckwith’s candidacy is primarily for the state party convention delegates. Indiana’s attorney general, state treasurer, secretary of state and state auditor are all chosen by the party convention. In his announcement, Beckwith said the choice of lieutenant governor “should be the choice of the people.” (Indiana Public Radio)

This Day in Shelby County History

2018: Shelbyville guard Zach Kuhn played in the Indiana Junior All-Star contest in Kentucky.

2013: Larry Phares retired after 47 years in education, many as a guidance counselor at Southwestern Junior-Senior High School. He had been hired by the first superintendent and principal of the school corporation. Phares was a 1956 Shelbyville High School graduate and had qualified for the 1960 Olympic trials in the javelin as a college student. He credited John Page, Frank Barnes and Dr. A.M. White for encouraging him to attend college.

2008: Triton Central High School's FFA chapter hosted its 50th anniversary banquet. Former TC FFA advisers Steve LeMasters and Joe Harker were recognized for their achievements. Junior Lyndsey Simpson received the evening's top award, the FFA Member of the Year. Freshman Katie Brown was the recipient of the Star Greenhand. Abby Nortrup received the Star Chapter Farmer award. Chet Roberts received the Star Chapter Agribusinessman award.

2003: Employees and members of the Boys Club decorated the RSE Bear for the Shelby County Arts Festival. The bear was on display at the RushShelby Energy office. Those who helped decorate were Justin Anderson, Carson Crosby, Gage Phares, Christopher Asher, Bailey McComas, Justin Jones and Andrea Jones.

1998: Waldron advanced to the sectional title game with a 10-2 win over Edinburgh. Patrick Kuhn led the way, pitching a complete game while contributing two extra-base hits and two RBIs. B.J. Weaver added two hits. Brian Glesing was the Waldron coach.

1993: The Shelby County Public Library staff celebrated the library's 90th birthday with a luncheon at the Holiday Inn. Librarians Miriam Poe, Miriam Knoebel and Marian Hobbs were recognized for each having over 25 years of service.

1988: The Shelbyville baseball team, coached by Dave Hunton, ousted three-time defending sectional champion Connersville in sectional action. Major plays were made by Tony Martin, Todd Ray and Greg Elliott, as well as an extra-inning sacrifice fly by Dennis Tackett to score the leading run.

1983: Winners of major sports awards at Triton Central High School were Nancy Smith, LeAnne Beaty, Karla Blevins, Kathy Wampler, Laura Branson, Ed Melloh, Scott New, Tim Bowman, Bill Emmert, Larry Ratliff, Adam French and Randy Thompson.

1978: Stan Koester, with The Shelbyville News, wrote an article detailing the process of collecting and publishing 633 graduate photos of the class of 1978 for all county schools. He wrote that years ago, the county schools had only composite photos, while Shelbyville had always provided individual photos. He also noted that "for some reason the newest teacher in the system seems to get stuck with the class or yearbook sponsorship so that each year we have to go through the whole thing again." He said confirming the actual list of graduates to the photos submitted was a challenge due to some girls getting married before commencement and the fact that some students didn't accrue enough credits to actually receive their diplomas.

1973: Both the Mt. Gilead Baptist Church (Smithland Road) and Church of God (Columbus Road) parsonages neared completion.

An extension agent conducted a workshop for 4-H club members at the Women's Building at the fairgrounds. A newspaper photo showed Chris Rhodes of the Peppy Pals 4-H Club, Lynn Thomas of the Shelby Hustlers, Cindy Stewart of the Noble Merry Sewing Club and Tammy Roser of the Shelby Gradatim Club making skirts and simple dresses.

1968: Shelbyville was ousted from the baseball sectional, despite pitching ace Mike Wagner striking out 10 Whiteland players.

Jack Green, a graduate of Shelbyville High School, was named executive vice-president of Shelby National Bank. He and his wife, Gayle, had two children, Jill, 10, and David, 7.

1963: A formal dedication ceremony was held at the new parsonage of the London Methodist Church. Rev. Mrs. Clara Maye Rippel had been pastor of the church for 10 years.

A newspaper photo showed kids watching the final preparations before the opening of Porter Pool. The kids were Carol Jones, Loretta Pease, Shirley Wilkinson and Linda Wilcoxon.

Boys Club board of directors member Ray Harris was presented with a plaque. He was stepping down after nine years.

1958: Eight Shelby County students graduated from Indiana University, including Richard Applas, Mary L. Aughenbaugh, William Breck, Philip Brown, Sanford Sirkus, Violet Strege, Barbara Watt and Sara Kent Reid.

Mason and Geneva Thomass filed a petition to establish a drive-in restaurant at 922 Miller Ave.

Shelbyville's G.C. Murphy Co. held a sale to commemorate 52 years since the company's first store opened.

West's Men's Wear store re-opened in a completely remodeled and much larger quarters at 36 E. Washington St., moving from 10 E. Broadway. The new location had previously been occupied by the Jay C grocery store.

1953: A combined Vacation Bible School was hosted by the five downtown churches at First Baptist Church. Teachers were Mrs. Paul Green, Mrs. Russell Hardesty, Mrs. Herbert House, Mrs. Fritz Wright, Mrs. Emory Hobbs, Carol Hubler, Mary Ash, Mrs. Rowland Yeend, Mrs. Lawrence Wilkinson, Mrs. Daisy Webster, Mrs. Frank Schoentrup, Barbara Ellis, Joan Morris, Mrs. Elmo Houston, Mrs. Shelby Strachan, Mrs. Louis Coers, Mrs. Harlan Watts and Mrs. Loren Davis.

1948: A new junior baseball league, organized by the local Eagles Aerie No. 766 and under the direction of Arthur "Doc" Barnett was formed. Over 130 junior high and senior high school students were placed on eight teams. The eight team captains were Bill Price, Hal Eckstein, Kenneth Nickol, Bob Walton, Jack Bryan, Jim Hagan, Bob Mitchell and Jim Hebbe.

1943: More local men left for military service. They were William Mark, Robert Mohr, Dale Gundrum, Donald Crosby, Joseph Long, Jack McComas, Charles Hepp, Elmo Cole, Kenneth Kohler, Earl Bower, Carl Scott, Norman Forster, Richard Ewing, Charles Miller, Ralph Gullo, Turner Caine Jr., Robert Bassett, Earl Abel, Earl Lee, Paul Anderson, John Hirschauer, Harry McDonald, Oris Mann, Earl Leffler, Norman Higgins, Fred Miller, Oren Jenkins, Paul Denson, Leslie Driscoll, Jack Sexton, George Larmore and Vincent Worland.

1938: Ten St. Joseph High School students received diplomas. They were Martha Nauert, Irene Cord, Jean Myers, Mary Alice Wisker, Melvin Jeffries, Charles Miner, Justin Reuter, Joseph Huesman, Francis Tragesser and Mae Beth Weintraut.

Loren Phillips, of Shelbyville, was elected to the Poetry Society of America, becoming the first member of the Indiana Poetry Society to be elected to the national organization. He had been nominated for the honor by Carl Sandburg.

1933: Morris "Bill" Neu was named swimming pool guard for the summer at William Porter Pool. Neu taught in the Indianapolis school system.

1928: Three windows were broken at Shelbyville High School, including the window to the principal's office. "The officer found that a great number of stones had been thrown, and were scattered over the yard," The Republican said. "Some had been hurled with such force that they had broken against the bricks of the building."

1923: City officials passed a parking ordinance, which included mandating that drivers could not leave the vicinity of their automobile if it was stopped behind a parked car. Also, all streets within a block of a fire were to be closed. "Flat to the curb parking" was mandated for Franklin, Jackson and Hendricks streets; 45-degree angle parking set for Mechanic, Washington, Harrison and Polk streets; and "front to the curb parking" for Broadway. Public Square would be 45-degree parking at the sidewalk line and at the flower bed curbs.


Elena Lee Thurman, 32 days old, passed away Saturday, June 3, 2023, at St. Vincent Women’s Hospital in Indianapolis. She was born on May 2, 2023, in Indianapolis, the daughter of Jarred and Rhiannon Thurman. Elena is survived by her parents, Jarred and Rhiannon, of Fairland; her triplet siblings, Deacon Thurman and Lyla Thurman; paternal grandparents, David and Christina Thurman of Fairland; maternal grandparents, Tristan and Kayla Alexander of Beech Grove; great-grandparents, John and Venessa Burdine of Fairland, Steve and Hoppy Alexander of Beech Grove, David and Janet Thurman of Fairland, and Mary and Lowell Bell of Tennessee; and several aunts and uncles.

Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, June 9, 2023, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Carmony-Ewing Chapel, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, at the funeral home. Online condolences may be shared by Elena’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.

Deborah Lynn Dotson, 69, of Morristown, passed away Monday, June 5, 2023, at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis. She was born April 3, 1954, in Indianapolis, the daughter of Charles and Helen (Duncum) Hunter.  On November 11, 1988, she married Ronald Dotson, and he survives. In addition to Ronald, Deborah is survived by her sons, Matthew Zentz of Indianapolis and R.J. Dotson and wife, Kara, of Carmel; daughter, April Zentz of Indianapolis; five sisters; two brothers; ten grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister; and two brothers.

Deborah graduated from Ben Davis High School. She formerly attended the First Baptist Church in Laurel. Deborah had formerly worked as a nurse’s aide and realtor. She enjoyed working in her flower gardens and watching birds, especially hummingbirds. Deborah loved her family and enjoyed the time she spent with her grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Frazier Chapel, 124 E. North St. in Morristown. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 8, 2023, at the funeral home. Interment will be at Asbury Cemetery in Morristown. Online condolences may be shared with Deborah’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.