Friday, July 16, 2021

Congressman Talks Jan. 6 at Lincoln Day Dinner

Shelby County Republican Party Chairman Rob Nolley introduces Congressman Greg Pence at last night’s Lincoln Day dinner. Also at the table are Denise Pence and Jill Nolley.

The Lincoln Day Dinner’s purpose was nearly accomplished before it began. The Shelby County Republican Central Committee’s annual fundraiser generated almost an entire year’s expenses, approximately $11,000, through sponsorships and program advertising sales, party chairman Rob Nolley said. It was a welcome relief following last year’s dinner cancelation.

Well over 100 attended the program, catered by Kopper Kettle at Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 84. Local Republican officeholders and Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan, who was appointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb to complete the term of retired Secretary of State Connie Lawson, was on hand. So was a challenger to her seat, Diego Morales, a former aide to then-Gov. Mike Pence. The GOP Secretary of State nomination will be awarded by delegates at next summer’s Republican State Convention.

Keynote speaker Rep. Greg Pence (IN-6) spent his time urging unity. “One of the things we have to be real careful about is dividing among ourselves,” he said.

Pence recounted the election certification events of Jan. 6, when he joined his brother, Vice President Mike Pence, in the Senate President’s ceremonial office after rioters had breached the Capitol. 

Although Secret Service agents requested the Vice President leave the office, he refused, Rep. Pence said. On the third attempt to persuade the Vice President, agents demanded the group move, so the Vice President, his wife and daughter, and Rep. Pence were taken to another area, but the Vice President still refused to leave the building. 

“His character impresses the hell out of me,” Rep. Pence said.

The Pences waited out the riot and Congress reconvened that night. Joe Biden was certified as president at 3:24 a.m., Jan. 7.

Rep. Pence asked for a show of hands from those who thought the election was stolen. Fewer than 10 hands went up.

“We got to stay together here,” Pence said. “The enemy are the communists.” 

He opposed a commission to investigate the riot in a House of Representatives vote in May.

The Congressman also took questions and bantered with his mother, Nancy Pence Fritsch, who was in attendance. 

“When we (he and his five siblings) were growing up, my mother would always say, ‘You’re my favorite,’ regardless of who she was talking to,” Rep. Pence said. “When Michael became governor, it didn’t really seem like I was mom’s favorite anymore.” The Congressman joked his standing with his mother has since improved.

The event concluded with the usual fundraising activities. County Councilman Ben Compton and Amy McQueen won wooden benches in a raffle. City Councilman Nathan Willis won the 50-50 drawing.

Test Results Show Pandemic’s Impact on Schools

Spring ILEARN scores are in, and results from the year of the pandemic are discouraging. Only 28% of students statewide passed both math and English portions of the test, far below results from previous years. Indiana Department of Education data shows fewer than one-third of elementary and middle school students statewide are on track to graduate high school ready for college or career.

"This data cannot be an indictment on anyone, on anything, on any school," Secretary of Education Katie Jenner told the State Board of Education.

Shelbyville Central Schools Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Miltz agreed. “The 2021 ILEARN scores certainly don't represent the hard work of committed teachers, staff and administrators or the capabilities of SCS students. We are much better than what the scores represent. It was a difficult year that was wrought with the constant disruption of student and teacher absenteeism due to COVID and quarantine procedures, new teaching methodologies, which restricted student and teacher interaction, as well as impactful social-emotional hardships caused by the pandemic.”

Districtwide, 29% of SCS students passed both English Language Arts and Math; 36% were proficient on the English test; and 42% were proficient on the Math test. 

An Addison Times review found SCS numbers fared well when compared to cities in closest population proximity. Of the ten cities’ districts, SCS’s combined passing percentage ranked third. And adjustments are already in the works, Miltz said.

“We are ready and committed in this new school year to accelerate learning for students and support them in ways that were not possible due to restrictions that occurred last year. This summer administrators and teachers have been realigning curriculum and resources to support areas in need of improvement. We look forward to getting back to the basics and focusing on the academic and social-emotional needs of our students versus devising education plans that will work in the midst of a pandemic.”

BELOW: ILEARN data from ten Indiana cities in close population proximity.


  • As of yesterday, the state reported 5,063 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 1 from the previous day, out of 20,568 tests, an increase of 11 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 97. The state dashboard lists 19,916 who have been fully vaccinated in Shelby County.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: Hoosiers will get a state tax refund when they file their taxes next year. That’s because the state finished the year with budget reserves of $3.9 billion, triggering Indiana’s automatic taxpayer refund. The automatic taxpayer refund was created a decade ago and only used once, in 2012, sending a $111 credit to Hoosier taxpayers. After that, lawmakers made it harder to trigger. Essentially, Hoosiers get the refund if state budget reserve dollars are more than 12.5 percent of the total budget. Even in April, as legislators finalized a new state budget, they didn't think they would trigger the refund. Lawmakers were spending hundreds of millions of dollars this year out of reserves to help pay down state debt, renovate the state's police academy and send money to schools to help student learning loss from the pandemic. And then, in just the last three months, Indiana brought in $1.2 billion more than lawmakers expected. (Indiana Public Media)

This Week in Shelby County" works by George L. Stubbs Sr. are owned by the Shelby County Historical Society (Grover Center) and used with permission.


News around Shelbyville and the surrounding area as reported on or about this date in history. Selections are curated from the Shelby County Public Library Genealogy Department.

20 YEARS AGO: 2001
Garrett Freeman was announced grand champion boy in the Shelby County Fair’s baby contest. Mathew Winslow was reserve grand champion boy. Hunter and Jasmine Martin claimed the twins category prize. Grand champion girl was Sydni Stuckey, and Savannah Fogle was reserve grand champion. There were plenty of cute baby tricks. Garrett Pitzer, wearing a big cowboy hat, reached his hands out to the judges at his mother’s instruction. Each judge shook his hand. Hunter Bennett came on stage with a pink boombox shaped like Mickey Mouse’s head and danced to the music. Carlene Medsker wore a “Future SHS Cheerleader” shirt. Landon Burton did a somersault. James Bruce and his mother both came out in Harley-Davidson attire.

30 YEARS AGO: 1991
WMG, Inc., a cassette duplicating company, announced plans to purchase Shelbyville’s ElectroSound plant, 1805 W. State Road 44. The plant employed about 90. ElectroSound had previously announced plans to permanently close.

40 YEARS AGO: 1981
The Indiana State Armory Board voted to sell the already city-leased Civic Center to the city of Shelbyville. Mayor Dan Theobald said it was unlikely the city would have the funds to purchase the vacant Addison School, so the Civic Center was the best option. The Center was in need of expensive repairs, and city ownership would allow for the council to approve the expenditures.

The Shelby County Council voted to fund a new radio system for the Sheriff’s Department. The measure had previously failed on a 4-2 vote with councilman Bob Laird out sick. Laird returned at the next meeting and provided the fifth vote needed. Deputies had given councilmen rides in patrol cars to demonstrate problems receiving and making radio transmissions without interference from Johnson County police agencies.

50 YEARS AGO: 1971
Formal dedication of Shelbyville’s new 46,293-square-foot Army National Guard Armory was set for October. The facility would have space for more than 600 soldiers and include a hangar for 21 helicopters. Fifty full-time employees were expected to operate the facility.

60 YEARS AGO: 1961
Plans were announced for the Sugar Creek Township Fair, to be held on the grounds of the Boggstown Presbyterian Church. Chairs of the events were Kathleen Perkinson, John Carson, Carlos Gray, Carroll Craig, Gene Green, Robert Persinger, Ada Updegraff, Helen Gardner, Bruce Eck, Ed Harlamert, Norman Facemire, Sally Weakley, Sylvia Needler, Nancy Amick, Roy Sandefur, Jim Harlamert, Betty King, George Perinson Jr., Earl Roberts, Edna Sandefur, Ernest Speece, Ron Tressler, Giles Robison, Marvin Taylor, Lillian Duncan, Judge Anthony Champa, Gerald Gray, Evelyn Carson, Walter Vaught, Bill Barlow and Gertrude Tucker.

The Shelbyville F&M Oil Co. All-Stars crushed No. 1 Beverages of Indianapolis, a team made up of former Attucks players, 104-62, to reach the Elwood basketball finals. Jerry Bass led F&M with 25 points. Other scorers were Gordon Pope, Ron Richardson, Bill Heady, Gary Long, Bill Altman, Barry Parks, Jack Krebs, Charles Thompson and Dave Ross.

The owner of A&K Poolroom, located in the first block of S. Noble St., was approved for the purchase of Federal gambling stamps. Chief of Police Ezra Dagley said his department would investigate since they were unaware of any organized gambling operation in the city.

70 YEARS AGO: 1951
Maurice Cooper, 1129 S. Harrison St., caught a six-pound largemouth bass at the Parrish gravel pit, south of Fenns Station. It was believed to be the biggest fish caught locally that summer.

80 YEARS AGO: 1941
State officials arrived in Shelby County to inspect every canning establishment to ensure compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the Act, employees of factories must not be paid less than 30 cents an hour. Children under 16 were not to be employed in any capacity in the canning industry. The law also mandated time-and-a-half pay after 40 hours a week.

The first local case of draft evasion was reported to the Shelby County selective service board.

90 YEARS AGO: 1931
Officials announced there would be no county fair unless funds were raised within one week. Less than three-fifths of the subscriptions for stock in the new fair association had been paid, and nearly all of the funds had been spent purchasing the buildings and equipment of the previous defunct fair organization.

100 YEARS AGO: 1921
Signs prohibiting betting were hung at the city baseball park after The Republican reported there had been “a considerable amount of open betting on the outcome of the contests by some of the spirited fans of this city.” The management of the Shelbyville Nationals said “small friendly bets could be made without a big display of money, as has been flashed at the park on several occasions.”


  • Thefts were reported in the 1100 block of E. State Road 44, 4300 block of N. Michigan Road and 600 block of W. Franklin St., Shelbyville.

  • Jail book-ins: Phillip W. Lewis, 28, possession of meth; Abbey J. Rush, 38, hold for another jurisdiction; Karlee K. Barnes, 28, unauthorized entry of vehicle, theft; Misty D. Gassman, 34, possession of meth


None today