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Sunday, January 22, 2023
24 Hours in Addison Township: 3:06 a.m.
Parker enjoys accompanying 911 dispatcher J.T. Sipes each night, shown here in a photo taken last fall. “I re-homed Parker and asked (then-911 director) Jason Able if I could bring him in the first couple of nights so he could get used to me, and he’s done so well, and everybody really enjoys him, so I kind of kept bringing him here,” Sipes said. On this night, Sipes - and Parker - were joined by dispatcher Kayla Pike. | by KRISTIAAN RAWLINGS
Bowen, West File for City Council Seats
Shelbyville Common Council member Joanne Bowen, left, and candidate Linda West, right, join Democrat Chair Bob Williams on the stairs of the courthouse last week following the filing of election paperwork in the Clerk’s office. Bowen, who currently represents the 1st Ward, will be running for the at-large position, while West is running for the 5th Ward slot. Republican Thurman Adams currently serves in the 5th Ward and is running for re-election. Democrat Susie Pouder is running for Bowen’s current seat in the 1st Ward. | submitted
Editor’s note: Since columnist Kris Meltzer moved over to The Shelby County Post, we are republishing one of his historical articles here each Sunday until our closure at the end of February. The following article was originally published February 28, 1999.
Judge Tolen Great Storyteller, Friend
George Tolen's recent death has given me the urge to do a little time traveling. I have had Mr. Peabody warm up the way-back machine and set the dial for 1980. Please join me as I visit Shelby Superior Court for the very first time.
With the ink on my law degree almost dry, I'm going to Shelby Superior Court to meet Judge Tolen. The Court was located in the north end of the basement of the Courthouse and, in order to do business with the Court, lawyers entered a basement door located on the north end of the building.
The Court office was run by a man named Vic Hirschauer. Vic had a desk in the small room located just outside the door to Tolen's office. There was a perpetual cloud of cigarette smoke from Vic's Camel straights. Vic had that raspy voice of a smoker and, on first impression, he came across as being a bit gruff. However, first impressions can be deceiving, and when I got to know Vic, I discovered he was actually a very nice guy. He could be most helpful to lawyers by tipping them off when Tolen was in a bad mood.
Vic was missing a finger and he actually had more of an appearance of a retired farmer than a court administrator. Vic not only ran the Court, but he also ran the coffee maker. Vic's special brew was made by never discarding the old grounds and just sprinkling new coffee grounds on top of the old grounds. I wasn't a coffee drinker at the time, so I never had the pleasure of sampling Vic's special stout brew. However, coffee drinkers always described it as being several times stronger than espresso. Rumor had it that his missing finger was the result of stirring his coffee with the digit causing it to dissolve.
Tolen's office was a large room, which is now used as the jury room. His secretary, Susie Olinger, had her desk in the same room. Tolen smoked what appeared to be small cigarette-like cigars. The carpet around Tolen's desk had a design created by long burn marks from Tolen's little cigars falling on the floor. This no doubt occurred while Tolen was busy yelling at some lawyers. I doubt if the County Commissioners would have had much luck implementing their no smoking policy in Tolen's chambers.
Tolen had a reputation for being opinionated, stubborn, bull-headed and sometimes unreasonable. At least that was his reputation among his friends. In 1979, Tolen appointed local attorney Vance McQueen as pauper counsel in a criminal case. Tolen made some remarks off-record that McQueen believed entitled him to a change of venue from Tolen for the sentencing hearing. Tolen claimed that McQueen was misrepresenting his remarks and ordered McQueen suspended from the practice of law in the Shelby Superior Court for a period of 90 days. McQueen appealed Tolen's order to the Indiana Supreme Court and on November 29, 1979, Tolen was reversed and specifically instructed by the Supreme Court to expunge his order that suspended McQueen.
Now don't get the idea that Tolen was just tough on defense attorneys. Soon after his run-in with McQueen, Tolen threatened to put prosecutor Jerry Lux in jail. Tolen had appointed a panel of judges on a case, and all of the judges were from such a great distance that Lux knew none of them would accept the appointment. Lux refused to take part in picking one of those judges. Tolen gave Lux until Monday at 9 a.m. to either strike one of the judges on the panel or go to jail. With a weekend for everyone to cool off, the matter was settled without Lux going to jail. Lux agreed to strike from the panel but Tolen agreed to pick a new panel with judges more likely to accept the appointment.
Talking with George in his office for the first time was a bit intimidating because of his reputation. However, Tolen had been a friend of my grandfather, Brady Meltzer. Both Tolen and my grandfather shared an interest in things from the past, including log cabins and muzzle loading guns. Tolen lived in a log cabin and subscribed to Muzzle Blast Magazine. Tolen always had a selection of old issues of Muzzle Blast in his jury room so that the jurors would have something to read when the court was in recess. My grandfather had been on the cover of Muzzle Blast in 1965, and Tolen had a copy. Tolen insisted on loaning me a book titled The Orphan Brigade. I actually had no interest in the book but, then again, he was the judge and I'm not stupid. So I cheerfully accepted the book on loan and read it. To my great surprise, it was an excellent book. That first meeting was the beginning of our 17-year friendship.
It has probably been a year since Tolen and I had lunch together and then spent the afternoon at my office with Tolen spinning tales from the past. Tolen was a great storyteller and will be missed by his friends, even if he was a bit bull- headed at times.
WITH ONE VOICE
With the public address microphone on the fritz, Shelbyville Middle School sixth-grader Stormie Bolden sings “The Star-Spangled Banner” a cappella before a boys basketball game last week.
The Shelby County Plan Commission meeting, set for Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., in the courthouse annex, will include the following agenda items:
A request regarding 15 & 17 Hale Road and 1016 W. Hendricks St., Shelbyville, to rezone one-third of an acre from Single-Family Residential to Multiple-Family Residential to allow for the development of two duplexes and the rezoning of .12-acre from Single-Family Residential to Highway Commercial to allow for the expansion of an adjacent commercial property.
A request regarding the 8100 block of N 850 W, Fairland, to rezone 18 acres from Conservation Agricultural to High Intensity Industrial to allow for the development of a tractor/trailer repair and trucking center.
A request regarding the 9000 block of N. Frontage Road, Fairland, to rezone approximately 7 acres from Conservation Agricultural and High Intensity Industrial to allow for a truck parking facility.
A resolution approving amendments to the Declaratory Resolution of the Shelby County Redevelopment Commission that established the Northwest Shelby County Economic Development Area.
The board will also discuss the 2023 meeting calendar and Plan Commission Rules of Procedure.
Finally, a request to rezone 243 acres from Conservation Agricultural and Single-Family Residential to High Impact to allow for the expansion of aggregate mining operations in southern Shelby County has been continued to the Feb. 28 meeting.
The Shelbyville High School girls basketball team (13-8) defeated Delta, 66-31, yesterday, which included a career-high 31 points from junior Ava Wilson.
The Shelby County Public Library Genealogy and History Department is holding a “Fireside Chat with Abraham Lincoln” on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 7 p.m. in the Carnegie East Indiana Room.
HOOSIER NEWS: Megabus is coming back to Indy. After pulling out of the market in mid-2020, the low-price bus service — rides are as cheap as $1 plus the $3.99 booking fee — returns here with service to dozens of cities. Starting on Jan. 25, it will connect Indianapolis with 32 cities, including Chicago, Nashville, Detroit, Gary and South Bend. (IndyStar)
NATIONAL NEWS: Plant-based imitations of meat have declined in popularity, and it’s threatening the companies that thought they were designing the future of food itself. Volume sales of refrigerated plant-based meat in supermarkets were down 14 percent in the year ending December 4, and orders of plant-based burgers at food service establishments were down 9 percent in the 12 months ending in November compared to just three years earlier. Beyond Meat’s stock price is down 93 percent compared to its peak in 2019. Rival Impossible Foods has managed to hang in the game by moving toward imitation chicken nuggets. (Bloomberg/Numlock)
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.
THIS DAY IN SHELBY COUNTY HISTORY
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: 2003
Shelby County Commissioners ordered the Dallas-based company that had purchased the 25-acre Bausback site on the banks of the Big Blue River just west of Shelbyville to clean up the site at 1796 W. Washington St. The company had been trying to find a buyer and had been unwilling to clean up dilapidated buildings on the former animal rendering plant it had purchased. There were 10 to 20 semi-trailer loads of animal fat and bone marrow in one of the ponds on the property, officials said.
30 YEARS AGO: 1993
A local man was sentenced to 10 years for multiple burglaries, including at local schools, Old Hickory Furniture, Blue River Lanes and Dickmann Motors.
Sgt. Robert Brinkman was promoted to lieutenant by Shelbyville Police Chief Kehrt Etherton.
40 YEARS AGO: 1983
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Merit Board selected David E. Wischmeyer, 38, as a new full-time deputy. Wischmeyer had been a four-year member of the department’s reserve force. There were 50 applicants for the deputy’s position. His wife, Linda, was a radio dispatcher for the Shelbyville Police Department. They had four children.
50 YEARS AGO: 1973
JustRite, 350 E. Broadway, offered part-time employment. Starting pay was $1.60 per hour.
60 YEARS AGO: 1963
Temperatures reached 9 degrees below zero during the day and near 20 below at night. It was believed to be the coldest temperature on record, surpassing an official 13 below zero in 1951. The wind-whipped snowstorm accumulated six inches and all schools in the county were closed. An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 vehicles were stalled or “frozen” in the city and county, officials said. Anti-freeze was selling “like hotcakes,” service station owners said.
70 YEARS AGO: 1953
Seven Shelby County people wound up their visit to the inauguration in Washington, and “exhausted Republicans shuffled their throbbing feet out of the double-header inaugural ball early this morning to ring down the curtain on a wild three-day jubilee during 20 years of political frustration,” The Republican said. Locals attending President Eisenhower’s inauguration were GOP Chairman William Carithers, Mr. and Mrs. John Whitehead, L.L. Jenner, brother of Indiana Senator William E. Jenner, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Cox and Isabelle Tucker.
80 YEARS AGO: 1943
Local law enforcement said they were “on the alert” to the possibility that “women of questionable character may be making regular trips to this city in the company of soldiers or coming here to contact any troops who may visit on weekend passes from Camp Atterbury,” The Republican reported. Eight women had been placed in jail in Franklin recently on similar suspicions. The women ranged in age from 15 to nearly 40.
90 YEARS AGO: 1933
The Shelby County Medical Society announced free tuberculosis clinics would be offered at Major Hospital three times a week for those unable to pay. Society officials said their efforts had resulted in the reduction of more than 60 percent of local cases. Dr. J.E. Keeling of Waldron was president of the organization, and Dr. H.H. Inlow was secretary-treasurer.
100 YEARS AGO: 1923
John Zike, one of the first residents of Union Township, died north of Manilla at 83 years old. He had married Mary Ormes in 1868, and she survived. Zike had been a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church since 1875.