Sunday, June 13, 2021

Miss Shelby County Fair Queen Crowned

(Top photos) Shelbyville High School alumnus Julia Prickett, daughter of Kevin and Mike Prickett, was crowned 2021 Miss Shelby County Fair Queen by 2019 Queen McKenna Hall in a pageant held at Triton Central High School last night. Prickett will be a sophomore at Purdue University this fall. (Lower L, L to R): Fellow SHS alumnus Abigail Miller, the daughter of Steve and Tracy Miller and a rising junior at Indiana University, was named second-runner up; TCHS senior Emma Hutchinson, daughter of Nick and Terra Hutchinson, was named third-runner up; and Lillian Gahimer, daughter of Shay and Lori Gahimer and a TCHS alumnus who is entering pre-med studies at Indiana University in the fall, was named first runner-up and Miss Congeniality. (Lower R) Bryson Balting, son of Bryce and Hailey Balting, was named “Little Mr. 2021” and Stella Rieser, daughter of Dustin and Hannah Rieser, was “Little Miss 2021”. Both are posing with McKenna Hall, who placed in the top five at the Indiana State Fair Queen Pageant and made the Indiana State Fair Queen Court. Christa Weaver is the pageant director.

A VIEW FROM MY SCHWINN: Dog Days of Summer

“Little” Dean Tyner and his Dalmation, Ember, participate in yesterday’s 4-H dog show.

Dear readers,

I arrived home one afternoon this week to discover that Skeeter had dropped off a parking pass to the Shelby County Fair. Attached to the pass was this note:

Kris, since your high school class voted you “most likely to be a carny,” I would like you to get off your couch this week and go cover the events at the fair. You have been spending way too much time watching TV. It’s time for you to get out and do some real reporting, or at least as close to real reporting as you can.

Wasting no time, I sharpened a brand-new Ticonderoga no. 2 pencil, grabbed my reporter’s notebook, pumped up the tires on my Schwinn and headed to the fairgrounds.

The fair doesn’t officially open until tomorrow, but several 4-H events are already taking place. I arrived just in time for the dog show. It was the perfect event for me to cover. I have a great appreciation for the skill it takes to train a dog.

Several years ago, I attempted to train a dog. I got the idea from my dentist, Dr. Jester. He is not only an excellent dentist but is also a well-known dog whisperer. Doc gave me a few tips. Uncle Tony gave me a little white puppy and thus my adventure in dog training began.

I named the little ball of white fur, Fluffy. Unfortunately, Fluffy didn’t stay little for long. He was a Great Pyrenees. My attempt at training him was a failure. Under my direction, the only skills he mastered were chewing up lawn furniture and preventing my Aunt Martha from leaving her house.

Looking around the 4-H barn, it was apparent that all the kids had far surpassed my dog training skills. I recognized a Dalmatian from the last time I attended the dog show two years ago. Ember was accompanied by the same boy, Little Dean Tyner. He goes by “little” Dean because his dad is also named Dean. Little Dean was there with Ember; his dad; and his mom, Gina. Little Dean told me that he hopes to grow up to be a firefighter so that is the reason he chose a Dalmatian. His dad is the Fountaintown fire chief.

I then saw two well-trained dogs with three girls. I thought it might be a team effort. The girls were Maycee, Baylee and Payslee Carlton. They are the daughters of Chad and Whitney Carlton of Morristown. Maycee’s dog is a cockapoo named Bolt and Baylee’s dog is an Australian Shepard. Payslee is too young to participate this year. She is the future of 4-H. I told Payslee she might consider getting a Great Pyrenees, if she wanted a challenge or if she thought her family needed new lawn furniture anyway.

It was a very hot day. After becoming reacquainted with little Dean and interviewing the Carlton girls, I was worn out. I didn’t hang around for the results. I decided to peddle on home for a snack and a nap. Based upon the level of difficulty that I found dog training to be, I would have given all the kids a blue ribbon.

Editor’s Note: Anna Tungate did drop off the parking pass for columnist Meltzer but there was no note attached. I’m guessing that the note was either from his wife, Sandy, or a figment of his imagination.

BELOW: Maycee, Payslee and Baylee Carlton “paws” for a photo at yesterday’s 4-H dog show.


  • Shelbyville business owners and sisters Ricca and Keyen Macklin were recently featured on Good Morning America. Their Yellow House Vibes hospitality business, named in honor of their grandmother Janie Macklin’s yellow house, was the feature of the segment.

  • Mr. Alex Engelbert was named assistant principal and athletic director at Waldron High School. Engelbert joins Waldron from Columbus Central Middle School, where he served as athletic director and taught PE. He has also coached cross country and baseball at the middle school and high school levels.

  • As of yesterday, the state reported 5,006 positive coronavirus cases in Shelby County, an increase of 4 from the previous day, out of 20,143 tests, an increase of 18 from the day before. The number of deaths for Shelby County remained the same, at 97. The State lists 18,462 fully vaccinated people for Shelby County as of yesterday.

  • HOOSIER NEWS: The Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana appears to be giving the Hammond Horseshoe Casino a run for its money as the top grossing gaming destination in Northwest Indiana, and the Hoosier State. Data released Friday by the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) show the new Gary casino earned $20.6 million in "win," or revenue after paying successful bettors, during the 18 days it was open in the month of May. In comparison, the Horseshoe Casino reported $38 million in win over 31 days in May, giving it an average daily win just $82,251 ahead of the Hard Rock. IGC records show this is the first time in years any Northwest Indiana casino has come anywhere close to challenging the Horseshoe's market dominance. The Horseshoe also usually is the top performing casino statewide. Though it remains to be seen whether the Hard Rock benefited from patrons gambling there simply because it's new, or if it truly will compete with the Horseshoe on a monthly basis going forward. (Munster Times of Northwest Indiana)

  • Publisher’s note: Daily subscribers, look for expanded coverage of the Shelby County Fair throughout the week! Thank you to each subscriber for supporting local journalism. Thanks to you, last week we covered the recent death of Loretta Meloy, the first woman to practice law locally; Jack Boyce’s photography exhibit; city council’s review of multiple pending residential housing additions; and our usual local government and history news.

    Subscribe now

    “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
    Developers for the Twelve Oaks manufactured homes subdivision cleared a hurdle with the Shelbyville Board of Zoning Appeals but skepticism remained. Board member Dennis Baker cast the only vote against Twelve Oaks’ plans, questioning whether homes there would be appraised for more than the cost of the home. A representative with the developer said not to worry because the reputable government-sponsored Freddie Mac would back the mortgages.

    30 YEARS AGO: 1991
    On the last day of school, the nine pairs of twins at Loper Elementary were gathered for a photo. Five pairs were first graders: Dana and Derek Tucker, Nathan and Nicholas Conner, Bobby and Robby Kern, Robbie and Joey Bever and Andrew and Lyndsey Cart. Sixth-grade twins were Jeri and Joni Meyerholtz and Heather and Matthew Hardin. Jeremy and Jonathan Bellows were in third grade. Stacy and Steven Nigh were in fifth grade.

    In a three-hour meeting, the Southwestern school board adopted an attendance policy without a clause that lowered a student’s grade for leaving school for family vacations. Superintendent James Compton said about 20 percent of the students had missed 10 or more days of school the prior semester. Attendance had been particularly poor the week before spring break. Several people spoke at the meeting. “You’ll have parents who lie to you and say their kids are sick,” one teacher said. “You’ll then see (students) come back to class with a tan….”

    40 YEARS AGO: 1981
    Sources told The Shelbyville News that Judge Byron C. Wells and Prosecutor Jeff Linder were getting along again. The prior month, the paper reported that Linder claimed Wells was “out to get him” and the judge had called the prosecutor a “liar.” Recent interactions, though, had been more “cooperative,” the paper said.

    50 YEARS AGO: 1971
    Mr. and Mrs. Fred Wehr, formerly of Fairland, purchased Denney’s Sport Shop at 702 N. Harrison St., which they would operate as Wehr’s Western Wear. The former owners were Mr. and Mrs. Omer Denney.

    60 YEARS AGO: 1961
    Dennis Thurston, 6, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Thurston, was the lucky winner of a gasoline-powered extremely compact car. Dennis was the state winner of the Ball Band Jet contest which he entered through Stephan Shoes. He had been with his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Jones, 1642 S. Riley Highway, when he entered the contest.

    The Shelby Uptown Tavern, closed a few days prior for non-payment of federal withholding taxes, reopened at 108 S. Harrison St. after full payment was made.

    70 YEARS AGO: 1951
    Shelbyville’s industries were playing a vital part in supplying essential products for the nation’s mobilization program. A list of local industries used in the armed forces’ efforts included the Broadway Machine and Manufacturing Co., Chambers Corp., Cinch Manufacturing, Kennedy Car Liner & Bag Co., Harry A. Lowther Co., National Farm Machinery Co-op and Nukraft Manufacturing. Defense contracts had led to hiring sprees.

    City recreation supervisor J.M. McKeand announced Shelbyville’s two city parks, Laura Morrison and Kennedy, were open to the public. Jackie Thomasson was appointed supervisor of Morrison Park and Gaynel Rudd in charge of Kennedy Park. Park amenities included swings, teeter-totters, slides, clock golf, horseshoes, pitching, tennis, basketball, softball and football. The north tennis courts at Morrison would be black-topped in August and lights would be turned on at all courts until 10 p.m., McKeand said. Families desiring to hold reunions at Morrison Park could call caretaker Harley Sipes at x2111 to make reservations.

    80 YEARS AGO: 1941
    City recreation director J.W. “Ike” Ballard found four albino frogs. Ballard turned the frogs over to Mayor Ed Shook, who was keeping them in a rock garden at his home.

    A Chamber of Commerce committee was appointed to work with city council and state officials to develop a new traffic system for Public Square. Members of the committee were Allen Bennett, Eden Thurston and Fred Stephan. Three plans were under discussion, two of them based on changing all through traffic to a rotary movement around the Square rather than through it, and the third routing through traffic straight through the Square, north and south, by eliminating the fountain and building curbs and walks through the Square. Related committees were formed, comprised of W.E. Carney, Harry Hatfield, Dwight Brinson, Dr. O.F. Fuqua, Frank Moore, Ed Shook, C.F. Fix, A.T. Money, D.E. Johnson, Ralph Coleman, Robert Ewing, M.H. Crouse, Ora Breedlove, John Sigler, Jeffrey Pfaff, Robert Griffey, Will Hardin, Fred Marxson, Jim McCarty and Frank Fleming.

    90 YEARS AGO: 1931
    A series of boys’ hikes were planned for the summer, starting from Kennedy Park. Hike types were billed as “Mystery, Overnight, Bicycle, Hound and Hare and Map.”

    Ideal Grocery No.2, located at 479 West Mechanic St., was opened by Mr. and Mrs. Heustis. They had operated the Ideal Grocery downtown for several years.

    100 YEARS AGO: 1921
    Moral Township officials made plans for a combined elementary and high school building. Residents had circulated a petition asking that a high school be built within the township. Current students attending high school had been forced to attend Acton, New Palestine, Fairland or Shelbyville schools.


    Johnathan Layton Skeens, age 19, of Fountaintown, passed away Thursday, June 10, 2021, at Methodist Hospital. He was born in Greenfield, IN on November 16, 2001, to Heather Renea Seaton and Christopher John Skeens. He attended the Excel Center in Shelbyville, IN, maintaining a 3.7 GPA.

    Mr. Skeens was a recipient of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a Riley Baby at the Riley’s Children’s Hospital. His hilarious, loving, and compassionate personality made him the center of attention from the whole family and was loved by many. He liked music, video games, and musicals, especially Hamilton.

    He is survived by his mother, Heather Renea Seaton of Fountaintown; father, Christopher John Skeens; sister Krista Skeens (Dakota Gillon); stepfather, Johnnie Ramsey of Fountaintown; grandmother, Vickie Lockridge (Duane Seaton); aunt, Shannon Knight (Ted); uncle, Jason Smalley; and step-grandfather, Curtis Baatz. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Harry and Judith Seaton; uncle, Dave Bentley; and step-grandmother, Deborah Baatz.

    Visitation will be held on Monday, June 14, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. at the mortuary. Burial will follow at New Palestine Cemetery in New Palestine. In lieu of flowers, please consider the needs of Johnathon Skeen’s family by sending memorial contributions to Erlewein Mortuary, 1484 W. US Hwy. 40, Greenfield, IN 46140.