Wednesday, February 7, 2024
Local Cross Country Course Expects Big Year
Nearly 1,000 cars line Blue River Memorial Park during a 2023 race at Blue River Cross Country Course in Blue River Memorial Park. | photo from presentation
It has been a decade since Blue River Cross Country Course opened in Blue River Memorial Park, so it’s understandable if the timeline is a little hazy to those who have worked non-stop to see it come to fruition.
“(Mayor Scott Furgeson), were you the mayor when (Blue River Memorial Park) started?” Gary Nolley asked at Monday’s common council meeting.
“I built the park,” Furgeson responded to laughs. “Just ask my mom; she’ll tell you.”
Blue River Cross Country Course, a not-for-profit organization that runs the course, has thrived in its 10 years in operation, with the number of athletes and spectators growing each year. This season, the organization expects 9,500 athletes and 21,000 spectators thanks to several large meets, including hosting the NCAA Division III Cross Country Great Lakes Regional competition. State tourism officials calculate the economic impact to Shelbyville at $663,760.
“I think that’s a little heavy, but I think it’s at least $500,000, though,” Nolley, one of the organization’s all-volunteer staff, told the council in an update. Teams often visit local eateries, such as Just Peachy and Pudder’s, while in town.
The nonprofit is self-sustaining, with funding coming from hosting and parking fees and sponsorships. The city of Shelbyville, Shelby County and other organizations such as MHP and Blue River Community Foundation have pitched in for large capital improvements, including a $145,000 building at the finish line.
“It’s a true community effort going into this,” Nolley said.
The course has also benefited from its regular group of volunteers, such as Dennis Hearne, and Eagle Scout projects, such as the one by Chris Curtis, which included building the split rail fence.
The board, which is composed of Nolley, Jay Arther, Paul Sargent, Dan Cummins, Jennifer Meltzer, Ashley Livezey and Josh Thurston, continues to go big, especially with two new hotels coming to Shelbyville, increasing the capacity and, consequently, innkeeper tax funds. The board just submitted a bid for the 2027 NCAA Division III championship, which will be determined in October.
“That would give us a TV broadcast, across the world, really,” Nolley said. “It’s one of those, if you build it, they will come, and that’s been our history.”
The Shelbyville Board of Works yesterday approved a contract for milling and overlaying W. McKay Road, from Berwick Dr. to Miller St., where a roundabout will be placed.
Shelby County Democrat Chairman Denny Ramsey has put out a call for potential candidates interested in running for at-large positions on the Shelby County Council. Candidates can live inside Shelbyville city limits to run for county council, and council members earn a stipend for their work. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if interested.
The property at 549 Eastern Ave. has been significantly improved and the matter resolved, city officials said. “The property owner from Florida actually made contact with us, and she lit a fire under the tenants to start doing something, so that was very helpful for us,” Adam Rude, director of planning, said. Board members said they have not noticed improvement yet at 217 E. Hendricks St. The planning department will review the property again.
The board of works approved a driveway easement for 905 E. Washington St. City attorney Jenny Meltzer said the city will deed the easement for $1 after the property owner handles title and legal work. “It’s really just putting into the property records what is already happening in actuality on that land,” Meltzer said, adding that the easement will also will help reduce city mowing responsibilities.
The board of works also approved closing Public Square for Shelby County Cornstock, a music festival set for Sunday, Sept. 1, the day before Labor Day.
Jenna Martin started as City of Shelbyville Director of Public Relations yesterday. “Jenna is going to be very helpful in getting information out to the public and changing the way we do things in the city, with more openness and trying to figure out how we feed people the information they need to have,” Mayor Scott Furgeson said.
Shelbyville Street Commissioner Shane Peters said he hopes to purchase a trash and possibly recycling truck with automated arms to grab cans, which can be used in housing additions. He said his intent was not to eliminate any positions, but rather to help keep up with trash and recycling pick-up needs. “It takes longer to do (a) recycle (route) than it does to do two trash routes currently,” Peters said. It will likely take a couple of years to obtain a truck, he said.
Indiana American Water has intermittently shut off water while working at Mechanic and Miller streets, city officials said yesterday. The city does not have jurisdiction over the water company, but the company maintains an online alert system.
The Shelbyville Business Professional Women’s organization is looking for volunteers to help with the annual Reality Store event at Shelbyville Middle School, April 11. Those interested can contact Etheleen Swango, Reality Store Director, 317-512-9956.
Burglary was reported in the 300 block of W. Hendricks St.
NATIONAL NEWS: Misleading or trumped-up push notifications from social media apps desperate to juice engagement are rising across the board, with the detested notification flag rising for such boring and quotidian events as “a friend posted a photo” or “a group posted a link” more and more often, according to the app analytics firm Measure Protocol. Many of them are doing it — Snapchat, X and Facebook are all throwing notifications - but the biggest offender is Instagram, which saw users get an additional 12 notifications in January compared to the previous July. This is a sign of fear from the social network; when engagement is down and people are posting less and less, the app will begin throwing up random notifications in a last-ditch attempt at relevance. (Wall Street Journal / Numlock)
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This Day in Shelby County History
2014: Long-time Southwestern Elementary School teacher Jama (Steffey) Schmitt announced her plans to retire. She had taught at the school for 36 years. Her husband, high school teacher David Schmitt, had retired from Southwestern the year before.
2004: Gas America announced plans to build a convenience store with fuel pumps at 1424 S. Harrison St., the site of the former Compton Dairy and Cow Palace 1. Gas America operated 71 stores. Commercial real estate broker George Brunner handled the sale of the former Compton buildings.
1994: Shelbyville aviation commissioners questioned National Guard officials about a $12,000 overdue hangar rental fee. The Guard officials first said the rent had already been paid. When airport officials verified it had not, the Guard said the check was in the mail, and should arrive in a few days.
1984: EPA officials announced the pesticide Tetrafume, which contained cancer-causing EDB, would be recalled. The product was used in Shelby County, but only on grain when there was evidence of weevils. One farmer told The Shelbyville News that about five percent of local grain was fumigated with Tetrafume.
1974: Bryan Toll Jr. won a mini “Model T” from the Big Blue Store. A newspaper photo showed Doug and David Toll sitting in the car, D.J., Lexi, Bryan, Donna and Dan outside, with Bill Manning part of the presentation.
McDonald’s Corp. officials discussed plans with the Shelbyville Board of Works regarding putting a restaurant on E. State Road 44. That section of the road would soon become four-laned, and the representative said the restaurant would seat 90 and have 85 parking spots.
1964: John Small, 81, was the oldest active mail carrier in the nation. Small, who had been hired by Postmaster George Young in 1935, had been accompanied by his wife, Bessie, each day on the route since 1942. He had previously refurbished Shelbyville homes as an interior decorator. His route covered post offices in Rushville, Manilla and Homer. He made two round trips in the morning and another at 4 p.m. Small said State Road 44 was formerly called the Rushville Pike, and only had three houses on it when he started, none of which faced the road. When the state black-topped the road in 1938, driving time was cut by two-thirds, from an hour and a half each way to 30 minutes. His first mail vehicle was a narrow-tread Willys. Small had lived at 214 N. West St. for 80 years, and he had served two terms as a city councilman.
1954: The “Tired Old Men” basketball game at Flat Rock High School gym netted $184 for the polio fund. The teams were the township trustees vs. school bus drivers, with the trustees winning. Gene Sexton and Gene McNew were officials and Joe Rawlings, Flat Rock coach, was scorekeeper. The bus drivers claimed they were cheated by the refs and scorekeeper, and Leona Leap, Addison Township Trustee, presented the “Least Valuable Player” award to Dwight Long. Thomas Fogarty, school superintendent, coached the trustees, and Gerald Rice, Marion Township bus driver, coached the drivers.
1944: William F. Loper, Shelbyville school superintendent, was elected president of the Indiana City and Town Superintendents Association.
1934: The Shelbyville Common Council officially approved construction of a municipal airport. The city was leasing 50 acres from Major T and Ruth Jester for $300 per year on which to place the airport.
By a 250 to 58 vote, residents of Morristown voted to construct a municipal electric plant, which would involve a PWA loan and grant.
1924: The St. Louis Crossing Baptist Church, which had been destroyed by fire in October, would be re-built in the spring. The church board had purchased the former Olive Branch church and planned to raze it and use the materials to build a new church at St. Louis Crossing.
1914: A Parent-Teachers Club was organized at School Building No. 1, on East Franklin Street. It had been the last city school without such a club. The first meeting featured musical pieces from students Alma Gilley and Ralph Ewing.
Local Bell Telephone officials said 17,948 calls had been made in Shelbyville in one day. From 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. was the busiest. One operator handled 389 calls in an hour.
Gail Ann (Brown) Nellis, 70, of Pleasant View, passed away, Monday, February 5, 2024, at her home surrounded by family and her little dog, Leo.
She was born October 3, 1953, in Dayton, OH, the daughter of Albert and the late Adeline (Koogler) Brown. On October 19, 1974, she married Fulton J. Nellis. In addition to Fulton, Gail is survived by her father of Lewisburg, OH; daughter, Joy (Doug) of Greenfield; son, Johnny (Jaron) of Indianapolis; sister, Connie (Glen) Roe of Germantown, OH; and brothers, Dale (Tonna) Brown of Enon, OH, and Don Brown of Dayton, OH. She is preceded in death by her mother and both sets of grandparents.
In 1971, Gail graduated from Twin Valley North in Lewisburg, OH. She received a nursing degree from Miami Valley Hospital, School of Nursing. Gail was a Registered Nurse for 40 years at Major Hospital. During her retirement she worked in the bakery part-time at Kroger. She enjoyed gardening, participating in her church’s activities, helping her community, and traveling with her sister. Her greatest joy was her children.
Family will receive friends Noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2024, at Pleasant View Baptist Church - 12442 Southeastern Ave., Indianapolis, IN. The funeral service will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to AseraCare Home Hospice, 252 W. Main St., Carmel, IN, 46032. Services have been entrusted to Freeman Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, 819 S. Harrison St. in Shelbyville. Online condolences may be shared with Gail’s family at www.freemanfamilyfuneralhomes.com.
Betty L. Owens, 85, of Shelbyville, passed away February 5, 2024 at her residence. She was born September 15, 1938 in Russell Springs, KY. to Harley West and Opal (Tucker) West.
Betty enjoyed working in her yard and making her flowers look beautiful.
She married Larry K. Owens and they spent 57 wonderful years together. He preceded her in death on July 20, 2020. Betty is also survived by her daughters, Toni Jones and Marlene Finley; her son, Dennis Owens, and her brothers, Garlin West and Michael West. She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents; her brother, Bobby West; and her sisters, Jeanie and Sissy.
Funeral Directors Greg Parks, Sheila Parks, Stuart Parks, and Darin Schutt are honored to serve Betty’s family. Online condolences may be shared at www.murphyparks.com