With the clock ticking down to the state-mandated December 20th deadline, Muncie’s mayoral recount will begin on Wednesday. The recount request was filed by Republicans, claiming there was fraud, misconduct and tampering. However, no details have been provided regarding these claims, despite repeated media attempts. Republican Sharon McShurely lost to Jim Mansfield by 11 votes in the November 6th elections. Meanwhile, mayor-elect Mansfield is moving ahead on transition plans for his January 1st take-over as Muncie’s new mayor.
Some members of Muncie’s black community are expected to speak out against a Republican investigation into the predominantly black Precinct 18 during a rally today.
The event is scheduled for 5:30 at Terrestrial Temple Church. Voters in Precinct 18 say they have felt intimidated and harassed since Republicans began questioning them about their votes after the Nov. 6 city election. As part of the mayoral recount, Republicans have investigated Precinct 18 for evidence of voter fraud because of its high number of absentee votes. More people voted by absentee ballot than by machine in the Nov. 6 election in Precinct 18.
Police continue to search for a man who they believe was responsible for two robberies on Thursday morning. Both the Village Pantry on South Madison Street and the First County Federal Credit Union on west 11th Street. Officials say they are searching for Billy Marlow in connection with both crimes. Marlow was arrested in July for robbing that same credit union two times in one week back in July. He posted bail on those charges and is currently out of jail. Police continue to search for him.
Hoosier Academy cleared another hurdle in Ball State University’s charter school proposal process Thursday with a public meeting for the proposed K-12 charter school. More than 30 people attended the 6:30 p.m. meeting, held at the old Riley Elementary School. Audience members’ questions about the school addressed everything from Hoosier Academy’s operational methods to its proposed budget structure. It would operate as a public charter school with two campuses, one in Muncie and another in Indianapolis. In its first year of operation, enrollment by lottery would be open to 600 students, 200 of them attending the Muncie campus.
One of Anderson High School’s all-time great basketball players could face more than 50 years in prison for allegedly dealing cocaine. Eric D. Bush, 27, was taken into custody at about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday at the home in the 1600 block of Cedar Street that he shares with his girlfriend. He was arrested on suspicion of dealing cocaine, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, and maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony. He is being held in the Madison County Jail on $50,000 bond. Bush made an initial court appearance on Thursday, but no charges have yet been filed. Magistrate Stephen Clase approved a request from prosecutors for an extra three days to file formal counts. Prosecutors have until Tuesday afternoon to charge Bush.
Fire officials are still trying to determine the cause of a house fire in rural Anderson late Wednesday. Volunteer firefighters from Chesterfield-Union Township were called to the home at 4005 E. 37th St. at about 10:15 p.m. on a report of a fire at the home, said Deputy Fire Chief Jamey Burrows. Burrows said no one was inside the home, a rental, when the fire erupted. He said the fire likely started in the home’s attached garage and had spread to the home when firefighters arrived. He said investigators were still trying to determine the fire’s cause.
Steven Barker will be the next Gas City judge, now that recount results confirm November’s election that named him the winner. A recount was conducted Thursday morning at the Grant County Courthouse. The results showed Republican Barker with 609 votes and incumbent Democrat Fred Schrader with 603 votes.
About 70 Marion High School students stayed after school Wednesday to ask their principal and superintendent questions. Students kept their hands raised throughout the meeting, asking about a wide range of topics, including issues about teachers, class sizes, elective class options and elementary schools. Some students, instead of asking questions, took time to vent their frustrations toward administrators about changes within the school system, including the proposed cutting of 58 teachers. Some of the questions from students were straightforward. They asked about specific teachers being chosen to be cut. Both administrators explained throughout the meeting why the teachers were chosen, which is based on the teachers union’s contract. The contract outlines seniority and where the school system must start when it considers whom to give notices of reductions in force, or what teachers can be moved to different positions.
The Village Pantry on South Madison street near 29th was robbed about 5:45 a.m. this morning by a man who left the scene, driving what police called a “beat up” pickup truck. Area police agencies began searching for him immediately, but no apprehensions where immediately made.
The First County Federal Credit Union was robbed this morning around 9:45 a.m. A police K-9 dog was brought in to search for the robber, but dog lost the trail just across the street, indicating the suspect got into a getaway vehicle. There have been several robberies at this location since the first one on June 18th.