On Wednesday afternoon, the Honorable Thomas A. Cannon Jr., Judge of the Delaware Circuit Court No. 5 administered the Oath of Office to Eric Hoffman who will begin his second term as Delaware County’s Prosecuting Attorney on January 1, 2023. Hoffman joined the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office in 2001 as a law clerk. In 2003, he was hired as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. In 2012, Eric was appointed Chief Trial Deputy and in 2018 Eric was elected Prosecuting Attorney of Delaware County. Hoffman frequently speaks on topics involving child abuse and neglect, child fatality, homicide, the insanity defense and victim’s rights.
More local news briefs below…
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Muncie service area is expanding. Beginning on Thursday, January 5, 2023 in partnership with the Gathering Church, the club will begin to serve students in Eaton, Royerton, and Delta Middle School students. Programs will be held Monday – Friday at the Gathering Church (9512 N Walnut Street) when school lets out until 6:30 pm. Members (Kindergarten – 8th Grade) will be provided small group tutoring and homework assistance, programs to help with Math, Literacy, and STEM knowledge, in a safe, loving environment. Visit bgcmuncie.org for more information.
There is a nursing shortage in Indiana with experts saying that altogether, Indiana’s hospitals are understaffed by about 4,300 nurses. Organizations like the Indiana Hospital Association have done what they can to get hospitals staffed, but they say one thing that is really hampering efforts to find enough nurses is the state’s licensing requirements for nurses to work in Indiana. The state’s process of getting nurses who move to Indiana from out-of-state licensed to work in Indiana takes too long. Medical professionals hope lawmakers will draft legislation in the upcoming session of the General Assembly to address the state’s slow licensing practices.
The deadline for open enrollment for 2023 Health Insurance Marketplace coverage is quickly approaching. Open enrollment is available through January 15, 2023—and coverage is more affordable than it has been in the past. If you don’t qualify for Medicaid and don’t receive employment through an employer, Marketplace may be a great fit for you. To learn more about Marketplace or enroll without the assistance of a Navigator, visit www.healthcare.gov.
The Muncie Children’s Museum will celebrate their 45th Birthday during their New Year’s Eve Celebration The Museum will be open from 10am-4pm on Saturday, December 31st. Beginning at 12pm, they will have music, a roaming photo booth, balloon art, ice cream, games, crafts, and more. At 3:30pm, the museum will have a balloon drop to celebrate the New Year. All activities are included with admission to the museum. For more information, visit munciemuseum.com
Tonight, the Paramount Theater in Anderson will be showing a special presentation of the film, “The Wizard of Oz” on the big screen. George Smith will be playing the Paramount’s pipe organ prior to the screening of the film. Doors open at 6pm and all seats are $5.
When you are finished with your real Christmas Tree, it can be dropped off at Heekin, McCulloch or Westside parks in Muncie until January 15th. The Muncie Sanitary District asks that you remove lights, ornaments or other decorative material before dropping off your tree. Look for the bright orange temporary fencing near the main entrances of the parks. That is where you can drop off your tree.
WTHR reports volunteers are needed in 91 of 92 counties for a statewide homeless count on January 25th. The count is required at least every two years in order for Indiana to qualify for federal funding. The deadline to volunteer is January 20th. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority’s Homeless Management Information Systems team will reach out to individuals, groups and organizations after they register. Visit wthr.com for the registration link and more information on the program.
Indiana has surpassed 2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, as new infections slowly rise. Indiana averaged 614.1 new COVID-19 cases per day in October. In November, that rose to 902.1 new cases per day. In December so far, the state has averaged 1,202 new cases per day. Those are just the confirmed cases reported to the Indiana Department of Health – the availability of at-home tests means many COVID cases are not represented in the data.
The family of a woman killed in a murder-suicide in Columbus right before Christmas says that she was denied a protective order against her abusive husband just days before she was killed. Julie Schmidtk )was pregnant with her and her husband’s third child when police say she was shot 13 times by her husband, Charles Schmidtke, on Dec. 19. Investigators say after Charles Schmidtke shot his wife in front of their children he then shot and killed himself. The judge, Jon Rohde, a former Columbus Police Chief, said there was not enough evidence to grant a restraining order. Schmidtke’s family believes that the restraining order she was denied could have saved her life. They also believe that the order could have enacted the state’s red flag law so that her husband’s guns could have been taken away.
All Indiana BMV branches will be closed Saturday, December 31, through Monday, January 2, in observance of the New Year’s holiday. Branches will resume regular business hours Tuesday, January 3.
On January 1, 2023, a new statewide policy takes effect creating minimum standards for how police can pursue suspects. The new minimum standards say the risk to public safety should be a top concern, and that police officers must consider many factors before pursuing suspects. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 75 people died from police pursuit crashes in Indiana since 2015. Records indicate 35 percent of those people were not even involved in the pursuit.
The Purdue Boilermakers will be making a significant addition to their quarterback position in 2023 thanks to the transfer portal. Former Texas quarterback Hudson Card will transfer to Purdue, according to ESPN. Card, a former top-40 recruit, will have three years of eligibility remaining.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles rejected 722 personalized license plates in 2022 out of 54,000 requests according to a report by WRTV. A committee of approximately 40 BMV staff members reviews personalized license requests drivers submit. The BMV can refuse to issue a personalized license plate if it “carries a meaning or connotation offensive to good taste and decency,” “would be misleading,” or “that the bureau otherwise considers improper for issuance.” Some rejected submissions include names such as “Mrs. Turd, SEXYPam, IM FBI and Dr. DooM.
The Ball State men’s basketball team closed out 2022 at home against Chicago State on Wednesday. Jarron Coleman led the Cardinals with 16 points as BSU defeated CSU 70-63, for its fifth-straight win. The Cardinals improved to 9-4 overall, while the Cougars fell to 3-13 on the year. Ball State ended the non-conference schedule with a 9-4 record, the first time since the 2018-19 season when BSU started 9-4.
The StarPress reports the American Electric Power foundation provided the Muncie Mission with a $50,000 donation put toward replacing a box truck used to haul food and merchandise. This is the second truck that the AEP Foundation has helped support. The first truck the Foundation helped with was purchased in 2020. The latest addition to the Mission’s fleet of five trucks was purchased in the fall.
WTHR reports Phillip Lee, the man accused of shooting and killing Richmond Police Officer Seara Burton has filed a motion in Wayne County court to represent himself in his murder trial. He faces the death penalty because Burton is a law enforcement officer and Lee was out on parole when the crime happened in August of 2022. Court documents show that on Dec. 22, Lee filed a pro se motion to represent himself at trial, which is now set for March 7, 2023.
Are you thinking about setting some goals for the New Year? Self.com suggests You might try a SMART goal. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. It’s an acronym used a lot in business, and also one that fitness professionals rely on to help clients set doable goals. It’s also pretty handy for any New Year’s resolutions you’re mulling over right now. The new year is a good time to consider stopping smoking. Living tobacco free is important to a healthy lifestyle. QUIT NOW Indiana is offering a new customizable quit plan called “Pick Quit.” Go to QuitNOWIndiana.com for free help breaking free from tobacco.
Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr. announced Wednesday he will seek $1.9 million in tax increment financing funds from the Anderson Redevelopment Commission to purchase the building at 2828 Madison Avenue. The city will provide Anderson Township the former Boy Scout building at 1420 East 10th Street for the new township offices. The relocation is scheduled to be completed by July 1. Broderick said $1.7 million of the funds will retire the bonds Anderson Township issued in 2017 and 2018 to construct the community center.
On Sunday the newly formed South Madison Fire Territory officially takes over responsibilities in Fall Creek and Green townships. The Pendleton Town Council and advisory boards for those townships all voted earlier this year to form the new territory. Funding will be phased in over three years, starting in 2023. Greg Valentine, Green Township trustee, said Wednesday that the fire territory recently hired nine firefighters, according to a Herald Bulletin report. Beginning Monday, the Pendleton Fire Station will have a full-time medic and EMT and The Ingalls station will also be staffed around the clock with a medic and EMT.
Happy New Year! Be Safe!