Orchestra Indiana Taps Katie Morgan Perez as New Executive Director

Katie Morgan Perez

Katie Morgan Perez.  Photo courtesy of MuncieJournal.com

Orchestra Indiana has announced that Katie Morgan Perez has been named Executive Director of the organization. Perez joined Orchestra Indiana as the Director of Operations in October of 2022, and previously served as the Executive Director of the Community School of the Arts in Marion for eight years. Perez steps into the role following the recent resignation of Scott Watkins.

A former bookkeeper for Anderson Community Schools has been sentenced to 28 months in federal prison for stealing nearly $1million dollars from the corporation. 63 year old Carla Burke of Anderson plead guilty to wire fraud and falsifying tax documents. Burke had served as the Food Service Departments bookkeeper since 2007. According to a US Attorney’s Office Southern District release, Burke issued checks in the name of Anderson Community School Corporation Food Service to herself as the payee and then cashed the checks at her personal bank. The scheme was uncovered during a routine, scheduled Indiana State Board of Accounts audit.

Northwest Bank has been recognized on the Forbes list of America’s Best Midsize Employers for 2023. The awards list ranks 500 midsize employers that received the most recommendations from a survey of 45,000 American workers. Northwest Bank is 60th on the list.

The manager of the Admiral gas station on Memorial Drive in Muncie has been arrested on allegations that she stole lottery tickets from her employer. The StarPress reports 42 year old Jalinna Michelle Edwards was preliminarily charged with theft after 95 tickets worth $850 were found missing. Edwards was released from the Delaware County jail after posting a $5,000 bond.

A local Muncie resident has been arrested after leading law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase. 43 year old Joshua Guy Little was arrested after the car he was driving crashed into a tree. The StarPress reports a chase ensued when Little allegedly refused to pull over after officers activated their emergency lights and siren. It ended when the Chrysler Sebring he was driving struck a tree near East 26th Street.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 1 in 3 deaths, more than 359,000 people, are due to heart disease or stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, and stroke is the fifth leading cause. These staggering statistics show the importance of taking care of yourself to prevent and/or reduce the risks.

Converse – and basketball – fans of all ages might enjoy visiting the Indiana Historical Society starting March 4th. That day, the new Chuck Taylor All Star exhibit will open to the public. Charles Hollis – or Chuck – Taylor is the name behind the iconic Converse brand. If you visit, you will be able to learn more about the Hoosier his relationship with basketball. The exhibit will also feature a virtual reality experience and more, and will run until January 27th, 2025. Learn more at indianahistory.org.

The Indianapolis Star reports Eli Lilly has announced plans to reduce the price of most of its insulins 70% in an effort to put the drug within reach of more Americans with diabetes who rely on it to stay alive. The Indianapolis pharmaceutical company will also expand a program to cap out-of-pocket costs at $35 or less per month and starting in May will charge $25 a vial for its non-branded insulin, making it the cheapest mealtime insulin on the market.

A bill passed the Indiana Senate which would ban books from schools considered “inappropriate” to minors. Senate Bill 12 requires each school corporation or charter school to publish a list of each book available in their library online and in a physical copy for parents or guardians of students. If a parent thinks any book is inappropriate, they can submit a complaint. An appeals committee made of the school principle, a parent/guardian, and a librarian at the school will then decide if the complaint is valid. Then, they can either remove the book entirely, move it to an age-appropriate section of the library, or deny the complaint. The bill now moves to the Indiana House to be voted on.

The Starpress reports two members of a Muncie family were arrested this week on allegations of child and animal neglect based on conditions at their eastside home. 40 year old Tara Michelle Dampier and her brother 41 year old James Joshua Dampier were taken into custody this week. A child was found inside the home which lead to the Dept. of Child Services being called to the scene. Investigators also reported finding oxycodone hydrochloride, in the house. That led to an additional preliminary charge, possession of a controlled substance, against Tara Dampier.

Dictionary.com has added 313 new words to its index. Among the new words added: DIGITAL NOMAD, noun, a person who works remotely while traveling for leisure, especially when having no fixed, permanent address…. ANTIFRAGILE, adjective, becoming more robust when exposed to stressors, uncertainty, or risk… and PINKWASHING, noun, an instance or practice of acknowledging and promoting the civil liberties of the LGBTQ+ community, but superficially, as a ploy to divert attention from allegiances and activities that are in fact hostile to such liberties. 

The StarPress reports Vote centers were voted down by the Delaware County Election Board this week and likely won’t reappear for consideration until after the 2024 election. Democratic Election Board member Ashley Nichols quietly voted no on the entire proposal moments after voting in favor of pieces of the plan. A final plan requires a unanimous vote of the three board members before being passed along to the state for its approval,  in time for the primary election.

Ball State University’s Office of Community Engagement is now accepting proposals for the 2023 Community Engagement for the Arts Grant. The competitive grant program provides up to $35,000 annually to an East Central Indiana community arts-focused organization or program. Application deadline is 5 p.m. ET March 31. Visit munciejournal.com for more information and a link to the application.

Ball State men’s basketball has its final home game game on Friday at Worthen Arena and will host the MAC’s  No. 1  team Toledo (24-6, 15-2 in MAC play) The game begins at 6 p.m

The hit History Channel series “American Pickers” is returning to Indiana in April. The show follows antique and collectible pickers as they travels across the country looking for treasure among the trash and discarded items found in junkyards, basements, garages and barns. If you have a collection or know someone who does, you can reach “American Pickers” producers by emailing them:  americanpickers@cineflix.com.

A bill authored by State. Sen Jean Leising  that would track how many Indiana students are being taught cursive writing passed the Senate by a vote of 42-7 on Tuesday. Senate Bill 72 would require school corporations to report to the Indiana Department of Education on whether cursive writing is a part of their curriculum and at what grade level it is being taught. SB 72 will now move to the Indiana House of Representatives for further consideration

Even the Tooth Fairy isn’t immune to inflation: The value of a single lost tooth is at a record high, with the average gift reaching $6.23, up from $5.36 in 2022. Delta Dental’s 2023 annual poll, released ahead of National Tooth Fairy Day, found the average amount parents are doling out for single lost tooth is up 16% over last year. The Midwest has the lowest value of a lost tooth at $5.63 but that was up $1.36 or 32% from last year.

The Indianapolis Star reports Eli Lilly has announced plans to reduce the price of most of its insulins 70% in an effort to put the drug within reach of more Americans with diabetes.

The Herald Bulletin reports Daleville Community Schools is looking to save on its energy bills by improving energy infrastructure, the board decided during its Monday, Feb. 27, meeting. The school board approved a contract with Emcor Construction Services Midwest, a company out of Fort Wayne to make improvements to the HVAC system if long-term costs can be lowered.