Master Plan for Muncie Parks Way Overdue

Muncie’s park and recreation department is updating its master plan, something that is supposed to be done every five years but hasn’t been done here in a decade. The last master plan was dated December 1998 and was prepared by Rundell Ernstberger Associates. The Star Press obtained what purports to be a more recent master plan, dated June 2005, but it appears to be an exact copy of the previous plan, although it says it was prepared by the city controller’s office. There are lines in the document for the signatures of the park board members, but the signatures are missing. It would be difficult for a park department to receive grants from the state without an up-to-date master plan, according to officials.

Five Arrested in Marion Burglary

Four men and a teenage male were arrested Sunday night after police responded to an alarm at Tucker Career and Technology Center in Marion. According to Police Department reports, two people were running from the building and were taken into custody when police arrived at 11:30 p.m. Sunday. More officers arrived and set up a perimeter around the building. An open window was discovered and three more people were found inside and taken into custody. Michael D. Shaw,was charged with resisting law enforcement and criminal mischief; Jonathan C. Guy, was charged with criminal trespass; Jonathan Walker,, was charged with criminal trespass; and Nicholas R. Reed was charged with burglary and resisting law enforcement. A 16-year-old male also was charged with criminal trespass.

FSSA Healthy Indiana Plan Not Without Problems

As the Healthy Indiana Plan approaches its six-month anniversary, Family and Social Services Administration officials are citing various victories and a few problems with the plan. While the state’s answer to the uninsured Hoosier problem has currently helped 13,500 Hoosiers get access to health care at a low cost, FSSA Secretary Mitch Roob said the program is not yet helping at least one group of Hoosiers. The current plan excludes Hoosiers who have access to health insurance through their employer. The problem, according to Roob, is that while employer-provided coverage is available, it is often too expensive for folks earning between 100 percent and 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

Attorney in BSU Student Police Shooting Case Cannot Practice for 2 Years

The lead attorney in the case against Ball State University in the campus police shooting death of student Michael McKinney has been barred from practicing in Indiana for two years. Geoffery Fieger was barred by the Indiana Supreme Court. He was charged with professional misconduct. Fieger allegedly altered paperwork in St. Joseph County saying that no disiplinary charges were pending against him, when in fact, there were. Fieger was also known for representing suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian. The action against the attorney has nothing to do with the BSU case.

Free Food to be Distributed Friday in Muncie

Free food will be distributed from the tailgate of the Second Harvest Food Bank truck 9-11 a.m. Friday, May 30, at McCullough Park, at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and Centennial Avenue. The giveaway is open to anyone in need of food assistance while supplies last. This tailgate is sponsored by a $200 grant from the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs and by friends of Second Harvest.

Muncie Mayor: I Need a Deputy Mayor After All..

After five months on the job, Mayor Sharon McShurley said she has realized she needs a deputy mayor. Earlier this year, McShurley said she would not hire a deputy mayor because of budget constraints. McShurley indicated that she has been working 14- to 16-hour days five to six days a week. McShurley announced she has hired former Center Township Trustee Dick Shirey as the city’s deputy mayor. Shirey, who currently serves as business manager of the Muncie Public Library, will begin June 16.

Arson Fires May Have Caused Death of Eaton Fire Chief

Officials believe a series of arsons in Eaton on Thursday morning contributed to the death of one of the town’s firefighters. Jay Maddy suffered a heart attack Friday night and died Saturday morning, according to Hamilton Township Fire Chief Tim Baty, who is acting as a spokesman for the Eaton Volunteer Fire Department. The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office has labeled Maddy’s fatal heart attack as a “line of duty” death. Maddy had been a member of the Eaton Volunteer Fire Department for 20 years, Baty said. Between 3:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning, two teenagers set 21 fires that involved a carport and motor home, a mini-van, a sport-utility vehicle, a mo-ped and several trash cans, according to police.

Marion Splash House Water Park Opens for Summer

Marion’s Splash House water park opened for the first time this season Saturday, and even though the swim park didn’t have a huge turnout, director John Weller said he wasn’t disappointed. Weller said he didn’t experience any problems on the first day, and he was pleased to see people in the water.

Muncie Seeks $40K to Study Roberts Hotel and Convention Center

More than a year and a half after the closing of the Roberts Hotel, the Star-Press is reporting local officials are trying to raise $40,000 for a study that could help determine the future of downtown Muncie’s convention and hotel business. When the Roberts — built in 1921 and the last remaining downtown Muncie hotel — closed at the end of October 2006, Canan and the building’s owner, Bloomington businessman Peter Dvorak, said they would keep in contact in hopes of reviving the landmark. The Horizon Convention Center, across High Street from the hotel, has lost as many as eight conventions because groups wanted a hotel near the convention center.

Missouri Teenagers Lead Police on High Speed Chase

Three Missouri teenagers remain in custody in Henry County today after leading police on a high-speed chase along Interstate 70 and through a rest area on Saturday afternoon. The chase began on Ind. 3 near Henry County Road 300-S after an Indiana State Police trooper tried to stop a southbound van for a seat belt violation just before 1 p.m. Saturday. Units from Knightstown and Henry and Hancock counties joined state police in the pursuit, which reached speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. The van pulled into the rest area turnoff at the 107 mile-marker going 85 mph, then drove back onto I-70. The three occupants jumped out and fled on foot into a plowed field, where they were captured by police. The van was found to have been stolen in Missouri.