A Muncie man who allegedly stole his live-in girlfriend’s cell phone and car and then tried to strangle her remained in jail Tuesday, facing multiple charges. Lance T. Simon, , already faced battery charges in Muncie City Court for beating his girlfriend and police returned to their home Monday with the victim, crying and hysterical. This time, the suspect said her boyfriend took her belongings and then hit her in the face, kicked her in the head and tried to strangle her. He faces felony charges of strangulation, auto theft, and intimidation a misdemeanor charge of battery with injury. Simon remains in jail under a $17,500 bond.
Tom Harris, the new superintendent of Prairie Lake, has profitability as his main goal as he begins his job. He was appointed last week by Mayor Sharon McShurley, to replace long time park superintendent Ron Bonham. According to Harris, Prairie Creek reservoir lost about $150,000 last year. He indicates many fees will need to be raised.
Muncie’s annual July 4th fireworks display might be a casualty of Mayor Sharon McShurely’s budget cutting efforts for the city. McShurley said the city likely would not fund fireworks at Prairie Creek Reservoir this Independence Day. McShurley also said Tuesday she had no immediate plans to appoint an economic development director, although she acknowledged that if those duties were centralized under city government, the position’s functions and duties might be more clear.
Fire Capt. Eric Wilson was named Muncie Fire Chief by Mayor Sharon McShurley to lead firefighters through likely cutbacks and consolidation of public safety services. McShurley interviewed eight firefighters for the job after current Fire Chief Alan Richards decided to return to the ranks as a line lieutenant. Wilson’s qualifications and education won him the appointment, along with his 15 years of experience as a firefighter, sergeant and most recently as training captain.
More voters could cast ballots at centralized polling sites instead of traditional neighborhood precincts – or submit absentee ballots by mail without giving an excuse – under a bill that cleared the Indiana House Tuesday. The House voted 73-25 for the legislation, which would allow any county to opt for vote centers – scattered polling sites where people can cast ballots regardless of their precinct – if the local election board unanimously approves the change.
Efforts to create constitutional caps on property tax bills will likely be hammered out in a conference committee after House Republicans failed to change the way Democrats want to calculate the caps. Democrats voted 50-49 Tuesday to reject a Republican attempt to restore a resolution under which caps for homeowners would be based on the assessed value of their homes. That measure passed the GOP-controlled Senate, but House Democrats recently changed it to base the caps on household income.
A fledging group of community members plans to help southern Madison County children whose families need food, clothing and money to pay the bills. The Charlie’s Fund for Children Committee recently gave $12,500 to the South Madison school district and has had discussions with the Frankton-Lapel school district as well. Committee members plan to make other connections throughout southern Madison County to find children that are in need, chairwoman Kathy Barber said. For instance, the group has talked with township trustees and plans to approach local churches.
Recently appointed Chief of Police Deborah Davis announced immediate structural changes in response to the city budget crisis. Chief Davis is looking forward to working with the Merit Commission to bring the Police Department in line with the budget. Chief Davis announced the appointment of Lt. Roc Barrett to Deputy Chief with the primary responsibility of leadership for the uniform division.
School superintendent Marlin Creasy faced a large group of parents at Washington-Carver Elementary School last night. He was there to answer many questions about the transfer of students out of the school. In essence, 137 students will be transferred to Garfield Elementary School, nine will be transferred to Longfellow Elementary School, 26 students will attend North View Elementary School, and 102 will attend South View Elementary School. The changes will take place at the start of next school year. In particular, parents of special needs students are concerned. The location as to where they will be transferred has not as yet been finalized. The school board will vote on the recommended changes today, at its 4 p.m. meeting. (North View Elementary).
Muncie Mayor Sharon McShurley has named Tom Harris, a Republican activist and onetime county employee, as the new superintendent of Prairie Creek Reservoir. Longtime Supt. Ron Bonham was ousted from the position he had held for 38 years after McShurley fired him in January. In last year’s mayoral election, Bonham endorsed fellow Democrat Jim Mansfield, who defeated the Republican McShurley by nine votes on Election Night but lost by 13 votes in a recount.