Upland Teens at Site of Amusement Park Accident

Two Upland teenagers were on the Superman Tower of Power at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom on Thursday when a 13-year-old girl had her feet severed on the ride by a loose cable.  Gabe Harmon, 13, and Andrew English, 14, were at the park as a part of reward for helping with Upland Community Church’s Fun in the Sun program.   Clyde Ewbank, UCC’s youth pastor, said he was watching the ride, but he couldn’t see what happened to the girl.  Andrew said none of the ride’s passengers could be released from the ride until the authorities had helped the girl.  Six Flags has closed similar rides at three of its other amusement parks, company spokeswoman Wendy Goldberg said. The shutdown will allow the parks to inspect the rides and is standard procedure after an incident at any Six Flags park, she said. The company hasn’t released the names of the three other parks.

Portland Man Charged for Meth Lab

A rural Portland man has been accused of operating a methamphetamine lab at his home.  51-year old Robert J. Micheau,  was charged this month with four drug-related charges, the most serious of which was dealing in methamphetamine, a class B felony carrying a standard 10-year prison term.   He was also charged with dealing in a sawed-off shotgun, a class D felony with a standard 18-month sentence. In addition, prosecutors have accused Micheau of being a habitual offender.   At the time of his most recent arrest, Micheau was on parole for a drug-related conviction in Texas.  According to Indiana Department of Correction records, he has Jay County convictions for possession of cocaine (in 1997) and dealing in marijuana (in 1996).

Dunkirk Man Injured by Falling Tree

A man who was trimming a tree Saturday just outside of Dunkirk was injured when part of the tree fell on him and crushed his leg.  Jay County Emergency Medical Services was called to help the man at 11:50 a.m. Saturday. Paramedics said the man was in a wooded area cutting a tree and somehow the tree pinned his left leg to the ground. The man suffered “substantial injuries.”   The Dunkirk Fire Department also responded to the call about a quarter mile from the Anderson Grain terminal along Jay County Road 1100-W, but a firefighter said the man was already freed from the tree by the time the firefighters arrived.

Anderson Council Candidate Questions Vote

At the initial hearing for Anderson City Council at-large Democratic candidate Antony “Ty” Bibbs, his supporters said they were upset about the number of absentee ballots that had been rejected in the primary election. Some were rejected because they were not signed, and others were returned from the post office.  However, the majority of the absentee ballots were rejected because the signature on the application for the absentee ballot did not match the signature on the envelope of the absentee ballot, according to the Madison County Clerk’s office.   If all of the rejected ballots had votes for Bibbs and no votes for Eicks, Bibbs would have won the election, Bibbs’ supporters claim.

Pendelton Murder Trial Set to Begin

A Pendelton woman’s murder trial is scheduled to start this week.   Kathy Jo Ward, 37, is charged with a single count of murder for allegedly shooting to death her husband, 43-year-old John W. Ward, inside the couple’s home on the morning of Dec. 18 while he slept in the couple’s bed. A conviction of murder is punishable by a 45- to 65-year prison sentence.   Ward has has confessed to her parents and police — the question is what kind of defense her attorneys will mount.

Dry Weather Affecting Farmers

As dry conditions take their toll on crops in Central Indiana, experts are predicting higher than normal prices and that could bring serious consequences for farmers.  Vaughn Bracken of Bracken Farms in Madison County said he usually raises enough hay to feed his 50 head of beef cows and still have some left over for sale. But with the yield of the first cutting down, he will have to find cattle feed elsewhere and even thin his herd.  A farmer for all of his 57 years, Bracken expects to see higher prices for the corn and soybeans he raises.    Steven Smith, director of agriculture for Orestes-based Red Gold, said his company does not have to worry about prices.    Smith reports the prices of tomatoes are set prior to the season, so dry conditions will have no effect.  Smith said Red Gold uses machines to harvest its tomatoes, so no jobs are on the line either.

Blanton trial date set

The Gaston teenager accused of a series of sniper attacks that resulted in the death of a man in Jackson County in 2006 will go to trial in October. 18 year old Zachariah Blanton is accused of having fired shots from his hunting rifle on an overpass of Interstate 65 near Seymour in July 2006. An Iowa man was injured while New Albany resident Jerry Ross was killed in the shootings. Blanton is further alleged to have returned to Delaware County later in the same early morning hours and to have fired shots at a semi-tractor trailer on Interstate 69 and at a parked car at a gas station. The Delaware County shootings resulted in no injuries, and no charges have been filed related to the northern leg of the shooting spree. Blanton has been charged as an adult with one count of murder and three counts of criminal recklessness, and has an October 31st trial date in Jackson Circuit Court.

Owner wants annexed land to be de-annexed

Owners of the proposed multimillion dollar bio-life facility being planned at a site along State Road 332 are asking the town of Yorktown to de-annex land in the area so that it can be zoned for commercial purposes. The County Board of Commissioners already rezoned 35 acres for the site this week, joining 38 adjacent acres, which have previously zoned as commercial. The project, rumored to be developed by Clarian Health, sits on a site that has already seen some contentious history between the municipalities of Muncie and Yorktown over its annexation.

I'll be the roundabout…

The downtown roundabout project continues to run on-time, although overruns are adding to the budget. The Muncie Board of Public Works and Safety on Wednesday approved nearly $50,000 to cover extra project costs, which include environmental concerns from old underground fuel tanks and excavation costs for the road base. The roundabout, to be located on the southern periphery of downtown, will also include the historic Passing of the Buffalo statue. A large stone base for the statue was placed last week. The city also has secured the former parking lot near the Downtown YMCA to be converted into a greenspace. Current estimates place the project at 40% complete.