The cost of maintaining a cemetery

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – How do you plan on celebrating your mom this Mother’s Day?

For some it’s a time for visiting a lost loved one, but too often cemeteries where people are laid to rest look less than peaceful.

A Mother’s Day visit to family graves often shines a light on plots choked with weeds and overgrown with neglect.

“A lot of times you’ll have wind damage, you’ll have vandalism, limbs fall and so forth, so you have to maintain those as much as you can,” said Dean Strohm, president of the City Council in Clinton.

There are only two cemeteries in Clinton but Strohm said maintaining them is not an easy task.

The winter storms took a toll on some stones at Riverside Cemetery, the oldest cemetery of the two.

“Our tombstones are very old and very fragile,” said Strohm.

It’s not just the harsh winter that plays a role, but there is also a financial strain.

It cost the city over $100,000 a year to maintain the cemeteries.

“If you sell a lot today at maybe $300 then that never changes and your maintenance for that lot is for eternity,” said Strohm.

From lawn care services once a week, to road maintenance, the upkeep can be costly on a tight budget.

“We do have a labor force but it’s only two people that are assigned to the cemetery, so it’s not that you have a whole workforce that you can dedicate to that,” said Strohm.

Despite the difficulties they put in extra effort before holiday weekends.

“They’ve entrusted us with the maintaining of that cemetery for their loved ones and we intend to fulfill that obligation,” said Strohm.

If you live in Clinton and notice a problem at once of the local cemeteries you are asked to contact the mayor’s office.

Preparing to ‘Paint the town pink’ for Mother’s Day

WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – Organizers are preparing to ‘Paint the Town Pink’ with the goal of helping to pay for mammograms for uninsured and under-insured women.

The Wabash Valley Breast Cancer Survivor organization reports early detection is key. And every woman should get the care they need.

“It can mean the difference between a lumpectomy and a mastectomy. It can mean the difference between having a lot of chemotherapy and not having chemotherapy and the difference between having radiation and not having radiation,” Coral Chochran, volunteer director. “So, we think it’s important as cancer survivors to try to catch it early.”

The event starts at the WTHI-TV studio on Friday at 6:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., or until all of the carnations are sold out. There will be $1 carnations and floral arrangements at varying prices. For more information or to order an arrangement, call (812) 249-2951.

Complete list of locations selling carnations starting at 10 a.m.:

  • First Financial Bank’s (Downtown Terre Haute, Springhill, Southland, Meadows, West Terre Haute, Plaza North, Rosedale, Clinton and Sullivan)
  • Rural King
  • Inside the Meadows Shopping Mall near MCL and Stein Mart
  • Sam’s Club
  • Union Hospital Clinton
  • UAP Medical Office Building
  • Harris Bank in Sullivan

Union Hospital has new president

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Union Hospital in Terre Haute has a new leader.

Union Hospital’s board of directors announced Steve Holman has joined the team as president and chief executive officer.

Holman came to Terre Haute from Ohio.

That’s where he worked as president for another hospital.

Holman says he’s very happy to be a part of this new team.

“122 years. I’m joining a legacy. A tradition of providing quality healthcare in this community. And I’m just excited to be here. I’ve had such a big welcome, both from the community members and from physicians, associates and staff here at the hospital,” Holman told us.

Holman will lead Union Hospital Terre Haute, Union Hospital Clinton and the Union Hospital Medical Group.

One city taking spring renovations to new level

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – Renovations are a big part of every city during the spring.

But the city of Clinton is taking it one step, or a few steps, further this season.

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) started working on State Road 163 in Clinton in April.

“It’s a blessing for us to be able to have our main drag going through town a state road highway be fixed,” said Bob Alexander, Board of Works and Council-at-Large.

And that’s just the beginning.

They’re replacing sewer lines, making storm water lines. They’re also getting new sidewalks, curbs and handicapped access.

“We have the two apartment complexes going up in town. The one on the south end should be completed by the end of July, August. The Villas, on the north end, they’ve got some structures up,” said Alexander.

The entire city will see improvements throughout the summer.

And city officials couldn’t be happier with the residents.

They say they’ve been 100 percent behind the changes, even going so far as to start their own small projects.

“They all join in and they’re all fixing things up. All the clubs and organizations getting behind us. Good things are really coming ahead,” said Alexander.

Those aren’t all the updates either!

The city is also working on updating cemeteries and area parks.

Just as a reminder, INDOT will resurface 163 from State Road 63 to the Wabash River Bridge.

Once milling gets underway, motorists will see an increase in lane restrictions.

So the project will cause traffic delays and the mayor says alternate routes will be in use.

Water main break in Clinton shut off water


CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – 5/7 UPDATE: All water was restored to residents of Clinton around 9:30 Tuesday evening. The entire town of Clinton will be on a boil order until further notice.

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A water main break at Elm and Water Street in Clinton shut off water to the city of Clinton for several hours.

It all started because of construction.

The city’s been working on updating their sewer system.

The water was spewing up at Elm and Water streets.

Here was the problem.

A board of works official said they’ve been out there excavating. But no one was there this morning when the water main erupted.

But they say it’s an easy fix.

“Last night, we had a two-inch main. So we had to open the fire hydrants to relieve some pressure to be able to fix that leak. Then, this morning when we came in, this was gushing out, so putting the pressure back on the main probably caused this to leak,” said Bob Alexander, board of works and council-at-large.

They had to shut the water tower down for about four hours in order to fix the leak.

The entire city was without water during that time.

Some businesses we spoke to went ahead and closed for the evening.

This won’t cost the city any extra money or time.

It’s just a matter of inconvenience.

It’s important to note, the city of Clinton is under a 48-hour boil order from 8:00 Tuesday evening.

The Clinton Public Library closed early at 6:00 p.m. due to the water break.

Tall Grass can Lead to a Hefty Fine


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) –  Rain and sunshine offers lots of help for greener grass. But that also means a chance for over-grown lawns. Take a look at this. Some yards looking more like a jungle. This is a house on Third Avenue in Terre Haute. Terre Haute code enforcement says overgrown lawns can be a health hazard. Lots of things are attracted to thick grassy areas, poison oak, mosquitoes, and more. Tall grass is against city code, and local enforcement will remind home-owners about the rules.

“We’ll send out a continuous abatement notice. You get one of these, either certified mail or taped to your front door one time. After you get one of these, you might want to stay up on your grass, because at that time, if it’s not cut within a ten-day period, or if it gets tall again, the city can come onto the property and mow the grass.”
That’s not complimentary lawn care. Code enforcement sends out hefty bills for cutting grass. If it continues, they can even place a lien on your property. Grass season is May 1st through October 31st.

 

Sexual abuse victims face a ‘horror movie’

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s like something out of a horror movie.

“At the age of 78, my grandmother was a victim of sexual assault. A man broke into her home at 3 a.m., kept her hostage for 12 hours, raped her multiple times…it changed her life forever,” said Amber Watson, family member.

Her attacker, Alex Callison, was arrested and sentenced to 88 years in prison for his crimes against Mary Lou Williams. And she never imagined it happening to her.

“She always would say, she never bothered anyone. She didn’t understand why this had happened to her,” Watson said.

She lived in what she thought was a safe community. But the stats are staggering.

One out of every four women in Indiana is sexually assaulted. Males — one out of six.

A woman is raped every six minutes in this country and it is estimated two in four women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.

“I think a lot of it goes unreported. A lot of people are afraid. It affects both male and female victims. Males especially are afraid to report,” said Lea Ann Camp, chief nursing officer at Greene County General Hospital.

Without reporting, this is the number you’ll see. 97 percent of rapists never see the inside of a jail cell.

Williams died six months after her ordeal.

“Too hard to bear the burden she went through. She just gave up on life,” said Carol Williams, family member.

Her family saying it was just too much for her to bear.

“Every night she lived in fear. I remember, one evening walking in to check on her. She just about jumped out of her skin. She thought I was coming in to get her,” Watson said. “She said she was so scared she kept hearing the door being busted in over and over again.”

They hope their cautionary tale will make you think twice about your safety.

“So many of it goes unreported,” Watson stated. “And there are people that will do it again to other women and the sooner we can put an end to it, then the more lives we’ll save.”

Family members of the victim are now advocates in the fight against sexual assaults.

They attended the event “Walk a mile in their Shoes” hosted by the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office.

It’s to raise money for sexual assault nurses at Greene County General Hospital so victims won’t have to travel to Bloomington to get immediate help.

For information on sexual abuse hotlines or how you can help, call the 24-hour hotline at 812-336-0846.

For immediate help, always call 911.

DOCS: Homicide victim found with 7 gunshot wounds

BLOOMFIELD, Ind. (WTHI) – A Linton man accused in the Sunday shooting death of a Greene County man appeared before a judge via video conference late Wednesday morning.

Aaron Schaffer, 32 of Linton, was officially charged with murder and possession of a handgun without a license. Investigators believe he shot Michael Shan Bowers, 48 of Greene County, five times, leaving seven gunshot wounds on Bowers’ body.

A copy of the probable cause was obtained by News 10 on Wednesday detailing the April 20 incident. In it, the dialogue of a Greene County Sheriff’s Department Detective, pursuing the investigation.

The document reads, Linton Police contacted the Greene County Sheriff’s Office after Aaron Schaffer, 32, of Linton turned himself into police on April 20, around 9:32 pm.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene of the investigation, on County Road 900 West, Northeast of Linton. There, deputies found Stacy Bowers, the victim’s wife, and Dova Lockhart, a brother-in-law of Stacy.

Deputies say the body of Michael Shan Bowers was found in a gravel area behind his home. An autopsy report would later reveal Bowers was shot five times.

Court Documents state that Bowers and Schaffer knew each other through their wives, Stacy Bowers, and Amber Schaffer. Stacy Bowers and Amber Schaffer are noted as sisters in the document.

Amber and Aaron Schaffer, and Stacy and Michael Bowers were attending a family Easter gathering a Reservoir 26 earlier that day. According to a witness statement: “Everyone seemed to be getting along with each other except Shan and Stacy.” Shan is noted in the text as Michael Bowers.

The probable cause notes that Michael Bowers left Reservoir 26 without Stacy; Stacy asked Aaron Schaffer for a ride back to her home. It notes that Schaffer dropped wife Amber off, and continued to take Stacy home; later, Schaffer stopped at a convenience store for cigarettes, and asked Stacy to buy them using his credit card, said police.

During that time period, detectives say, is when the incident occurred. Investigators believe Aaron Schaffer drove to the Bowers’ home and killed Michael Bowers. The court document states Schaffer returned to the convenience store to pick up Stacy Bowers, and admitted to shooting her husband.

He then turned himself into the Linton Police Department.

Aaron Schaffer appeared via video conference before a judge Wednesday where he was charged with murder and carrying a handgun without a license. Schaffer is scheduled for his next court proceeding in September.

 

 

 

Indiana unemployment drops again


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the state’s unemployment rate is now down to 5.9 percent, it’s lowest point since July of 2008. 

Indiana’s biggest jobs gains come in manufacturing, especially jobs related to the auto industry.  There’s been a lot of talk at the statehouse about how recent policies and legislation have made Indiana more business friendly. 

Indiana State University economist, Robert Guell, said the results we see today don’t come from recent policies but rather from years of sound decision-making.

“The consistent work across both parties and across multiple governors.  That is essentially where Indiana is,’ said Guell.

Knox and Daviess counties rank in the bottom four in the state with rates below 5%.  Greene, Clay, Parke and Sullivan are in the top 25, but have rates below 8%.  Vigo County is 8th with 8.1%.  Vermillion County has the highest unemployment in the state at nearly 10%.

“The things we thought we struck gold with have not turned out quite as golden as we thought they would be,” said Guell.

Guell says part Vigo County’s manufacturing is tied to housing, which has hurt.  Certainteed closed its plant, and Boral Brick is underutilized.  And then there’s Sony DADC, whose blu-ray disc won the movie disc war, but rapidly declining sales forced layoffs with more possible.

Casey’s General Stores plans to open a distribution center in Vigo County.  This will create at least 150 new jobs.  Local leaders hope this announcement will lead to further economic development in the area.

Officials arrest Linton man on murder charge

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -Update:

The Greene County Clerk’s Office told News 10 Aaron Schaffer, 32, of Linton would likely not appear in court Tuesday morning, as the judges were taking part in a conference. It was not immediately known when Schaffer would make his first court appearance.

The Greene County Sheriff’s Office was expected to have new information to release to the public Tuesday.

News 10 will have that information as soon as its available.

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Greene County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested a man Monday in connection with a shooting death that happened Sunday just outside of Linton, Ind.

Investigators took into custody, Aaron Schaffer, 32, of Linton early Monday.

The arrest came following a Sunday night shooting that left Michael Bowers dead.

Authorities responded to a home on County Road 900 West, northeast of Linton Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how the men knew each other. “It’s rare here, we have a fairly quiet rural community, we don’t see a lot of this,” said Terry Pierce, Greene County Sheriff. The Sheriff noted this is the county’s first homicide of 2014. He also noted, it’s very uncommon for things like this to happen in remote areas of the county.  “There’s not too many houses around, maybe three or four houses in the area, two or three or four mile area.”

News 10 spoke to a few passersby in the immediate area of County Road 900 West, who stated they did not know the victim or suspect by name and didn’t know if they lived the area.

Investigators Monday were finishing up a probable cause affidavit which would be submitted to the Greene County Prosecutor’s Office. Schaffer, according to officials, would likely appear in a Greene County Courtroom Tuesday. Schaffer is preliminarily charged with murder, and possession of a handgun without a license. News 10 will continue to follow this story.

Arrest made in Greene County after standoff

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – The Greene County Sheriff’s Department responded to a 911 call just after 8:30 Thursday night in regards to a female subject being held against her will.

Officers responded to 11528 E. Chapel Road in Solsberry and witnessed Jerry Joe Deckard, 53, retrieve a shotgun from a table on the porch.

Deckard refused to give up his weapon and instead went back inside the home with the shotgun. Officials stated when Deckard started to re-enter the home, the female attempted to leave only to be physically forced back inside.

Just a few minutes later the female exited and was taken to cover and interviewed by a detective on the scene. During the interview she stated she had informed Deckard she wanted to leave and had called someone to come and get her.

That is when she said Deckard became angry and physically hurt her by throwing her to the ground, hitting her as well as preventing her from leaving the home.

She also stated when her ride got there, Deckard shot his shotgun directly towards the county road striking a cement birdbath. He also pointed the shotgun at the vehicle and yelled he would shoot them if they didn’t leave.

Officers made several attempts to contact Deckard but he refused to answer his phone or respond to verbal commands.

Finally, Deckard allowed a detective to enter the home and speak with him – two officers were requested to stand-by to enter the residence and assist him.

The two officers entered the house through a locked door and after a brief physical contact with Deckard, a Taser was used and he was placed in restraints.

Deckard is being held at the Greene County Jail facing charges of criminal recklessness, pointing a firearm, domestic battery, resisting law enforcement and criminal confinement.

Union Hospital donates more life saving devices

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Union Hospital continues to be in a giving mood.

On Thursday, UnionHospital’s LugarCenter distributed 23 heart-saving-devices in Parke and VermillionCounties.

It’s an effort by the center to get automated external defibrillators in rural areas.

U.S. Representative Larry Bucshon attended the event at Clinton’s City Hall.

Experts say this can be a life saving measure.

“It’s very important to have early access to not only CPR but also a defibrillator so we can shock a patient’s heart into a more normal rhythm if need be.   It’s very important for that to happen very quickly as they said in the presentation to limit the damage of the heart muscle,” Clinton Fire Chief Chris Strohm said.

Earlier this week, Union Hospital’s Lugar Center presented Clark County with 12 AED devices.

Wabash Valley woman giving hope


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – One Wabash Valley woman is doing her part to ensure stronger, healthier babies.

Indiana State University Alum, Marcie Brock knows all about hardship.

Doctors diagnosed Brock with Antley-Bixler Syndrome when she was a child.

Brock overcame many medical problems and surgeries.

As a result, March of Dimes is an organization very dear to her.

Now Brock is the author of a new book.

It’s called “Through Jake’s Eyes: A Grandmother’s Creation of Love”.

In celebration of the book, Brock is holding a party.

Her book will be available for purchase. Part of the proceeds will go to the March of Dimes.

“I just want to provide hope to other families. That there is help out there. Don’t get down. Just don’t give up. Just keep working and everything will be all right,” Brock said.

The book party takes place Friday, April 25th.

It’ll be held at the McDonald Lake Rod and Gun Club in Clinton, Indiana from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

If you’d like to buy a copy of the book, paperbacks will cost $13 and hardbacks $16.

Clinton to start big mine project next week

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – An important project in Clinton, Indiana will begin Monday.

The Department of Natural Resources will be working on an old mine shaft that was found in Sportland Park.

Water has been pouring from the shaft since its discovery, and the city has a temporary fix in place.

The DNR will come in, close the shaft, and keep it from flooding the park.

“Hopefully, it’s not going to take them but two to three weeks, and they should be out of there. It all depends on the weather. But it’ll be a lot better because there’s been a lot of ponding down there, and we’re going to address those issues,” Clinton Mayor Jack Gilfoy said.

Mayor Gilfoy said most of the standing water they’ll address can be found near the playground.

The city is also looking at grant money to purchase new playground equipment.

Major road project underway in Clinton

 

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) - Motorists who travel through Clinton know this all too well: State Road 163 is pretty beat up.

That’s why its welcome news in “Little Italy” that INDOT plans to resurface the highway.

“They said it needed paved last year.  They just didn’t have the funding, and this year they said they could secure the funding to do it,” said Mayor Jack Gilfoy.

This is a major project that will span the entire city.  And after some minor delays, work on the project is underway.

INDOT will resurface 163 from State Road 63 to the Wabash River bridge. Once milling gets underway, motorists will see an increase in lane restrictions.  So the project will cause traffic delays and the mayor says alternate routes will be in use.

“Wabash Valley Asphalt will be using flaggers and they will be rerouting people over to Walnut of Blackmon Streets to get over to main to get access to the river bridge.  I believe they’re going to try and keep one lane open at all times, but it’s still going to create quite a bit of traffic congestion during this period,” said Mayor Gilfoy.

An INDOT spokesperson says they don’t have a specific date on when resurfacing will begin, but it will be soon.

Gilfoy says the project will be complete sometime in July or August.  That means it will be wrapped just in time for the Little Italy Festival coming up on Labor Day weekend.

Mayor Gilfoy says the city will also replace some water lines along the highway.  He also says the city is finalizing its list of which city streets will be resurfaced.

Child found safe in Linton

LINTON, Ind. (WTHI) -5:52 PM: Selena Stevenson has been found.

Officials report several minutes after Linton Police sent out an Alert, she was located walking down a side street in town heading home. She had been out playing with friends and is now home and safe.

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5:30 PM: Officials report Selena normally rides the bus home, but today she never got onto the school bus after seen leaving the school.

Linton Police are still concerned about her welfare and would ask ANYONE with any information contact the department.

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The Linton Police Department is asking for you help locating a missing child.

Selena Stevenson, 10, has long blonde hair and is wearing purple shoes, blue jeans and a blue shirt.

She was last seen leaving school around 3 p.m. today.

Officials are asking to take immediate action if she is seen: Contact the Linton Police Department at (812) 847-4411 or call 9-1-1.

They are also asking for anyone with information to call the Linton Police Department.

State Rep’s Comments Upset Valley Superintendent

 

CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI)- Comments from a state representative questioning the results of public school teacher evaluations have many in education very upset.

The results show most teachers are effective, but Representative Robert Behning said that’s unrealistic.

South Vermillion High School Biology class students are under the careful watch of Mrs. Terry. She and 95 percent of her South Vermillion colleagues rated effective by principal like Levi Yowell.

The numbers don’t surprise Superintendent David Chapman.  “I think we’ve got a great group of teachers.”

South Vermillion’s numbers nearly mirror statewide evaluation results.  97 percent of the Indiana’s public school teachers were rated as either effective or highly effective.

State Representative Robert Behning is the chair of the House Education Committee.  He’s also instrumental in passing a more stringent teacher evaluation system.

“It’s good to think that everyone would be in those two categories.  I think it’s probably not realistic,” said Behning.

The comments upset Chapman, to say the least.  “Again, it’s the whole issue of public education getting a slap in the face.  We keep getting told or asked to do more and more, and as we do that we keep getting slapped more and more.”

Chapman stated South Vermillion teachers support evaluations.  In fact, he credits the process with helping teachers become more effective and giving them goals to achieve in the classroom.

And his message to lawmakers, like Behning, who questions these results?  Come out of the statehouse and come to class.

“You’re going to see things going on that, ‘yeah, that’s what we want.  That’s what we expect.’  It’s not a dog and pony show.  It’s reality,” said Chapman.

Evaluation results are based, in part, on student test performance.  How much test results played a role in a teacher’s evaluation is up to each school district.  Behning wants to see some of that local control taken away.

Motel has DOC contract to house sex offenders

 

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – We have new details involving a local motel where a registered sex offender was arrested.

Police took him into custody following an alleged incident where he lured a 5 year old girl into the room where he was living.

As we reported Wednesday, Terre Haute Police say Timothy Blazier was living at the Econo Lodge fresh off his prison sentence.

We learned he’s not the only sex offender living here, and this motel is contracted with the state to house sex offenders coming off of prison sentences.

Timothy Blazier was convicted of molesting an eight and a three year old in Fountain County back in 2007.  Later, Clinton County also convicted him for failing to register as a sex offender.

Now, he’s in Vigo County’s jail for criminal confinement, and police say the alleged incident happened here at the Econo Lodge.

“A family had got off the interstate and was staying at the hotel, and there was some children out playing in a play area there, and he lured one of the children into his hotel room,” said Clark Cottom, Vigo County’s Chief Deputy.

Police say the girl’s screams led to her escape from Blazier’s room, where police found her pants.

News 10 learned Blazier is not the only registered sex offender staying at this motel.  According to the Indiana Sex Offender Registry, there are currently 13 registered sex offenders living here at the Econo Lodge.  Eight of those sex offenders are listed as sexual violent predators.

The Vigo County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for tracking all sex offenders in the county.  Chief Deputy Clark Cottom told us the Econo Lodge has an agreement with the state department of corrections to house sex offenders coming off prison sentences.

“To our knowledge it’s the only hotel in the State of Indiana that is accepting sex offenders,” Cottom told News 10.

Cottom says the motel fits the requirements for a residence of a registered sex offender.  Mainly, the Econo Lodge is not within 1000 feet of a school or park.  It does welcome visitors to Terre Haute, visitors who most likely wouldn’t think a sex offender would live here, let alone 13.

“Add one more thing to your list that we’re going to have to check now,” recommends Cottom.

Cottom says this is just another reason why it’s a good idea to consistently check the Indiana Sex Offender Registry.  You can even sign up to receive for e-mail alerts, and it’s completely confidential.

To learn more, click here.

Deadline for tornado aide near

 

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The date to file for a tornado loan for last November’s storms is fast approaching.

The deadline to file for disaster relief loans from the US Small Business Administration is April 7th.

The SBA declared select counties to be eligible for loans due to the November tornadoes and severe storms.

Among those counties are Daviess, Fountain, Greene, Knox, Martin, Parke and Vermillion.

Disaster loan information can be found online at this link.

You can also call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or email them at Disastercustomerservice@sba.com.

Wolfe murder trial finally comes to a close

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – UPDATE 5:15 PM One of the most heinous murder trials Greene County has ever seen came to a close Tuesday.

A judge sentenced Jordan Buskirk for his part in the murder of Linton teen, Katelyn Wolfe. It’s a case that the prosecution is glad to see finished. It started with the disappearance of 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe in June of 2013.

Eventually Buskirk and Randall Crosley confessed to her abduction and murder. Crosley heard his fate earlier in March with a sentence of 81 years in prison.

Tuesday, families of Wolfe and Buskirk sat in court awaiting Buskirk’s sentencing. Emotions ran high as police testified how Buskirk and Crosley planned to abduct, rape and murder someone.

They would eventually target Wolfe.

Tuesday, Wolfe’s family took the stand. Perhaps the most gripping moment was when Wolfe’s aunt asked Buskirk directly, “How did it feel to kill Katelyn?”

Buskirk simply shook his head and broke into tears. He said the murder tears him apart and he deserves his punishment. He repeatedly said he was sorry to both his family and Wolfe’s.

Eventually the judge did make her ruling. She sentenced Buskirk to 81 years in prison. It’s an identical sentence to what she gave to Randall Crosley.

Like Crosley, she also said Buskirk was a “danger to the community.”

“I’ve thought about this case everyday since it began, and again there is some sense of relief now that it’s over,” Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw said.

Because of a prior deposition, the maximum sentence Buskirk could have faced was 85 years.

Both Buskirk and Crosley can appeal their sentencing.

UPDATE 12 PM Jordan Buskirk appeared in court Tuesday morning for sentencing in the murder of 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe. He was also sentenced to 81 years just like Randal Crosley on March 4th.

Last summer police arrested Crosley and Jordan Buskirk in connection to Wolfe’s death. They both eventually owned up to killing the teen.

 

UPDATE: Accident on Interstate 70 involving ambulance


VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Just before 3 p.m. a Sullivan County ambulance was returning from dropping a patient off in Indianapolis.

According to officials, the ambulance was driving westbound on I-70 near the 12 mile marker.

The driver of the ambulance drifted off the south edge of the roadway, and couldn’t regain control.

The ambulance began to rotate clockwise in the median, eventually rolling over multiple times, coming to a stop on the driver’s side about 200 feet from where it left the roadway.

The driver of the ambulance, 25-year-old EMT Jessica Boyle and the passenger, 27-year-old EMT Kindra West from Jasonville, were able to get themselves out of the ambulance with minor injuries.

There were no patients on board.

Boyle says a strong gust of wind, while passing a commercial truck was a contributing factor in the crash.

Crosley sentenced to 81 years

 

GREENE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – One of the most horrific murder cases in Linton’s history came closer to an end Tuesday.

That’s after Randal Crosley, 25, was sentenced to 81 years in the murder of 19-year-old Katelyn Wolfe.

Last summer police arrested Crosley and Jordan Buskirk in connection to Wolfe’s death. They both eventually owned up to killing the teen.

Tuesday, Jordan Buskirk himself, took the stand to testify against Crosley. It was then that the family heard Katelyn’s killer explain, for the first time in person, how he and Crosley kidnapped and murdered her.

Buskirk explained they wanted to see what it would be like to rape and kill someone.

In a tearful statement, Katelyn’s aunt, Beth Wolfe took the stand. She called Crosley a monster and asked him point blank, how it felt to kill her niece.

Crosley had no response.

More tears were shed when Katelyn’s father, Eric Wolfe took the stand. He said he will never forgive Crosley and Buskirk.

Then, Superior Court Judge Dena Martin made her decision.

She said that Crosley’s actions were evil in nature and that the community of Greene County would not be safe if she showed leniency.

She sentenced Crosley to 81 years in prison. Because of a plea deal, the maximum Crosley could have received was 85 years.

“The fact that he received almost the maximum sentence, I think will be a relief to the family. I was certainly glad to see that, but make no mistake, there’s no happiness today,” Greene County Prosecutor Jarrod Holtsclaw told News 10. “In the 16 years of practice, this is the worst case that I’ve dealt with here in Greene County, and it’s something I hope to never deal with again, and it should be a wake up call for everyone to be vigilant about who their children are spending time with… what their children are doing.”

Meanwhile, Buskirk is scheduled for sentencing on March 18.

Military Vet works to get special partner home


WORTHINGTON, Ind. (WTHI) – Sgt. Harvey Holt served in the air force nearly a decade ago. During his tour he saw action in the most dangerous parts of Iraq. While he was active, he was assigned a MWD (military working dog).

That dog’s name was Jjackson.

The unique spelling (two ‘j’s) comes from the military. Holt said he was initially unsure about his new partner because of his small size, but the two quickly developed a strong bond.

The two were tasked with seeking out and neutralizing IEDs and snipers. During that time, on multiple occasions, Holt said Jjackson played a role in saving his life.

“I tell people that everyday. If it wasn’t for that dog, you know I wouldn’t have made it emotionally back,” Holt said.

One specific time, Jjackson had to  relieve himself. As Holt’s vehicle pulled over, another military vehicle continued by them. That vehicle rolled over an IED. The explosion caused that vehicle to flip on Holt’s vehicle.  The ensuing mayhem eventually left Holt and Jjackson alone in a ditch for hours.

“I was laying on top of him. He laid there calm as could be, never fidgeting. He let me lay on top of him. We stayed in that ditch and in the water for all night, all day,” Holt said.

When Holt made it home, Jjackson was still active and was given to other handlers. However, Holt made it a goal to get his friend back. MWDs are officially property of the government, so Holt had to go through lots of red tape to formally adopt Jjackson.

“I remember telling Jjackson that if he got me home safe from these missions, that I would do everything in my power to bring him home and give him the life that he deserved,” Holt said.

Holt expects to pick up Jjackson in early March. However, he’s required to build a special kennel for Jjackson. It’ll cost nearly $2,000.

To find out how you can aid in this fundraising effort, visit this special Facebook page.

 

 

 

Shooting in northern Parke County


LODI, Ind. (WTHI) – A shooting on Saturday just before 2 p.m. in northern Parke County sent one man to the hospital.

According to family members, it happened on State Road 234 in Lodi. The Vermillion County Sheriff’s Department was the first on the scene followed by the Parke County Sheriff’s Department.

A release states officers found Shane M. Smith, 37 of Lodi, outside the residence with two gunshot wounds – one in the face and one in the shoulder.

Officers then found Charles L. Smith, 74 of Lodi, inside the residence and discovered the father and son got into a physical altercation that resulted in the shooting.

Shane Smith was taken to Union Hospital in Clinton and later life lined to Indianapolis.

News 10 has confirmed that Shane Smith was taken to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and as of Saturday evening he was still being evaluated by doctors.

Charles Smith was arrested for the shooting and was taken to the Parke County Jail. He’s accused of criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon and being held without bond.

This story will be updated as details become available.

Clinton’s Feather Creek finished


CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) — Finally, homeowners in Clinton – especially those living alongside Feather Creek – can stop losing sleep over an age-old threat of flooding.

“We’ve had a lot of flooding here from this creek and it’s devastated people,” Jack Gilfoy, the mayor of Clinton, said Friday morning. “They’ve lost their homes, their cars and their belongings. And it’s just a great thing to see it done! I’m glad for the citizens of Clinton, I think that’s a good thing for them.”

Gilfoy said he’s confident the banks of Feather Creek will hold any impending spring rainfall, in addition to the melting snow and ice. He said the only real threat of flooding would be a backup in the Wabash River, to the tune of taking the mighty Wabash to dangerous depths of at least 26 feet.

Mayor Gilfoy said the Wabash River, currently at roughly 19 feet, is expected to crest on Sunday.

Gilfoy said making Feather Creek flood-proof is a costly project that’s been talked about since 1939. But Gilfoy said it turns out, the new-and-improved Feather Creek, designed entirely by the Army Corps of Engineers, could ultimately see the city of Clinton getting some money back from the project.