A1 A1
News
Switz. woman takes plea deal in murder case
  • Updated

A Switzerland County woman has been sentenced to 30 years — 28 of that in the Indiana Department of Correction — after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors in the 2018 slaying of her live-in boyfriend.

Vivian Moore, 49, was sentenced Tuesday in Switzerland Circuit Court as one of four co-defendants in the June 2018 murder of Dennis Dziwulski on Beatty Ridge in Switzerland County.

Dziwulski, a native of Hartford County, Maryland, had resided with Moore in a mobile home on Beatty Ridge. His body was found by Switzerland County Sheriff’s deputies in a wooded area about 50 yards from the mobile home on June 25, 2018.

After a lengthy investigation by Indiana State Police and the Switzerland County Sheriff’s Office, an arrest warrant was issued for Moore on July 18, 2018, for the murder of Dziwulski, who was 48 at the time of his death.

Moore recently agreed to plead guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Murder, a Level 1 felony, a lesser charge that murder and accept a 30-year sentence with two years suspended.

Co-defendants in Dziwulski’s death must still face trial. Moore’s son, Jason L. Girdler, 28, Madison, was arrested July 3, 2018. Girdler is accused of first moving Dziwulski’s body under the mobile home where the victim and Girdler’s mother lived, then to the wooded area about 50 yards from the home where officers discovered the body on June 25. He is also charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly abandoning Dziwulski’s vehicle in Carroll County, Kentucky, where Kentucky State Police discovered the vehicle and traced the license plates to Dziwulski.

The Switzerland County Prosecutor’s Office said Wednesday that a tentative trial date for Girdler has been set for Nov. 9. He is charged with Murder, three counts of Obstruction of Justice and Attempt to Commit Murder.

On May 13, 2019, charges were also filed against Madison siblings Michael Allen Lee Hall, 23, and Victoria Rose Hall, 24, in connection with the case.

Michael Hall is charged with Aiding to Commit Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Murder, Aggravated Battery, Assisting a Criminal, Aiding to Commit Obstruction of Justice and Obstruction of Justice. His trial date has tentatively been scheduled for Oct. 26.

Victoria Hall, who is Girdler’s girlfriend, was charged with Aiding to Commit Aggravated Battery, Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Battery, Assisting a Criminal and Aiding to Commit Obstruction of Justice. Her pre-trial date is scheduled for Oct. 18.


News
Vevay police pursuit ends after loop through downtown Madison
  • Updated

A police pursuit that began in Vevay and traveled 20 miles west on State Road 56 through Switzerland and Jefferson counties to Madison, ended after a loop through the downtown business district when the driver was captured at Main and West streets by officers from up to six departments Wednesday afternoon.

The chase began when the vehicle was noticed speeding through the school zone in front of Jefferson-Craig Elementary and Switzerland Junior/Senior High schools in Vevay Wednesday afternoon. Vevay police attempted stop the vehicle for a speeding violation but the man refused to yield and took off traveling west on State Road 56, tossing an object from the vehicle at one point.

The driver continued on State Road 56 into Jefferson County with two Jefferson County deputies deploying a tire deflation device at the intersection of Bee Camp Road. The damaged vehicle continue heading west on three tires and one rim with officers pursuing, arriving in Madison at about 2:28 p.m. The driver traveled west on Second Street before crossing over Main Street to head west on Third Street — a one-way street going east — and then back east on Main Street — parts of which were a construction zone on Wednesday and closed to traffic — until multiple officers closed in and stopped the vehicle at Main and West streets in front of Madison City Hall.

The driver, later identified as Edward D. Kinnett, 39, of Plainfield, Indiana, refused to get out of the vehicle so officers smashed the windshield and passenger side window and pulled him from the vehicle through the window as a crowd quickly gathered to watch the commotion.

Police secured the man on the ground and by the time he was allowed up, he was bleeding from his head and arm when EMTs arrived at the scene to transport him by ambulance to King’s Daughters’ Hospital.

Madison Police Chief John Wallace said that while one tire on the suspect’s vehicle was flat and down to the rim near the end of the pursuit, the man continued on until police boxed him in at the intersection.

“The tire deflation device slowed him before he got to town but he was still moving along at a fast clip,” Wallace said.

Wallace said Kinnett is facing drug, fleeing and assault charges as well as numerous traffic violations. Kinnett is also wanted out of Ohio on a warrant as well as on an Indiana warrant for a parole violation and a Jefferson County warrant for failure to appear.

The case remains under investigation and additional charges are pending.

For a video report of this story, visit our media partner WKMNews.com.


Community
Charlie’s Beat
  • Updated

I knew I’d written a previous column on Brent and Catherine Evans, otherwise known by their stage names Jhonnie & Sallie, right before they moved to town. So I went looking for it in my files, thinking it had to be at least a year ago. I found it, dated Feb. 4, 2021.

That’s astounding, when you look at the impact they’ve already made on our music scene, the ice cream and recording studio businesses they’ve gotten off the ground, and the many friendships and partnerships they’ve established, and they’ve only been here half a year?! This is one energetic and industrious couple.

“Well, let’s see,” recounts Brent, “I built out the recording studio on Second Street across from the old Ruler store. Sallie moved her ice cream business into the empty lot next to the studio building. I was invited to join Robert Reynolds band 67 Sun. We’ve also been invited to join the Mad Paddle band that Jerry Wade is putting together, MadEssence.

“On top of all that we’ve been busy almost every weekend with our duo, the Jhonnie & Sallie Show. Oh, and we’ve started a bi-weekly songwriter showcase we’re calling Madison Made Music. Robert and I are hosting it. Our next one is coming up on Thursday, Sept. 23. It’s in Sallie’s Alley at the back of the ice cream courtyard on Second Street.”

“I’ve really enjoyed being part of the larger bands,” interjects Catherine. “When I can just focus on the singing, without playing instruments, it can be very rewarding. Although don’t get me wrong, I love our duo act, too. We really play off each other, almost like Lucy and Desi, you can feel the married vibe between us.”

“I’m very excited about the recording studio,” interjects Brent. “It has so much potential to contribute to the overall music culture here in Madison. Already I’ve recorded some for Anthony Ray Wright, a bit with Rusty Bladen, and I’m starting right now to record the new album project from Robert Reynolds and 67 Sun.

“I’m looking for new people to get involved with recording music, maybe budding songwriters who have never laid down any professional tracks. My motto is ‘you don’t have to be a pro to sound like one.’ My task is to make you feel comfortable in the studio environment, and then make you sound great.

“And I play basically all the instruments it takes for a full band sound. If you can lay down your song, playing guitar or whatever, I can add all the rest. Drums, bass, keyboards, lead guitar, whatever it takes. We’re calling it the Madison Music Studio, so get in touch if you have something you want to record.”

I want to put in a word about Sallie’s Small Batch Ice Cream, located out of a 1950’s vintage travel trailer directly across from The Clearinghouse building on Second Street. The atmosphere is right out of “I Love Lucy” (there’s another Lucy reference!) and the ice cream is amazing. I can personally recommend the Chocolate Raspberry, but I’ve heard the Butter Pecan is delish, too.

“We make it all by hand at our other location in Winamac, Indiana,” says Catherine. “We sauté the pecans in a pan with brown sugar, so they stay crisp and fresh. And we use all real fruit in our recipes. We’re actually wholesaling our product to four other shops around the state, so we’re making a lot of ice cream every week. It’s fresh, I can guarantee that. Come and try it!”

Hot Tip of the Week

First of all, if you look at the Music Calendar, you’ll see live music opportunities all seven days of the week. That’s been happening more and more lately, and it’s a sure sign we are delivering on the promise of “Indiana’s Music City.” Go out any night, especially on weekends, and great music abounds! If you are looking for a sing-along good time on Friday you’ll want to be at the Taproom for Tim Brickley and his band. Their blend of classic rock favorites is infectious and joyful. On Saturday you almost have too many musical choices, but if you have a golf cart you should be able to get around and collect them all! How much fun would that be … to hit all six in one night. Take the challenge!

Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.

This Week in Music

Thursday, September 16

Mad Paddle Brewery — Brooke Hall

Grote Industries — Live Lunch with Rusty Bladen (11 a.m.)

Friday, September 17

Off Broadway Taproom — Tim Brickley & the Bleeding Hearts

Mad Paddle — Jacob Cruser

Riverboat Inn — Joe Perkinson & Deano Crafton

Saturday, September 18

Off Broadway Taproom — Falls City Boys

Thomas Family Winery — Disco Party

Riverboat Inn — Joe Perkinson & Deano Crafton

Lighthouse — Jhonnie & Sallie

Mad Paddle — The Bottle Trees

VFW — Fabulous Hickbillies (open to public)

Sunday, September 19

Stream Cliff Farm — Matt Red Moore

Monday, September 20

Crafted Coffee — Open Mic Night

Tuesday, September 21

Off-Broadway Taproom — Open Mic Night

Wednesday, September 22

Elks Lodge — Amy Noel (open to public)


Community
Madison to celebrate 20th Hispanic Cultural Awareness Day Saturday
  • Updated

More than two decades have passed since Madison’s first Hispanic Cultural Awareness Day, but in that time Shirley Kloepfer has seen the difference the event has made in the community. The 20th celebration takes place this Saturday outside Eggleston Community Building — home of La Casa Amiga — at 419 East Street in downtown Madison.

Kloepfer noted the “cultures can be different, the food can be different, and what they celebrate and how they celebrate can be different” even among Spanish-speaking people. The Hispanic Cultural Awareness Day brings all those cultures together to be celebrated.

“It helps to understand each other’s culture better,” Kloepfer said.

The festival will feature food from 11 different countries — Mexico, Guatemala, El Savador, Honduras, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Spain — as well as music and dance from various Latin American countries.

The festival begins at 4:30 p.m. with a welcome message by Madison Mayor Bob Courtney and then continues with dancing and music to 10:30 p.m. Kloepfer said that is an extansion of a couple of hours over previous year in celebration of the 20th year.

Kloepfer thinks Jefferson County has moved forward to better accept cultural differences through Hispanic Cultural Awareness Day and La Casa Amiga, the cultural hub for the county’s Spanish-speaking residents.

Hispanic Cultural Awareness Day began in 2001 so those who were children back then now are adults.

“They’ve grown up with it,” Kloepfer said, noting an entire generation has now grown up embracing each others’ cultures.

She recalled the story of a fourth grader several years ago at Southwestern, who was bilingual with ability speak both Spanish and English, but didn’t want anyone to know. “He was ashamed that he could speak two languages. He didn’t want to be thought to be different, so he kept it to himself,” she said. But today, he’s embraced for that. “Now, he can be proud to be bilingual,” she said.

“We’ve come a long way” in the last 20 years, said Kloepfer, realizing the beauty in embracing cultures. “We have achieved a lot of what we saw as the purpose.”


Back