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Madison’s Trenton Barnes celebrates as he rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the Cubs’ 11-8 win over Southwestern on Friday in Hanover.

Shawe theatre for bright lights Friday, Saturday
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Theatre has long been a part of Shawe Memorial Junior/Senior High School, but participants have always had to be creative about lighting their productions because the school lacked the theatrical stage lights to provide adequate illumination. But that changed in March with the installation of stage lights.

Coming up at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Shawe will stage its first production with the new lights, “An Evening of Comedy” featuring three stand-up routines and four 10-minute skits on driver’s education.

Kelly Rector, who heads up Shawe’s theatre department and is director of the play, said the new lighting will not only enhance school productions, but “will help students to learn the technology of theatre.” And that knowledge, she noted, will help in particular for those who may pursue theatre in college. “They will have looked at a system and will have learned from it,” she said. Rector noted the benefits to the school go beyond the theatre department in that they can also be used during sports activities, musical events or dance performances.

Half of the cost of the stage lights was paid with grants from the Buchanan Fund and the Father Hilary Meny Fund and the school is continuing to raise funds for the other half, which Phoenix Lighting Company of Louisville is giving them two years to pay off. Tickets proceeds for the play will help pay for the lights. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for students and Shawe faculty. For every $25 donated to the cost of the lights, $5 will be received toward the ticket cost. In addition, Rector also said an anonymous alum is willing to match any donation to the stage lights up to $1,800.

Participants in the play are students in Shawe’s theatre class, which typically has productions in the fall and spring. However, COVID-19 caused the fall production to be canceled with the class focusing on radio and video production. Rector asked teachers if videos prepared by the class might be useful in their classes, and Kindergarten teacher Crystie Schultz took them up on the offer to do video Bible lessons for her class. Even though the videos were targeted for Kindergarten students, Rector said many students in other grade levels have also enjoyed the videos.

Rector said focusing on video production was “ideal for us” because students could continue learning “in the environment we live right now” with COVID-19. Students were able to do some of the work from home “learning on their own devices.” Rector said. “They wrote, produced and edited the videos” while learning the process of filmmaking. Four videos were created, all now on Rector’s YouTube channel, ranging from Creation to All Saints Day, St. Nicholas Day and Advent. They also did a video on the “Circle of Grace” song.

Now that students are back at school and working on the play, cautions are being exercised, such as wearing clear face shields at rehearsals, to help protect against exposure to COVID-19. It makes the process about as safe as possible but still doesn’t remove all anxiety of functioning in a pandemic.

“I’m excited but also nervous,” said student Alexa Bomholt, noting it’s great to interact with people but some level of anxiety goes with that after a year of dealing with a pandemic.

Students are fully involved in the production in several capacities, performing in various roles while also working on behind-the-scenes tasks wince all of the students participated in the set design.

“That’s what I love about this project,” said Rector, “all of the students have been actively involved.”

That will all come together on the state Friday and Saturday. The program will begin with stand-up comedy routines by Brody Haggerty and Bomholt followed by four 10-minute comedy skits of “You’re Driving Me Crazy!” by Todd Wallinger. The four scenes are all set in a car as a driver education instructor works with students. Actors in the four scenes include Bomholt, Brody Haggerty, Piper Haggerty, Alexis Graziano, Hannah Graziano, Alyssa Gross, Elizabeth Jung, Lakyn Tingle, Matthew Vaughn and Lilly Waller. Gross will then close out the evening with a final stand-up routine.

Samantha Gray is serving as the stage manager for the play while Lily Eggenspiller is the costume designer. A’riann Geyman is the sound designer and operator with Shanley McAllister on the sound crew. Kelly McClure and Kelly Thorpe both head up the hair and make-up crew.

Police Roundup
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A Jefferson County man is facing 10-30 years in prison after being arrested on Level 2 felony drug charge during a traffic stop on Friday.

Timothy Christoper Jester, 49, Madison, was charged with felony manufacturing/dealing methamphetamine — allegedly related to intent to deliver and sell according to Chief Deputy Josh Taylor— and a Class B misdemeanor possession of marijuana. He was lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond.

Sheriff’s officers also made two additional arrests over the week end resulting in drug charges.

During a Clifty Drive traffic stop on Saturday, Mark Allen Bear, 57, Madison, was charged with possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony, and possession of marijuana a Class A misdemeanor as well as on a Jefferson County warrant for failure to appear. Bear was lodged in the jail where he is being held without bond.

On Sunday, sheriff’s officers arrested Jeanette White, 41, Madison, charging her with possession of cocaine or a narcotic drug, possession of a syringe and possession of methamphetamine, all Level 6 felonies; as well as possession of paraphernalia and resisting law enforcement, both Class A misdemeanors. She was also lodged in the jail without bond.

North Vernon man charged in ATV pursuit involving gunfire

A North Vernon man was arrested Sunday afternoon in connection with an all terrain vehicle pursuit in Scott County earlier Sunday morning in which shots were allegedly exchanged between the suspect and an officer in a field off State Road 256.

The incident began at about 5:45 a.m. Sunday, when a Scott County Deputy Sheriff patrolling on SR 256 near Terry Road observed an off-road vehicle turn east on SR 256 from Terry Road without stopping at the stop sign. The deputy attempted to make a traffic stop on the ATV, but the vehicle fled into a nearby field.

Shortly after entering the field, the deputy said the ATV stopped abruptly, and the deputy exited his patrol vehicle and continued the pursuit, approaching the suspect on foot. The deputy reported that he heard what he believed to be gunfire, and returned fire as he took cover behind a nearby house trailer.

When other responding officers arrived, they were unable to locate the suspect near the ATV and established a containment perimeter. Further attempts to locate the suspect were unsuccessful so the Scott County Sheriff’s Department requested the assistance of Indiana State Police detectives and crime-scene technicians from the Sellersburg Post.

As the investigation continued, detectives were able to identify a possible suspect after speaking with residents in the area. Meanwhile, Indiana Conservation Officers offered the assistance of their search canines to assist troopers and deputies in conducting a more in-depth search of a nearby wooded area where the suspect was believed to have fled.

At approximately 1:30 p.m., Conservation Officer Jim Schreck and his K-9 Smoky along with ISP Trooper Brett Walters, located the suspect hiding in a wooded area a short distance from the original scene. The suspect, identified as Todd A. Lacey, 52, of North Vernon, was taken into custody without further incident. No weapon was immediately located; however, Lacey was found to be in possession of ammunition at the time of his arrest.

Lacey was transported to the Washington County Jail and is currently charged with resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, a Level 6 Felony. This investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.

Indiana State Police was assisted by Indiana Conservation Officers and officers from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Ripley teen injured when ORV crashes into tree

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a Ripley County off-road vehicle accident that injured a male teenager Friday evening.

The accident occurred at about 6:19 p.m. on private property in the 6200 block of East County Road 450 South when a 13-year-old operator lost control of an off road vehicle after making contact with another rider on a dirt bike. The ORV then collided with a tree, resulting in the boy being thrown from the machine.

The male, who was unidentified by authorities, was transported by ambulance to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Lawrenceburg due to inclement weather and later airlifted to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. The extent of his injuries is unknown but he was not wearing a helmet or any other protective riding gear at the time of the accident.

Conservation officers were assisted by the Friendship Fire and Rescue and Ripley County EMS.

Conservation officers noted that everyone should wear a helmet and protective riding gear when operating an ORV. Additionally, Indiana law requires all operators or passengers on an ORV who are under age 18 wear a DOT-approved helmet.

Jefferson jail dealing with ‘a couple’ cases of COVID-19
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The Jefferson County Jail Division will restrict access to the public for the next two weeks in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 after at least one inmate tested positive for the virus last week.

Asked Monday whether the jail currently has any inmates who had tested positive for the virus, Chief Deputy Joshua Taylor said “a couple had tested positive” last week.

According to Sheriff Dave Thomas, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Jail Division has medical staff working seven days a week to prevent the spread of COVID. “The health and well-being of all inmates is a high priority for the Sheriff’s office and we are doing the absolute best we can to help prevent and reduce the spread of COVID,” Thomas said.

The sheriff said he looking at lifting restrictions on Monday, April 26 — the normal two-week quarantine in such cases — but that depends on the situation at that time and an update will be provided before or after that.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday that as soon as 2.5 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, he will lift capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements for nearly all venues, events and businesses that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons. Beshear said he would also end the curfew for bars and restaurants once the goal is met.

Beshear said just over 900,000 more Kentuckians need to complete their vaccinations in order for the state to meet the Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge goal.

A total of 1,617,017 have received at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far in Kentucky and 1,060,594 have been fully vaccinated.

Indiana has now injected 3,403,950 total doses of the vaccine including 1,993,880 first doses and 1,410,070 individuals who are fully vaccinated. The fully vaccinated number represents individuals who have received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and those who received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

A total of 18,285 have been vaccinated in Jefferson County with 7,651 residents fully vaccinated and 10,634 Jefferson County residents that have received at least the first of two doses of the COVID vaccine. Switzerland County has vaccinated 3,426 people including 1,428 that have been fully vaccinated and 1,998 that have received the first dose of a two-dose vaccination series.

As of Monday, Jefferson County had two new cases from the previous day for an overall total of 3,071 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. Jefferson County’s seven-day positivity percentage is currently 5.5% and the unique positivity rating is 14%. Jefferson County has reported no new deaths due to the virus pandemic but has 79 total deaths to date.

Switzerland County has no new cases of COVID-19 with a total of 769 positive cases. The total COVID-19 deaths remains at eight. The seven-day positivity in Switzerland County is 2% and the seven-day unique positivity rating is 4.2%.

The Indiana Department of Health announced Monday that 908 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 699,823 the number of Indiana residents now known to have contracted the novel coronavirus. To date, 12,746 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of three from the previous day.

In Kentucky, 366 new cases of COVID-19 were reported on April 11, according to the Kentucky Department of Health. There have been 433,085 positive cases overall and 6,250 deaths including eight new deaths, and nine additional from new audit deaths.

Trimble County has reported 686 cases of COVID-19 with overall seven deaths during the pandemic. Carroll County has reported 979 cases of COVID-19 with 19 deaths.

Jefferson County Health Department is providing vaccines in its building at 715 Green Road, Madison. Switzerland County Health Department is operating a vaccine clinic at the Switzerland County Technology and Education Center, 708 West Seminary Street, Vevay. Hoosiers age 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

In Kentucky, state guidelines now allow COVID-19 vaccination of everyone ages 16 or older. To see all vaccination sites in the commonwealth and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments, visit vaccine.ky.gov. To see a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit vaccinemap.ky.gov. If Kentuckians have questions, they should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).