New Palestine falls in epic state championship clash
INDIANAPOLIS — The top-ranked New Palestine High School football team lost a heartbreaker to Fort Wayne Snider 64-61 on Nov. 27 in the IHSAA Class 5A State Finals at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Down by 21 points after the first quarter, the Dragons (13-1) mounted a dramatic rally.
Tying the game at 42-42 at the end of the third quarter, the Dragons put themselves in position to win behind a prolific performance by senior quarterback Alex Neligh but fell just short of a repeat state championship.
Neligh, who was named the Phil N. Eskew Mental Attitude Award winner for Class 5A, finished with a state-final record 501 passing yards on 20 of 33 completions and four touchdowns, shattering several other state records along the way.
Man from Ohio kills himself with gun during traffic stop
HENRY COUNTY — A man fatally shot himself in front of a Hancock County sheriff’s deputy Monday afternoon following a traffic stop along Interstate 70, according to police.
Around 2 p.m. Monday, Hancock County Sheriff’s Deputy Nick Ernstes and an officer from the Henry County Sheriff’s Department attempted to pull the man over near the 130 mile marker on westbound I-70 in Henry County after a 911 caller told dispatchers the driver was speeding and possibly intoxicated, police said.
After encountering officers, the man turned a gun on himself and pulled the trigger. He was pronounced dead at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, police said.
The victim was later identified as Richard J. McElecar of Columbus, Ohio.
Mt. Vernon to expand high-ability offerings
FORTVILLE — Educators from Mt. Vernon School Corp. say expanding an enrichment program for elementary school students who learn at faster rates than their peers will allow the district to cater to educational services for each child.
The district created two new full-time teaching positions to coordinate its high-ability program, which serves students in Grades 3 through 5 who have been identified by school staff as high achievers. Both educators will rotate among the district’s three elementary schools and will pull students out of their regular class schedules to receive lessons in a smaller group setting.
The new teachers will work with the same group of students, but one will focus on math and science; the other will concentrate on language arts and reading, school officials said.
Eagles rebuild new nest in tree near previous location
GREENFIELD — A pair of bald eagles is rebuilding its nest in a sycamore tree that sits just 100 feet from the eagles’ previous habitat, which was destroyed during a storm in September.
Hancock County residents and naturalists said they’re pleased the birds — who have nested in Greenfield for about three years — chose to rebuild locally. The eagles have gained a local following, spurring the creation of a Facebook fan page with thousands of followers and attracting dozens of wildlife enthusiasts and photographers to the nest site.
Area residents feared the eagles would fly to a new community after a powerful rainstorm downed the previous sycamore tree that held the birds’ nest, leaving the eagles and their eaglet unharmed but without a home.
Greenfield mother pleads guilty to neglect of children
GREENFIELD — A Greenfield mother has pleaded guilty in Hancock Circuit Court to neglect charges.
Police said she used drugs in front of her children, beat them with belts and coat hangers, deprived them of food and forced them to live in a dirty, cockroach-infested home.
Michelle Wilson, 33, was sentenced to a year in the Hancock County Jail followed by a year on probation after she pleaded guilty to five Level 6 felony charges of neglect of a dependent, one charge for each of her five young children.
Hancock County Prosecutor Brent Eaton said Wilson was given a two-year sentence for each charge, but state law requires the time be served concurrently.
She’ll be able to complete that time in Hancock County Community Corrections and must cooperate with further monitoring by the Department of Child Services.