Fishers Police Sergeant Greg Weesner Honored By Prosecutor

Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney D. Lee Buckingham II (center) recognized Detective Scott Goff of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office (left) and Sergeant Greg Weesner of the Fishers Police Department (right) for their outstanding service. (Photo provided)

Hamilton County Reporter

Each year, Prosecuting Attorney D. Lee Buckingham II recognizes two officers in honor of each Hamilton County officer’s distinguished service to the community and the pursuit of justice. One investigator (usually holding an assignment as a detective) and one road officer are selected from the nominations garnered from within the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

At a ceremony held on Jan. 16 in the Commissioner’s Courtroom at the Hamilton County Judicial Center in Noblesville, Prosecuting Attorney Buckingham said, “It is never easy to select the recipients of this award because of the difficulty in selecting just one recipient in each category from the many viable candidates within the county. Many of those who choose this profession and are selected to represent the departments within this county are dedicated, hard-working individuals who strive to be the best that they can be.”

Buckingham recognized Sergeant Greg Weesner of the Fishers Police Department as the Road Officer of the Year for 2017. Sergeant Weesner is simply one of the nicest guys to everyone he meets – be it a prosecutor, a defense counsel, or, especially helpful to his investigations, an offender. His understanding of search-and-seizure law is exceptional, and his gut instincts are quite honed. His cases continue to improve, as he learns from each experience. After serving for five years with the Charleston (South Carolina) Police Department, Sergeant Weesner joined the Fishers Police Department in 2012.

Buckingham recognized Detective Scott Goff of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office as Investigator of the Year for 2017. As an investigator, Det. Goff works a variety of cases but has several in the sex crimes and child abuse arenas. A road officer for the Sheriff’s Office from 2007 to 2015, Det. Goff has been an investigator for a little over two years but has distinguished himself with thoroughness, diligence and a desire to learn more every day.

Transportation Museum Plans To Leave Noblesville

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Fred Swift

Hamilton County Reporter

The Indiana Transportation Museum (ITM), which has made its home in Noblesville since the early 1960s, has decided to leave and move its operations entirely to Logansport “and other locations,” according to museum board president John McNichols. “The decision was not up to us,” he said, referring to the Noblesville city administration’s failure to renew the lease on a parcel at Forest Park where the museum is located. In recent years ITM was the only user of the local railroad known as the Nickel Plate.

Controversy has developed during the past year over the city’s desire to convert the Nickel Plate to a walking, jogging and bike trail south of the city and give a new operator the right to start excursion train service to the north.

The departure may come without further discord. However, the timing of the move is a question that may have to await a meeting of ITM officers and city officials next month. The lease is up on March 1, but McNichols says it is not possible to fulfill ITM’s commitments to clean up the site and move all train cars by the first of March.

The museum had already planned to move some of its equipment to new locations, but further moving will have to await permission to use the Nickel Plate tracks from Forest Park to Tipton.

The Hoosier Heritage Port Authority, owner of the tracks, has suspended ITM’s use of the tracks, citing safety concerns. This and other issues will be discussed at the meeting next month.

McNichols says his organization is doing well at its new location in Logansport. A successful schedule of Polar Express excursion trains between Kokomo and Logansport was well received and financially successful over the recent holiday season, he said.

The Port Authority meanwhile is preparing to approve a contract with the newly formed Nickel Plate Heritage Railroad, created by the county tourism bureau to operate excursion trains on the railroad from Noblesville to Atlanta.

Brenda Myers, tourism director, said this week the organization is in the process of acquiring a locomotive, two passenger cars and a dining car for the coming summer season. Headquarters and train storage for the operation will be near Atlanta where improvements are being made for visitors in what is planned as a major tourism attraction.

The transportation museum’s ‘gems’ will be leaving the Nickel Plate. They include the 100 year old steam engine Number 587 and the so-called Flagler car, named for Henry Flagler, a wealthy industrialist who is credited for developing Florida tourism by building a rail line to Miami. His lavish private rail car is in the museum collection.

Opposition to Noblesville’s eviction of the ITM from Forest Park remains. Among the most vocal is longtime former ITM Board member Craig Pressler who says the city and Fishers officials wanted to get rid of the museum and hope to see some type of economic development along the Nickel Plate in southern Hamilton County.

The rail line south of Noblesville is to be converted to a pedestrian and bike trail similar to the Monon Trail, officials hope. Although no immediate plans have been announced, Noblesville’s media spokesman, Robert Herrington, said this week the trail may have to take a back seat for a while to bigger, more urgent projects.

Pressler says another trail planned and approved by the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will duplicate Nickel Plate trail plans bringing a separate trail from Indianapolis to Fishers and on to Conner Prairie and making the conversion of the Nickel Plate unnecessary.

Schwartz To Seek Another County Council Term

Steve Schwartz

The current President of the Hamilton County Council, Steve Scwwartz, has announced plans to seek re-election this year.

According to his announcement statement, appearing in the Hamilton County Reporter, Schwartz describes himself as a “fiscal conservative” and touts budget surpluses and rainy day funds as major accomplishments.

Schwartz also touted his good relationship with the Hamilton County Commissioners.

Tigers Lose To Brownsburg In Overtime

Hamilton County Reporter

Fishers battled with Brownsburg Wednesday at the Tiger Den, eventually losing 60-54 in an overtime Hoosier Crossroads Conference game.

The Bulldogs led 9-8 after the first quarter and 19-18 at halftime. The Tigers took the lead and were ahead 38-36 after three periods, with help from Jeremy Szilagyi’s three 3-pointers during the quarter. The game was tied at 49-all at the end of regulation, and Brownsburg outscored Fishers 11-5 in the extra period.

Szilagyi wound up with five 3-pointers for the game and also made both his free-throw attempts to finish with 17 points. Terry Hicks added 11 points, while Willie Jackson scored 10.

The Tigers are 0-3 in HCC play and 6-7 overall. Fishers continues HCC play on Friday with a trip to Avon.

HSE Girls Lose a Close One To Lawrence North

Hamilton County Reporter

Hamilton Southeastern dropped a tough game at Lawrence
North on Tuesday by the score of 42-39.

The Royals trailed the Class 4A No. 7 Wildcats 9-5 after the first quarter,
then LN led 24-13 at halftime. Southeastern roared back in the
third period to lead 31-30, but the Wildcats outscored HSE
12-8 in the fourth quarter.

Sydney Parrish scored 16 points for the Royals, while Malea Jackson drained four
3-pointers on her way to 14 points. Amaya Hamilton collected eight rebounds, with
Molly Walton and Parrish both pulling five. Walton also dished out five assists.

Southeastern is 14-6, and hosts 4A No. 10 Zionsville at 6 p.m. Friday in a girl-boy
Hoosier Crossroads Conference doubleheader.

Lady Tigers Lose To Greyhounds

 

Carmel’s Blake Smith (21) and Fishers’ Lydia Stullken go up for the tipoff at the
Greyhounds-Tigers basketball game Tuesday at the Tiger Den.
 (Reporter photo by Kirk Green)

by

Richie Hall

Hamilton County Reporter

In an all-county battle at the Tiger Den, the Carmel girls basketball team won its
seventh straight game by beating Fishers 79-52 on Tuesday.

The Tigers started the game strong, with Tamia Perryman hitting consecutive
putbacks to put Fishers up 4-0. But the Class 4A No. 1 Greyhounds got their offense
going after that, embarking on a 20-2 run that monopolized most of the period and put
them ahead 20-6.

“Early on when we were having a little trouble scoring, we just had great looks and
didn’t make anything,” said Carmel coach Tod Windlan. The coach said once his team
started making baskets and getting turnovers, which led to the ‘Hounds getting
easy transition baskets. Windlan said the way his team “shared the ball in transition
was fun to watch tonight.”

The run ended with a flourish, as Tomi Taiwo hit a 3-pointer, then Amy Dilk scored
easy baskets off back-to-back steals. The Tigers cut the lead to 20-10 by the end of
the quarter; Toni Grace scored on a layin, then Ali Gerka made a basket off a Grace
steal.

Carmel rolled through the second period, leading 45-21 at halftime after opening the
quarter with a 17-13 run. Dilk poured in nine points during the period, including a 5-of-5
effort from the free-throw line. Fishers did get its first run during the middle of the
quarter, with six straight points. Kenedi London scored and Katie Burton added four
points.

The Tigers made another 6-0 run in the third quarter, with Grace scoring four points.
That got Fishers within 51-33. But the ‘Hounds answered with a 15-5 run of their
own that lasted well into the fourth period and gave them a 66-36 lead. Blake Smith
got a pair of layins in the third quarter during that run.

Taiwo helped out with four foul shots during that time, finishing up an outstanding
foul shooting performance: The senior went 10-of-10 from the line for the game. Dilk
also did well, making all seven of her free throws. Reagan Hune was 4-of-4.

Dilk finished with 25 points, eight assists and seven steals. Taiwo added 17 points.
Jasmine McWilliams led on the boards with five rebounds. Smith blocked three shots.

“Carmel’s very good and they’re very good at what they do,” said Fishers coach
Lauren Vail. “They force us into a lot of first-half turnovers, and that really hurt us.

“I thought our kids played really hard.  We were able to handle their pressure a little
bit better as the game wore on, which is all I could ask. But you got to give credit to
Carmel. They’re No. 1 in the state for a reason and they played very well.”

Grace scored 21 points for Fishers, with Perryman playing strong by collecting nine
rebounds. Lydia Stullken had two blocks.

Carmel is now 20-1 for the season, clinching its third consecutive 20-win
season. The Greyhounds will go back on the road Friday for a huge Metropolitan
Conference game at Pike, the No. 2 team in 4A.

The Red Devils are 6-0 in the MIC, so they have already clinched a share of the
title. Carmel is 4-1, so the ‘Hounds are still in contention for a share of the
championship as well.

“We haven’t won the MIC in a long time at Carmel, so it’s something we got our eyes
set on. So hopefully we’ll come ready to play. We got to rebound better than we did
tonight.”

Fishers is 10-10 and hosts Avon Saturday afternoon for its final Hoosier
Crossroads Conference game of the season.

Looking Back 40 Years To The Great Blizzard Of 1978

by

Fred Swift

Hamilton County Reporter

It doesn’t seem possible that this month marks the 40th anniversary of the historic Blizzard of ’78. Probably less than half our present population can remember the greatest weather event of the 20th century. For those who did not witness the blizzard it’s hard to visualize what 20 inches of snow driven by 50 mph winds in near-zero weather can look like.

The blizzard began on Wednesday, Jan. 25. However, virtually forgotten was the crippling ice and snow storm that hit Hamilton County the week before, exactly 40 years ago today.

As it turned out that storm was child’s play compared with the blizzard that followed.

On Tuesday the 24th there were warnings of another even bigger snow on the way. Those who heeded the warning and stocked up on groceries and gas were the lucky ones. Some were not so fortunate and found themselves with little to eat when the big storm literally closed the state. For two days the howling winds and constant snowfall made all roads impassable. The dangerous cold cost the lives of 70 Hoosiers, a few of them in Hamilton County. A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Otis Bowen.

The snow drifted so deep that heavy earth-moving equipment had to be borrowed from construction companies. Law enforcement called upon snowmobile owners to assist in delivering medicine and in some cases to rescue the sick. The fear of looting caused authorities to warn that looters would be shot, but the weather was too severe for almost anyone to try stealing anything. Literally everything shut down: no mail, no newspapers, no stores, offices or public buildings open. Schools were closed for a week, some longer.

When the winds died down, crews got to work on clearing the roads, then parking lots and driveways, all of which were buried in drifting snow of varying depths, some up three, four or even five feet. By Saturday after the Wednesday onslaught, traffic began moving on main roads and some businesses reopened. But, it was well into the following week before anything like normal activity resumed.

Snow was stacked in huge piles to be trucked away later. It looked like the snow would not all melt until spring, but within two or three weeks it did mostly disappear. The storm brought out the best in many folks who helped aged neighbors or stranded motorists. Owners of tractors and heavy equipment made their vehicles available, and police and fire personnel worked around the clock to respond to the many emergencies.

As the storm eased there was even some enjoyment for skiers, snowmobilers and kids wanting to play in the greatest amount of snow they ever saw. There were some unusual stories that are hard to imagine, like a local resident’s completely covered Volkswagen being mistakenly scooped up in the snow removal.

Folks under the age of 45 probably think the stories of the 1978 blizzard are exaggerated, and maybe some are. But, it was an event of historic proportions like nothing we’ve seen in Hamilton County since.

Fred Glynn Will Seek Another County Council Term

Fred Glynn

County Council member Fred Glynn has announced he will seek another term. In his announcement, posted in the Hamilton County Reporter newspaper, Glynn pointed to accomplishments such as county government improvements and balanced budgets.

“It is a false narrative that we have to choose between good government and fiscal responsibility,” Glynn said. “My first term proves you can do both.”

Glynn represents Council District 1, which encompasses Carmel and the western edge of Fishers.

Jason Sloderbeck Withdraws From HAMCO Sheriff’s Race

Jason Sloderbeck

Hamilton County Reporter

Jason Sloderbeck announced Tuesday he is ending his campaign for Hamilton County Sheriff. Below is Sloderbeck’s statement on his decision to drop out of the race:

“After much consideration and conversations with my family, I have decided to not continue my run for Hamilton County Sheriff. I want to thank everyone who supported my efforts; however, I feel I am best suited to serve the residents of Hamilton County in the position I am currently in as jail commander. I am looking forward to working with our future sheriff to keep Hamilton County moving in the right direction.”