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FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — IU Health employees in Fishers had the chance to practice working in their new hospital before it has even been built.

Staff ran drills under a tent in the IU Health Saxony parking lot, where the inside of the tent was mocked up to look like a hospital, complete with walls and rooms.

Each room had hospital equipment and printed photos precisely placed on the walls and around the room. The photos were of things such as paper towel dispensers, clocks, and a television. The purpose was for staff to run through drills and help design the layout of the future hospital.

“We did an emergency C-section drill where we walked the distance from the furthest room of the unit, to where the OR would be, figuring out how long it would take. Is this the fastest route we can get there, so we can make sure that things are done in the safest, quickest way for the patient,” said labor and delivery nurse Sarah Wenzel.

IU Health Saxony, which will soon become IU Health Fishers, is getting a major makeover and expansion. The hospital’s Chief Operating Officer Chad Dilley said the $287 million expansion will add hospital beds, several new services, and grow some already existing units.

“Fishers is a thriving community. The growth in Fishers is well-documented, and we’re growing ultimately to meet the needs of the community,” Dilley said.

He said it is important that the people who will actually work in the building itself have a say in its final design.

“Making sure we work through the equipment, the supplies, how the staff is gonna flow, how the patients are gonna flow, and how the family members are gonna flow through the facility. So, it’s really a great opportunity for our team members to put their fingerprints on the facility,” said Dilley.

Construction is set to start later this year and will wrap up in 2025. The expansion will double the hospital’s workforce.

Learn more about the project online.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department is trying to fill 200 open officer positions.

At a recruitment event Tuesday, Chief Randal Taylor said finding people who want to do the job has been a challenge over the last few years. “Sometimes you want the officers but don’t have the money. Now, we’ve got the money and we can’t find the officers. So, that concerns me a lot.”

For the second straight year, the department hosted Join IMPD Week. In 2021, IMPD got some recruits out of the events but also lost police to other jobs in the process.

Currently, the department has a little more than 1,600 officers on the force.

Officer Molly McAfee said they want 1,800 but, she added, finding people who want to protect and serve hasn’t been easy since 2020. “Society has painted a pretty negative picture, so it’s made it pretty hard as a recruiter to recruit someone to do this position when they’re being told by their family and friends for whatever reason that this is not something they trust or something they are interested in.”

The police chief say a lot of work remains to be done on the public perception of police, which is why he thinks community events such as Tuesday’s are so important. “Yeah, the job is challenging, but really, in life, if it’s not challenging, what’s it really worth? If those are those voices you hear in your head, then come check us out and we’ll walk you through it and help you make the right decision.”

Taylor says recruits this year have been a little older than in past years. He said that brings him some comfort because he knows they’ve really thought it through.

IMPD will continue its recruiting events.

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Appropriate police response to a situation such as an active shooter is a major discussion following the school shooting in Texas that left 19 children and two teachers dead.

In the days following the shooting, police in Texas have admitted they made mistakes in their response.

During a webinar hosted Wednesday night by Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness and the Fishers Police Department, Chief Ed Gebhard said his department practices mass-shooting responses in some form every day.

Gebhart said, at the Fishers Police Department, two leaders are on every shift. He said those officers in command are expected to step up and make a plan even during nonthreatening calls.

“Because it is repetition that is gonna make us successful on the day of a very chaotic, screaming, people running everywhere type of event,” Gebhart said.

When it comes to more serious events, such the school shooting in Texas, Gebhart said, tactics are constantly changing.

“Back to what I kind of referred to as ‘the diamond’ was kind of one of the first formations that came into law enforcement. You had to wait for four tactical operators of a sort to make a safe breach and entry into a school system and that was trained ultimately until more shootings occurred in schools and businesses, and we realized quickly that there was no time,” Gebhart said.

Now, he said, there’s only one way police departments should be responding.

“First man goes in. First man or woman on scene must go in and is required a solo response and that’s how we’ve evolved from Columbine to today’s patrolling and policing,” Gebhart said.

When asked by Fadness how Gebhart can be sure his officers will respond appropriately if confronted with a situation such as Uvlade, Gebhart said Fishers officers are well-trained and well-equipped to go into a situation solo.

“Our officers are issued not only primary weapons but also rifles to be able to go in and succeed, and we make sure we routinely have those out in training throughout the year,” Gehbart said.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Did Zionsville’s mayor go too far in sharing her frustration following the mass shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas? She doesn’t think so.

“I woke up that morning after the Uvalde shooting, just enraged, honestly, just pissed off,” Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron said.

Styron said her anger only grew more angry when she began to read what people were saying about the mass shooting. She said she was specifically set off by some social media comments against calls for more gun control.

In a Facebook post, a Zionsville business encourages people to “support candidates who support change.”

A man named Joel Bardach responded saying it’s a “mental illness problem.” ‘Can’t get rid of the guns. Criminals don’t care.’

Bardach then goes on to share other opinions about the situation.

Styron replied to his comment using several profanities.

“(EXPLETIVE) you. I am so sick and tired of the stupid, useless rhetoric by jack (EXPLETIVE) like you when it comes to gun regulation. (EXPLETIVE) sick and tired of mass murders if OUR (EXPLETIVE CHILDREN…it’s time for the majority who know that gun permits and banning automatic weapons is COMMON (EXPLETIVE) SENSE. So yeah, (EXPLETIVE),” Styron said.

In an interview with News 8, Styron defended her comments.

“Nope, we can’t do that, it’s not within our, trying to mansplain how there’s no way we can ever make this happen. I’m tired of listening to folks like that. if you don’t believe that we can get sensible gun legislation enacted, then move over because we are gonna elect someone who can,” Styron said.

The argument between the two continues, and Styron makes it clear she’s the mayor of the town.

“Not exactly the way she said it. She said she was the mayor of this effing town,” Bardach said.

Bardach said he’s not mad at Styron for what she said. But he said he doesn’t believe the way she responded is an affective way to get things done.

“It rolls off my back to a point where I don’t live there, I don’t vote there. It’s not my town. But, as a human being, it’s highly offensive and should be to anybody and it certainly speaks to the fact that we understand now why things don’t get done. No more desire to work with the other side than anything. It’s sad,” Bardach said.

Mayor Styron said she feels the opposite and hopes her strong choice of words catches more people’s attention.

“I am hopeful that maybe because I used that sort of language, this conversation gets a bigger audience,” Styron said.

Styron said she does not want her comments to reflect the town of Zionsville or the people who live there.

She said they were comments made using her personal Facebook account, not her Mayor Emily Styron page.

Joel Bardach said he does not expect an apology, but he does think it’s the right thing for Mayor Styron to do.

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — Some Speedway businesses are celebrating after employees said they saw pre-pandemic crowds over the weekend. The record attendance at the racetrack, brought more foot traffic to businesses.

“Yeah, we did really good this year,” Gunter said.

The Famous Tomato employee said May is always a good month and for more than one reason.

“May is when we start getting our really, really good produce and that’s when our sales rise too and a lot more people come around,” Gunter said.

That paired with race fans looking for speedy service, and business really starts booming.

“They don’t want to cut their own watermelon, so we have it ready and cut for them,” employee Carson Heim said.

Heim, who has only worked at the store a few years said this has been her busiest by far.

“This year has probably been the craziest it’s been. Last year, we didn’t really have very many people. This year, with the amount of people coming in, we’ve gotten a lot busier. A lot more people out of town, people saying they’ve never been here,” Heim said.

The extra traffic kept employees racing around themselves. After two years of not seeing familiar faces, or many faces at all, they said it felt good to be busy.

“It was really cool to see everybody come back and actually have fun and go have parties and everybody comes and gets their fruits and vegetables. So, we got to see people over again from a couple races ago actually,” Gunter said.

The Famous Tomato employees said their candy store at 1538 Main Street also saw record business.

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — If you’re in the Coke Lot this year in advance of the Indianapolis 500, you might meet John Nevin at Jake’s Pub.

It’s an inflatable, portable pub with deep Irish roots and, once a year, it comes to Indiana.

“Jake was my dad, and when he was back in Ireland he owned a bunch of pubs and he called everyone ‘Jake,’ men, women, children,” Nevin said Friday as he and other fans gathered for Sunday’s 106th running of what’s called “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

Jake is no longer alive, but Nevin said his father’s legacy is known by Indy 500 fans far and wide, partially because of the pub.

“Yeah, we’re self-sufficient out here. We have everything: our own port-a-potties, our own bar. It doesn’t get any better than that,” Nevin said.

Turns out, it does get better. As if the bar wasn’t enough, Nevin brought his own band all the way from Florida. He met the pair called Audio Orchid while on vacation, and said their sound is something Speedway had to hear.

Band member John Silvestri said, “We just kept in touch, and he said, ‘This next one is on, come up,’ and we said, ‘All right, let’s do it baby.'”

The two rented a recreational vehicle and hit the road. Seventeen hours later, they landed in the Coke Lot to play a gig they’ll never forget.

“You know it seems like this is the most proper place to be,” Silvestri said.

Band member Ryan Thompson added, “It’s definitely a spectacle: a lot of classy, classy people; some nice attire.”

While the concert venue may not be traditional, it’s certainly memorable and, for Nevin, that’s all that matters.

“You know, started out with a little tent, and got a little bigger. Got tired of the tent, got into the RV, and just grew and grew and grew, and then the pub, and now I have the band,” Nevin said.

The band will be out all weekend and Nevin said anyone can stop by to listen!

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The mother of one of the girls murdered in Delphi five years ago said she has lost faith in law enforcement.

Libby German’s mom, Carrie Timmons, is making that statement one week after I-team 8 revealed stunning new details in the case.

Last week, I-Team 8 with the help of the Murder Sheet Podcast was the first to shared documents that publicly describe the scene where Abby Williams and Libby German were murdered, what was taken from the scene, and a potential early suspect in the case.

“They don’t know that they’re doing, still. They’re kind of just circling around the same thing and there’s not really been a lot of movement in the case,” Timmons said.

Timmons says she wants to know why law enforcement never told her family about two people they were looking into as possible early suspects in the murders.

“It’s weird this information that all this information just now comes out and they act like it’s no big deal. So, I don’t know, I don’t know how important it is to the actual case, but it seems there’s a lot more information out there than what we know,” Timmons said.

In December 2021, I-team 8 was the first to uncover the 2017 investigation into Kegan Kline. He’s the man behind the “anthony_shots” profile that police said Libby was communicating with the day the girls went missing.

News 8 also reported about the request for a search warrant on the property of Ronald Logan where the girls bodies were found. Timmons said despite disturbing details in the search warrant, including the part where an FBI agent said the girls bodies were moved and staged, she doesn’t believe Logan was the killer.

“If they had a case against him, they would have built it. They had easy access to do so. I mean I’ve never really believed Ron Logan did it, and I have said maybe he knows who did or he knew information because it was there on his property,” Timmons said.

Timmons also says she has asked Superintendent Doug Carter of the Indiana State Police to fill in the gaps, but she says so far that hasn’t happened. She say she even looked to sources from outside of Indiana for help.

“Doug Carter and I don’t particularly see eye to eye. We never have. I mean I’ve had conversations with police. I have spoken with private investigators. But, most of the people I have spoken with and private investigators have basically said there’s not a whole lot they can do because police won’t release information,” Timmons said.

At this point, Timmons says, she isn’t confident the case is any closer to being solved.

“I want to know why we still don’t have answers, why we’re still at a standstill five years later, especially knowing what we know now,” Timmons said.

A public information officer with the Indiana State Police tells I-Team 8 the agency is “politely declining to offer any comment.”

Timmons says it is important to remember no one has been arrested and sending tips remains crucial.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jennifer McCormick, a former Indiana superintendent of public education, said state and federal leaders aren’t doing enough to help keep schools safe.

Her comments come one day after a gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school and killed 19 students and two adults.

“People say this is unthinkable, well it’s not unthinkable at this point, it’s weekly,” McCormick told News 8 on Wednesday.

McCormick left the state job in January 2021. When asked if she believes drills help or hurt children, McCormick said, “I have been through the school safety academy. I was a teacher. I was a principal. I was a superintendent and then, obviously, state superintendent. We have to drill. So, it’s not something that anybody enjoys and it’s unfortunate that we’re at that point but we are so the drills remain necessary.”

However, McCormick said, even those efforts have not been enough to stop mass shootings from happening.

“We continue to drill. We continue to train. Our SROs (school resource officers) are amazing. Our law enforcement partners are amazing. We cannot do this alone. It is time for our lawmakers to be courageous and start helping us,” McCormick said.

Jody Madeira, a professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said school shootings are much more than a political or Second Amendment issue. Madeira said mass shootings are a public health epidemic. “I think that the focus should be on broader based efforts to identify individuals who pose a threat. In Texas, you have to be 21 to buy a handgun, but you can be 18 to purchase a rifle. In addition, you know, there are states like New York that allow red flag law reports to be filed by school officials and administrators, and those are the people who come in contact with these individuals who may be most troubled.”

McCormick said if leaders don’t commit to serious change, she believes it’s time for new leaders.

“My concern is in this realm we are going backward, and schools are doing the best they can, and I don’t think there is one superintendent across the state of Indiana or across the nation that says, ‘We’ve figured this out. We don’t need your help.’ We all know we cannot do it alone. We need assistance,” McCormick said.

EDINBURGH, Ind. (WISH) — The National Weather Service in Indianapolis said three tornadoes touched down in three central Indiana counties on Saturday.

The confirmed tornadoes hit Johnson, Brown and Shelby counties.

On Monday, crews worked to clean up damage at Camp Atterbury, where the weather service said a weak tornado touched down. Winds from the storm were so strong that they blew the steeple off an 80-year-old church on the base.

“The church was built in 1942, while Camp Atterbury was used during World War II. We’ve had stories of people getting married here before they shipped off to the war,” said Lt. Col. Bill Ward.

Plywood from the Post Chapel’s roof was also found under cars tires.

Inside the chapel, the carpet is gone and some of the wood is damaged. Ward said the chapel’s piano and organ are beyond repair.

“But one thing that they were able to salvage was the spire on top of the steeple,” Ward said.

Just a few miles away on Saturday, Chris Burton was mowing his lawn when the storm rolled in. He said he quickly took cover and captured the beginning of the rain and wind on his phone. “As the video went on and I was standing there, the wind started picking up and whistling and I was like, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t be out here,'” Burton said.

Fortunately, Burton said, the property damage was minimal. “We got the one big tree limb, but mostly it was just small branches and it picked up pretty good. I think the house blocked the majority of the wind,” Burton said.

As for the chapel, Ward said, they are going to restore every piece possible so it can be up and running for another 80 years. “There’s still a lot that’s there. The pews inside are still intact, a lot of the old structure, but, yeah, we will be able to use most of it again once it’s rebuilt,” Ward said.

Ward said the Post Chapel is the only building on base that is still used for religious services.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The nationwide baby formula shortage continues to cause concern for families.

The shortage has also had an impact on hospitals, including ones in Indianapolis.

Staff at Franciscan Health said even though they are in good shape with supplies, the shortage has made things more stressful. Libby Milch, lactation specialist at Franciscan Health, said more families are buying from the hospital’s milk bank. “I think they’re keeping up. It’s just it’s tighter than what we’re used to.”

Milch say more new parents are considering breast feeding or donated breast milk, but adds those alternatives won’t work for everyone. She say the hospital on Thursday had enough formula for the babies who need it. However, calls from concerned parents are still coming in.

“Those women that have called, we’re recommending they go to all kinds of stores, places maybe they haven’t thought of before, like drugstores or even organic-type stores because they also usually have brands of formula. Definitely trying to dissuade them from doing any type of homemade stuff. That’s very dangerous, especially for children under 6 months of age,” Milch said.

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced emergency efforts to ease the shortage and strengthen the supply. The Democrat president is using the Defense Production Act to ensure manufacturers have the necessary ingredients to produce safe and healthy formula. He also announced Operation Fly Formula, which is a partnership between the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services to send planes overseas to pick up formula.

Milch says, in the meantime, parents should try their best to keep from panic buying. “Just reach out for help because it is about us looking out for each other, being kind and remembering we are in this together.”

A spokesperson from Franciscan Health says no babies have been hospitalized at Franciscan due to the shortage.