INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Big Ten championship football game has been played at Lucas Oil Stadium since 2011, but this year’s expectations remained uncertain Wednesday.
Less than five weeks after postponing fall sports to spring because of the pandemic, the Big Ten changed course on Wednesday. The conference plans to begin its season Oct. 23. The development of rapid daily testing for the coronavirus was a major factor in the decision.
Business operators in downtown Indianapolis are eager for the usual championship game crowd.
The Associated Press reports all 14 teams will be scheduled to play eight regular-season games in eight weeks, plus have the opportunity to play a ninth game on Dec. 19 when the conference championship game is played. The College Football Playoff selections are scheduled for Dec. 20, which means the Big Ten’s best should be back in the hunt for a national championship — if all goes well, AP reports.
Indiana Sports Corp, founded in 1979, seeks out sporting events to bring to the Indianapolis area. The nonprofit made a deal to host the game at the stadium through 2021. This year’s game was planned for Dec. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Wednesday’s Big Ten announcement thrilled the owner of a bar in the stadium’s shadow.
“I think it’s great!” said Stadium Tavern owner Rob Strong. “I think they should return sooner than Oct. 23 or 24, whichever it is. It will be a great boost to our economy if we get to have the Big Ten championship back over here at Lucas Oil and we’re opened up at a fuller capacity than 25%.”
At present, Marion County limits restaurants, bars and nightclubs to 25% capacity indoors and 50% outdoors.
Strong said he is disappointed that fans will not be allowed inside the championship football game, though he hopes the faithful might stop by his bar to be close to the stadium where the game is expected to happen.
“If I were a fan of whatever college was playing, I would definitely want to be closer to the action, closer to the players,” Strong said. “Lucas Oil is 500 feet away from us, so that’s pretty close.”
“Hopefully people want to come in and party and hang out and eat, drink a little bit, have a lively atmosphere other than sitting at home,” Strong said. “I know everybody is kind of tired of that.”
“Now that the Big Ten Conference has decided on a regular season start date, we are working hand-in-hand with them on the possibility of a Championship Game in Indy and the best date to do so.”Indiana Sports Corps
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Indiana State Department of Health coronavirus information (includes phone number to state hotline)
- Sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations in Indiana
- WISH-TV coronavirus coverage
- WISH-TV’s “Gr8 Comeback”
- Original Indiana Back on Track plan
- Revised Stage 3 of Indiana Back on Track plan (May 12-June 13)
- Revised Stage 4 of Indiana Back on Track plan (June 12-July 3)
- Governor’s order, July 1: Stage 4.5 of Indiana Back on Track plan
- Governor’s order, Aug. 26: Extension of Stage 4.5 of Indiana Back on Track plan
- Governor’s order, Sept. 24: Revised Stage 5 of Indiana Back on Track plan
- Governor’s order, Jan. 28, 2021: 11th renewal of statewide emergency
- Governor’s order, Feb. 25, 2021: 12th renewal of statewide emergency
- Indianapolis government’s COVID-19 Community Resources page
- Gleaners Food Bank distribution sites in Indianapolis area, south central Indiana
- Second Harvest of East Central Indiana “tailgate” food distribution sites
- Food Finders distribution sites in west and north central Indiana
- Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases map from John Hopkins University
- CDC’s coronavirus page
- Marion County Public Health Department coronavirus information
- U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
- Indiana PPE Directory (for businesses, nonprofits and schools only)
Indiana coronavirus timeline
With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.
- March 6, 2020: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
- March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. A Hendricks County adult who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools says a parent and that parent’s children will self-quarantine after attending an out-of-state event where someone tested positive.
- March 9: Avon Community School Corp. says a student on March 8 tested positive.
- March 10: ISDH launches an online tracker. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
- March 11: The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the Final Four basketball tournaments will happen with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University suspends in-person classes the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis extend spring break, after which they will have virtual classes.
- March 12: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The NCAA cancels its basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled.
- March 13: The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shuts down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty. Holcomb announces actions including the elimination of Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and the lifting of limits on the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles. Franklin College says it will begin online classes March 18 and empty residence halls of students in two days. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis closes indefinitely. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and closes all facilities indefinitely.
- March 14: The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close in two days for an indefinite period.
- March 15: Indiana had its first death. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces it will suspend all elective, non-urgent surgeries.
- March 16: Indiana had its second death. Gov. Holcomb announced the first Hoosier death. He closes bars, restaurants and nightclubs to in-person patrons, but maintains carryout and delivery services.
- March 17: Indiana had its third and fourth deaths. ISDH announces Indiana’s second death. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
- March 18: Indiana had its fifth death. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana. The 500 Festival suspends all events. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties.
- March 19: Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says he’ll close all K-12 public and nonpublic schools; standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Indiana’s high school boys basketball tournament was canceled.
- March 20: Indiana’s death toll rose to 9. ISDH announces Indiana’s third death. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses.
- March 21: Indiana’s death toll rises to 14. ISDH announces Indiana’s fourth death. Indiana National Guard says it and the state Department of Transportation are distributing medical supplies to hospitals.
- March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 18. ISDH announces seven deaths.
- March 23: Indiana’s death toll rises to 23. Holcomb orders nonessential Hoosiers to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
- March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 28. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
- March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises to 33. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23.
- March 26: Indiana’s death toll rises to 42.
- March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 45.
- March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 58.
- March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 77.
- March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 91.
- March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises above 100, to 113. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carryout” through April 6.
- April 1: Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for front-line employees.
- April 2: The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
- April 3: Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
- April 6: The state reports a Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
- April 7: Indiana health commissioner Box says four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.
- April 10: ISDH said 24 residents of a long-term care facility in Madison County have died from COVID-related illness.
- April 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 500.
- April 16: Indiana records more than 10,000 positive coronavirus tests. The governor says he expects Indiana to experience a reopening in early May.
- April 20: Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order to May 1. The governor also says if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective medical procedures can resume April 27.
- April 22: The Tyson facility in Logansport voluntarily closes so 2,200 employees can be tested for COVID-19.
- April 24: The Indianapolis City-County Council approves $25 million to help small businesses. Fishers City Council creates a city health department.
- April 25: ISDH says it will launch an antibody testing study for Hoosiers; thousands of residents were randomly selected to participate in the study.
- April 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,000.
- April 28: Indiana officials say they will open COVID-19 testing to more Hoosiers, with expanded criteria and new testing services at 20 sites around the state.
- April 29: The state says it will spent $43 million on contact tracing.
- April 30: Indianapolis extends its stay-at-home order through May 15.
- May 1: Gov. Holcomb announces a phased reopening plan for the state of Indiana. He also extends the “stay at home” order to May 4.
- May 3: Indiana records more than 20,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- May 4: Indiana enters Stage 2 of its Back on Track plan, which excludes Cass County until May 18, and Lake and Marion counties until May 11.
- May 6:The state begins testing for all Hoosiers at 20 sites, with plans to expand the number of sites to 50 in a week. Ivy Tech Community College says it will continue virtual classes when summer courses begin in June.
- May 8: Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Budget and Management, says the state missed out on nearly $1 billion in anticipated April revenues; all state agencies will be given budget-cutting goals. Purdue University OKs plans to reopen for the fall semester with social distancing and other safety measures.
- May 13: The first phase of a state-sponsored study of the coronavirus estimated about 186,000 Hoosiers had COVID-19 or the antibodies for the novel virus by May 1. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for limited reopenings of worship services, retail establishments, libraries and restaurants.
- May 15: Simon Property Group reopens Castleton Square Mall, Circle Centre Mall, and Fashion Mall at Keystone
- May 18: Indiana reports its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in a child. The Farbest Foods turkey-processing plant in Huntingburg is closed for three days; 91 people had tested positive there.
- May 21: Indiana records more than 30,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- May 22: Indiana advances to Stage 3 of the Back on Track reopening plan. Indianapolis closes portions of five streets to allow restaurants to reopen with outdoor dining only.
- May 26: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,000.
- May 27: Indiana University says the fall semester will have in-person and online courses, plus an adjusted calendar through May 2021. Ball State University says the fall semester will be 13 straight weeks of in-person classes with no day off on Labor Day and no fall break.
- May 29: Places of worship in Marion County can begin holding indoor services at 50% capacity with proper social distancing. Jim Schellinger, Indiana secretary of commerce, said the federal Paycheck Protection Program has made 73,430 loans in Indiana totaling $9,379,164,461, the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has made 5,070 loans in Indiana totaling $445,428,500, and the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans Advance program has made 38,365 grants in Indiana totaling $136,554,000.
- June 1: Marion County restaurants begins serving customers indoors and outdoors with 50% capacity. Marion County salons, tattoo parlors reopen by appointment only. Marion County gyms, fitness centers and pools reopen with 50% capacity and no contact sports. However, a Marion County curfew that began the night of May 31 and continued into the morning of June 3 after rioting impacted the reopening of some businesses.
- June 3: Phase 2 of statewide testing of random Hoosiers by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and the Indiana State Department of Health begins.
- June 5: Indiana reports May tax revenues were 20% short of projections made before the coronavirus closings started.
- June 8: Indianapolis leaders agree to spend $79 million in coronavirus relief funding on contact tracing, rent relief, personal protective equipment and support for small businesses.
- June 12: Indiana, excluding Marion County, advances to Stage 4 of reopening plan.
- June 15: Casinos and parimutuel racing reopen in the state. Marion County’s public libraries begin a phased reopening. Indiana records more than 40,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- June 19: Marion County advances to Stage 4 of state’s reopening plan.
- June 24: Holcomb says the state’s moratorium on the eviction on renters will be extended through July. Indiana announces it will create a rental assistance program July 13. Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon says he has tested positive for COVID-19.
- June 27: Indiana hospitalizations for COVID-19 begin to increase, with about 33 new patients a day through July 1.
- July 1: The governor pauses Stage 5 final reopening plan, announces Stage 4.5 from July 4-17.
- July 4: Indiana’s Stage 4.5 reopening plan begins.
- July 9: Indiana records more than 50,000 positive coronavirus tests. Marion County mandates mask-wearing.
- July 10: Indianapolis Public Schools announces its reopening plans.
- July 11: Indy Eleven resumes 2020 season with victory at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis reopens.
- July 13: Indiana begins rental assistance program for all counties but Marion County. Marion County begins its own rental assistance program.
- July 15: Indiana announces the Stage 4.5 reopening plan will continue another two weeks. The WNBA season begins.
- July 16: Indianapolis suspends applications for its rental assistance program due to overwhelming demand.
- July 24: Bars, taverns and nightclubs in Indianapolis are shut down again. City officials also return to other previous restrictions.
- July 25: Indiana Fever begins WNBA season after delays.
- July 27: Indiana governor’s order to wear face coverings begins. Great Lakes Valley Conference, which including University of Indianapolis, postpones most fall sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball, until spring.
- July 30: NBA season resumes.
- Aug. 4: Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Aug. 23 Indianapolis 500 will be run without fans.
- Aug. 9: Indiana records more than 75,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Aug. 11: Indiana’s death toll rises above 3,000.
- Aug. 17: Indianapolis Public Schools restarts with online-only classes. News 8 learns the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will not happen on Presidents Day weekend in 2021.
- Aug. 20: Purdue University suspends 36 students after a party at a cooperative house.
- Aug. 21: Indiana high school football season begins with some teams not playing due to COVID-19 concerns.
- Aug. 23: Butler University tells undergraduates that instruction will occur remotely for the first two weeks of the semester, starting Aug. 24, instead of in classrooms.
- Aug. 24: Purdue, Indiana, IUPUI and Ball State universities resume in-person classes.
- Aug. 25: Reports say a fraternity, a sorority and a cooperative house at Purdue University are under quarantines.
- Aug. 26: Gov. Holcomb extends the mask mandate through Sept. 25. Indiana’s rental assistance program will take applications for one last day.
- Aug. 27: Indiana University says eight Greek houses are under 14-day quarantines.
- Sept. 2: Indiana University tells 30 Greek houses in Bloomington to quarantine.
- Sept. 6: Indiana records more than 100,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Sept. 8: Marion County allows bars and nightclubs to reopen with 25% capacity indoors and 50% capacity outdoors.
- Sept. 12: The Indianapolis Colts open their season with a loss in a Jacksonville stadium with a limited number of fans.
- Sept. 21: The Indianapolis Colts home opener is limited to 2,500 fans.
- Sept. 23: Gov. Eric Holcomb extends the mask mandate through Oct. 17.
- Sept. 24: The state’s mask mandate is extended through Oct. 17.
- Sept. 25: The Mid-American Conference announces it will start a six-game football season Nov. 4, with the championship game Dec. 18 or 19.
- Sept. 26: Indiana advances to a revised Stage 5 of Indiana Back on Track plan with relaxed limits on gatherings, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and more. Marion, Monroe and Tippecanoe counties decided to have more restrictive limits, however.
- Sept. 27: The Indianapolis Colts second home game is limited to 7,500 fans.
- Sept. 28: Purdue University says it’s suspended 14 students, including 13 student-athletes, for violations of a pledge designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on campus.
- Sept. 30: The Indiana State Department of Health’s online coronavirus dashboard began showing data on positive coronavirus cases in Indiana schools.
- Oct. 1: IU’s website shows two additional fraternities and a sorority at the Bloomington campus have been issued “cease and desist” orders.
- Oct. 2: Franklin College suspends classes and moves to virtual education and activities through Oct. 9 after a “concerning and unusual” increase in the positivity rate for COVID-19.
- Oct. 12: Franklin College returns to in-person classes.
- Oct. 13: Indianapolis-based drugmaker Lilly pauses its trial of a combination antibody treatment for coronavirus for safety reasons.
- Oct. 14: Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announces she has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Oct. 15: Gov. Holcomb issues executive order to extend mask mandate and Stage 5 reopening plan.
- Oct. 16: Indiana’s death toll rises above 4,000.
- Oct. 18: The Indianapolis Colts third home game was limited to 12,500 fans.
- Oct. 23: The Big Ten begins its football season.
- Oct. 30: Gov. Holcomb extends the public health emergency through Dec. 1.
- Nov. 1: Indiana National Guard to begin deploying to long-term care facilities to provide coronavirus assistance. The Mid-American Conference football teams begins its six-game regular season.
- Nov. 5: Indiana records more than 200,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Nov. 8: The Indianapolis Colts fourth home game was limited to 12,500 fans. .
- Nov. 10: Indiana’s death toll rises to 5,000.
- Nov. 12: Indianapolis calls for schools to go to virtual learning by Nov. 30.
- Nov. 15: Indiana adds coronavirus-control restrictions for all businesses and gatherings in counties with the highest number of new cases as part of an update to the statewide COVID-19 pandemic response.
- Nov. 16: Indianapolis limits capacity inside bars, private clubs, fraternal organizations and gyms to 25%; inside restaurants, libraries, funeral homes, swimming pools and shopping malls’ food courts to 50%; and inside religious services to 75%. Marion County Health Department requires preregistration for COVID-19 testing after increased demand at three drive-thru locations.
- Nov. 22: Indiana records more than 300,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Nov. 23: Indianapolis Public Schools returns to virtual learning through Jan. 18.
- Nov. 24: The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball seasons begin; some games had no fans in the stands.
- Nov. 25: Indiana’s death toll rises above 6,000.
- Nov. 26: Butler University men’s basketball cancels Nov. 29 game against Eastern Illinois after a positive COVID-19 test.
- Nov. 28: Butler University men’s basketball team postponed two more games because of a positive COVID-19 test.
- Dec. 1: Bankers Life Fieldhouse hosts its first NCAA men’s basketball game, Kansas vs. Kentucky, since the start of the pandemic.
- Dec. 2: Indianapolis ends its rental assistance program.
- Dec. 5: The men’s basketball game of No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2, Baylor at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is postponed 90 minutes before tipoff after two Bulldogs test positive.
- Dec. 6: Indiana’s death toll rises above 7,000.
- Dec. 9: Indiana records more than 404,000 positive coronavirus tests. Holcomb says virus restrictions will now by county based on ratings that show the local virus spread. Indiana and Purdue universities cancel the Old Oaken Bucket football game set for Dec. 12.
- Dec. 10: Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston says he tested positive for COVID-19.
- Dec. 11: The Pacers lose to the Cavaliers as the NBA preseason begins. The Carmel Walmart in Westfield closes for nearly two days to sanitize the store.
- Dec. 12: Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns tests positive for the coronavirus.
- Dec. 14: Health care workers receive the first coronavirus vaccinations in Indiana.
- Dec. 15: Vice President Mike Pence holds a roundtable in Bloomington at pharmaceutical maker Catalent on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Indiana and Purdue again cancel the Old Oaken Bucket football game that’d been reset for Dec. 18.
- Dec. 16: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,000.
- Dec. 20: The Indianapolis Colts allows up to 10,000 attendees at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s game against the Houston Texans.
- Dec. 22: NBA starts league’s 75th season, delayed and shortened to a 72-game schedule because of the pandemic.
- Dec. 23: In response to the high volume of unemployment claims, Holcomb extends the suspension of certain requirements to expedite the hiring and training of temporary workers to more quickly resolve unemployment issues. Indiana Pacers to host first home game against New York Knicks with no fans present.
- Dec. 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 9,000.
- Dec. 29: Indiana records more than 500,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Dec. 31: Indiana’s death toll for 2020 is 9,459 (as recorded through March 4, 2021).
- Jan. 1, 2021: Indiana’s death toll rises above 9,500.
- Jan. 3: The Indianapolis Colts allow 10,000 attendees at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Jan. 4: Grades 1-12 schools in Marion County are allowed reopen to in-person learning. Perry Township Schools is the only district to reopen to in-person learning.
- Jan. 5: Purdue and Nebraska postpone a men’s basketball game over health and safety concerns.
- Jan. 7: Indiana’s death toll rises above 10,000.
- Jan. 8: Hoosiers 80 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
- Jan. 13: Hoosiers 70 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine.
- Jan. 18: NFL announces the scouting combine will not happen in Indianapolis in February.
- Jan. 20: Indiana records more than 601,000 positive coronavirus tests. Indiana Pacers host up to 1,000 at a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the first fans since the pandemic began.
- Jan. 21: Indiana’s death toll rises above 11,000.
- Feb. 1: Hoosiers 65 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine. The Indianapolis St. Patrick’s Day parade is canceled for the second year in a row.
- Feb. 4: More than 1,500 coronavirus deaths were added to the Indiana State Department of Health’s dashboard after an audit found they were not recorded. News 8 learns all games for the Big Ten men’s basketball tourney will move from Chicago to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
- Feb. 7: Indiana to change school protocols for classroom quarantine and contact tracing.
- Feb. 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 12,000. Indiana records more than 650,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Feb. 17: Indiana officials announced plans for a $448 million program to give housing assistance to Hoosiers.
- Feb. 19: The NCAA says up to 25% capacity will be allowed for all rounds of the men’s basketball tourney including the Final Four. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the May 30 Indianapolis 500 will have fans.
- Feb. 19: Indiana’s death toll rises above 12,100.
- Feb. 23: Hoosiers 60 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine.
- Feb. 25: Indiana records more than 660,000 positive coronavirus tests. Capacity limits at bars, restaurants, gyms, and music venues in Marion County were adjusted after a consistent trend in the community’s COVID-19 positivity rate.
- Feb. 25: Indiana’s death toll rises to 12,200.
- Feb. 28: Indiana National Guardsmen to end assistance to long-term care facilities.
- March 1: The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon says it will be virtual for the second year in a row.
- March 2: Hoosiers 55 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
- March 3: Hoosiers 50 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
- March 4: News 8 learns up 8,000 fans will be allowed in Lucas Oil Stadium for Big Ten men’s basketball tournament games. Indiana records more than 665,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- March 5: A three-day, drive-thru, mass-vaccination clinic opens at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 16,800 Hoosiers.
- March 12: A two-day, drive-thru, mass-vaccination clinic was set for Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg.
- March 18: NCAA men’s March Madness games, all of them at venues in Indiana, to start with First Four games in Bloomington and West Lafayette.
- March 26: A two-day, drive-thru, mass-vaccination clinic was set for Compton Family Ice Arena at the University of Notre Dame.
- March 31: Holcomb’s emergency declaration with county-based restrictions and a mask mandate set to end at 11:59 p.m.
- May 4: Indianapolis Indians set to begin delayed season with away game against Iowa Cubs.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — City leaders and neighbors are calling for increased safety on the roads after two brothers on bicycles were hit by a car Saturday night.
The youngest of them, 11-year-old Isai Raymundo, died in the crash.
Around 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the two brothers, ages 11 and 15, crossed North Post Road to get from one apartment complex to another. Before they reached the other side, they were hit by a southbound car. The 15-year-old went to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
“It’s sad when anybody loses their life, but especially when it involves children,” Lawrence Deputy Police Chief Gary Woodruff said. “That’s really tough. So, of course, our hearts go out to the affected family and everybody that was affected as a part of this terrible tragedy. It is compounded with their age and the fact that they’re siblings.”
Without police lights, the few lights that are in place along North Post Road don’t give much to illuminate the street. On top of that, drivers often go faster than the 40 mph speed limit.
“There’s a lot of people that walk around here because they don’t own cars and stuff,” area resident Brisa Olvera said. “So, kids, children, old people, everybody is walking. Especially from these apartment complexes right here. Then the traffic is always crazy. I always kind of struggle to get out of here because there’s cars coming from all sides.”
Lawrence police hadn’t released by Sunday what led up to the crash, but two Indianapolis City-County Council members released a statement asking drivers to slow down and saying they were heartbroken about the incident.
“We are heartbroken to learn that last night, two young brothers out enjoying the summer night on their bikes were struck by a car as they attempted to cross Post Road. One brother, just 11 years old, was killed; his 15-year-old brother was seriously injured. This morning, as many of our neighbors are sending up their Sunday prayers, we hope they will join us in sending up one for the family and loved ones of these boys as they grapple with their devastating loss.
“Unfortunately, last night’s accident was one of several in recent weeks involving cars and pedestrians or cyclists. We implore motorists in our Districts and across the city to slow down and be extra careful to look out for your neighbors on foot or bicycles. Doing so can reduce the number of preventable and senseless accidents and help other families avoid this type of tragedy.”Indianapolis City-County Council members La Keisha Jackson and Keith Graves
Neighbors say there’s a way to help drivers and pedestrians at the same time.
“They probably need a green and red light right here for both the apartment complexes and something. Yes, lights would probably work,” Olvera said.
Police say the crash is still under investigation.
The driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with police.
The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the 11-year-old killed in the crash after the video aired Sunday night.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Dozens of city leaders hit the pavement and everything around it Friday as they worked on recovering downtown Indianapolis. WISH-TV sponsored Friday’s event which is all in support of downtown businesses.
The words “Back Downtown” were scrawled across volunteers’ shirts. They wore the phrase as they worked on revitalizing the downtown area to try to get people to help out the businesses in need.
120 red shirts filling the streets is a huge change from what the area has seen in the last few months. As restaurants reopen and virus restrictions fade, they’re working hard to beautify the downtown area by cleaning rails, painting boards and weeding. This is all part of a $750,000-campaign to make downtown look like a positive destination spot instead of a scary, dirty place.
City leaders are using #BackDowntownIndy to show off the work they’re doing and bring more people back downtown as the city celebrates its bicentennial.
“The last 6 months have been among the most difficult in that 200-year history,” said Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett. “But Indianapolis is coming back and you’re a part of that. We’re all a part of that. Together, we are in this together and Indianapolis’s future is brighter than its past.”
All of the volunteers were encouraged to eat at downtown businesses after they finished their work to help kickstart downtown’s economic recovery.
Hogsett says Indy is back open, so get downtown, help out some local businesses and help with that revitalization.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Due to the ongoing public health crisis, fans aren’t allowed at professional baseball games and the minor league teams had to cancel their seasons altogether. The phrase “you’re killing me, Smalls!” may have crossed the minds of many the baseball fan this year. But, Victory Field has the next best thing that may cure your baseball blues.
Friday night, fans can get both a theater fix and a baseball fix as Victory Field shows “The Sandlot” on their video board. It’s the first of three baseball classics to be featured as part of their “Flicks at Victory Field” series. The first installment of the series Friday has already sold out.
To social distance, on-field seating will be limited to 100 pods with each pod seating six people. There is additional seating on the Yuengling landing, which has a 40-person capacity, and there is plenty of other seating to choose from in the lower seating bowl.
Tickets are available at the door for $10. Concession stands will be open and gates open at 6 p.m., with the film starting at 7 p.m.
If you can’t make it out this Friday, Victory Field will be playing “Angels In The Outfield” on Sept. 25 and “A League of Their Own” on Oct. 9.
RUSHVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Several dead animals, and more on the verge of death, were found inside a Rushville barn on Friday. Rushville Animal Shelter says the animals were competing for resources to stay alive.
The Rush County Sheriff’s Office says it was at the Rushville Horse Sale Barn where they received reports of a dead animal. The owner, who they aren’t naming, did not cooperate with the investigation. When they went in with a search warrant, they found three dead animals and 28 more that were malnourished.
“Shock,” Rushville Animal Shelter director Kasey Hanna said. “It was shocking. You just never understand why.”
Horses, donkeys, mules and a bull all had ribs prominently showing in pictures from the shelter. The Rush County Sheriff’s Office says the building the animals were in was collapsing and there wasn’t any food or water available.
“There was absolutely no water,” Hanna said. “The animals about trampled us to get to that. Then we had animals down–specifically a donkey that it took three staff members to finally get him on his feet.”
That donkey was one the shelter took a liking to as they helped him recover, but what he had been through was too much and he died.
“That donkey had all the love and attention he could get,” Hanna said. “He really made an impact on some little girls’ hearts. And that’s what it’s about. We were there for him when he needed us.”
While four animals couldn’t be saved, Rushville Animal Shelter says this is still the biggest animal seizure they’ve seen–rescuing 27 animals at once. The sheriff’s office says the case is still under investigation.
“I mean, it’s upsetting,” Hanna said. “It’s upsetting that we’re just now really getting to a solution that we hope we’re getting to a solution. But most of all, it feels good to know that these animals are somewhere safe right now. Even as sad as it is with our little donkey passing away.”
Rushville Animal Shelter has already raised over $4,000 to help with food, boarding and veterinary care as the animals recover at rescues around the area.
“They’re doing well, considering the situation,” Hanna said. “It’s going to be a very slow recovery. Whenever you get into situations like this, it takes time. A long time to get them back where they need to be. But we are confident that we are on the right track.”
If you’d like to help these animals get taken care of, you can help donate through a GoFundMe set up for the animals or just drop in with a donation at the Rushville Animal Shelter.
CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The owners of Clay Terrace in Carmel are looking to make changes to the retail space. They want apartments and hotels to join the many retail stores and restaurants that line the boulevard.
According to city officials, having Clay Terrace as a mixed-use area was always the plan. But it wasn’t until 15 years after it was built, during a pandemic, that the owners decided it’s time to move forward with that plan.
Clay Terrace is one of Carmel’s top places to shop.
“Retail is being pummeled,” Carmel Department of Community Services Director Michael Hollibaugh said. “Now is probably a great time to look afresh at how services are delivered and the environment where that is occurring.”
That’s exactly what Washington Prime Group, who owns Clay Terrace, says they plan to do. They want to rezone the area to include more than just retail, which should be fairly easy considering it was part of the plan before Clay Terrace was even built.
“So when the original plan was adopted and approved in 2001/2002 there were multiple phases that included in fill, mixed use, additional residential and what this is is kind of a phase one of that,” Hollibaugh said.
City officials say the area has been passed through several different owners, which may be why they haven’t rezoned the area to include these types of spaces in 15 years. But they’re happy it’s finally happening.
“It certainly is consistent with the direction that the city’s trying to promote,” Hollibaugh said. “Which is more mixed-use — a more vibrant center that’s not just 9 to 9.”
In early renders of this proposal, Washington Prime Group shows off the possible inclusion of apartments above retail stores, a lifestyle hotel, as well as brand new retail and office spaces. The group says the plan is still in it’s early stages, so not everything is set in stone.
“In a challenging environment where nobody really knows the future of office, nobody really knows what the future of retail, hospitality (is),” Hollibaugh said. “All those industries are being challenged right now. So we’re going to help them set the table with a good concept or plan of attack and then we’ll let them fill it up.”
The next step for this project is to have the redevelopment proposal go before the Carmel Plan Commission on September 15.
PLAINFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — This year, 185 police officers have died in the nation in the line of duty.
It’s the goal of Cops Cycling for Survivors to honor their memories while making sure their families are cared for.
For the last 19 years, cyclists have ridden 1,000 over 13 days across Indiana. This year, the event was cut down to one day on a single track because of the virus.
Indiana State Police Maj. Anthony Casto rode 91.1 miles around a track.
It took “about 5 hours and 17 minutes peddling.”
But as he rode, the names of hundreds of Indiana officer who have fallen through the years were read aloud for eight hours in remembrance.
“There’s so many names,” Casto said. “Even as I was riding around, you hear the speakers and it’s like, you know, there are people that I knew from different agencies and it just brings back memories.”
“Everybody goes on with their lives,” said Kevin Getz, a Cops Cycling for Survivors board member. “All too often, the survivors are kind of thought about during the one year anniversary, the five year, the ten year. Well, we want to remember our survivors and our affected agencies on any given Tuesday in the middle of may.”
Casto’s 91.1 miles wasn’t random. That mileage matches up with state trooper Peter “Bo” Stephan’s assigned ID number. He died last year and left behind his wife and young daughter.
“I believe she’s 5 months old, I want to say now,” Casto said. “Again, this is something she’ll never know her father but through efforts like this, the organization of cops cycling they’ll be able to support her and she’ll know her father’s spirit.”
So after 91.1 miles of reflection, Casto walks away from the track with heavy legs and a heavy heart.
“Do a lot of praying,” Casto said. “I prayed for the families of the survivors, pray for this country, that there be healing and that we treat each other with kindness. What this country needs to take the next step to grow and be better than we were yesterday.”
But he also walks away knowing he’s keeping Trooper Stephan’s memory alive and showing that his family is cared for.
“Remember our survivors,” Getz said. “Especially in the local communities when you know them. Say ‘hey, how are you doing?’ you’re never forgotten. That’s the biggest thing. The biggest takeaway is making sure that they’re never forgotten and that their officer who made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us is never forgotten.
The donations for this event help fallen officers’ loved ones get aid and are given to scholarships, funds and camps started in officers’ memories. Donations can be made on the organization’s website.
FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — Fishers has the cure for the COVID-19 blues this weekend as they kick off the 8th annual Blues Fest in the Nickel Plate District. That’s right, it’s the 8th annual Fishers Blues Fest.
This show is going to be anything but blue as people try to get one of the limited spaces available to see the show, because remember, we’re still in a pandemic.
Both Friday and Saturday, fans can see four locally and nationally renowned blues artists take the stage to jam out.
Many vendors will set up stands selling food, drinks and alcohol. Precautions are being taken with the Fishers Health Department to make sure lines have people spaced 6 feet apart, and seating for the show also has people socially distant.
A full lineup for the weekend is listed below:
Friday, September 4
- Kyle Bledsoe
- The Agents of Redemption
- Tad Robinson Band
- Toronzo Cannon and the Chicago Way
Saturday, September 5
- John Ford
- Paul Linden & The Icemen
- Niki J. Crawford
- The Nick Moss Band Feat. Dennis Gruenling
This event is first-come, first-serve and will be happening from 7 to 11 on both Friday and Saturday nights.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Teachers’ Treasures and retailer Ikea are teaming up to help some teachers in need.
The average teacher spends from $800 to $1,200 every school year to get school supplies for their students. That means classroom budgets for anything else aren’t all that high.
Through the Classroom Refresh Contest, one lucky teacher will get $1,000 to spruce up his or her learning space. All teachers have to do is complete an entry form. If they’re one of 10 finalists, teachers will submit a picture of their space, and a paragraph about why it needs refreshed. That information will be shared on Teachers’ Treasures Facebook page for the public to vote on who deserves the prize money the most. Teachers who don’t win the refresh contest can enter a raffle by buying things from Teacher’s Treasures throughout September. That raffle could win a teacher $800 in Ikea gift cards.
“Our teachers are truly unsung heroes, yet we recognize that they often lack the resources needed for their classrooms and students. And this year especially, whether school is in person or virtual, there is an additional burden being placed on teachers,” said Aubrey Merki, loyalty manager for Ikea Fishers. “We are so thrilled to partner with Teachers’ Treasures to help alleviate even some of this burden for local teachers, especially those serving in low income school districts.”
Ikea is making sure there’s plenty for teachers to shop for if they want to enter that raffle. They’re donating $30,000 to Teachers’ Treasures to help stock those shelves.
Teachers’ Treasures is a resource center providing free school supplies to teachers in Marion County who serve at-risk kids.
“Teachers’ Treasures is proud to partner with Ikea Fishers in support of teachers for the 2020-21 school year. Not only has Ikea Fishers donated dozens of pallets worth of product to our free store shelves, they are also stepping up by providing teachers with gift cards to lessen the financial burden of preparing their classrooms. We are so grateful to our community partners for uplifting our Indianapolis educators,” said Alicia Van Rensurg, resource development manager for Teachers’ Treasures.
You can learn more about the Classroom Refresh contest and enter on Teacher’s Treasures website.
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Members of Indiana Task Force 1 are home after a week of disaster relief efforts in Louisiana during the aftermath of Hurricane Laura.
Members of Indiana Task Force 1 have been to 20 to 30 hurricanes, but never during a global pandemic.
Indiana Task Force 1 members pulled up to their Indianapolis headquarters Wednesday and unloaded their bus as quick as they could, happy to be back home.
“I’m sure the guys are ready to get home and see their families and get in their own beds for the evening,” said Gerald George, Task Force 1 leader.
That’s something many can’t do this week as countless Louisiana homes sit underwater or in piles of rubble, caving in from debris that Hurricane Laura left behind.
Members of the task force witnessed some of that devastation firsthand in Vernon Parish, Louisiana.
“We saw an airport down there where the hangars were just ripped apart and large giant jumbo jets wrapped up in sheet metal,” Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Incident Support Team Public Information Officer Michael Pruitt said.
Indiana Task Force 1 compares Hurricane Laura to the damage from Hurricane Michael in 2018, but a big difference from that hurricane is the added challenge of helping people during a pandemic.
“We saw people trying to do their best down there to practice social distancing and wearing the masks,” Pruitt said. “But obviously it was not the first thing on their minds. Many people lost so much of their own personal property and were struggling. So I don’t think they were concerned as much about the coronavirus as we were.”
They say, thankfully, they haven’t heard any reports of disaster relief teams testing positive for the virus. If they did, relief for Hurricane Laura and any possible future disasters could be greatly impacted.
“The last thing we would want to do is for our teams to get ill,” Pruitt said. “Because if you take our teams out of the system, we’ve lost all our rescue resources.”
They say that’s why, especially now, it’s important to be prepared for anything, because who knows what 2020 will throw next.
“We are not out of severe weather time here in Indiana or we could have earthquakes,” Pruitt said. “There are many types of hazards that we’re not used to dealing with in Indiana that could come along and we should always be prepared.”
Indiana Task Force 1 may be back home, but they say hurricane season is still ongoing, so they’re prepared to ship out again if another disaster strikes.