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Will Spring come early this year? How one Indiana town is celebrating Groundhog Dog

HOPE, Ind. (WISH) – Punxsutawney Phil may have predicted an early Spring from his home in western Pennsylvania, but here in Indiana all eyes were on Grubby.

Grubby the groundhog did indeed predict six more weeks of winter on Sunday morning.

Her prediction contradicts Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction that “Spring will be early, it’s a certainty.”

“We like to think Grubby has a perfect record, but we’re very biased. Plus people define different temperatures as winter and spring,” said Susan Thayer Fye, executive director of Main Street of HOPE.

Grubby found her home in Hope, Indiana after she was attacked by a dog and then rescued by UTOPIA Wildlife Rehabilitators.

Caretaker Kathy Brown with UTOPIA says while Grubby was in recovery, she got used to humans and being fed, making a transition back into the wild difficult.

Grubby stayed at the center, giving Hope a Groundhog Day tradition of their own.

Hundreds of people joined in the town square for festivities which included costumes, speeches and of course an appearance by Grubby.

After the ceremony, there was a fundraiser breakfast at nearby Hope United Methodist Church to benefit the Hope Volunteer Fire Department.

Will Spring come early this year? How one Indiana town is celebrating Groundhog Dog

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Bill Shepherd Sr., a former Carmel High School basketball coach and athletics director, has died, according his family. He was 91. 

He died Thursday morning in Wellbrooke of Carmel assisted living center, according to his daughter.

CHS athletics director Jim Inskeep tweeted about 8:20 p.m. Thursday: 

Our thoughts and prayers to the Shepherd family with the passing of Bill Shepherd. Mr. Shepherd was a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, father to Mr. Basketball’s Billy (1968) & Dave (1970). Mr. Shepherd was also Athletics Director for Carmel’s first 41 state titles.

In 1975, William Shepherd was named to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, according to his bio on the hall’s website. Shepherd played for Hope High School. In 1945, Shepherd helped Hope to its only sectional and regional basketball championships in the school’s history. 

Shepherd also played basketball and baseball at Butler University. He held the Butler single-season batting average record (.418) for over 50 years, according to his bio on the Butler website.

Later, at age 31, he was boys basketball coach at Mitchell High School from 1949-58, his daughter Cindy Shepherd McCurdy said. 

He was boys basketball coach at Carmel from 1958-1970. He coached Carmel to the runner-up spot in the state championship in 1970. His lifetime coaching record was 336-145, including a 50-game home winning streak at Carmel in 1967 through 1970.

Two sons he coached at Carmel were named Mr. Basketball recipients: Billy in 1968 and Dave in 1970.

As Carmel High School athletics director, he helped the district add girls sports and swimming. He retired in 1992. 

His daughter said Thursday night, “He was the most loving, compassionate and kind man I’ve ever known. His family was always first.”

He is survived by his children, Billy (and his wife, Connie), David (Sally), Cindy and Steve, 15 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Monday at Carmel United Methodist Church. The funeral will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at the church. A Celebration of Life will be from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

Burial will be private. 


A Bartholomew County zoning board voted down an application for a dog breeding kennel on Monday night, 24-Hour News 8’s Megan Sanctorum reports. The vote was 4-1.PREVIOUS

HOPE, Ind. (WISH) — A Bartholomew County couple is trying to open a dog breeding kennel, but some of the neighbors are opposing the plan.

Aaron and Lena Oberholtzer are seeking approval from the county’s zoning board in a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. The couple said before the meeting that the kennel would not be open to the public.

Chad Miller lives down the road from the proposed site in rural Hope.

“I think it will have a direct and significant impact on not only my property values, but the health and safety of my family,” Miller said.

Miller said he is worried the kennel will come with unwanted noise, odors and contamination.

According to a zoning board report, waste from the kennel must be placed in a waste container and removed from the site by a trash removal service. The report stated that the Oberholtzers cannot dispose of waste in adjacent fields.

The board said the couple will build the kennel at a specified distance from the property lines.

Aaron Oberholtzer didn’t return our calls, but he told the Columbus Republic newspaper that “everybody had a wrong idea about what we wanted to do.”

“Although we are applying to have up to 100 animals, we probably won’t have that many dogs,” Oberholtzer said.

About 500 people signed an online petition opposing the kennel, calling it a “puppy mill.”

The zoning board report stated that the kennel would include outdoor dog runs and exercise areas, along a row of trees just north of the building.

Oberholtzer told the The Republic he plans to distinctly follow all regulations.

“It’s definitely going to disrupt our lives,” Miller said.

Jane Irwin of the Bartholomew County Humane Society said she is also opposed to the plan and concerned about the welfare of the animals.

HOPE, Ind. (WISH) — A home in this town caught fire Tuesday causing between $50,000 and $70,000 in damage, according to local firefighters.

No one was injured, but the cause of the fire has area fire stations issuing a warning.

Bartholomew County Fire Investigator Gene Wever said he believes the Hope house fire came from a frayed cellphone-charging cord left plugged in between pillows on a bed, according to WISH-TV newsgathering partner The Republic.

“When they get wadded up, or pets chew on them or they are damaged, they are dangerous,” Wever told The Republic.

“Just unplug it and throw it away,” said Michael McNeely, a lieutenant paramedic with the Carmel Fire Department.

McNeely said his department sees electronics — from things like space heaters, power tools, hair dryers and power strips — spark house fires regularly. He said he also wants the public to know that a frayed device charge cord can spark disaster.

“We’ve seen these on a few of our fires,” said McNeely, holding a frayed iPhone-charging cord. “The outer layer of it will actually break down and the inside wires can start to touch, and start to spark and short out. If it’s in a location where there’s something flammable like bed sheets or pillows, there’s a possibility it could start a fire.”

So what do you do with a frayed cord — electrical tape, right? McNeely’s advice is to simply replace it.

“We don’t recommend that you fix anything yourself,” he said. “They’re cheap enough that you can just buy a new one.”

That’s advice echoed by Capt. Mike Wilson from the Columbus Fire Department.

“If you have to wiggle it around to make it work, it’s talking to you — replace it,” he told The Republic this week.

Regardless of if your cord is frayed or not, after incidents with cellphone batteries heating up and combusting, fire officials urge you to follow their advice.

“We all have a phone, we all have a charger next to the bed, so that’s why we not recommend putting it on the bed or clothes or on a towel,” McNeely said. “Always make sure your phone is plugged in on a hard surface or that your wires are maintained and up-to-date.”

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