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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act of 2020 sent $3 billion to Indiana.

The coronavirus relief act’s money was distributed across the state based on population and need. In the beginning, the money was used to buy items not in the budgets of local governments, but then the rules changed and cities, towns and counties found ways to spend the money.

The city of new Castle was allotted $560,000 of coronavirus relief money. They used it to buy essential persona protective equipment, testing supplies, and medical equipment. The money from the federal act had to be used by the end of 2020, and the city later was given permission by Indiana Finance Authority to renovate a building with $90,000 of the cash.

New Castle Mayor Greg York gave I-Team 8 a tour of the facility several months ago. He the city already owned the building and renovated the space to quarantine public safety employees during the coronavirus pandemic. Of the 35 employees who tested positive for the virus, only one actually used the facility. The building is now used for emergency medical training and office space.

The city also spent close to $2,000 dollars of the 2020 federal money to reupholster chairs in a break room with an easy-to-clean vinyl fabric.

Earlier this spring, I-Team 8 showed the drone bought by the city of Rushville with the 2020 federal relief money. The mayor, the parks director and the city special project manager allowed I-Team to attach its camera to Rushville’s drone for a flight around downtown.

Paul Joyce, the state examiner with Indiana State Board of Accounts, said, “I would not have thought originally, ‘Hey, how can you use a drone for this purpose.’ After I first saw it, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) actually created guidelines on using drones for COVID.”

The drone cost $4,657.55 At that time, the city of Rushville had not spent all of the $196,000 allotment of 2020 coronavirus relief. 

Part of Joyce’s job to make sure every dime of the 2020 coronavirus relief act spent in Indiana is accounted for. His office has started the auditing process and has not found any serious issues so far.

Joyce told I-Team 8, though, he does expect to find some issues. If money from the 2020 coronavirus relief act is misused for personal gain, it could be a violation of federal law. 

(Inside INdiana Business) — Ohio-based Crown Equipment Corp. says it is looking to fill 300 jobs nationwide, including at its locations in Greencastle and New Castle.

The company says it is facing ongoing demand for its supply chain equipment, technologies and services due to the pandemic.

Crown did not specify how many of the open positions are at the Indiana locations. However, those positions include engineering, IT, manufacturing and service jobs.

“The resilience and strength of the material handling market continue to create opportunities for our plants in Indiana,” Randy Niekamp, vice president of human resources for Crown, said in a news release. “As we enter a period of growth, we look locally to find the talent necessary to meet our customers’ growing demands. We are thankful for the strong work ethic and commitment to success that are demonstrated by the Greencastle and New Castle workforce.”

Crown says it provides new hire onboarding and ongoing training for employees, as well as mentoring programs to provide continuous assistance. 

Those interested in the open positions can learn more by clicking here.

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Eighteen women from across Indiana have been chosen for the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame’s 2021 Silver Anniversary Team. The team consists of 11 members of the 1996 Indiana All-Star team and seven other all-state players.

The Hall of Fame says the honorees were selected based on “outstanding accomplishments as a senior basketball player 25 years ago.”

The honorees include: 

The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Women’s Awards Banquet has not yet set a date, due to COVID-19. The Hall of Fame says the Silver Anniversary Team will be honored during an event, once a date has been determined. 

You can learn more about the players and their accomplishments by clicking here.

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — New Castle Mayor Greg York says a boil order is in place for the city’s water utility through at least Thursday.

A significant water main break occurred in a residential area at Church and South Sixth streets, according to the mayor’s office and the Henry County 911 dispatch center. That location is southeast of the intersection of state roads 3 and 38.

The boil order is for all water from the city’s utility.

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — A 78-year-old New Castle woman died and two other people were in critical condition after a head-on crash of two cars Thursday afternoon just south of the city, Indiana State Police said.

Police from New Castle and Henry County plus New Castle medical crews were called just before 3 p.m. Thursday to the crash in the 2600 block of State Road 103 South, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.

Doris Crawford died after being airlifted from the scene to an Indianapolis hospital.

Investigators believe Katherine Brown, 55, of Muncie, drove a 2005 Chevrolet Malibu south on the state road when for unknown reasons the car went into the northbound lane. Brown’s car hit a northbound 2014 Chrysler 200 driven by Crawford.

Brown and a passenger in the car she drove, Jimmie Brown, 59, of Muncie, were airlifted to hospitals in Indianapolis.

The road was closed for more than three hours for a state police reconstruction team.

An investigation of the crash was ongoing, state police said.

MUNCIE, Ind. (WISH) — Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is continuing to distribute food in “tailgate” events, with new dates confirmed for the coming week.

The group expanded its tailgate events in April on the coronavirus began taking a toll on Indiana. Gov. Eric Holcomb dispatched 30 Army National Guard members to help with the efforts to expand the food distribution.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana is the region’s largest hunger-relief organization serving over 100 pantries and meal programs in eight counties: Blackford, Delaware, Grant, Henry, Jay, Madison, Randolph and Wabash.

Here are upcoming food distributions:

No IDs or proof of address or need are required; all are welcome. Distribution is while supplies last. If you are walking up or coming via a vehicle too small to carry a load of food, please arrive an hour after the tailgate starts.

Coronavirus links

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.

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — A fire reduced New Castle’s street operations to rubble.

Garbage trucks are gone. Potholes can’t be filled for now.

Nobody was hurt, but New Castle is struggling to figure out how it’s going to provide street operations.

“It’s been devastating,” Mayor Greg York said. “We lost the whole building. It’s laying on the ground. We lost our whole fleet so we’re going to be starting from scratch.”

York says the estimated loss, which is expected to be in the millions of dollars, is still being calculated. A single garbage truck costs around $360,000 and the city lost three of those plus a bunch of other equipment, the mayor said.

“We’ll have to rent some vehicles,” York said. “Right off the bat, we’ll have to certainly try to lease some equipment until we can get built back up again. Hopefully, we don’t have a snow blizzard next week that we won’t need our salt trucks, but with the way 2020’s going, I can’t guarantee anything!”

For now, Muncie, Indianapolis and other nearby cities are lending New Castle some equipment and doing garbage pickup in an outdated truck. For this, New Castle officials are asking their 17,100 residents to be patient as the city tries to get everything back on track.

“We may be a few hours late. We may be a couple days late, but we’ll get all the trash picked up, and just be a little patient with us at this point in time,” York said.

The mayor says the city will be setting up in another building and will rebuild and get back on track. When the building gets rebuilt, some improvements may be made.

“This building is probably 40, 45 years old,” York said. “So I think with the size of the building, I’m sure there will be a sprinkler system in the new building. A sprinkler system would be a good place to start.”

An official cause for the fire has not been released, but the mayor says investigators suspect the blaze was caused by an electrical issue with one of its garbage trucks. York says the damage and rebuilding isn’t going to have any impact on taxes.

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) — IU Health is relocating its medical helicopter to a new home base in the coming months.

The LifeLine service will shift to New Castle sometime in the spring, The Richmond Palladium-Item reported.

The helicopter and its crew had been operating for the past four years out of the Richmond Municipal Airport.

Officials say the decision was made after a data analysis showed a move to New Castle would better position the service to help more people.

LifeLine Director Cory Hall says work must still be done at the airport in New Castle before the service can be moved.

Officials in Richmond had performed nearly $250,000 in airport renovations to accommodate the helicopter service.

Airport manager Rodney Mayse said he was “extremely disappointed” that the service was leaving Richmond.

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — Family and friends are honoring a little girl and her grandpa who died in a fire two years ago. 

They’re holding a memorial ride to raise money for a scholarship for a local student. 

Jenna Dale, 4, and her grandpa, Mike Dale, died in a fire in the early morning hours of Feb. 3, 2016. 

Mike’s wife and Jenna’s grandma came home from work to find the house on fire. 

This weekend, Jenna would be turning 7. 

Her family plans to hold a balloon release and they will be holding the third annual “Holding Hands in Heaven” memorial ride. 

Last year, the ride raised around $500 for a scholarship, according to Darla Dale, Mike’s wife and Jenna’s grandma.

The first year, the money raised went to building a new playground in Jenna’s honor. 

Jenna played at the park often and it is right down the street from Darla’s home, so she passes by it multiple times a day. 

“It’s just amazing, you know, knowing that she changed so many hearts to do this, you know, ’cause everybody loved her,” said Darla. 

The memorial ride is Saturday, May 19. It’s for both motorcycles and cars. 

It’s $20 per bike or car and $5 per passenger. 

Registration starts at 10:00 a.m. at the Chug a Lug Pub in Cambridge City. 

The ride will start at noon.

On June 16, there will be a 5K in Jenna’s name. The money raised from that will go toward the upkeep of her park.

It will be held at the Chicago Corner Church in New Castle. 

To register, click here.

NEW CASTLE, Ind. (WISH) — New Castle Mayor Greg York said he is fed up with state road construction on his downtown streets and sidewalks.

The mayor says he’s grown frustrated by the quality of the work and what he perceives as a lack of communication from the Indiana Department of Transportation.

He said INDOT is ignoring him, but spokesperson for the department told WISH-TV the department was cooperating with the mayor.

INDOT crews started work last year on State Road 38 in downtown New Castle. 

York said some finished parts of the project are already falling apart. He pointed out a broken off piece of a curb that had been repaved during the work.

“I don’t know if somebody ran over it,” York said. 

A letter the city addressed to INDOT Monday reads, in part, “broken storm drains, cracked concrete, large holes in the road, take away any sense that this was a successful effort.”

“Yes, we want a community that has curb appeal. But we want it to be done righ,t and we want it to be safe,” York said. 

The state department has not yet fixed some damaged parts of State Road 38, York said; he expected the road project to be completed last November. 

The project closed downtown roads last year and hampered his city’s economy, according to York. He said he has asked INDOT for a walk-through, but they have not granted his request. 

“It feels like everything we say, it falls on deaf ears,” York said. 

Christopher Myers, a spokesperson for INDOT, said he has not seen York’s walk-through request but that the department is willing to arrange the walk-through and to work with the city. 

“Any potholes, any issues with drains, any issues with drainage or ramps — all are items that we will absolutely be continuing to look at to resolve concerns,” Myers said. 

Myers is asking people to report any issues they see to INDOT. 

The state is working with contractors to finish the job, Myers said.

York said he is concerned that the design of some new sidewalks could be unsafe for people with disabilities. 

“I don’t care how long it takes,” York said. “Let’s just get it right.”

Myers said he expects the work to be complete some time this year.