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NEW PEKIN, Ind. (WISH) — A 4-year-old was hospitalized in Louisville, Kentucky, with life-threatening injuries after a Wednesday morning crash on the hillcrest of a rural Washington County road, Indiana State Police said Wednesday night.

State police did not identify the child or its gender in a news release.

Police think, before the head-on crash, a green 1996 Mazda car was eastbound and a silver 2016 Kia Sportage was westbound about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on East Bill Miller Road just east of Blue River Church Road. That’s in southern Washington County about 2 miles west of the town of New Pekin.

The child was riding in the Mazda driven by Devin Roll, 29, of New Pekin. Rhonda Danser, 58, of New Pekin, was driving the SUV. Neither driver was seriously injured, police say.

The child was taken to Norton Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. New Pekin is about a 35-minute drive northwest of downtown Louisville.

Photos of the crash from state police showed a thin layer of snow on the road.

GEORGETOWN, Ind. (WISH) — Two people from Salem, Indiana, died in a Friday morning crash on State Road 56 in eastern Washington County, state police say.

Ryan A. Fisher, 37, and the passenger, Rebecca Jean Simmons, also 37, died in the crash.

Troopers were called the two-vehicle crash about 7:50 a.m. Friday just east of Shields Road near Georgetown. The town of 3,798 people is about 2 miles northeast of the county seat of Salem. It’s about a 90-minute drive from downtown Indianapolis.

Investigators think Fisher was driving a gray 2009 Chevrolet Aveo car when it collided head-on with a red 2005 Chevrolet Silverado truck. The crash happened in the westbound passing lane, which is the center lane of a three-lane section of State Road 56. Troopers think the Aveo was eastbound and tried to pass other eastbound vehicles when it hit the westbound pickup.

The truck’s driver, Todd M. Albertson, 29, was flown to UofL Hospital in Louisville with life-threatening injuries. A news release from state police did not say where Albertson lives.

SALEM, Ind. (WISH) — A Salem man received a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to two child sex charges involving a 14-year-old girl from Bartholomew County, online court records show. 

Ryan Andrew Allen was 21 when arrested Feb. 13  after an investigation by Indiana State Poilce and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office. 

The investigation started Feb. 12 after a complaint was filed by the parents of the girl. The girl had been missing from her home since Feb. 10.

“Allen allegedly made arrangements to meet the 14 year old via Facebook,” a release from state police in February said. “After taking the 14 year old girl to Salem, IN and spending the night with her, he returned her home the next day. When she returned home, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department was contacted, who in turn, contacted detectives from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg to assist them in Washington County.” 

Allen allegedly knew the girl was 14 years old, state police said. 

Allen was given credit for 150 days served in jail when he was sentenced Friday in Washington Circuit Court.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — One in 5 children in Indiana lives with dyslexia.

Left unchecked, dyslexia can leave people feeling frustrated and disheartened when compared to their peers.

One state senator wants to change that, starting inside local schools.

The Mayo Clinic describes dyslexia as a learning disorder that involves difficulty reading because of problems relating speech sounds to letters and words. For decades, some children have struggled with this at school and at home.

Amanda Cox’s 10-year-old son, Elliott, lives with dyslexia. “We could see that he was struggling to learn to read, and it was superfrustrating at home. He was very frustrated. He felt dumb,” she said.

His frustrations began in kindergarten and first grade. His parents noticed he wasn’t at the right reading level. His teacher said it could be dyslexia.

Cox said,  “He always wrote his B’s and D’s backward. He has directional confusion … still he struggles with left and right.”

Some teachers thought he’d eventually just catch up. So, Elliott’s parents had him evaluated outside of school at the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana.

Cox said, “They found that he did have dyslexia.”

So began the long, expensive 18 months of tutoring. She said she believes other children with dyslexia are falling through the cracks.

“What’s happening to the kids whose parents don’t realize something’s going on? The school doesn’t realize something’s going on? What happens when the parent’s can’t afford tutoring?” Cox said Thursday.

Cox mother said Elliott now enjoys reading and reads above his grade level.

The mom said a bill ready for a vote to be scheduled in the House “would just be such a godsend for all of the kids in Indiana.”

State Sen. Erin Houchin, a Republican from Salem, wrote a bill that would create a universal screening process in public schools to include dyslexia and require resources as part of a child’s educational screening.

If approved, the bill eventually would require districts to hire at least one reading specialist trained in dyslexia.

The bill on Feb. 1 passed the Senate 48-0, on Tuesday advanced 13-0 from the House education committee and now awaits consideration by the full House.

Houchin said, “Identifying dyslexia in our school systems is really not happening.”

The state senator’s son lives with dyslexia, too. The idea is to catch early red flags of at-risk children.

“We can get students back on track to the point they can compete with their peers,” Houchin said.

The Dyslexia Institute of Indiana sees about 150 students a year. Bill Herman is the CEO.

“I believe a screener, which is a very minimal assessment, would help us rule out kids who are truly dyslexic and have struggling readers,” he said.

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SALEM, Ind. (WISH) — A 22-year-old man faces child sex charges involving a 14-year-old girl from Bartholomew County, Indiana State Police said in a news release.

Ryan Andrew Allen, of Salem, was arrested Tuesday morning after an investigation by the state police and the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office. He was formally charged Wednesday with two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor.

The investigation started Monday after a complaint was filed by the parents of the girl. The girl had been missing from her home since Saturday.

“Allen allegedly made arrangements to meet the 14 year old via Facebook,” the release said. “After taking the 14 year old girl to Salem, IN and spending the night with her, he returned her home the next day. When she returned home, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department was contacted, who in turn, contacted detectives from the Indiana State Police Post at Sellersburg to assist them in Washington County.”

Allen allegedly knew the girl was 14 years old, state police said.

He was incarcerated at the Washington County Jail awaiting his first court appearance, police said.

His next court appearance is set for March 22, online court records show.

HENDERSON, Ky. (AP) – Officials say an Indiana man has died in Kentucky after a fireworks accident.

The Gleaner reports that the Henderson County Coroner’s Office said 25-year-old Michael Osborne died Monday night at a hospital.

Deputy Coroner Bill Schwartz said Osborne, of Salem, Indiana, was bending over a firework to light it. Schwartz said it went off prematurely and hit him in the chest.

Schwartz said the legal firework “is supposed to explode 100 feet in the air.” He said the firework hit Osborne hard enough to stop his heart and the preliminary cause of death is blunt force trauma.

Deputies said Osborne was lighting fireworks with his friends and family. His body has been transported to Louisville for an autopsy.

Officials are urging the public to use caution when using fireworks.

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A Salem man was arrested for murder and arson after the Salem City Fire Department and Salem City Police Department found a burned human body inside of the mobile home.

Firefighters were sent to the 220 block of Teresa Street in Salem Tuesday around 7 p.m after reports of a fire.

After the fire was marked under control, crews found a burned human body inside the mobile home. The department called ISP Crime Scene Investigators to investigate. During the investigation, detectives interviewed the owner of the home, 28-year-old Joshua Risinger, and after gathering enough information he was arrested for murder and arson.

The victim has not yet been identified.

Risinger was transported to the Washington County Jail and is awaiting his first court appearance.

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PITTSBORO, Ind. (WISH) — A Hendricks County woman is motivating an entire town to come together and provide a Merry Christmas to several families in need.

Shawn Brown is a working mother of three, but right now much of her time is filled with organizing, gift-wrapping, and bringing out the Christmas spirit in the Pittsboro community.

“I really was wanting to help a single mom, because I know what’s it’s like to get help at Christmas,” Brown said.

She decided Facebook was a good place to begin her holiday help venture.

“So I started making posts on our All Things Pittsboro community page… and it just took off like crazy. It’s been incredible,” Brown said.

She’s no stranger to those in the town of just 3,500 people.

“They know me. I’m born and raised here,” Brown said.

She’s known as bubbly, out-going, and a pusher of positivity.

“I really wanted to be intentional to use my God-given talent to be a community liaison so-to-speak and just help my community be healthy and strong,” Brown said.

A couple years ago, she started posting “Meet Your Neighbor” videos on the town Facebook page. She also helped those with property damage in nearby Brownsburg after tornadoes this summer.

“I wanted to help them all,” Brown said.

But “Merry Christmas from Pittsboro” as she calls it, is her biggest venture yet. She’s adopting seven Hendricks County families this Christmas, all lead by single-mothers, and another couple in need. But she’s not doing it alone.

“I just knew that they would step up. I knew that Pittsboro residents have big hearts and that they would come through and they have,” Brown said.

Not just gifts, but spa services for the mothers have been donated. People have donated a van, a washer and dryer, plumbing services, food baskets, handwritten notes, and more.

“I think just positive words and affirmations can be incredible to someone, like really make a difference in helping them to take another step forward,” Brown said.

Brown said she was inspired by the kindness she received years ago after a divorce and job loss left her struggling during the holidays.

“It’s just hard when you’re going through those kind of things. There’s so many emotions going on and you’re trying to land on your feet and keep all the balls in the air,” Brown said.

Someone brought her family a pile of presents that year and now she’s returning the favor and urging others to reach out a helping hand as well.

“I just really want to encourage people to like open your eyes and look around at the things that are around you and see, how can I use my gifts and talents to make a difference in my community,” Brown said.

If you would like to contribute to the Merry Christmas from Pittsboro effort, contact Shawn Brown at 765-366-9270. Brown hopes to gather all donated items by Sunday, Dec.11th, in order to get them to the families by Christmas. She is looking for someone to donate electrician services and also needs help with wrapping and delivering the presents.

SALEM, Ind. (AP) – Indiana conservation officers say a southern Indiana man has died in a logging accident.

They say 44-year-old Thomas Sidwell of Salem was attempting to fell a tree that was entangled with a dead tree when a large limb from the dead tree was dislodged, striking him.

Officers say Sidwell, a contracted logger, was found unresponsive by a co-worker.

Sidwell was pronounced dead at the scene from head trauma Monday afternoon in Jackson-Washington State Forest near Salem, about 35 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. Sidwell was wearing a helmet at the time.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Police are investigating a double murder in Washington County.

According to the Indiana State Police, emergency crews responded to a call of two unresponsive individuals in a residence in the 300 block of Small Street in Salem just before 1 a.m. Saturday.

After arriving on scene, authorities discovered the two unresponsive people. Both 37-year-old Valerie Dicus and 36-year-old Joseph Hobson were transported to St. Vincent Salem Hospital.

Dicus and Hobson were pronounced dead at the hospital.

Foul play is believed to have been involved. A cause of death has yet to be determined, autopsies are scheduled for later Saturday.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Indiana State Police at 1-800-872-6743.