TIPTON, Ind. (WISH) — Tipton County had the highest positivity rate of cases in all of central Indiana last week.
It came as federal health officials warned about a new phase of coronavirus.
“It is extraordinarily widespread,” said Dr. Deborah Birx with the White House Coronavirus Task Force. “It’s into the rural as equal as urban areas. To everybody who lives in a rural area, you are not immune or protected from this virus.”
If you come to Tipton’s Main Street, you’ll find a place where military veterans are honored with photos on banners hung on light poles outside the courthouse, the tallest building for miles around.
County resident David Sutton said he’s not too worried about the coronavirus. Still, he put on his mask before walking into a restaurant to pick up dinner.
“It’s also important that we protect each other,” Sutton said.
He’s got four children, including one with acute asthma.
That’s why Sutton especially doesn’t want to bring the coronavirus home, but he admits he wears his mask mostly out of respect for businesses. Many in downtown Tipton have signs on the door requiring masks.
“Just going to do what’s asked of me,” Sutton said. “If you want me to wear a mask into your business, I’ll wear a mask. I’m not going to go out of my way to wear one, but I do want to make sure I’m compliant because I’m not disrespectful.”
Tipton County has just 16,000 residents, with about a third living in the city of Tipton.
Last week, more than 15% of coronavirus tests here were positive.
“I think it was a wake-up call. We were patting ourselves on the back,” said Mayor Thomas Dolezal. “I think we may have been lulled into believing that it was something that was going to pass over small-town America but I think our numbers here within the last couple of weeks have shown were not exempted from the issue.”
Dolezal said for months he’s been trying to get the message out about social distancing and wearing a mask, all the while being careful to be a good example to others.
He said in some ways the data as well as the warning from Birx were not surprises, no matter the size of the population.
“It is an issue. It’s not going to pass us by. We’re going to have the same type of challenges large communities have,” Dolezal said.
But a different viewpoint comes from County Commission President Jim Mullins.
“It don’t scare me,” Mullins said.
While he believes social distancing and masks are important, he thinks this virus should be treated more like other pandemics he’s seen in his lifetime. He’s especially worried about the financial toll it’s having on businesses.
“They’re scaring people to death,” Mullins said. “It’s obviously serious. We’ve treated it seriously but I’m not sure it’s everything they’re making it out to be.”
Those like Sutton believe when you see the flowers, the banners and the quiet streets, it’s just a little easier to forget what’s going on elsewhere as well as right in the middle of Main Street.
“Yeah, because everyone is carrying on like their usual days,” Sutton said.
There was some positive news Monday for Tipton County. Its rolling 7-day average of positive tests dropped and stands at 13.9%. Compare that to Marion County’s 7-day average positivity rate on Tuesday of 9%.
Currently, state health officials said five counties statewide have positive test rates over the benchmark 15%. The only one in xentral Indiana is Grant County, which includes Marion, which is at 16.2%.
- 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.
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A Purdue University-affiliated solar company is working to help farms cut down on expenses. Emergent Solar Energy, headquartered at the Purdue Research Park, has installed a ground-mounted solar array on a Tipton County farm to help reduce its carbon footprint and energy costs.
The university says farmers across the United States are dealing with financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Purdue says the 124-kilowatt solar array at Harlow Farms will supply 90% of the annual electricity needs of the entire farm facility and is the largest on-farm solar project in the county.
“Every morning a potential energy source rises over the horizon to the east of my farm,” said Will Harlow, owner of the farm. “It seemed a waste to not harness this daily free energy source, erasing some of what I take from the grid. The solar components’ being made in the United States was also important to me. I hope if any positive comes from this pandemic, it is that we must do what we can to get production of all kinds returning to America.”
Emergent says solar power is offsetting the energy load of the hog barns and grain storage system.
“This project was complex with four grid-tied meters, complete electrical service upgrade, and the use of directional boring as opposed to trenching,” said Jeremy Lipinski, managing partner of Emergent. “We had to balance the economics with the project aesthetics, and I feel as if we accomplished our goal.”
Emergent says it provides solar solutions to the commercial and industrial, municipal and agricultural sectors across the Midwest.
CENTRAL INDIANA, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The American Red Cross has named Britt Sutton the new executive director for its Central Indiana Chapter. Sutton previously served as the director of policy for the Indiana Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services, specializing in administrative law and policy composition for the Indiana Medicaid Home and Community Based Services Waiver programs.
Sutton has worked as an Applied Behavioral Analysis therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, and focused in healthcare and non-profit law and advocacy while pursuing her juris doctorate.
Since March of 2018, she has served as the associate director of the Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
“I’m elated to have Britt join our Red Cross team as our Central Indiana executive director,” said Chad Priest, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, Indiana Region. “She brings a wealth of experience in public policy, healthcare law, nonprofit law and advocacy, and will be a strong asset to our mission as we continue building resilient communities.”
The American Red Cross Central Indiana Chapter serves Tippecanoe, Clinton, Howard, Tipton, Madison, Hamilton, Boone, Montgomery, Putnam, Hendricks, Henry, Hancock, Rush, Shelby, Johnson and Morgan Counties.
Sutton will step in to her new role November 18.
TIPTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The new Tipton Solar Park is officially open. The solar park is located on 31 acres of land and houses 17,496 solar panels that are estimated to produce an annual amount of energy to power about 800 homes.
Officials say the park will operate on a single axis tracking system. The system allows the solar panels to move throughout the day following the path of the sun.
Tipton is one of 18 Indiana Municipal Power Agency member communities to have a solar park, including Advance, Anderson, Argos, Bainbridge, Crawfordsville, Flora, Frankton, Greenfield, Huntingburg, Pendleton, Peru, Rensselaer, Richmond, Spiceland, Tell City, Washington, and Waynetown.
The IMPA says it is constructing solar parks in Centerville, Crawfordsville, Darlington, Gas City, Richmond, and Scottsburg.
“This is an exciting day for Tipton,” commented Mayor Don Havens. “Not only will this solar park provide increased diversity in our generation resources, it will also serve as an excellent educational opportunity for our students, residents, and visitors, and is yet another community benefit to tout for quality of place and economic development purposes.”
Tipton Mayor Don Havens, Representative Susan Brooks, Representative Tony Cook, and personnel from the offices of Senator Mike Braun joined with Indiana Municipal Power Agency Executive Vice President and COO Jack Alvey and city and county council personnel to cut the ribbon and celebrate the milestone in the community Monday.
TIPTON, Ind. (WISH) – A Chicago man has been charged with attempted murder after shootings early Wednesday at a truck stop in Tipton County, police said.
The shooting was reported about 6:50 a.m. Wednesday at Love’s Travel Plaza at the intersection of U.S. 31 and State Road 28. That is west of Tipton.
Javier Thurman, 25, of Chicago, was arrested on two counts of attempted murder, a count of criminal recklessness and six other lesser counts, the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release.
An investigation found a motorist, who was not identified, had parked at the fuel pumps and went inside to prepay for fuel. As he was in the store, the motorist saw his vehicle’s lights flash, police said, and then watched Thurman exit the vehicle. As the motorist approached, Thurman pulled out a .22-caliber handgun and fired twice at the motorist, police said. One bullet hit a knife in the motorist’s pocket. The injury did not require immediate medical attention.
A news release from the department said Thurman then tried to get another motorist’s help to escape, but that motorist, who was not identified, declined. Thurman then fired another bullet that struck that motorist’s vehicle, police said.
Thurman fled on foot until police caught him.
The news release did not indicate a motive for the shootings.
Anyone who witnessed the shooting was encouraged to call Deputy Jordan Wiseman of the sheriff’s department at 765-675-2111.
TIPTON, Ind. (WISH) — Police are looking for someone who fired a gun into a home early Friday morning.
It happened just before 2 a.m. in the 1600 block of S. Tipton County Road 25 West. A mobile home was shot at. There were people inside, and they are OK.
In a Facebook post, detectives asked for any possible surveillance video of the area.
Police obtained a photo of a car that may be of interest.
Anyone with information was asked to call Tipton police at 765-675-1282.
MIDDLETOWN, Ind. (WISH) – A former Windfall man in an Indiana prison on burglary and theft charges has admitted to authorities that he committed a 2008 murder in Henry County, prosecutors said Thursday.
Dana R. Zirkel, 51, met with Henry County sheriff’s detective Ed Manning on April 13. Zirkel said he went Aug. 18, 2008, to rob the home of Michael and Macarena Patterson on County Road 950 North near Middletown. Zirkel said, during the burlgary, Michael arrived home and they got into a fight in the garage and the house, and Zirkel hit Michael with a crowbar.
“Mr. Zirkel advised that he was speaking to law enforcement because he could not have any peace in his life until he got this out,” said a news release from Henry County Prosecutor Joe Bergacs.
Macarena arrived home to find her husband slumped on the floor and breathing. Medics arrived and took Michael to a hospital, where he died. An autopsy found he died of blunt force trauma in a homicide.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police investigated and developed Zirkel as a suspect but had been unable to completely connect him to the murder, so it became a cold case.
Zirkel is scheduled for an initial hearing Monday morning in Henry County.
Zirkel is in the Pendleton Correctional Facility on multiple charges including theft and burglary out of Tipton and Madison counties on sentences received in 2009 and 2010. His scheduled release date was 2022, according to a database.
SHARPSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – Sharpsville police are investigating a possible insurance scam that could make your home more vulnerable to burglaries. Police say a man has been taking photos of houses and claiming to work for a fake insurance company.
Police have been trying to track the man down and talk to him to see if he is doing legitimate work, but they haven’t had much luck. They say what they’ve heard from residents so far is very suspicious and they want people to be alert.
According to Sharpsville Police, a homeowner called 911 after a man came to the door claiming to be with an insurance company called Mutual Reliable Insurance. The man wanted to take pictures of the house, but the homeowner sensed something wasn’t right.
“He couldn’t provide any information and had no identification whatsoever. He had no paperwork,” said Town Marshal Ray Sheppard.
Sheppard says he’s also looked into the insurance company, and hasn’t been able to find one by that name.
“I’ve done research. I’ve reached out to people, they’ve never heard of this company,” said Sheppard.
He told 24-Hour News 8 at this point, he does not believe the man was working for an insurance company. He went on to say there have been numerous burglaries in Tipton County and he wants people to be vigilant.
“In this situation I think that it could be very dangerous. I don’t necessarily foresee that. I don’t want that, obviously, that’s why I put the information out as quick as I could,” said Sheppard.
There is only a vague description of the suspect. Police say he was driving a newer model of a dark gray four-door passenger car.
“I don’t want to put any insurance inspectors in harms way… but I think that you should be able to provide some kind of information so the homeowner feels more at ease,” said Sheppard.
Police say if someone comes to your door claiming to be with an insurance company ask them to provide credentials, or call your insurance company to verify that someone is supposed to be at your house.
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UPDATE: Tipton County Sheriff’s Department confirmed just before 8 p.m. Sunday that Meadows had been found safe.
TIPTON, Ind. (WISH) — State police have issued a Silver Alert for a woman last seen in Tipton who they believe to be in extreme danger and require medical assistance.
Authorities are seeking help to locate 27-year-old Shainna R. Meadows, last seen on Saturday at 1:45 p.m. in Tipton driving a black 2017 Nissan Versa Indiana plate 940TDP.
Meadows is described as 5-feet-4, weighing 200 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, wearing a black blouse, blue jeans and flip-flops.
If you have any information about Meadows’ whereabouts, contact the Tipton County Sheriff’s Department at 765-675-2111 or dial 911.
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TIPTON, Ind. (WISH) — Tipton police on Sunday night said they were investigating rumors of a threat against Tipton Community Schools and that they had found no credible evidence of a threat.
Authorities had interviewed 20-30 people about the matter and were encouraging people to send any mention of a threat or rumor of a threat to the police department directly rather than sharing those posts on social media, Officer Brad Robins with Tipton Police Department said.
Tipton police and Tipton Community Schools released similar statements on their Facebook pages Sunday, explaining that the rumor circulating alleged “a student will attempt to bring a firearm to school” and that parents and students could contact the Tipton Police Department with any information about the threats.
School was scheduled to be session on Monday, with local law enforcement on campus.