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WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — A grieving mother and father were joined by dozens of loved ones, friends and teammates to unveil a memorial for two teenage brothers who were killed in a plane crash.

Liam Kelly, 17, and his brother Reece, 15, were killed almost 9 months ago.

The event happened one weeks after Liam should have been walking across the stage to pick up his diploma from Westfield High School and about two weeks from when he was due to report to the Air Force Academy.

“Love your children as if it’s the last day you will ever hold them,” said their mother Kesha Kelly, overcome with emotion. “Love and support one another as you have loved and supported us.”

It’s love and support that have kept Kesha and her husband Patrick going through 9 months of very dark days.

Their only two children were taken in an instant.

“It means the world to us to have all of our support here,” Kesha said.

Liam was the responsible one, wise and mature beyond his years. Reece was the jokester with a huge heart.

Both loved to run and were cross-country runners at Westfield High School.

“Two peas in a pod and always felt incredibly blessed to be their parents,” Kesha said. “I honestly was afraid something bad was going to happen because it was too perfect. And something bad happened.”

That day was Sept. 20, 2020.

The place was the Glenndale Airport outside Kokomo.

Liam had volunteered at a charity event for the last couple years and was doing so for a third time as part of his community service requirement with the National Honors Society. This was Reece’s first time.

They were just supposed to help people get on and off a small plane. But because of the pandemic there was such a small crowd that Sunday morning they went up. The pilot, Jerral Long, 63, of Kokomo, controlling the plane they were in crashed misjudged power lines and crashed.

Long and the boys died.

Another teen survived.

“Every day is bad, some days are worse. But when we have the outpouring of love, it keeps us upright and breathing,” Kesha said.

Thursday there was an outpouring of that love, organized by a teammate named Kyler Koning who wanted a permanent reminder at MacGregor Park. The parents pulled their racing jerseys off to unveil a bronze plaque at the place where Liam and Reece used to come and run every day along with the rest of the Westfield cross country team.

The grassy spot where it’s located is the place where the team warms up and cools down.

In other words, it’s a place that’s just about perfect, where Liam and Reece will never be forgotten and where new people who come to the park will learn their names and their story.

The effort was organized by Kyler’s father Brian Koning, a neighbor and friend to the Kellys as well as a cross country parent.

“We needed to have something where when people came to the park and the picnic area and the shelter area, they could actually read about these boys and get an idea of what great young men they were,” Brian Koning said.

“It means that their legacy will go on and people won’t forget about them,” said Kesha Kelly.

In a life dominated by bad days and even worse days, Thursday is something else entirely.

“Today is a good day,” Kesha said. “Anything that keeps their memory alive is what brings us happiness.”

There’s another good day for the Kellys ahead.

She and Patrick started a memorial scholarship fund. Their goal of two $2,500 scholarships turned into nine awards to Westfield runners this year.

On June 19, there’s the Fly High Memorial Jeep Ride and 5K Fun Run at Monon Trail Elementary School, 19400 Tomlinson Road, to benefit the Liam & Reece Kelly Memorial Scholarship.

The fun run begins at 8 a.m. June 19. The Jeep Ride will begin at 10 a.m. and go past seven of the boys’ favorite locations in Hamilton County.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — Westfield Washington school district has reported four employees of the transportation department have been diagnosed with COVID-19.

The four people are at home in isolation, the district said in a message to students, parents, teachers and staff.

As a result, the district is suffering a bus driver shortage. Some routes will be doubled — a driver will run one route, then another — to take students to and from school. The result: long delays so buses can be disinfected before they run their second route.

The transportation department will reach out to households affected by the changes.

Westfield Washington Schools will return to in-person learning Thursday in a hybrid format. Students were split into gold and green teams and will attend school on opposite days, with the days they’re not there being online learning. Fridays will be online learning for all. They will also give the option of online learning for those who are not wanting to attend classes. Their preschool and the “All Aboard” program, also opening Wednesday, will not be alternating days.

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.

(WISH) — Two school districts in suburbs neighboring Indianapolis are changing their plans to start the school year during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a Marion County school district will have online-only learning upon reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board of the Pike Township school district in Marion County decided Thursday night to begin the school year virtually, with the potential to phase in in-person instruction after Labor Day if the coronavirus restrictions allow. The district said on its website that details will be sent out Friday.

The Center Grove district in northwest Johnson County announced Thursday it has changed its first day of school to Aug. 12. The first day with students in classrooms had been planned for Aug. 5. More than 1,250 of the district’s estimated 7,700 students chose the virtual option to return to school, which is causing the district to shift its scheduling and reallocate its staff.

“This change is necessary to provide our staff time to make these changes in addition to the implementation of the safety procedures and precautions in this Return to School 2020-21 plan. Center Grove will use waiver days, so no adjustments to school breaks or our school calendar will be necessary at this time,” the district said online.

In addition, the Westfield Washington district in Hamilton County had announced it would reopen Aug. 13 with in-school weekday classes and “a virtual e-learning option for students unable to return to school in person.”

However, on Thursday, Superintendent Sherry Grate sent a note that said in part, “WWS has revised the Return of the Rocks Plan and will be reopening all nine schools (K-12) under a hybrid plan, which will allow students to alternate in-person attendance throughout the school week. By splitting students into two groups, we are reducing the number of students in buildings and on buses, which allows for greater opportunity to social distance and meet health and safety guidelines. This hybrid plan will be in place until we are able to transition back to a regular school schedule or unless circumstances would cause us to change direction. We will be evaluating this plan on a monthly basis and will communicate any changes two weeks in advance unless we are forced to close immediately. Our first evaluation will be September 1.”  

Westfield Washington has an estimated 8,100 students.

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.

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The last week of May typically marks the first pitch for high school playoff baseball across Indiana.

Not this season.

The coronavirus pandemic wiped out the Indiana High School Athletic Association baseball season, but not all players around the state are taking this spring off.

Gage Stanifer is Westfield High School’s future ace.

Stanifer is 16-years-old, a right-hander on the mound, already firing his fastball in at 88 miles per hour.

His changeup? Stanifer found a way to bring it into his family’s basement once baseball shut down.

“He just said, ‘Hey listen, if I do the work, will you get a dumpster?” Gage’s father Butch Stanifer said. “He did it, all of the weights back here that you see, he moved them on his own. He took them apart, drug them over, I came down here and it is done.”

Stanifer is a sophomore at Westfield and is committed to play college ball at the University of Cincinnati.

That’s a great spot to be in considering how rough this spring turned out for Indiana’s class of 2020 prospects.

“My son is actually a senior, that was the toughest one, we lost a lot of laughs out on the diamond this year that we were looking forward to,” Westfield Head Baseball Coach Ryan Bunnell said. “We really thought we could go down to Victory Field and win it all.”

IHSAA baseball is officially ruled out for this summer, but travel leagues hope to start game action by the second week in June.

Until then, are any teammates trying to rent out the Stanifer’s baseball garage?

“Not yet,” Gage said. “I should probably think about that (laughs).”

Add another pitch to this promising young arsenal.

Westfield defeats Avon 56-52.

Brownsburg defeats Westfield 63-57.

Zionsville defeats Westfield 64-38.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Westfield High School cheerleaders were on Daybreak Friday morning.

They performed on Daybreak, showing off their talents ahead of The Zone on Friday night.

Indiana high school football has finally arrived, meaning The Zone returns to air on WISH-TV on Friday nights at 11:08.

Now in its eleventh week of the season, The Zone will feature highlights of 20 games.

To watch their performance, click on the video.

Brebeuf defeats Westfield 28-24.

Fishers defeats Westfield 27-17.