Muncie’s Old Piano Factory Goes Up In Smoke

A piece of Muncie history went up in flames over the weekend. It was built in 1895 as the Bell Brother Piano Factory and later became home to Warner Machine Company. The multi-story brick and heavy timber structure at 1200 South Rochester Avenue caught fire early Saturday morning. Explosions could be heard coming from the fully-engulfed building as every fire truck in Muncie worked to protect nearby homes and businesses. State and local investigators are expected on the scene today to try and determine the cause of the blaze.

DEA Bust Targets Local Doctor’s Offices

Drug Enforcement Administration agents have raided several doctor’s offices including one in downtown Muncie. Authorities arrested 37-year-old Muncie resident Jessica S. Callahan and a Fishers doctor with ties to Pendleton. 47-year-old George Agapios works for St. Vincent Hospital in Anderson and at a Pendleton clinic. Authorities say the raids followed a nine-month investigation into the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, specifically Suboxone. Raids were also conducted at offices in Carmel, Centerville, Kokomo, Lafayette and Noblesville.

Albany To Lose Local License Branch

Albany’s license branch is slated to close in a few weeks. According to a letter from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to local legislators, the BMV plans to consolidate its operations with the Muncie branch effective August 27. Authorities cite a downturn in use as the primary reason.. No jobs are expected to be lost as a result of the closure.

First Merchants Acquires Community Bank

First Merchants Bank is growing again. The Muncie-based bank has acquired Noblesville-based Community Bank. The acquisition will add seven locations to First Merchant’s six banking centers already in Hamilton County. In addition, the partnership will add locations in Summitville and Alexandria, areas that are currently not being served. First Merchants has more than 1,000 employees, with about half working in banking centers in Delaware County as well as its Daleville data center.

Split Decision For Anderson Man’s Lawsuit Against City

A federal jury has issued a split verdict in the discrimination case filed by Jack Brown against the city of Anderson. The jury ruled that Brown, a former street supervisor with the City of Anderson Transit System, was not removed from his job for political reasons but did award him 25-thousand dollars for his ADA claim, finding that having a commercial driver’s license was not an essential function of his position.

MCS Bus Routes To Change This Year

Its almost back-to-school time: Muncie Community Schools students will see a lot of changes this school year, including the route they take to get to school. The district plans to cut the number of school buses that will hit the road this fall. The route changes can be found on the district’s web site. The first official day of school for MCS students will be on Wednesday, August 13th.

Lapel School Registration

It’s almost back-to-school time: Lapel Elementary will hold registration for new students next Monday, Aug. 4 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. New students are required to show proof of residency. Incoming kindergarten students must also show proof of residency, along with a copy of their birth certificate and current shot record.

2nd Person Dies From Crash Injuries

A second person has died from injuries following an accident on Ind. 9 Wednesday evening. 21-year-old Clayton Crumley died at IU Health Methodist Hospital. He was the driver of a van that was headed north on Ind. 9, when it veered into the center lane and struck utility pole. 20-year-old Tabitha Oliver was pronounced dead at the scene. A seven-month-old child was also in the accident. She was flown to Riley Children’s Hospital. No cause for the accident has been released.

Muncie Gets Nearly $3 Million To Fight Blight

The City of Muncie has received 2-point-8-million dollars in federal funds to remove blighted houses in local neighborhoods. The money is part of a program overseen by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. A total of $75 million is being distributed in six rounds of funding statewide. Other local cities will also receive funding including Alexandria, Anderson, and Elwood.

SRO At First Day Of Colts Practice

It was standing room only on the first day of practice for the Indianapolis Colts Thursday. Fans packed the bleachers as the Colts returned to Anderson University for the fifth consecutive year. Colts Camp and Colts City is a chance for fans to watch the practices and interact with their favorite players. And there are interactive booths, Colts’ inflatables, a Colts Pro Shop, and autographs from Colts &Cheerleaders. The 2014 Training Camp runs through Sunday, August 10.