(Undated) – Eagle 99.3 News is counting down the top five local stories of 2010.
The year’s biggest, most powerful stories were debated and selected by the station.
Today, we unveil stories five through two. The year’s top story will be revealed Thursday during the Eagle 99.3 morning show.
Shane McHenry (right) celebrates an Election
Night win Nov. 2.
5. – Dearborn County Commissioner and County Council races were nearly halted because of alleged violations of a law that most people may have spent five minutes learning about in their high school government class.
During his final meeting as county attorney in May, former Dearborn Superior Court I judge G. Michael Witte told commissioners that he had to report a violation of the Hatch Act by Republican commissioner nominee Shane McHenry and appointed councilman Bryan Messmore.
The 1939 law prohibits political activity by state, county, or municipal employees who performs duties financed by federal funds.
Federal officials at the Office of Special Counsel investigated the allegations. They found neither McHenry nor Messmore violated the law, although Messmore, who is employed as a victims advocate with the Dearborn County Prosecutor’s Office, would have been in violation if he were elected and not appointed to county council.
McHenry would go on to win the Nov. 2 election for District 3 Commissioner by a landslide over Democrat Jim Schuler. Messmore still sits on council.
Switzerland County Jail
4. – Many people in Dearborn County shook their heads in disbelief when an upstanding and widely respected police officer was charged with a terrible crime.
Former Aurora police officer Dennis Lewis was arrested on four counts of felony Child Solicitation in April.
Lewis, 53, would later admit he had internet chats where he solicited sex to undercover police officers posing as 13-year-old girls. The chats happened in December 2009 and January 2010.
The 25-year law enforcement veteran reached a plea with prosecutors and is currently serving a seven year prison sentence.
A plow truck took a tumble in Ohio
County while clearing the roads of
snow during the storm of the year
3. – A massive snow storm paralyzed the tri-state last February causing a week’s worth of school closings and travel emergencies.
More than eight inches of snow fell Feb. 9 and 10.
Most southeast Indiana counties were forced to institute their highest snow emergency levels to keep motorists off the roads.
There was so much snow to be removed from streets and roads, city garage crews in Lawrenceburg were forced to truck the plowed snow to a gigantic mound at the city dump.
2. – Perhaps the most tragic story of 2010 occurred on a warm, sunny September afternoon in the normally quiet neighborhood of Bright.
Three-year-old Jack Carpenter was playing in the front yard with his two-year-old sister as their mother, Beth Carpenter, prepared to usher them into the family car.
Jack wandered out onto nearby North Dearborn Road where he was hit and killed by a pickup truck Sept. 7. As his mother watched in horror, the truck that hit Jack continued driving on.
Another mother of young children, Christina Shackelford-Grammer, would contact police at 2:30 a.m. the following morning after reading news reports of the accident and realizing she may have been the driver who hit the boy.
Shackelford-Grammer told investigators she was distracted from the road when she felt a bump then looked into the rear-view mirror. Her initial thought was she had hit a deer.
The case is continuing its way through Dearborn County Superior Court I. Shackelford-Grammer, 32, is charged with one count of felony Failure to Stop after an Accident Resulting in Death. A hearing will be held Jan. 24, 2011 to decide if a charge of Reckless Homicide will be added.
1. - We will reveal the biggest news story of 2010 on the Eagle 99.3 Morning Show Thursday, Dec. 30.