Officers searching for suspect charged in shooting of four-year-old child PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 20 December 2016 15:58



Law enforcement officers continue to search for and seek information about the whereabouts of a man now charged in the shooting of a four-year-old girl.

Steven A. Cooney, 30, and his son had been living with his girlfriend and her two children in a mobile home park on West York in Austin. The young victim is daughter of the girlfriend, who was at work at the time of the incident. The unemployed Cooney was at home with the three youngsters.

According to statements Cooney provided to Det. Brian Busick of the Indiana State Police, Cooney said that on November 29 he noticed a BB gun in the kitchen and “…decided to have a little fun…” with the two young girls. He said he grabbed the gun, pumped it at least three times and chased the children inside the house and into a bedroom.

When he entered the bedroom, Cooney said he could detect one girl hiding behind a curtain, but he didn’t see the four-year-old. He said he fired the gun into a mattress box spring leaning against the wall to “…unload it.” Cooney allegedly told the officer that he did not think the BB gun’s pellets would travel through the box spring and that this was the only time he had ever fired the gun into a piece of furniture.

One of the pellets which penetrated the mattress struck the child in her left temple. The little girl lost consciousness at the scene, and emergency personnel was called.

The child was admitted at Norton Hospital for Children in Louisville on that date. Det. Busick stated in the probable cause affidavit that, as of December 15, she remains a patient there and was listed in serious condition.

He went on to state that doctors who have examined the child have advised him that the pellet is deeply lodged in the child’s brain and cannot be removed.

On Monday, December 19, Cooney was charged with one count each of Level 3 felony aggravated battery and neglect of a dependent and Level 6 felony criminal recklessness and two counts of Level 5 battery.

Bail has been set at $50,000 by corporate surety bond or $10,000 cash.

According to court documents, a protective order was filed to prevent Cooney from having any contact with the injured child.

Four injured in S.R. 56 accident at Zion Road; three other crashes hurt four more PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 20 December 2016 15:54



Information was released this week about a three-vehicle crash on State Road 56 West on December 12 that injured four people.

Reports filed with the Sheriff’s Department also included three other mishaps which caused injuries to an additional four people.

In the Monday, December 12, accident, a 2006 Nissan Altima being driven west by Tyler D. Booth, 20, Scottsburg, struck the rear of a 1999 Buick LeSabre operated by Mathew A. Martin, 26, Pekin. The rear-end impact caused the LeSabre to strike the rear of a 2012 Dodge Caravan being driven by Philip E. Hawk, 61, Pekin.

Hawk was behind a fourth vehicle, whose driver was trying to turn onto Zion Road. That vehicle was not involved in the pileup.

Booth experienced head pain and had cuts on a hand, but Deputy Joe Guarneri noted in his report that he refused treatment by Scott County EMS personnel at the scene. Hawk said he had leg pain, but he too refused medical treatment, the deputy stated.

Martin and his passenger, Bailey J. Bateman, 23, Salem, were also injured. Martin suffered neck pain, and Bateman was listed with back pain. Each was transported by ambulance to Scott Memorial Hospital in Scottsburg.

The Nissan and LeSabre were towed from the scene. Deputy Guarneri estimated property damage at up to $50,000. He also listed “following too closely” as a contributing factor in the mishap.

The officer was assisted at the scene by Deputy Rex Herald and Detective Paul Clute.

Deputies also investigated a one-vehicle accident on Sunday, December 11, which occurred just before 12 midnight on Crothersville Road 1,900 feet west of Jack Morgan Road. Officers dispatched were Deputy Hartman and Deputy J. Watterson.

They found the driver, identified as Zachary Doty, 23, Madison, at a home near the accident scene.

Doty said he didn’t recall how the accident happened, remembering being upside-down and trapped in the 2001 Chevy Silverado pickup he had been driving eastward.

The pickup truck had apparently left the road and entered a deep drainage ditch bordering the road before turning over.

Doty said he managed to get out of the pickup and then walked to the nearest house to seek help. Doty also allegedly said he had consumed some whiskey before driving.

He was transported by Scott County EMS to the local hospital. Later, he was transferred to University of Louisville Hospital because of the facial injuries he had suffered in the crash.

The case remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department.

Property damage in this accident was estimated at up to $25,000.

Ice on the road apparently was a factor in a one-vehicle accident that injured a driver on Tuesday, December 13.

Asya L. Nation, 16, Scottsburg, was driving a 2002 Chevy Trail Blazer east on Leota Road when she encountered the ice. The SUV skidded and struck a guardrail just before 7:30 a.m. The point of impact was about 75 feet east of Frontage Road.

Deputy Guaneri said in his report that the girl suffered minor facial bleeding. No medical attention was listed.

Property damage was listed at up to $5,000.

Two people were hurt in a Thursday, December 15, mishap on Thomastown Road about 3,000 feet south of York Road.

Clyde L. Noble, 23, had been driving his 2003 Saturn LS south on Thomastown Rd. when he encountered a red, northbound pickup truck at a bridge. He told Deputy Hartman that he was forced out of his lane because of the truck, and his car struck a county-owned guardrail. He said the pickup did not stop and that he thought the other driver did not realize his car had hit the guardrail.

Noble was not injured, but his two passengers experienced back pain after the crash. They were identified as Frederick R. Noble, 28, and Robert L. Noble, 18, both of Austin. Each was assisted at the scene by Scott County EMS and then transported to the local hospital.

His vehicle was badly damaged and was towed from the scene.

Property damage, including the guardrail, was listed at up to $50,000.

Santa to Visit Crothersville Dec. 17 with First-Ever Christmas Parade PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 December 2016 10:33



Santa Claus is Coming to Crothersville on Saturday, December 17 at 6 p.m. during the Crothersville's 1st annual Christmas parade.

The paradewill begin on Moore Street and travel east to East Street then north to Bard Street, west to Preston Street, back south to Moore Street and end up up the Crothersville Fire Department.

The parade will be delivering Santa to meet all the community and take pictures with the kids.

Mrs Claus will be busy all week baking up cookies for the kids and kids at heart. The elves will be offering up cocoa and coffee as well. The event will conclude at 8 p.m.


Sterk Connects with SHS Students Through Her Life Experiences PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 December 2016 10:31



Name a job, and Jennifer Sterk probably has had it. Her last job before becoming an educator: a crane operator at North American Stainless in Carroll County, Ky.

“I’ve worked every job you could imagine,” said Sterk, who is a math teacher at Scottsburg High School.

Before becoming a teacher, Sterk was the only woman in a group of 20 NAS employees to travel to Spain to assist with the expansion of the stainless steel plant in Ponferrada, León. The factory is one of the top three stainless steel producing facilities in the world. Sterk lived and worked in Spain for three months.

“I liked [my job],” Sterk said. “I was a big overhead beam crane operator.”

Sterk’s three-month residency further strengthened her Spanish-speaking skills. She took Spanish in high school and college, and she still uses Spanish in her classroom.

“I speak Spanish in the classroom all the time,” Sterk said.

Throughout Sterk’s life, from growing up in Wyoming to currently living on a farm in southern Indiana, she found one profession that she felt called to — teaching.

“My teachers were the strongest influence in my life above else,” Sterk said.

Before being a teacher, Sterk had a humbling experience in mathematics — she failed a math remediation exam. From that point, she turned that failure into an “A” in the class. She became a math tutor for other struggling students. It propelled her to become a math teacher for those who feel math is not their favorite subject.

“I became a math teacher for people who say they hate math or can’t do math,” Sterk said.

Since those early beginnings, Sterk earned her master’s degree and completed 15 hours of graduate work in mathematics with a minor in psychology. At one point, she was an adjunct professor at a nearby college. She also taught high school classes in Kentucky and Indiana before coming to SHS this year.

“The kids were always great, and the chance to help so many students,” Sterk said was her favorite part of her job as a teacher. “It’s not just teaching them math.”

Outside of the workplace, Sterk lives on a 55-acre horse farm with six horses, three dogs, and three cats.

“We’ve always had a farm. I grew up in Wyoming with horses. It’s who I am,” Sterk said.

Sterk loves animals and devoted her lifestyle to vegetarianism. She also participates in half and full marathons and in IRONMAN competitions.

“In college, I learned what vegetarianism was. I am about 95 percent vegan,” Sterk said. “I started IRONMAN to see if I could do it. It makes me feel a sense of accomplishment.”

At home, Sterk and her husband are foster parents. They adopted one child, who is 3-years-old, and are foster parents to another child, who is an infant. They hope to adopt the child they are fostering.

“We decided to start our family with adopted children,” Sterk said.

Through it all, Sterk has learned a key lesson from her life experiences.

“It’s taught me to be extremely empathetic. Your story isn’t always what you assume it is,” Sterk said. “I’m happy to be at Scottsburg. The kids are great.”


SHS teacher returns to his hometown to make a difference PDF Print E-mail
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Friday, 16 December 2016 10:23



When Brandon Jerrell graduated from Anderson University, the Scottsburg High School alumnus wanted to return to his hometown and give back to his community.

“Scottsburg is home. I really care about the community in Scottsburg,” Jerrell said. “I want to continue to make a difference.”

This year, Jerrell is making a difference in his hometown by being in the classroom — Jerrell was hired as Scottsburg High School’s new Spanish teacher.

“My passion for Spanish and children is what led me to this,” said Jerrell, who majored in Spanish and Christian ministries at Anderson. “Teaching is a perfect blend of both of my majors.”

At Anderson, Jerrell was part of the Spanish chapel ministry. Each week, Jerrell would help organize the Spanish-only, one-hour service, where attendees would be part of a short, Bible reading, have a time of prayer, and listen to a speaker. At times, Jerrell would be the speaker that week.

“That helped my Spanish along,” Jerrell said. “It’s pretty tough to do [a sermon] in another language.”

Jerrell would also spend time with a local Hispanic congregation near Anderson. There, he connected his lifelong love of playing soccer and his calling to help children.

“We taught the kids soccer,” said Jerrell, who was the captain of the boys soccer team when he was a student at SHS.

Jerrell said there were not as many opportunities for the children to learn to play soccer, so he and other Anderson students helped fill in the gap.

Along with being involved in ministries on and off campus, Jerrell spent one semester in Costa Rica to help strengthen his Spanish-speaking skills and his knowledge of Central American culture. He also spent a little more than a month in Spain, north of Madrid. In Spain, Jerrell stayed with a friend, who was a foreign exchange student that his family hosted when Jerrell was a SHS student.

“I really loved Spanish when I was at Scottsburg,” Jerrell said. “It’s always been interesting to communicate in another language other than English. We were really good friends while he was here.”

Not only is Jerrell is trying to make a difference in the classroom, he is also hoping to make a difference in the swimming pool. Jerrell was named the SHS varsity boys and girls swim coach and the Scottsburg Middle School swim coach. As a student, Jerrell was a four-year member of the SHS swim team.

“As a swimmer, it’s a pretty painful sport,” Jerrell said. “As a coach, I want us to remain competitive [in the conference].”

When Jerrell is not in the classroom or at the pool, he is busy working on developing a card game. The idea for the card game came when he was at his grandmother’s house for Christmas. He convinced his brother, Matthew, who graduated in 2015, to play the strategy, two-player game.

“It’s changed significantly from the first time we played it,” Jerrell said.

Jerrell said he will try to self-produce the game after “quite a bit of testing.

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