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Today's Headlines


"Woman arrested for faking disease, collecting donations"

A Switzerland County woman was arrested after allegedly faking cancer and soliciting donations.
According to the Indiana State Police, on Friday, September 30 ISP Detectives arrested Santana M. Banta of Patriot on charges related to Banta faking an illness and soliciting donations to cover her medical bills.
The investigation began at the beginning of September when a concerned citizen contacted the Indiana State Police. The citizen made a complaint that Banta had made numerous claims on social media that she was suffering from terminal cancer. Banta claimed that she was being treated for her illness at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center in Louisville. Banta also started a GoFundMe Account to allegedly pay for her medical bills. The investigation determined she accepted in excess of $3,000 through that account. The detectives soon determined that Banta did not have cancer and was scamming people out of money, then using the money for personal reasons.
At the conclusion of the investigation, the case was turned over to the Switzerland County Prosecutor’s Office for review. A warrant was then issued for Banta’s arrest. She was arrested on Friday without incident on charges for Level 6 Felony Theft and Class A Misdemeanor Deception. Banta was incarcerated at the Switzerland County Jail.


"Board of Public Works reviews contracts, street closings"

The Madison Board of Public Works and Safety met for their first meeting of the month Monday morning.
City Utilities Director Brian Jackson presented a change order for work on the city’s Water Pollution Control Facility. The change order, valued at $20,298, will address issues discovered during construction such as repairing water leaks, reconnecting electrical wiring, and additional paving work among other changes. Jackson also presented a new contract with Stantec Consulting Services for the city. Jackson said the contract, valued at $35,000, covers consulting services for several projects, design work, and assistance with the city’s annual storm water reports to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Jackson and Mayor Damon Welch said the city has had a good relationship with Stantec. Both the contract and change order were approved.
In other meeting news, Building Inspector Mark Johnson reported that Planet Fitness is in the process of converting the former Staples building into a gym, and have filed paperwork pertaining to this work. Johnson also presented an extension request for a PACE project regarding the Scott Building, located on the 300 block of West Main Street. Work on the proposed project was delayed due to rain, so a one-year extension was requested to complete the work. The board approved the extension.
Two street closings were approved for upcoming Halloween events. Trinity United Methodist Church will be closing Broadway Street between Main and Third streets for their annual Halloween Party October 30. The Lanier Mansion will have Vine Street closed near the Visitors Center October 22 for their Spooky Mansion event.
The Madison Board of Public Works and Safety will next meet October 17.


"Ivy Tech partnership will get inmates into manufacturing programs"

A new partnership launched by Ivy Tech Madison will help prepare incarcerated women for advanced manufacturing careers.
According to a release from the community college, Ivy Tech has received a grant of more than $42,000 to provide incarcerated women at the Madison Correctional Facility with an opportunity to earn college credit, valuable technical skills and credentials for high-demand, well-paying careers in advanced manufacturing upon their release.
The Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education grant was awarded to Ivy Tech Madison by the Indiana Department of Education to expand the pathways for postsecondary education available to incarcerated women at the Madison Correctional Facility. The grant was one of four competitive Perkins grants awarded to Ivy Tech statewide with a totaled combined value of $302,000.
Ivy Tech has partnered with the facility and River Valley Resources’ Clearinghouse since November 2015 to deliver a collaborative transitions course for women within 60 days of their release. More than 200 students have been served with a completion rate of over 98 percent.


"Grant awarded for Hargan-Matthews Park project"

An area non-profit park project is receiving a grant from a regional charity.
The Friends of Hargan-Matthews Park, the volunteer organization dedicated to improving the downtown riverfront park, was awarded a $5,000 grant from Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana.
Ronald McDonald House is a non-profit that serves families of Kentucky and Southern Indiana whose children are receiving medical attention in the area. According to their website, they have served over 25,000 families by providing private guest rooms, meals, laundry facilities, books, movies and other recreational opportunities. They also aid other organizations who support children. The organization will be sponsoring the wheel chair swing and the swing set at the park with their grant.
In addition to the grant provided by Ronald McDonald House, two local McDonald’s restaurants have pledged their support of the project and will be hosting the Friends of Hargan-Matthews Park for fundraising nights at both the Hanover and Madison McDonald’s locations. The in-restaurant events will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 27th, and Thursday, November 17th.
The Friends of Hargan-Matthews Park, which operates under the umbrella of Madison Youth Unlimited, was formed with the goal of upgrading the park to include riverboat-themed playground equipment accessible to children of all abilities. For more information about the Friends of Hargan-Matthews Park, or to make a tax-deductible donation online, visit the group’s Facebook page at




Marjorie F. Jenkins, 87

Thomas A. "Tom" Palfreeman, 82

Margaret L. Wakefield, 92

Phyllis A. Carter, 80