A look back at Central Indiana news in 2010

SportsFootballIndiana HoosiersDrunk DrivingHighway and Road DisastersCrime, Law and JusticeButler Bulldogs

The year began on an exciting but ultimately disappointing note as the Indianapolis Colts made a return trip to the Super Bowl, only to lose to the New Orleans Saints and Purdue University alum Drew Brees.

The Saints victory made for a heartwarming story, unless you're a Colts fan.

"I definitely never, ever want to hear 'who dat' again," said one fan.

Weather was a dominant story throughout 2010. The early winter months of 2010 brought snow days for many Central Indiana children, and a travel mess for morning commuters.

Spring came with storms that lasted until early summer. In June, a series of tornadoes touched down in Northern Indiana across Miami, Carroll and Cass Counties, leaving residents shaken but thankful no one was injured.

Then, a severe drought gripped the state for months. It forced more than half of Indiana counties to issue burn bans over concerns about grass and field fires.

The heat wave from the summer lasted into the fall with unseasonably warm temperatures through November. Then, the cold weather set in suddenly, and brought lots of snow to Central Indiana... And more snow days for the kids.

Some of the news stories of 2010 seemed to drag on through the whole year. One of them, the Carmel assault case. Four former Carmel High School basketball players were charged with misdemeanors in connection with assaults involving teammates either in the school locker room or on a school bus returning from a game.

As the year ended, three of them had struck plea deals but some charges remain unsolved. The family of one of the victims remains angry at how the case against Robert Kitzinger, Brandon Hoge, Oscar Falodun and Scott Laskowski was handled.

Tragedy struck on U.S. 40 near Greenfield when a police officer on a bicycle training ride was struck and killed by a hit and run driver. Sue Ann Vanderbeck turned herself in days after the accident, angering the family of Officer Will Phillips, the officer killed in the incident.

"It's been very frustrating and upsetting due to the fact that the Henry County prosecutor allowed her not to turn herself in until Monday where she could deal with family matters, while that left me at home to explain to a two and five-year-old why their father is never coming home," said Phillips' widow.

The Circle City's image took a hit when nine people were wounded by gunfire at one of its signature events. Prosecutors say 19-year-old Shamus Patton was targeting rival gang members downtown during the Indiana Black Expo Summer Celebration. The organization faces calls for changing how it organizes the popular event next year.

In politics, 2010 marked the return of a familiar face. Former Senator Dan Coats (R) won his seat back in the U.S. Senate, after incumbent U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D) surprised many with his decision to leave politics and not run for re-election.

"To put it in words most people can understand, I love working for the people of Indiana, I love helping our citizens make the most of their lives but I do not love Congress," said Sen. Bayh.

The issue of bullying in Indiana schools gained prominence this year after the deaths of Hoosier students Billy Lucas and Jamarcus Bell. Their deaths left friends and families in mourning and left school districts on the defensive about how they protect their students.

No story caused more controversy this year than the case surrounding IMPD Officer David Bisard. Bisard struck three motorcyclists on the northeast side, killing Eric Wells and seriously injuring Mary Mills and Kurt Weekly.

A blood test was taken after the crash showed Bisard's blood alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit. However, Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi dropped drunk driving charges after learning the test was not administered properly.

Despite all the negative stories that came out of 2010, Hoosiers could look back on at least one major story with immense pride. The Butler Bulldogs made a historic run in the NCAA tournament, coming up just short of pulling off a huge upset by a tiny school.

In the process, the whole country became familiar with how to do it "the Butler way," a philosophy that worked this year and provides a model for years to come.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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