Local News Headlines: November 9, 2023

Former Indiana University Foundation Employee Sentenced to One Year in Federal Prison for Embezzling More Than $326,000 in Donations
Teresa Maners, 64, of Spencer, Indiana, has been sentenced to one year and a day in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud.

According to court documents, Maners was employed with the Indiana University Foundation as a Depositor and Payroll Deduction Associate beginning in 1988. The Indiana University Foundation works to maximize financial support for Indiana University through private donations and on-campus fundraisers. Maners’ job duties included recording cash and checks received from donors and preparing them for deposit in the foundation’s bank account.

During her employment, Maners stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from the foundation by taking cash before recording it in the foundation’s accounting systems. To hide the stolen cash, Maners secretly withheld checks from the day’s deposits and substitute those checks in a subsequent day’s deposit to hide the missing cash. She also wrote checks to the foundation from her personal bank account to cover any difference between the substituted donor checks and the stolen cash. This type of fraud is sometimes referred to as a “lapping scheme.” As the only employee in charge of recording cash donations, Maners was able to alter the accounting paperwork to “balance” the books and keep the stolen cash donations for herself. Maners continued the fraud for nearly four years, and stole approximately $326,334 from the foundation. In 2019, the foundation conducted an external audit after discovering accounting irregularities, and confronted Maners who admitted to stealing the money.

Monroe County Sheriff’s Department seeks assistance

May be a graphic of 1 person and text that says 'MONROE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE SHERIFF INDIANA WANTED WEDNESDAY D ANGELO MARTELL ROBERTS AGE: 31 HEIGHT: 5'10" WEIGHT: 200 HAIR: BLACK EYES: BROWN WANTED FOR: DOM BATT, RESULT IN MODERATE BOD INJ, LEV 6 FEL; DOM BATT W/ PRIOR CONVICTION, LEV 6 FEL; RLE, LEV 6 FEL; RLE, A MISD Anyonew information Offlne: whereabouts individual should call the Monroe County Sheriff's orwebsite DEFENDANT'

Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of D Angelo Martell Roberts should call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office tip line: (812)349-2815. Tips can also be submitted on the MCSO App or website at https://monroecountysheriffsoffice.us/submit-a-tip-1. Information can be left anonymously.

Prescribed fire, deer hunts improve plant health, diversity at Bloomington’s Griffy Lake
Parks and Recreation natural resource managers are planning a nine-acre prescribed burn November 9th at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve, on the north side of the lake near the Griffy Lake dam. The prescribed burn will be dependent upon on weather conditions and moisture levels necessary for safe and successful completion of the burn. Griffy Lake Nature Preserve will remain open during the prescribed fire, but the West North Shore Loop Trail will be closed during, and for at least one day after, the burn.

The burn is prescribed to allow more sunlight to reach the forest floor to create better conditions for regeneration of oak and hickory trees, which are currently outcompeted by other species. According to Parks and Recreation natural resources manager Steve Cotter, restored, native oak and hickory forests host a variety of insects that are critical in local food chains. These forests are also more resilient to climate change, including the impacts of increasing temperatures and drought conditions. 

Habitat Solutions Wildlife and Forest Management will conduct the burn. Prescribed fire is an effective tool for managing hardwood forest ecosystems, as the low-intensity ground fire removes invasive and other undesirable plant species, recycles nutrients, and increases habitat diversity.  In addition to the benefits for the ecosystem, prescribed fire is also effective in reducing the risk of large wildland fires.  

Additionally, in a continuing effort to improve plant and habitat diversity, deer hunts are scheduled to take place at Griffy Lake November 18-19th, and December 2-3rd. Griffy Lake Nature Preserve will be closed to the public during the deer hunt weekends, beginning at 11pm. the Friday before the hunt through 5am. the Monday after the hunt. Only hunters who applied and were selected to participate in the hunt are permitted to hunt at Griffy Lake Nature Preserve. The nature preserve remains closed to public hunting.

The goal of the annual deer hunts is to remove enough deer from the nature preserve to reduce deer browse pressure on understory plants and seedling trees to the point that these species are able to recover, and to continue reproducing within the preserve. 

Ivy Tech Bloomington Professor, Steve Arnold, wins President’s Award
Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington named Dr. Steve Arnold, professor and department chair of chemistry and astronomy, the recipient of the 2023 President’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. He was selected as the winner among 78 faculty nominees on campus. He was recognized at a College ceremony on Friday, November 3rd. Arnold’s nominations showed that his methods have positively impacted learning outcomes for college-level chemistry and astronomy students at Ivy Tech.

In one testimony, a student shared that they experienced patient and thorough teaching methods in Arnold’s course. “He takes his time and makes sure you have the concepts before moving on.”

Another student testimony highlighted his high-quality and motivational instructional methods. “I feel like I have learned more in this class than I have ever learned in any other class. The learning environment he created made me feel motivated to be engaged.”

In addition to his role as professor and department chair, Arnold serves as the campus Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society advisor. He has been a PTK advisor for 20 years and has received numerous awards for his role and as an organization. He has also earned campus awards for excellence in service learning and was voted by students as Associate Accelerated Program (ASAP) faculty member of the year, among others.

In the community, he has served on the Indiana University School of Public Health Community Advisory Board. He also served as the regional science fair director for 15 years and as co-chair of Science Olympiad for eight years. He hosted outreach activities such as teen science night at Wonderlab, education day at the Monroe County Fall Festival, and science demonstrations at local libraries and schools. Arnold began teaching at Ivy Tech in 2004. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Indiana State University and a Master of Science in Chemistry from Purdue University. He holds a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University.

The President’s Award is presented annually to one full-time faculty member from each Ivy Tech campus statewide. As recipient of the award, Arnold was a nominee for the statewide Ivy Tech Founder’s Award for Excellence in Instruction. The Founder’s Award is presented annually to one full-time faculty member statewide.

This Week in Hoosier History


1875 – Vesto Slipher, American astronomer who provided the first evidence to support the expanding-universe theory, born in Mulberry, Indiana. He was the first to discover that distant galaxies are redshifted, thus providing the first empirical basis for the expansion of the universe. He was also the first to relate these redshifts to velocity.

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