It’s history. Lafayette liquor, grocery stores prepare for March 4 — first Sunday sales

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Published: Feb. 25, 2018

BY: Shannon Hall, Journal & Courier

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — It’s almost here. Less than a week away.

Sunday. Sales. And while customers may be joyous about it, liquor stores have mixed feelings.

On Thursday lawmakers gave final approval on the bill that will allow Sunday alcohol sales in grocery and liquor stores. The final step for passage is Gov. Eric Holcomb’s approval.

350 Liquors Manager BJ Kelley says he’s very excited about the planned alcohol law change.

“We’re going to open the (Sunday) they say it,” he said. “So if they approve it next week, we’ll be open March 4.”

According to the IndyStar, Holcomb said Thursday morning he plans to sign the bill and promised not to let “too many Sundays” pass before he does.

Once Holcomb signs the bill, it will be effective immediately. Alcohol sales will go from noon to 8 p.m. at stores while people can still purchase drinks from restaurants or breweries from 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.

For Kelley, it’s another day they’re open. Right now, they are required to be closed and that’s not great business.

“You got to figure you’re paying rent on your building and keeping the beer cold, but the doors are locked and you’re not making any money,” Kelley said.

He doesn’t expect any business loss by having 350 Liquors open on Sundays.

“I feel like it’s going to be business as usual,” Kelley said. “I don’t think it will cut down on my sales any because so many people making trips to the state line now. … I think it will only increase our sales.”

Kelley doesn’t plan on hiring additional employees. Instead, he looks at it from an employee standpoint.

“Most of my employees are part-time, so it’s another way for them to make money,” he said.

Ann Vhu, Brawlers Liquors general manager, said she does think it will be more expensive for them because they’ll have more hours to work.

Vhu said she’s not personally a fan of Sunday sales.

Because Brawlers Liquors is a family-owned business, she wants to spend Sundays with family.

Right now, the store’s not sure if it will be open on Sundays or not.

“It really depends on what the other liquor stores do,” she said. “If they all decide to stay closed, that’s what we’ll do. And if they open up, we’ll do that.”

Village Bottle Shoppes Owner Dan St. John said he doesn’t think the sales will change much by having Sunday alcohol sales.

“I think some of our Saturday sales will shift to Sunday, but I’m hopeful we’ll do enough busy that will cover the overhead,” he said.

The four West Lafayette liquor stores will be open the first Sunday they’re allowed.

But overall, it’s going

“I really don’t know what to expect,” he said. “We’ll see in the following weeks. … We’re looking forward to it.”

Larry Cox has owned Dales Southside Liquor for 18 years. And he’s not happy about the probable alcohol law change. He said the law favors big box stores over the little guys.

“It’s going to cut into my sales,” Cox said. “We have a very small slice of the pie and it just got slimmer.”

He doesn’t think his liquor store will ever open on Sundays while he’s the owner.

“I’ll be at church,” he said.

Local breweries talk about how Indiana Sunday sales will affect them

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Published: March 3, 2018

BY: Shannon Hall, Journal & Courier

LAFAYETTE, Ind. — At noon on Sunday, people may storm down the doors at liquor stores and grocery stores to buy alcohol.

Sunday marks the first time since the 1930s that people can grab a pack of beer or bottle of wine or liquor from liquor or grocery stores on a Sunday in Indiana.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill Wednesday that would allow Sunday sales from noon to 8 p.m.

But before Sunday, there were only a few places people in Indiana could go and grab beer to-go — breweries.

The Indiana Legislature allowed breweries to sell their beer on Sundays starting in 2010.

Dustin Grove, co-owner of Brokerage Brewery, said he’s not too worried.

Brokerage opened in mid-December and since then, they’ve had a strong following for the Sunday beer crowd, he said.

More: Everything you need to know about Indiana’s alcohol laws

“We have a lot of faith in our product,” Grove said. “We’re not too concerned.”

But no one’s certain how it will all play out, said Jim Boros, co-owner of the Crawfordsville Backstep Brewing Company.

“I think it’s going to put a dent in our Sunday growler sales,” he said.

Cheers:The curious history of alcohol sales in Indiana

It’s history:  Lafayette liquor, grocery stores prepare for March 4 — first Sunday sales

Letter: Cheers to Sunday alcohol sales in Indiana

He said breweries were the only kids on the block when it came to to-go alcohol sales. In Crawfordsville, they’re the only brewery within at least 20 miles.

“It shot breweries in the arm,” he said.

Backstep Brewing Company began selling its own beer in November, so it’s only been selling growlers for the past few months.

For Backstep Brewing Company, the brewery is the only place that sells their beer, so if people want it they’ll still have to come to them, Boros said.

“And it’s a different style than what the big box stores offer,” he said. “With the (Sunday) Prohibition ending, as a consumer I’m happy. As a brewery owner, I wish we had more time.”

People’s Brewing Company has had time to be one of the few places people can take to-go beer, though.

A typical Sunday customer would come in, grab a pint, sit and chat for a bit before grabbing a growler to go, said Chris Johnson, owner of People’s Brewing Company.

“What we’ve developed is more of an experience,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll lose that crowd.”

A small percentage of People’s Sunday’s patronage came in just because they were one of the only places to get beer to go.

“We probably won’t see those people as much,” Johnson said.

But because People’s beer is sold in liquor stores and grocery stores, he think their sales will go up there.

But overall, Johnson’s not too worried about the Sunday sales affecting his brewery.

“We’ll see.”

Darlington mom sentenced to 120 years for murdering her children


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Published: March 19, 2018

BY: Shannon Hall, Journal & Courier

CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. — When their oldest child was born, Jason and Brandi Worley promised their kids came first, Jason Worley said Monday.

But his ex-wife didn’t keep that promise.

Brandi Worley, 31, of Darlington, was sentenced to 120 years for murdering her two children — 7-year-old Tyler and 3-year-old Charlee.

Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Harry Siamas sat quiet for more than four minutes before carrying out the sentence Monday.

Initial hearing: Mother pleads not guilty to killing 2 children

He said everyone wants an explanation for an unnatural event — a parent killing his or her children.

“Sometimes there is no explanation,” Siamas said. “Darkness is in this world. … And it penetrates minds and our hearts.”

He sentenced Worley to 55 years on count one and 65 years on count two with the two sentences to run consecutively. Twice, Siamas asked Brandi Worley if she had anything to say, and she refused both times.

More: Full audio from Nov. 17 911 call

Jason and Brandi Worley were engaged for two years before they got married.

Tyler was born 10 weeks early. After that, Jason and Brandi made a promise to each other.

“We always said the children would come first, before each other or our marriage,” he said.

The two discussed separating in the past, he said, but they stayed together despite some friction.

“She understood why we were getting a divorce,” Jason Worley said.

The next day the four went to a dance program for Charlee before heading home to eat dinner.

Brandi Worley told her husband she needed to get pipe cleaners for Tyler for school, Jason Worley said.

Montgomery County Prosecutor Joseph Buser said that’s when Brandi Worley bought a knife before heading back to the house.

The family played on a Murphy bed before Jason bathed the kids and got them ready for bed, Jason Worley said.

“I told them that ‘I love you and I’ll see you in the morning,’ ” he said.

After Jason Worley went to the basement where he planned to sleep, Brandi Worley told Tyler he could do a “sleepover” in his sister’s room.

At 4:35 a.m. on Nov. 17, 2016, Worley called 911 and said she stabbed herself and killed her two children, according to police. Officers found 7-year-old Tyler and 3-year-old Charlee Worley dead in a bedroom with deep lacerations to their necks, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Tyler had three deep stab wounds and one superficial one. Charlee also had three stabs.

Jason Worley said he woke after hearing screaming. He didn’t know who or what it was.

When he got upstairs, he saw his ex-mother-in-law hysterically crying in the kitchen. Brandi Worley was sitting in the living room when he asked her what happened.

“She said ‘Now you can’t take my children from me,’ ” he said.

Officers on scene took Jason Worley outside. But the walkie talkies were on.

“Two deceased children in the house,” he told the court.

Buser said Brandi Worley planned to kill herself as well.

He said she told officers that “somehow (she) screwed that up” and that she “didn’t want them to live without” her. Buser said it was a selfish act because she wanted to die with them.

Worley never expressed regret about killing her children, Buser said.

“Now (Jason Worley) can’t take his kids to school anymore,” he said. “She was more apt at killing.”

Mark Inman, Brandi Worley’s attorney, said Monday was a difficult day.

Letters given to the court read that Brandi Worley was a “wonderful, caring mother,” according to the prosecution.

Inman said that was who she was. But those few hours in November, Brandi Worley snapped, he said.

“Such a tragic and unimaginable … I can’t imagine,” Inman said. “My job as Brandi’s attorney is to give you an explanation on why this happened. I can’t do that.”

Since November 2016, Brandi Worley was diagnosed with depression and has been unemotional, Inman said.

“That’s the only way she knows how to deal with it at this point,” he said.

Tyler loved sports, Jason Worley said. He was a loving boy in general.

“He could walk into a room with 20 strangers and come out with 20 friends,” Jason said.

Tyler wanted to work on computers like Jason does.

“Both children had very bright futures,” Jason Worley said.

Charlee, he said, was a big ball of attitude. She loved getting dressed up and wouldn’t leave the house without braids or a bow in her hair.

“Charlee was becoming her own person,” he said.

He hadn’t talked to Brandi since November 16, 2016. The divorce finalized in March 2017.

“My children were my life,” Jason Worley said. “They were my everything.”

Google Maps captured some hilarious (and creepy) photos in Louisville

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Published: Aug. 3, 2018

By: Shannon Hall, Courier Journal

Google Maps, you’ve helped us a lot.

You let us see inside train stations with Google Street View, or visit Disney parks without leaving our homes. You even helped one man find the Indian village he wandered away from as a child.

But recently, some of the pictures in Louisville have cracked us up. See for yourself — just pull up Google Satellite on your phone app and check out River Road.

We found some hilarious, and creepy, photos on Google Maps that we just had to share. Take a look:

Where’s River Road?

That’s a good question.

Looks like Google’s most recent photos of Louisville were taken in February, when the Ohio River reached levels not seen since the devastating 1997 flood.

So now, according to Google, the area north of River Road is under water.

If you’re not from Louisville, don’t worry, River Road does exist. But Google has given us a nice memento for the time being.


No, it doesn’t end badly.

Shannon Ragland told the Courier Journal that his wife called him one August afternoon in 2012 to let him know that the Google car was on their block.

He figured — “Why not?” And then ran to grab … a rake. (Hey, we’re not judging.)

He chased the Google Street car with the rake raised over his head and has forever left his imprint on Google. It was in jest, he said, but he wishes he had more time to come up with something real good.

Related, kind of: Google wants more techies in Louisville, and it’s shelling out $100K

Unfortunately, Google has been on Ragland’s block again so the image isn’t the most recent one. But there’s a handy time lapse where you can see previous images captured in that spot.

“I think it was a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” he said.


If you’ve ever searched for a restaurant in Germantown, you may have stumbled upon Hammerheads on Google Maps. (Side note: The tiny restaurant tucked away in the neighborhood serves some delicious fries.)

But if you look at the right angle, there’s something you don’t see every day…

A shirtless man with an ax.

That’s what horror movies are made of, folks.

OK this is related: The brains behind Hammerheads aren’t slowing down


So you’ve finally found a family physician and you want to scope out the area. What do you do? Check out Google Street View.

Oops, sorry. You can’t see the building because — cement truck.


Finally, a person who found the Google car but didn’t grab a weird tool as a prop.

When the Google car made its way to St. Matthews Imports’ parking lot recently, someone got a little excited to see the camera. I wish we all could have that zest for life like this guy.

Good for you, man.

Shannon Hall: 502-582-4087;; Twitter: @sshall4  Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: 

EVSC administrator pleads guilty to DUI on school property

PUBLISHED: Aug. 31, 2017

BY: Shannon Hall, Courier & Press reporter

An Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. administrator pleaded guilty Monday to a drunken driving charge after her arrest last week on Harrison High School grounds.

Emily J. Smith-McCormick’s blood-alcohol level was 0.287 percent when she was arrested Aug. 25, according to court documents.

Smith-McCormick pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more and was ordered to the Vanderburgh County’s drug and alcohol deferral services program.

The conviction and sentencing will be dismissed if Smith-McCormick successfully completes the program.

Police were dispatched for a possible drunken driving run at about 6:45 p.m. on Aug. 25 in Harrison High School’s parking lot.

Witness told officers that they saw her driving around the parking lot. The officers arrived and saw Smith-McCormick in the driving seat.

She failed three standardized field-sobriety tests, according to a probable cause affidavit. Smith-McCormick was taken to a hospital and submitted a blood sample.

Smith-McCormick was named the EVSC’s director of instruction this summer.

She previously held the position of director of curriculum and response to intervention. In 2016, she was compensated almost $93,000, according to online state records.

EVSC spokesman Jason Woebkenberg said he couldn’t comment on personnel issues.

A message was left with her attorney seeking comment.

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EVSC sees thousands in unpaid school lunch balances

PUBLISHED: Aug. 12, 2017

BY: Shannon Hall, Courier & Press reporter

EVANSVILLE — The EVSC sees thousands of dollars in unpaid school lunch balances at the conclusion of every school year.

The Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation had more than $18,000 in unpaid student lunches at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. Continue reading “EVSC sees thousands in unpaid school lunch balances”

Tinkering with time: 94-year-old still fixing watches

PUBLISHED: Aug. 28, 2017

BY: Shannon Hall, Courier & Press reporter

BOONVILLE — Ralph Hutchinson has been blessed with time.

Time to spend with with his family. Time free of war. And time to work on watches.

Ralph celebrated his 94th birthday Sunday, but just because he’s been given time doesn’t mean he takes it for granted. Continue reading “Tinkering with time: 94-year-old still fixing watches”

EPD: Officer-involved shooting suspect threatened to ‘kill some cops’

Shortly before he was shot and killed by police on Tuesday night, Daniel Wooters was allegedly inside TGI Fridays threatening to “kill some cops.”

Police identified Wooters, 38, on Wednesday. He was shot by three officers after he reportedly advanced toward them on Morgan Avenue with a knife after allegedly stealing a police cruiser and leading officers on a short chase across part of the city’s East Side commercial district, according to police. Continue reading “EPD: Officer-involved shooting suspect threatened to ‘kill some cops’”

Zaxby’s employee receives anonymous gift card

PUBLISHED:  Aug. 31, 2017

BY: Shannon Hall, Courier & Press reporter

NEWBURGH — The Newburgh Zaxby’s had been open for one day. And it already experienced at least one wonderful customer.

636410687353037160-21728170-1911713392485360-8423715964595825439-n.jpgA woman stopped by the newly opened restaurant last week and one of the store’s employees, Noah White, held open the door for her. While the two exchanged a few words, the woman noticed his shoes had “seen better day.” Continue reading “Zaxby’s employee receives anonymous gift card”

Woman arrested for reportedly driving drunk with kid in car

PUBLISHED: Sept. 15, 2017

BY: Shannon Hall, Courier & Press reporter

A woman was arrested Thursday night for allegedly driving drunk with her 15-year-old son in her car.

Tricia D. Handley,46, was preliminary charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person less than 18 years old. Continue reading “Woman arrested for reportedly driving drunk with kid in car”