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November: Branham Elected New Sheriff, Fire Guts Loogootee, Town Marshal Arrested
Updated December 31, 2014 8:00 AM
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(UNDATED) - Michael Branham won the Lawrence County sheriff race.

On January 1, he will replace current Sheriff Sam Craig, who has served two consecutive terms and, by state law,
could not run again.

Branham received 6,164 votes; Independent candidate John C. Sherrill received 1,866 votes; Democrat candidate Bill Allen received 1,495 votes, with Libertarian candidate Darin S. Kinser taking 211 votes.

Fire Guts Loogootee

More than 100 firefighters from 10 different fire departments battled a blaze on the Loogootee Square.

Officials reported that a glue gun sparked the fire at Rosie's T-Shirt Shop, located at 215 N. JFK Avenue. The fire spread to two other shops including Laurie's Flowers and His and Hers Beauty Salon.

The wind blew embers south from the three destroyed downtown businesses to a fourth business named Englert's Home Comfort Center and several upstairs apartments were damaged.

Rosie's T-Shirt Shop and Laurie's Flowers were a total loss.

Officials say no one was injured during or while battling the blaze.

At one point, officials used a front loader to knock down the wall of His and Hers Beauty Salon to get to the fire inside.

Other businesses that were impacted by the fire include: Cartridge Depot, Ippoliti Law Office and M & M Electric, Inc.

Oolitic Deputy Marshal Arrested

Oolitic Deputy Marshal Bill Allen was arrested on three felony counts of child molesting.

Bill Allen was booked into the Lawrence County jail and then released after posting 10 percent ($10,000) of a $100,000 bond. He turned himself in without incident.

Allen pleaded not guilty to the crime in December and denied the allegations.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Lawrence County Superior Court II, Allen is accused of having sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 14, did perform or submit to deviate sexual conduct and did arouse or satisfy his sexual desires with the child.

Stanley Levoc, special prosecutor acting for the Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office, received the following report from Indiana State Police Detective Brad Stille.

According to Detective Stille on or about October 17, he was contacted by the Greene County Department of Child Services regarding a complaint against Allen.

The allegation was that Allen had been involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with the then 11-year-old.

The girl, now 16, in an interview at the Comfort House Child Advocacy Center in Corydon, told investigators that when she was around 10-years-old, Bill Allen began sexually abusing her. The girl reported that the acts took place in a home in Lawrence County.

The girl says the abuse started with Allen allegedly touching her breast and later having her perform oral sex and manual stimulation on Allen. The girl told police that this took place more than once between the ages of 10 and 14.

The girl claims that when she turned 13, Allen had sexual intercourse with her. She told police the last time that happened was when she was 14 when she learned in health class about "sex" and then told Allen she did not want to '"do this" anymore.

The girl's brother told police that the girl was Allen's "favorite" and that he was suspicious of the amount of time Allen was spending with his sister.

He told police that Allen would take the girl into his room and spend time alone with her.

The mother of the girl confronted Allen about the allegations one day after church when the girl told her mother about the alleged abuse.

The mother also told investigators that about four or five years ago, Allen had purchased a personal massage device and began talking to the girl about her sexuality. The mother allegedly told Allen she didn't feel that was appropriate.

A friend of the teen also was interviewed by police and stated her friend had told her about the sexual abuse.

Allen has been suspended from duty with pay pending the results of the criminal investigation.

Paoli Man Shot and Killed After Breaking Into Home

A Paoli man was shot and killed after he broke into a home in Hardinsburg and was shot by the homeowner.

According to an Indiana State Police report, 23-year-old Jacob Grimes broke into a home in the 700 block of South County Road 700 East.

The homeowners, brothers 59-year-old Barry Frost and 61-year-old Terah Frost, heard someone break into the home and rushed to their mother's room to check on her and make sure she was safe.

The two men then went downstairs to investigate and found the door busted but could not find anyone in the home.

The two then went looking for tools to repair the door. Barry opened the cellar door and that is when Grimes punched Barry and there was a physical altercation.

Terah, who was in the other room, heard the fight and came to assist. That is when he found his brother fighting with
a man in a hooded sweatshirt with a bandana over his face and yielding a knife.

Terah retrieved a handgun and shot Grimes, who died at the scene.

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