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May: Granger Becomes Ninja Warrior; Million Dollar Conspiracy; Mitchell Mail Carrier Arrested; Groundbreaking For Plaza Drive South; Man Guilty Of Causing Fatal Crash
Updated December 31, 2015 8:37 AM
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PJ Granger
beth Dumond.jpg
Beth Dumond
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Groundbreaking Plaza Drive South
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Rodger Wilson Jr.

(UNDATED) - In May, PJ Granger became a Ninja Warrior, a Bedford man and son were sentenced in million dollar conspiracy, a Mitchell mail carrier was arrested after stealing mail, there was a groundbreaking for Plaza Drive South and a Bloomfield man was found guilty of causing a fatal crash.

PJ Granger Wins Spot On American Ninja Warrior

May 19, PJ Granger of Bedford won a spot on Esquire Network's and NBC's heart-racing competition series, American Ninja Warrior. Granger learned he made it to the regional qualifications.

In August, Hometown hero PJ Granger headed to Las Vegas to compete but he fell on the course. He plans to return this coming year.

Bedford Man And Son Sentenced In Million Dollar Conspiracy

A Bedford man was sentenced to 33-months in prison and his son was given one year and a day sentenced. 52-year-old Roger Hardin and his so, 26-year-old Zachary Hardin, along with former Bloomington engineering project manager 44-year-old Justin Wykoff, bilked more than $440,000 from Bloomington city coffers.

According to court documents in the case, of the $807,000 the city paid to Reliable Concrete from 2011 to 2014, $300,000 was for work that never was done.

Investigators say the three tried to conceal their crimes by creating false concrete bid proposals after officials discovered money was missing and jobs had not been completed.

Federal agents arrested all three men in March 2014 and charged them with a plot overcharging the city for concrete work and then splitting the cash among themselves. Each man was charged with 24 counts of embezzlement, one count of conspiracy to commit a federal crime, 10 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Wykoff pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and 10 counts of wire fraud and in June 2015, was sentenced to 55-months in prison, followed by three years on probation.

Both Hardins cooperated with investigators, according to a plea agreement, which reduced the severity of the sentences imposed Monday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis. They pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

52-year-old Roger Hardin will be on parole for three years after he gets out of jail and his son will serve two years on supervised release.

Roger and his son agreed to turn over to the government $89,592.60 that was in their Reliable Concrete Co. checking account at the time of their arrests last year.

Zachary Hardin has moved out and forfeited ownership of a house at 918 Patton Hill Road in Bedford and also submitted a $5,449 bid bond check toward his part of the restitution.

The plea deals call for a total of $446,335.26 in restitution to the City of Bloomington. All three men are collectively responsible for paying back the money.

Mitchell Mail Carrier Sentenced To Probation After Pleading Guilty To Stealing Mail

A Mitchell mail carrier accused of stealing customers' mail will spend a year on probation. 53-year-old Beth Dumond of Williams, who worked for the U.S. Postal Service for about 20 years, pleaded guilty to official misconduct in a plea agreement.

In May 2014, USPS OIG Special Agents from the Indianapolis Resident Office began receiving complaints from Postal Service customers located in and around Mitchell that Dumond was opening their mail and taking items like gift cards for herself.

City Of Bedford & Mayor Shawna Girgis Break Ground On Plaza Drive South

On May 20, Mayor Shawna Girgis and City of Bedford officials held the official groundbreaking for the Plaza Drive South project just east of the Cambridge Square Apartments.

The event marks the culmination of nearly 20 years of efforts that first began under the leadership of Mayor John Williams when the first piece of property was acquired for the project.

The Plaza Drive South Project will bring new north and south access to Highway 37 and creates a place for future growth and development within the City of Bedford.

Bloomfield Man Found Guilty Of Causing Fatal Accident

29-year-old Rodger Wilson Jr. was found guilty May 21 of causing the accident that killed 71-year-old Bob Cramer of Bloomington on Ind. 45 on April 30, 2014.

According to a Bloomfield Police report, in April of 2014, Cramer was traveling east on State Road 45 when Wilson's 2006 Ford F-150 crossed the center line and struck Cramer's 1986 Honda Goldwing motorcycle head-on.

Wilson and his 33-year-old passenger, Lea Wilson, were not injured during the incident.

Evidence presented during the 3-day trial indicated Wilson was impaired that morning under the influence of Xanax that he had reportedly snorted two hours before the crash,.

Wilson was sentenced June 16, to seven years in prison with one year suspended.

Former Sheriff Sam Craig To Serve On Lawrence County Council

In May, the Republican Party voted to elect former Sheriff Sam Craig to replace Jason Mullis as the District 4 member of the Lawrence County Council.

Mullis resigned from the post after he accepted a job in Alabama.

State Board Of Public Health Banned Bird Movement Due To H5 Avian Flu Virus

The Indiana State Board of Public Health banned all bird movements in the state to prevent the potential exposure to the H5 avian flu virus.

This included shows, exhibitions and public sales (such as flea markets, swap meets, sale barns). The action did not apply to private sales between individuals.

"This was not a decision made lightly," said Indiana State Veterinarian Bret D. Marsh, DVM. "The spread of the H5 viruses has been unprecedented, and our goal is to protect the health of small, backyard poultry flocks as much as our commercial industry from this disease."

Locally, this cancelled the poultry show at the Lawrence County 4-H Fair, because of fears of a threat to local flocks.

The ban was lifted September 17.

Swanson Named Indiana Conservation Officer Of The Year

In May, Indiana Conservation Officer Officer Greg Swanson of Greene County, was awarded the James D. Pitzer Award - 2014 Indiana Conservation Officer of the Year.

The James D. Pitzer Award is the highest sought after award for an Indiana Conservation Officer and with his family by his side, Greg received this award humbly. This award was named after Indiana Conservation Officer James D. Pitzer who was shot and killed in the line of duty.

In April of 2014, Greg's peers voted him as their Peer Support Officer for District Five. In short, the officers in District Five felt he would be the most trustworthy, understanding, and helpful person to turn to during their times of need.

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