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March 2017: 11 Limestone Benches Placed Around Courthouse; Mitchell High School Stingerz Take State Title
Updated January 2, 2018 9:13 AM
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(UNDATED) - In March, 11 limestone benches were placed around the Lawrence County Courthouse, Mitchell High School Stingerz takes state titles, Amber Voigtschild placed in the top 10 out of 64 county finalists at the Kentucky Derby Festival's spelling bee and a Bloomington man was convicted of killing his infant daughter.

Mitchell Stingerz Take State Championship

The Mitchell High School Stingerz took the state championship in New Castle in Jazz and Kick competition. The team was undefeated in their Jazz routine, which was choreographed by a University of Minnesota dance alumnus. It is the first time in 16 years for the team to take first in Kick.

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The girls are coached by Michelle Zehr. Brittany Crosby serves as the pom and assistant dance coach.

The junior high team placed second in jazz and third in Pom.

Their coach is Erica Slaughter with the help of assistant coach Ann-Michaelle Ray.

Benches Placed Around Courthouse

Eleven limestone benches were placed around the Bedford Courthouse thanks to generous sponsors. Indiana Cut Stone fabricated the benches. Tri County Builders and LC Bridge Crew did the installation. On the south side of the courthouse crews placed all the memorial benches.

Amber Voightschild Places Top 10 At Kentucky Derby Festival's Spelling Bee

Amber Voigtschild placed in the top 10 out of 64 county finalists at the Kentucky Derby Festival's spelling bee.


Voigtschild is home schooled and was named the Lawrence County Champion during the 43rd Annual Lawrence County Spelling Bee at Shafer Auditorium. That win earned her a spot to compete at the 2017 Derby Festival Spelling Bee at the Kentucky Center for The Arts.

After successfully spelling the words "seascape", "recant", "abolition", "diphthong" and "somnambulism" she misspelled the word "plagiarism".

Winning the competition was returning champion Tara Singh of Louisville.

Voigtschild is the daughter of Kathy and Brent Voigtschild of Bedford. She represented Lawrence County last year where she was a second place finisher.

Jury Convicts Man In Death Of Daughter

A jury convicted 34-year-old Robierre Jomo Kenya McNiel on March 8th of killing his two-month-old infant daughter Kenya Roase Smith-Barton. He was sentenced in April 2017 to 40 years in prison.


The baby died Sunday, May 29, 2016 after medical personnel attempted for more than 45 minutes to revive the baby in the emergency room at IU Health Hospital Bloomington .

According to a forensic pathologist, the baby suffered two fractures to the back of her skull and subdural hemorrhaging of the brain caused from blunt force trauma to her head.

McNeil testified that he did not hurt the baby, but that he fell down while holding the baby. McNeil told police that he blamed himself for his daughter's death, but told police that he did not kill her.

Police say McNeil failed to physically check on Kenya, did not get her medical care when he thought she was having trouble breathing and left her in a swing without feeding her for more than 7 hours.

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