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Bloomington Herald-Times

October 14, 2010

1 IU bicyclist now in good condition after 3 Cutters hit by car on Indiana 446
By Christy Mullins and Abby Tonsing
October 13, 2010, last update: 10/14 @ 8:35 am

Morning update

The most seriously injured of the three Cutters bicyclists hit by a car on Ind. 446 Wednesday evening is listed in good condition this morning at Bloomington Hospital. The other two injured cyclists have been treated and released from the hospital.

Initially transported by ambulance to Bloomington Hospital in critical condition with a leg injury, 19-year-old rookie Cutter rider Eric Brodell is listed in good condition this morning, according to hospital spokeswoman Amanda Roach.

His teammates Eric Young and Michael Schroeder, both 21, have been treated and released, Roach said.

A fourth Cutters rider with the group, Thomas Walsh, was not hit or injured.

The four cyclists, riding two abreast, were pedaling south on Ind. 446 about 5 p.m. Wednesday, when a Honda Accord headed north lost control and crossed the center line near Red Oak Lane, striking the riders.

Driving too fast on wet pavement is the primary cause of the accident, according to Chief Deputy Mike Pershing of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

"The driver of the vehicle went around the curve and because of the road conditions lost control," Pershing said this morning.

Speed was a factor in the accident in that 24-year-old Stephen Torrance "was driving beyond his means with the wet road conditions," Pershing said. "He was driving at a speed in excess of the road conditions."

Torrance was cited by police for driving left of center.

Tests administered by police at the scene of the accident determined alcohol was not a factor in the accident, Pershing said.

-- Reported by Abby Tonsing


A Cutters bicyclist was listed in critical condition Wednesday night after he and two other riders were hit by a car on Ind. 446.

All three had been conditioning to race in Indiana University's annual Little 500 next spring. The defending champion Cutters have won the men's race the past four years and 11 times overall.

The rider listed in critical condition is Eric Brodell, 19, who was struck head-on and suffered a serious leg injury, said Chief Deputy Mike Pershing with the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

Brodell was taken first by ambulance to Bloomington Hospital, then to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, likely for surgery.

Eric Young and Michael Schroeder, both 21, also were hit. Young and Schroeder both were listed in good condition Wednesday night at Bloomington Hospital.

A fourth Cutters bicyclist, Thomas Walsh, was not hit or injured. Walsh, 20, sat wrapped in sheets and towels Wednesday while emergency workers surveyed the crash.

Preliminary accident reports show the bicyclists were pedaling south on Ind. 446, riding two abreast, when a black, older Honda Accord being driven in the opposite direction by 24-year-old Stephen Torrance skidded left of the center line near Red Oak Lane and hit three of the cyclists around 5 p.m.

Brodell and Walsh were riding side-by-side in front. Walsh missed the car, but Brodell was the first to collide, leaving spiderweb cracks across the entire windshield and denting the top of the vehicle.

The car then struck Young and Schroeder, who both were treated later for several bruises and abrasions. Young complained of shoulder and elbow pain and Schroeder reported ankle pains and upper body soreness, reports indicated.

The car's driver and his female passenger were not injured.

Police cited Torrance for driving left of center. Pershing said Torrance also appeared to be driving too fast for the condition of the road, which was wet and covered in slick leaves from Wednesday's scattered storms.

Torrance declined to comment at the scene, shaking his head in silence.

Walsh, shivering under his towels, said he hopes the Cutters, an eight-man team, can move on.

"I feel for (Eric Brodell)," he said. "He's a rookie, same as me. A good, young rider. The other two have been big parts of the Cutters for years."

The popular, independent team is named for the fictional "townie" bike team that won the race in the 1979 movie "Breaking Away," which was based on IU's Little 500 and filmed in Bloomington.

Walsh said the group had been riding for about 45 minutes before Wednesday's crash. His bike was the only one unscathed, and he got off it standing. Three other bikes lay in pieces on the roadside, one with its front wheel twisted, back wheel deflated and the fork sawed in half.

Still, Walsh said, "we might be lucky."

IU files lawsuit over loss of funding for Hilltop Gardens
Archer Foundation's move to broaden its scope challenged
By Laura Lane
October 14, 2010, last update: 10/14 @ 12:29 am

Indiana University and its foundation are suing a group that for many years has supported the university's Hilltop Garden, saying it is misusing money left to the children's gardening program by an elderly man of limited means who quietly saved more than $600,000 that he left to IU to support the children's gardening program at Hilltop.

In his will, George E. Archer bequeathed his life savings to the IU Foundation "for the general support of Hilltop Garden and Nature Center of Indiana University." He hoped the money would be used to help children learn to love gardening and nature as he had.

But a lawsuit filed Tuesday claims the Hilltop Educational Foundation changed its name to the George E. Archer Foundation and its mission to be "a public benefit corporation organized to help boys and girls learn about gardening," with no stipulation that such support should be at Hilltop.

The change, according to the lawsuit, means "the purpose of the George E. Archer Foundation is no longer consistent with the terms of the charitable bequest left by Mr. Archer."

Gardening foundation officials announced in September that the foundation was expanding its reach beyond Hilltop into eight south-central Indiana counties -- Bartholomew, Brown, Greene, Jackson, Lawrence, Monroe, Morgan and Owen, where it would consider awarding children's gardening education grants.

Archer Foundation president Judith Granbois said at that time that the expansion marked a shift in direction that began with the name change in April. That, foundation officials said, was in honor of the reclusive gardener whose bequest was such a surprise and delight.

Hilltop and its IU management team have come under harsh criticism from some foundation members and others in the community for what they see as neglect of Hilltop's central mission -- to educate children in gardening -- citing a sharp decline the number of local kids participating in Hilltop's summer gardening programs and a lack of communication among its problems.

Granbois said the foundation's new direction was not an abandonment of Hilltop but was in keeping with the foundation's mission to teach kids about gardening.

IU landscape architect Mia Williams, whose office has been put in charge of Hilltop, told the newspaper in September that she would only support such an expansion if it met the stated goals in Archer's will. A university attorney said at the time that IU was checking on whether this new direction fit the wording of the document.

The IU Foundation has asked that the entire amount of the fund be returned, but Archer foundation board members have refused to turn the money over, the lawsuit states. Lawyers for IU also are asking Monroe Circuit Judge Michael Hoff to issue an injunction to keep the Archer foundation from spending any of the money until the lawsuit is settled.

They say the money must be transferred, and if it is not, IU will be deprived "of funds to support property which may result in irreparable damage to Indiana University" and to Hilltop.

Granbois said Wednesday she and the board will meet with their lawyer on Friday and that she could not comment on the lawsuit.

IU student pushed down, robbed, on Clarizz Boulevard
By Christy Mullins
October 14, 2010, last update: 10/13 @ 4:01 pm

An Indiana University student reported she was pushed to the ground and robbed in an east side neighborhood Tuesday night.

Around 9:15 p.m., the 19-year-old victim was walking along Clarizz Boulevard when someone pushed her to the ground and took the items she dropped on the sidewalk, Bloomington police Sgt. Jeff Canada said.

Stolen was $400 in cash, a phone charger and some keys, according to a police report.

The suspect did not use a weapon, and the victim did not report injuries.