Examining the history of Beech Grove while highlighting businesses that are seemingly "Invisible" by others

Friday, September 28, 2018

Beech Grove native Lloyd Wright set to retire in 2019

Indianapolis, IN. (September 28, 2018) IBG — Longtime WFYI President and CEO Lloyd Wright, a native of Beech Grove is preparing to retire after 30 years at the helm of central Indiana’s public broadcasting stations. He announced his decision at today’s board of directors meeting and will remain in his position while working with the board in its search for his successor.

Lloyd Wright joined WFYI in 1988 as director of program production. (Photo: Provided by WFYI)

“I knew this day would eventually come,” Wright said. “I’ve been unbelievably fortunate to represent WFYI and public media all these years, and there’s no doubt I’ll miss it, but I’m looking forward to the next chapter of life while still being part of the WFYI family.”

Wright, 65, is the longest-serving station manager in Indianapolis. He joined WFYI in 1988 as director of Program Production before being appointed president and CEO the following year. Among his many achievements are:
• Transitioning the stations into the digital age, developing WFYI 1, WFYI 2 (PBS KIDS) and WFYI 3 (Create) for television; 90.1 FM HD1 (NPR) and 90.2 FM HD2 – The Point for radio and online; and wfyi.org
• Adjusting the 90.1 FM format to meet audience demand for NPR news content; the station now boasts the two largest news/talk radio programs in the country with “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered”
• Growing the station’s operational budget by 450 percent and membership to 25,000
• Implementing strategies to tell important Indiana stories through programs like “Across Indiana,” “Communities Building Community with Judy O’Bannon,” “Indiana Week In Review,” “Attucks:  The School That Opened a City” and “Eva”
• Leading station staff efforts that have earned more than 120 regional Emmys and four “Station of Excellence” awards, something no other area station has done
• Increasing WFYI’s local journalism efforts to fill a void in the market
• Relocating the station in 2008 to its current modern facility at 1630 N. Meridian St.
• Developing dozens of community partnerships
• Leading three capital campaigns that raised more than $34 million

“Lloyd Wright has expertly led WFYI through incredible growth and extraordinary changes over the last three decades,” WFYI Board Chairman Michael Heaton said. “He’s expanded our audience, grown our membership and has always shown remarkable integrity and character. We wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement, and we know he’ll continue to be one of WFYI’s greatest ambassadors for years to come.”

Wright was inducted into the Indiana Broadcasters Association Pioneers Hall of Fame in 2013 and has received numerous other local and national awards. He is well respected by his peers around the country having served four three-year terms on the PBS Board of Directors and as a Chair Emeritus of the American Public Television (APT) Board of Directors.

"Throughout his extraordinary career with WFYI, Lloyd Wright has demonstrated a deep commitment to the mission of public media,” PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said. “We at PBS are especially appreciative of Lloyd’s leadership and his many contributions to the public broadcasting system, including his service on the PBS Board of Directors. Lloyd is an inspiration to all of us fortunate to call him colleague and friend."

Wright is a Beech Grove native who, upon graduation from Indiana University, began his professional career as director of instructional broadcasting with the Indiana Department of Education. That eventually led to positions with the IU News Bureau and then WTTW-TV in Chicago before he joined WFYI in May 1988.

Among his many awards and recognitions are two Sagamore of the Wabash honors, the highest award given by the governor to recognize distinguished service to the state of Indiana.

“Lloyd has long been a community pillar and an exceptional leader with a passion for the educational aspect of public broadcasting,” Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said. “He has done so much to help prepare children for school and adults alike for lifelong learning.  He is simply one of Indiana’s finest, ever.”

The search is now on to find Wright’s successor. Heaton said the board will conduct a national search, which could take several months, and Wright will stay on to ensure a smooth transition of duties.

In Wright’s honor, WFYI today announced the creation of the Lloyd Wright Legacy Fund, which will support future unique Indiana storytelling programming at the station. The new fund will be tied to the station’s upcoming 50th anniversary in October 2020.

“I’m honored and humbled to have a worthwhile cause live on in my name,” Wright said. “I have so many people to thank for their support of me and WFYI over these many years.  I especially appreciate the dedication of our talented, award-winning staff and our dedicated volunteers who helped to found the station in 1970."

“I believe public media is a crucial part of any community, and to be a part of building it in my hometown over all these years is extremely gratifying, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity.”


Friday, August 31, 2018

Recruiters eye Hornet Josh Fryar

Beech Grove, Indiana (August 31, 2018) — Prospect Josh Fryar, a  6'4" 259 pound Offensive Lineman is the No. 1 center in the 2020 recruiting class in the early going and will start the 2018 season with a visit to Iowa State.

Fryar also holds offers from the likes of Indiana (where his father played), Purdue and Cincinnati.

Josh Fryar

Fryar was accepted to be at Purdue this past Thursday for its opener and is considering trips to Iowa, Indiana and Toledo throughout the month of September. 

SOURCE: Des Moines Register

Friday, August 10, 2018

Beech Grove, Indiana sex offender caught in Ohio

Beech Grove, Indiana (August 10, 2018) — An Ohio County sheriff’s deputy on Sunday arrested a convicted sex offender from Indiana who was reportedly taking photos of juveniles participating in a swim meet for athletes up to 14 years old at the Spire Institute athletic complex.

James F. Renick, 69, of 56 S. Third Ave., Beech Grove, Indiana, faces one second-degree misdemeanor count of obstructing justice in Western County Court for reportedly providing a false identity when confronted by the deputy.

Mug Shot: James F. Renick

One of the swim meet officials contacted county authorities after Renick made confusing statements about his reason for being at the meet. Officials said Renick was wearing a photographer’s vest and carried professional cameras. They’d previously seen him at swim meets at Cleveland State University, Columbus and Canton, as well as Indiana University-Perdue University in Indianapolis, Indiana.

“(An official) told me that James was instructed to only take pictures of the children while they were in a certain area of the water and not while they (were) waiting in the dive area,” the deputy wrote in his report. “(The official) and I both observed James taking pictures of the children while they were standing in a restricted area.”

When approached by the deputy, Renick reportedly gave the deputy a fake name and date of birth. The county dispatcher checking that information was unable to return any police records, the report states.

Renick “appeared very nervous, his hands began to shake and he fumbled with removing SD cards from his camera and switching it with another,” the report states. Renick’s reasons for attending the event changed multiple times while speaking with the deputy, he noted.

“I told James that I didn’t believe a word he was saying,” the deputy wrote. “James said he would just leave the facility.”

When asked, Renick also denied being a registered sex offender or under any conditions preventing him from being around children. Upon exiting the complex, however, Renick produced his driver’s license and dispatchers learned he is a registered sex offender for life.

Renick, a former TV news reporter, pleaded guilty in 1996 to molesting two boys under the age of 10 in Pennsylvania, and served six years in a Pennsylvania state prison.

According to The (Allentown) Morning Call, authorities conducting a June 1995 search of Renick’s Pennsylvania home found “thousands of photographs of young boys naked and in bathing suits” as well as other sexually explicit material.

Sex Offender Data Sheet: James F. Renick

The Ashtabula County deputy on Sunday searched three of Renick’s camera memory cards and while they had many images of children at sporting events, none of the images were sexually explicit or involved nudity, the report states.

In 2015, 13 years after he was released from prison, Renick was caught with camera equipment outside his Indiana home and sentenced to an additional two years of probation for breaking a condition of his release, according to The (Scranton) Times-Tribune.

Renick remains in the Ashtabula County jail. He pleaded not guilty Monday in Western County Court, where his bond was set at $25,000 or 10 percent cash or surety, with the condition that he have no contact with children or photography equipment. A court hearing date is set for Aug. 21 in that court.

Court records do not list an attorney for Renick.

Search for sex offenders in your area: Indiana Sex and Violent Offender Registry  

SOURCE: Star Beacon