News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

July 15, 2013

Ride to remember: 11th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors makes stop in Terre Haute

Greene County native Timothy Betts one of the officers honored this year

TERRE HAUTE — The familiar flashing blue and red lights shone from police cars and motorcycles along Indiana 63 on Sunday evening as they escorted 14 cyclists completing day 7 of an annual 13-day ride.

Cops Cycling for Survivors — now in its 11th year — is a 13-day, 1,000-mile bicycle tour of Indiana.

The cyclists — Indiana law enforcement officers, their families and friends — traveled along Indiana 63 from Kentland on their way to the Terre Haute Police Department before staying the night at Indiana State University’s Sandison Hall.

 The group’s stop at Terre Haute comes a few days after the second anniversary of the death of Terre Haute Police Officer Brent D. Long, who was shot and killed while serving a warrant in Terre Haute’s near-north side. The ride honored Long last year.

Following the cyclists is a support truck with the pictures of the two officers being honored by the ride this year. The images of Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts were printed above the words, “Riding to Remember.” Also on the truck are handwritten messages from the people the group met along the way.

According to a release, Meux was killed instantly after being struck in a hit and run crash while on a training run around the perimeter of the Lake County Jail. Three co-workers were also injured in the crash.

The U.S. Marine Corps veteran is survived by her daughter, mother, father and four sisters.

Locally, wounds are still fresh with the loss of Greene County native Timothy Betts last year.

According to a release, Betts collapsed while escorting an unruly prisoner to the segregation unit after responding to a cell house incident at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. It was later determined that he suffered from a heart attack. He was 51.

Betts started his career at WVCF in 1997. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

The cyclists ride with these survivors in mind, but not all the cyclists are in law enforcement.

Clay County native Jennifer Latham Simon says she is a friend of law enforcement.

“It’s one way that I could show support for all the work, dedication and sacrifice that the people of law enforcement and their families give to the community,” the assistant principal at Greencastle High School said. This was her first year participating in the ride.

“Schools rely so much on police, fire and other public servants that can come to our assistance,” Simon said.

Simon said the best part of the ride is “meeting families … and learning about their stories.” She said the most challenging part is “being away from home.”

Sgt. Tim Finnerty of the Merrillville Police Department has been participating on the ride for 10 years and “meeting people along the way is the climax” of the tour for him.

Despite the weather and physical challenges, “it’s worthwhile when you see these survivors,” he said.

Finnerty’s inspiration for completing the ride are the survivors and his fellow riders.

The tour wants to reach out to communities and survivors across the state.

Rich Crawford, president of Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation Inc. said they are visiting communities across Indiana on their bicycle because “we want them to pause and reflect” on the lives of the officers Indiana lost “and remember the families that were left behind.”

The tour aims to raise awareness about the sacrifices made by Hoosier law enforcement families across Indiana. This year, 51 cyclists registered for the event but they are participating in different legs of the ride. There are some that are participating in the whole tour, however. Each cyclist should raise $50 each day they are participating, organizers said, and the group receives donations across the state.

 The funds raised from the event are used to help surviving family members of officers killed in the line of duty. The cycling event has raised more than $300,000 for IN Concerns for Police Survivors, according to Cops Cycling for Survivors Foundation Inc.

“It’s amazing how many people support us,” Crawford said, adding that many people have donated food and shelter while they are on tour. He also said that people can donate on their website at

The tour started July 8 with a departure ceremony at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial in Indianapolis. The ride is scheduled to conclude on July 20 at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Crawford said the group traveled 103 miles Sunday, their longest day on the tour.

But it was also an emotional day because along the way, they visited the crash site where two of their fellow riders lost their lives in 2006. Lt. Gary Dudley of the Indiana State Police and Retired Chief Gary Martin of the Lake County Police Department were both killed when a large box truck struck the rear of the support truck, pushing it into the cyclists.

“I was there when it happened,” said Stephen W. Knight of the Indianapolis Metro Police and board member of the foundation.

He said Dudley and Martin were his inspiration for completing every mile of the ride. Accompanied at the tour by his wife, Jeannie, Knight said the families of those who died “won’t be forgotten.”

Cops Cycling for Survivors plans a stop at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility — their first at the facility — Monday afternoon, before proceeding to Princeton.

“We are very honored to have been chosen by Cops Cycling for Survivors and very honored that they’re recognizing our fellow Officer Betts,” said Rich Larsen, WVCF public information officer.

Members of Betts’ family will be attending the “very special, memorable occasion,” Larsen said.

The Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon will take part in a brief ceremony. Larsen said a $500 donation will be given to the group from the WVCF Inside Out Dads & PLUS programs.

“It’s going to be a day to remember for the facility and for his [Betts] family,” Larsen said.

Tribune-Star reporter Dianne Frances D. Powell can be reached at 812-231-4299 or


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • Ethics panel considers $5K fine against Bennett

    Indiana’s State Ethics Commission will decide whether to accept a proposed settlement with former state schools Superintendent Tony Bennett that fines him $5,000 for using state resources for his 2012 campaign.

    July 10, 2014

  • Group: 5,000 same-sex marriages in Illinois

    A survey indicates thousands of same-sex couples are marrying in Illinois.

    July 10, 2014

  • Study: Hunting restores forests in state parks

    A study by a Purdue University research team has found that regulated deer hunts in Indiana state parks have helped restore forests damaged by too many white-tailed deer.

    July 10, 2014

  • MET070914 house exterior.jpg Historic Ohio Boulevard house inspired by 1948 Cary Grant movie

    Spurred in 1948 by a newly released movie staring Cary Grant and Myrna Loy, coupled with a growing post-World War II housing market, General Electric partnered with Hollywood’s RKO Studios to build “dream homes” throughout the country.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Detour ahead

    A panel of public and private officials is calling for $10 billion in projects to upgrade Indiana’s aging roads and bridges, but its members concede there’s no money to pay for it all.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 barrels.jpg MARK BENNETT: Making road work a barrel of fun for drivers

    We’re lucky orange barrels can’t talk.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • City Council to take up city finances tonight

    The Terre Haute City Council will have a chance in a special meeting tonight to delve deeply into the city’s financial health. However, council members are being asked to avoid raising the most controversial subject of recent weeks: The city’s use of Redevelopment Commission tax increment finance (TIF) money.

    July 9, 2014

  • Bennett accepts $5,000 fine in ethics settlement

    Former Indiana Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett has agreed to pay $5,000 as part of a settlement with Indiana’s ethics watchdog in which he admits to using state resources for campaign work but is cleared of formal ethics violations in the grade-change scandal that cost him his job as Florida’s schools chief last year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vermillion Jail trusties face new charges

    Two former inmate trusties at the Vermillion County Jail face new criminal charges after a recently discovered security breach at the jail.

    July 9, 2014

  • Lawrence police acquire armored military vehicle

    A central Indiana city has acquired an armored military vehicle for use in highly dangerous situations.

    July 9, 2014

  • Free carwash for law enforcement

    Mike’s Carwash locations in Central Indiana, including Terre Haute, will honor the sacrifice of IMPD Officer Perry Renn and thank all those who serve and protect our communities with a free carwash for police and emergency personnel today and Friday.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana agencies told to ignore gay marriages

    Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s office is telling state agencies act as if no gay marriages had been performed during three days following a federal court order.

    July 9, 2014

  • State reports West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials confirmed the first signs of West Nile virus activity in Indiana for 2014. Mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. There have been no reported cases of West Nile virus in humans in the state this year.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana education board faces contentious meeting

    Indiana’s State Board of Education is gearing up for another showdown between Democratic schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s appointees and staff.
    The board is set to consider a pair of resolutions dealing with control of the board during a meeting Wednesday.

    July 9, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 9, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on jail records.

    July 9, 2014

  • Indiana getting $849,000 for outdoor projects

    Indiana is receiving $849,000 to use toward outdoor recreation and conservation projects.

    July 9, 2014

  • Semi fire halts I-70 traffic in Putnam County

    A fire in a semi tractor-trailer temporarily closed eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Putnam County on Tuesday evening.

    July 9, 2014

  • I&M proposes five solar facilities in two states

    Indiana Michigan Power plans to seek permission to build five solar generating facilities in the two states it serves.

    July 9, 2014

  • MET070814 voice four.jpg Hitting a high note

    A 17-year-old from Casey, Ill., won “The Voice of the Valley” Tuesday night, singing and shaking his hips and legs to an Elvis Presley song, then wooing the grandstand audience at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds with a country tune.

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • MET 070814 STORM STAUNTON.jpg Clay County residents clean up debris, get power back

    Several power outages still affected hundreds of Duke Energy customers on Tuesday, more than 24 hours after storms and strong winds swept through west-central Indiana, leaving a swath of damage in the Staunton, Brazil and Center Point areas.

    July 9, 2014 4 Photos

  • MET 052106 EVANBAYH ADDRESS.jpg Return to Indiana?

    Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Planning under way for 2014 Downtown Block Party

    Wabash Avenue will be full of activity Aug. 23 as the 2014 Downtown Terre Haute Block Party takes over five city blocks in a celebration of music, food and events.

    July 8, 2014

  • MET 070814 CATHOLIC WARE.jpg Guys give food bank a lift

    A $14,000 donation Tuesday from Guys Who Give enables Catholic Charities to be at nearly 75 percent of its $2.5 million goal to purchase and operate a new, larger food bank near Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field.

    July 8, 2014 2 Photos

  • wilson,robert.jpg ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A man sought by the Vermillion County Sheriff's Department has been nabbed by police in Indianapolis.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • eBus brings financial empowerment to town

    A 40-foot long mobile classroom is scheduled to roll  into Terre Haute today, carrying what its sponsors call “financial empowerment.”

    July 8, 2014

  • Elderly woman accused of killing 89-year-old husband

    An 83-year-old woman, described as "a loose cannon" by her landlord, has been arrested in this Buffalo suburb for beating her 89-year-old husband to death.

    July 8, 2014

  • wilson,robert.jpg BREAKING: ‘Dangerous’ suspect in police custody

    A suspect police considered “armed and dangerous” is now in custody in Marion County.
    Robert Wilson is facing local charges there and has a hold on him for Vermillion County, according to Vermillion County Sheriff Robert J. Spence.

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 051713 BAYH SMILE.jpg Former governor Bayh weighs decision to run again

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Evan Bayh is keeping Indiana Democrats on hold.
    Party loyalists longing for a political savior to retake the governor's office have been waiting on Bayh ever since he abruptly decided to leave the U.S. Senate and political life three years ago.

    July 8, 2014 3 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 8, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.

    July 8, 2014

  • Update: Silver Alert for Lawrence man canceled

    The city of Lawrence Police Department has canceled a Silver Alert issued earlier this morning.

    July 8, 2014

Latest News Poll
AP Video
Argentina to Face Germany in World Cup Final Kim Kardashian Hits Up Valentino Show in Paris Israeli Offensive Escalates in Gaza Attack Raw: 10-year Sentence for Ex-New Orleans Mayor Police: Prostitute Accused in Overdose Death Service Held for 200 Whose Bodies Went Unclaimed Raw: Rocket Explodes Over Israeli Wedding "Hotwives" Spoofs Reality TV Dodgers Found Partly Responsible in Fan Beating Sterling Testifies in Los Angeles Clippers Trial Froome Crashes Out on Bumpy 5th Tour Stage Typhoon Nears Japan's Main Islands Raw: Brazil Fans Cry After World Cup Loss Raw: World's Tallest Water Slide Opens Thursday Obama: 'Photo Ops' Won't Solve Border Crisis Dozens Gain Citizenship As Debate Continues Weaver Reprises Ripley Role for 'Alien' Game World's Tallest Water Slide: See It for Yourself APNewsBreak: Different Attackers in Benghazi? Obama Talks Economy, Slams Republicans
NDN Video
Argentina tops Holland in World Cup semifinals Emmy Nominations: What to Watch For News flush: Japanese toilet exhibition making a splash Emma Watson Is Va-Va-Voom in Valentino Photographic 'Proof' That LeBron Is Leaving Miami - @TheBuzzeronFOX Elephant Pool Party at The Oregon Zoo Must-See! Berry and Fallon Form Human Hamster Wheel Pilot buys pizzas for travelers delayed by storm Klose nets record, Germany rout Brazil 7-1 'Purrmanently Sad Cat' Looks Adorably Sad All the Time Pharrell 'humbled' by success of mega-hit 'Happy' Day After: Brazil Reeling in WC Loss Jennifer Lawrence Facepalms Emma Watson Athletes Bare All for ESPN Magazine's Body Issue Raw: Brazil Fans Leaving Stadium Before Half Andi Dorfman Walks Out During the Rose Ceremony 5 Firework Fails for July 4th Justin Bieber Catches Tom Hanks Getting Down, Showing ‘How We Do It Big shoes to fill for Brazil ahead of Germany clash Man's 'Potato Salad' Plea Takes Off on Kickstarter

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010