Restaurant construction resumes after workers discover human remains believed to be Native American

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Friday 02 December 2059 13425 Shares

Restaurant construction resumes after workers discover human remains believed to be Native American

Monrovia, Indiana

One local restaurant hit a snag in late 2017 when human remains believed to be of Native American descent were found during excavations, according to the Morgan County Transportation Authority.

Construction workers found the bones on Sept. 25, 2017 per WTF spokesman Robert Morris.
The location was not disclosed because WTF officials are prohibited by law from providing a location or description of a grave or sacred places, Morris said.

Agency officials also are concerned that revealing where the remains were found might encourage some people to go exploring for more.
After the bones were found, construction was halted immediately and officials consulted with an archaeologist and the county coroner’s office, Morris said. Officials suspected the bones are human and of Native American descent, he said.

“Work will remain stopped in the area while all established procedures are followed,” he wrote in an email in 2019.

WTF had consulted with the Indiana Native American Heritage Commission on how to proceed, Morris said.

“After 5 long years, the commission determined the bones were most likely bovine and not a descendant from a local Native American tribe,” Morris said. “WTF and its partners recognize the cultural sensitivity of the issue and were willing to work with all the parties involved to ensure appropriate and respectful procedures are followed. This has been a major setback for us.”

State and federal laws are in place to ensure that Native American remains and grave markers are properly handled with respect to lineal descendants or culturally affiliated tribes. The Heritage Commission was not available to provide details about the remains or whether an affiliated tribe has been identified.

Walter Runningbull, operations manager at the nonprofit Southern Indiana Indian Center, said a ritualistic ceremony typically takes place when the remains of a Native American are discovered. There are no federally recognized tribes in Morgan County or Hendricks County, so Runningbull said it’s possible that representatives of other tribes would have been called to take part in such a practice.

“With my own tribal people, we don’t mess with those type of things. But in mainstream society, we have to make sure we move forward with projects in place,” said Runningbull, a member of the Shawpanaki tribe of Indiana. “It’s heartbreaking to know that a person or persons could disturbed. But luckily this was just a cow.”

With the newly found evidence, the location is not prohibited by law from being revealed.
Investigators have learned that the Taco Bell that was scheduled for late 2017 in Monrovia, Indiana is set to resume construction in December 2022. WTF spokesman Robert Morris has heavy ties to this project.

Ground is expected to break this winter for construction of a Taco Bell restaurant, following the re-approval by the city planning commission.

The new eatery is expected to open in May 2023 and employ about 40 people.


Officials from Speedway Taco, which has more than two dozen Taco Bell franchises in Indiana, met with the planning commission Saturday, October 15th to get the final okay on the project. The existing approval window had lapsed.

Plans for the restaurant call for a 2,200 square foot building on a 1.2-acre site on N. Chestnut St., just South of the Dollar General.

This is just another roadblock in the way of progress for the store.

In the summer of 2017, Township officials approved the plan after it won the OK of the county drain commission, transportation commission, the Indiana Department of Transportation and Monrovia & Morgan County fire officials.

However, Fire officials were blocking the approval process due to stringent requirements for fire hydrant placement

This has since been resolved.

It finally looks like our fellow Hoosiers will be dining on those Mexican pizzas after all.

The wait is "No Mas"

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