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Radio host buys site of burned Brown County music hall

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A central Indiana business owner and radio show host plans on rebuilding a southern Indiana concert hall that hosted some of country music's top acts before it burned down in 2009.

Scott Wayman was the only bidder for the Little Nashville Opry site during Tuesday's Brown County commissioners tax sale, submitting the minimum bid of nearly $58,000. He'll have to wait 120 days to take possession of the site to see whether the current owner can pay about $120,000 in back taxes, The Herald-Times reported.

Wayman, who has hosted the morning show on country music station WCBK-FM of Martinsville for nearly 30 years and owns a furniture store there with his parents, said he had looked into buying the 2,000-seat hall before the fire and wants to have a similar venue there again.

"We do plan to rebuild the Opry," Wayman said. "My parents and myself, along with other friends had season tickets for years."

The concert hall along Indiana 46 burned down in 2009, and its former manager, 75-year-old James Bowyer, was charged in March with arson and intent to defraud. Court documents show the hall was insured for more than $3 million.

Bowyer has pleaded not guilty and his defense attorney has said he was convinced of Bowyer's innocence. The concert hall's owner has not been charged.

The venue opened in 1975 and had hosted performers such as Johnny Cash, George Strait, the Oak Ridge Boys and Trisha Yearwood.

Local officials have said they want to see the concert hall reopened to help draw visitors to the rural area best known for Brown County State Park and its typically bright fall colors.

Wayman said he faces a great deal of work preparing to build a new theater.

"We basically have to start over," he said.

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  • Good luck!
    I hope he is able to pull this off! I remember going there several times and really enjoyed the intimate atmosphere. Good luck to you Scott.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.

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