Aurora is a historic river town that is situated 35 miles west of Cincinnati, Ohio, located in the Southeast corner of Indiana. Aurora was settled in the early 1800's and incorporated in 1845 and has strong historic connections to the Ohio River. Aurora is full of unique and historic buildings that preserve its older rivercity characteristics.

Distinguished Citizens

Donnie Hastings Jr., former mayor of Aurora, Indiana.

Donnie Hastings, Jr.

Former Mayor for the
City of Aurora

Donnie Hastings, Jr. was an Aurora City Councilman from 1996 - 2003, and he will be finishing out his term as Mayor at the end of 2019. He has served in this position since 2004.

During his time in office Donnie has been devoted to community engagement. Over $800,000 in Aurora grants have given to community organizations and the Aurora Main Street program was launched with dedicated city support. Between 2013-2019 local, state, and, federal awards totaling $9,334,816 went to public safety, utility improvements, roadway and sidewalks upgrades, blight elimination, parks and recreational facilities, and ensured support to keep a downtown grocery store open.

Public safety was increased by paying off the new Aurora Fire Station on Dutch Hollow Road. Aurora Police Station 2 was retrofitted for training, evidence collection, and storage. A Code Enforcement inter-local agreement with Dearborn County Planning and Zoning has yielded consistent city wide results. A new contract was entered with Aurora EMS for local services, and 911 Dispatch Emergency Services was consolidated with the Dearborn County Sherriff Dept.

A $4.5 million dollar grant from the City of Lawrenceburg for the Sewer Force-main Project was secured, and a $10.6 million IDEM CSO Elimination project was closed out.

New parks projects were allocated. The Aurora Dog Park was developed at Manchester Landing. Thirty-one acres for the Aurora Soccer Association was purchased, as well as the old Aurora High School which became the Aurora Recreation Community Center (ARCC). In 2017 the River Cities Bike Share Program was launched with 7000 rentals to date. After a property donation Gabbard Riverfront Park was developed, and the City assisted with development for the Taylor Ball Fields and Pee Wee Football fields

During Mayor Hastings, Jr's. tenure Aurora City Hall was restored, $1,440,125 in downtown utility improvements have been added, $950,000 in community investment projects through the Façade Improvement Matching Grant Program has been given, $976,946 was given for tbe Second Street reconstruction putting in new lights, ADA sidewalks, paving, and brick crosswalks, and the City was the winner of the 2017 Accelerate Indiana Municipalities (AIM) Municipal Innovation Award.

Chan Mattingly

Chandra "Chan" Mattingly

Chandra "Chan" Leigh Mattingly, 65, of Rising Sun, Indiana, passed away Sunday, August 18, 2019 in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Chan worked as a journalist for Register Publications for over 30 years, touching the lives of hundreds of people. In addition to her years as a journalist covering Southeastern Indiana, she was a member of various organizations including the Oak Heritage Conservancy and the Southeastern Indiana Beekeeping Association.

Chandra loved nature and spent much of her life outdoors, riding her horses, hiking the trails at Versailles State Park, gardening, and beekeeping. Her yearly plant sale was a local fixture, providing not just plants, honey, and eggs but also advice and wisdom. A deeply spiritual person, Chan saw the good in everyone and advocated for a kinder world.

Fighting cancer with strength and sense of humor for twelve years, Chan with a strength left a lasting impression on everyone she met along the way.

Paul Alford, former mayor of Aurora, Indiana.

Paul Alford

Former Mayor for the
City of Aurora

Paul O. Alford, of Aurora, Indiana, passed away Sunday October 21, 2018 at the age of 88. Paul was born April 30, 1930 in St Louis , MO, and raised in Elkhart, Indiana where he was a 1948 graduate of Elkhart High School. Shortly after, in 1950, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War.

In 1954 Paul began his career in law enforcement as an Indiana State Trooper and moved to Aurora. In 1974 Paul retired from the ISP as Detective Sergeant and went on to become Mayor of Aurora, Indiana for two terms. In addition, he and his wife, Jacquline were co-owners of Alford's Coins.

He loved Aurora, this "River City", and believed it to be one of the most beautiful and historically rich areas of America. He will be missed.

Joshua Daugherty, Chief of Police of Aurora, Indiana.

Joshua Daugherty

Chief of Police for the
City of Aurora

Joshua Daugherty was raised in Ohio County, and graduated Rising Sun High School in 1993. Josh received his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice, at Vincennes University, in 1997. He worked at the Eastern Kentucky University Police Department in Richmond, KY from 1997-2000, completing his education at EKU, and receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. From 2000 - 2001, Josh worked with the Ohio County Sheriff Department before coming to the Aurora Police Department in 2001. At Aurora PD, Josh worked as a Patrolman, then Sergeant, and was appointed Chief of Police in 2014.

Josh has been married to Mary Copeland Daugherty since 1995, lives in Ohio County, and has two children: Daniel, 16, a sophomore at Rising Sun High School, and Megan, 9, Grade 3 at Rising Sun Elementary School. Josh enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family. The family has attended the Rising Sun Church of Christ for almost 20 years. Josh enjoys working with the Aurora Police Department and serving the citizens of Aurora.

Jeff Lane, Aurora Fire Chief.

Jeff Lane

Fire Chief for the
City of Aurora

Aurora Fire Chief Jeffery Allen Lane is a 1983 graduate of South Dearborn High School. He joined the Aurora Fire Department Company 1 in September, 1986. He has been involved in the Department’s Fire Safety Program since becoming a fireman. Jeff graduated from the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in 1988 and joined Aurora’s Police Department. In August of 1993, he joined the Greendale Police Department. Jeff was a K-9 officer and now serves as Greendale’s Assistant Police Chief.

Jeff's commitment to Aurora’s Fire department led to his appointment as Fire Chief in 2000, by then Mayor Richard Ullrich. Donnie Hastings, Jr. continued this appointment when he became Mayor. During his 30-plus years as a first responder, Jeff, and the department have achieved many things. An Indiana Certified Firefighter since joining the department, he has since become an Indiana State Certified Fire Instructor II/III and most recently an Indiana State Certified Arson Investigator. Chief Lane is also a Certified General Instructor for the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy. Other accolades include being honored with an Indiana Jaycees Outstanding Young Hoosiers Award in 2001, the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Medal of Valor in 2003, and being a recipient of the Indiana Fire Marshal’s Meritorious Service Award in 2010.

Jeff and wife Shana are the proud parents of Kalicia, Eric, Sara, and Abigail, and they have a grandson, Gavin. Jeff enjoys working with youth, especially coaching soccer and basketball. He was recently elected to the South Dearborn Community School Corporation Board.

Ed Opp, President, Aurora Emergency Rescue.

Ed Opp

President of Aurora Emergency Rescue

Edward Opp is currently the President of Aurora Emergency Rescue. Ed came to Aurora EMS in February of 1989, because he was looking for a way to better serve his community. Already a volunteer fireman for the Hogan Township Volunteer Fire Department, Ed quickly became addicted to the excitement and satisfaction of helping others in the community in their time of need. He became an Emergency Medical Technician in 1990, and his volunteer career flourished. Working up through the ranks of the fire department, Ed became Fire Chief, holding that position for many years before retiring after a 30 year run in 2017. Ed continues his tenure with the Aurora Emergency Rescue Service as an Emergency Medical Technician and President, a position that he has held for many years.

Ed has spent much time over the years working with community leaders, EMS, and Fire organizations in a joint effort to improve the services provided to the community. He has served on the Dearborn County Enhanced 911 Communications Committee, Dearborn County EMS Alliance, Dearborn County Fire Chiefs Association, and the Dearborn County Hospital EMS Audit and Review Board.

Ed and his wife Monica raised their two children, Dustin and Kyle, in the community they love. His wife and children have been very supportive during Ed’s service to the community and they, themselves, have spent many hours volunteering their time for the Hogan Fire and Aurora EMS services. While he loves fishing and the great outdoors, he especially enjoys spending time with his family and grandchildren. Ed continues his community service with Aurora Emergency Rescue as well as his career as a Commercial Marine Surveyor, Marine Accident Investigator, and Private Investigator.

Mark Lane, Assistant Fire Chief for the City of Aurora, Indiana.

Mark Lane

Deputy Fire Chief for the
City of Aurora

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Lane has served with the Aurora Fire Department for thirty years. "It takes a special kind of person to be able to this for thirty years. It's true dedication. He's dedicated to the Fire Department. Aurora is lucky to have him", Mayor Donnie Hastings, Jr. said of Mark.

Mark has served in the Deputy Chief position since 2006 alongside his brother Jeff Lane, who is the Fire Chief. "He rose up through the ranks like I did," Jeff said of his brother, "He deserves the recognition, the deputy chief status. When there is a crisis we work together. He loves the job just as much as I do."

Mark and his wife Lisa have one son, Blayze Lane, also a firefighter; a daughter Brandi; a grandson Zachary; and a new granddaughter Anna Lynn born June 6th, 2017.

Alan Miller, City Attorney.

Alan Miller

Former City of Aurora Attorney

Alan Miller is a life-long resident of Dearborn County. He currently lives in Aurora with his wife of 10 years, Kyle (Thayer) and their daughter, Ryan. Alan founded Miller Law LLC in 2005, then expanded to Miller Flannery Law in October of 2016. Through his career, he has learned how to manage a successful small business and has had the pleasure of working with the people of Southeastern Indiana to reach resolutions to tough problems.

Alan is an active member of the community. He has served as a volunteer with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Kiwanis Club, and Legal Volunteers of Southeastern Indiana, among others. He currently serves as Vice-President of the AIM/Young Professionals of Dearborn County.

In Alan's own words, “I’ve been incredibly excited about the opportunity to serve the citizens of Aurora, Mayor Hastings and the members of our City Council. Aurora is my home. I am personally invested in its future for not only myself, but my family. I want to work with the city leadership to ensure that we achieve our goal of making Aurora the best it can be.”

Alan Miller may be reached at the City of Aurora, Attn: Alan Miller, P.O. Box 158, Aurora, IN. 47001. Email: amiller@aurora.in.us or (812) 926-1777.

John Borgman, Vietnam War Veteran and Aurora, Indiana City Councilman.

John Borgman

Born November 2, 1932

City Councilman John Borgman was born on Sunnyside Avenue. He graduated from Aurora High School in 1950, and from there earnerd a Business Management degree from IU. John joined the military in 1955, and went on to become a Special Forces Green Beret eventually serving three tours in Vietnam. On his last combat jump in 1968, he had 500 men under his command.

On returning to Aurora, John joined First National Bank (now US Bank), and in 1991 retired as Vice President of the business. In 1994, John was elected to Aurora City Council, and for a brief time was mayor of the City. In all he has served Aurora for continuously for 22 years.

Charlie Thayer, former Aurora, Indiana councilman.

Charles Edward (Charlie) Thayer

January 15, 1935 - December 12, 2015

Charlie proudly served his Country as a Sargent in the United States Army during the Korean War. He then spent 40 years serving the citizens of Aurora, Indiana as a City Councilman, the longest serving councilman in Aurora's history. Rest in Peace Charlie, you will be missed.

Anna (Shorty) Petrovich Meyer, Aurora, Indiana native and youngest member of the
						All-American Girls Baseball League.

Anna "Shorty" Petrovich Meyer

Born November 17, 1928

Shorty Meyer is an Aurora native that has the distinction of becoming the youngest member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), at the age of 15. She was signed with the Kenosha Comets, later traded to the Minneapolis Millerettes, and finally joined the Chicago Bluebirds. In all, she played from 1943 - 1954. In 1988, Meyer and the rest of the AAGPBL, were recognized with a Women In Baseball exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.

Nominate A Distinguished Citizen

Is there someone you believe is deserving of being added to our Distinguished Citizens page? If so, we want to hear about it!

Do you know a tireless public servant? Is there an Aurora native that went on to become famous? Is there someone that makes you think of Aurora just by hearing their name?

Email dwalker@aurora.in.us with the person who you think should be nominated along with an explanation why, and they could be the next entry added into our list of Distinguished Citizens.