State officials offer public comment on proposed rate-increase

Mar 24, 2017 33

The Eastern Bartholomew Water Corporation has requested rate increase, and state officials want to hear from you. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is inviting written consumer comments on the utility’s request through May 9th. The agency, which represents consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, is scheduled to complete its review of the utility’s request and file testimony on May 16th. Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp. is a not-for-profit utility with more than 5,100 customers in Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings Counties. Its most recent base rate case concluded in 2008. Under the utility’s request, the monthly water rate for a residential customer using 5,000 gallons would rise from $22.83 to $33.77. Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp. is also seeking IURC approval to issue up to nearly $7.7 million in long-term debt. According to its testimony, the utility is seeking the changes due to higher operating and maintenance costs along with the need for capital improvements. They include: a new water treatment plant, a new storage tank, new... ...

MMA fighter found guilty in assault of Columbus native

Mar 24, 2017 51

A Mixed Martial Arts fighter has been found guilty of a slew of charges in his attack on a former Columbus resident. According to reports, Jonathan Koppenhaver, who is also known as War Marchine, was found guilty of 29 felonies including burglary, battery, coercion, kidnapping and sexual assault in the attacks on his former girlfriend, Christy Mackinday in August of 2014. Mackinday required plastic surgery and was severely injured after the attacks on her and a man at her Las Vegas home. Mackinday, a Columbus North graduate, uses the name Christy Mack in the adult film industry. Koppenhaver was convicted on Monday and is set to be sentenced on June 5th. ...

Shelbyville man arrested on drug charges in Indy

Mar 24, 2017 32

A Shelbyville man was arrested Friday morning after police received several calls about a man driving erratically in Indianapolis. Indiana State Police say that, just before noon, several drivers reported the van on I-465 speeding northbound near Brookville Road. They say the van hit the concrete median wall several times. According to callers, the van was believed to be traveling over 90 miles per hour at one point. The rear tire of the van blew out, but it continued north on the shoulder of the road. Troopers were able to catch the vehicle just south of Pendleton Pike and get it stopped safely. During the course of the investigation the driver, who troopers say appeared disoriented and unsteady, was allegedly found to be in possession of heroin and prescription drugs. After a field-sobriety test, 52-year-old Brett Cooper was arrested on preliminary charges of Driving Under the Influence of Narcotics and Possession of Heroin. Cooper was taken to an Indianapolis hospital as a precaution. ...

Multiple 911 calls result in Seymour arrest on drug charges

Mar 24, 2017 40

Seymour police were called to a motel Thursday after a man called 911 repeatedly, saying people were watching him. Unfortunately, the suspicion appears to have been drug-fueled, according to police reports. A search of the hotel room rented by 26-year-old Justin Deaton revealed methamphetamine, syringes and drug paraphernalia, according to reports from the Seymour police. Deaton was arrested on preliminary charges of maintaining a common nuisance and of possessing the drugs and paraphernalia. ...

Columbus police seeing “perfect storm” of addiction

Mar 24, 2017 77

Columbus and other communities are facing a perfect storm of heroin and other opiate addictions. Sgt. Jay Frederick with the Columbus Police Department says that a variety of factors have acted together to create the current opiate overdose epidemic including pharmaceutical companies need to sell their products, doctors’ changing views on managing pain and decisions to make it easier to obtain some potent painkillers. He referred to an author’s description of a “perfect storm” hitting communities. Frederick said that the local number of overdoses so far this year have more than doubled over he same time period last year. In January and February last year there were 24 overdose calls, compared to 52 this year. However the number of deaths due to drug overdoses locally have dropped, due to the use of Narcan. He said Columbus has been hit as hard as other communities, it began carrying Narcan earlier than most, helping save more people. “We are just a slice of the pie, Columbus is no different than any other... ...

Area real estate figures mixed

Mar 23, 2017 61

F.C. Tucker Company’s monthly real estate market stats indicated the housing market is still going strong. According to the reality group, the average year-to-date home price for the 15-county Central Indiana region rose 9.5 percent to $184,170. Pending home sales locally from Feb. of 2016 to Feb. of 2017: Bartholomew County – increase of 9.1 percent Brown County – increase of 17.2 percent Decatur County – decrease of 10 percent Jennings County – increase of 57.1 percent Johnson County – increase of 2.6 percent Shelby County – increase of 14.5 percent Active listings from Feb. of 2016 to Feb. of 2017: Bartholomew County – increase of 9.1 percent Brown County – decrease of one-percent Decatur County – decrease of 11.8 percent Jennings County – increase of 64.7 percent Johnson County – decrease of 19 percent Shelby County – decrease of 24.9 percent Average sale prices from Feb. of 2016 to Feb. of 2017: Bartholomew County – $193,761 increase of 13.9 percent Brown County – $164,493 decrease of 15.7 percent Decatur... ...

Robotics team to take part in competitions

Mar 23, 2017 72

A robotics team involving around 40 area high-school students are working hard to compete against other teams from around the world. Reed Nowling is a student at Columbus East. He says that teams had six-weeks to design, build and program a robot to accomplish a specific task. Elizabeth Hales is a student at Columbus North. She says that clear communication and what is learned in various classes are big components in creating a good robot. Nowling says that a set of competitions begin this weekend… Nowling says that the team has already received invites to both the state and world competitions. However, in order to take part in the state and world events, he says the team needs to raise $25,000 to cover expenses. If you would like to help, you are asked to visit the team’s website at team4926.org. ...

Cummins announces promotion to leadership

Mar 23, 2017 69

Cummins has announced a promotion among the company’s leadership. The Columbus-based diesel engine manufacturer announced Thursday that Melina Kennedy has been promoted to Executive Director – Global Rail and Defense. In this role, Kennedy will report directly to Power Systems President Norbert Nusterer and will join his leadership team. “Over the past few years, Melina has demonstrated a deep understanding of our business, earned our customers’ trust and led impressive revenue growth in our Rail and Defense businesses,” said Nusterer. “Moving forward, I am confident that Melina will continue to grow our Rail and Defense businesses by expanding our customer base for our tremendous product portfolio.” Prior to leading the Rail and Defense teams, company officials say that Kennedy served as Director of Executive Communications, creating and delivering global and strategic internal and external communications for the Chief Executive Officer and other senior leaders at Cummins. Before joining Cummins, Kennedy spent more than 15 years practicing law and holding key public-service roles throughout Indiana. ...

Road closures planned for next week in Seymour

Mar 23, 2017 50

Seymour Water Pollution Control will have a contractor replacing a sanitary line between Holiday Drive and Polley Drive starting Tuesday morning. Holiday Drive will be blocked east of the 800 block from 8 a.m. until noon. Marley Lane will be closed to through traffic from 8 a.m. until noon. Repairs are scheduled to be completed by Wednesday. ...

Local students serve as pages at the Statehouse

Mar 23, 2017 37

State Rep. Milo Smith, a Columbus Republican, recently welcomed student pages to the Statehouse. As a House page, these participants toured government offices, helped staff with daily duties and joined Smith on the House floor during the legislative session. Students who took part were: • Zuenal Deniz, from Columbus, attends Columbus Signature Academy, New Tech Campus; • Yunging Fu, from Columbus, attends Columbus North High School; • Anna Gray, from Columbus, attends Columbus North High School; • Eunseok Lee, from Columbus, attends Columbus East High School; • Ahmad Mohiuddin, from Columbus, attends Columbus Signature Academy, New Tech Campus; • Hassathorn Phongam, from Columbus, attends Columbus East High School; and • Lina Schaefer, from Columbus, attends Columbus North High School. Smith said students, ages 13 to 18, should consider participating next session. ...