City to tackle junked and unlicensed vehicles

Aug 15, 2017 47

Correction: Fred Barnett is the code enforcement officer for the city of Columbus. An earlier version of this story had his name incorrect. We apologize for the error. The city of Columbus has taken the first steps in making it easier to fine those with junked and inoperable vehicles that can be seen from the street. City Council gave initial approval to amend the city’s ordinance dealing with these types of vehicles. Mary Ferdon, the city’s director of administration, says that the amended ordinance cleans up some ambiguous language regarding where these vehicles can be parked and when they constitute a nuisance. If approved on second reading, city code enforcement officers will be able to “tag” offending vehicles on public property. Currently, Ferdon says that code enforcement must call a city police officer to handle that duty. Code enforcement is also tasked with notifying property owners of offending vehicles in order to have them removed. These notices will be sent to the property owner and not the registered owner of... ...

Sheriff asks for more money for jail, public safety

Aug 15, 2017 95

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is asking for a nearly one-million dollar budget increase, as well as additional manpower, for 2018. The sheriff unveiled his proposed budget during Tuesday afternoon hearings before the county council. The sheriff divided his budget into two separate presentations: one for county corrections and the other for everything else. During his presentation, Myers stressed that his leadership team took instruction from the county council in helping to better identify areas in which the department could improve and, potentially, save taxpayer dollars. These tools include Six Sigma and other programs. In addition, the department enlisted the help of Dana Vogt, a Cummins employee, in preparing Tuesday’s presentation. Myers first addressed the situation facing deputies and other non-jail staff. He is asking for $3,967,326, a $356,525 increase over his 2017 budget. The sheriff says that the increases are largely confined to the purchase of 11 new vehicles, three new patrol deputies and a three-percent salary increase for employees. Sheriff Myers argues that the increase in deputies is... ...

Hope takes possession of new fire truck

Aug 15, 2017 40

The Hope Volunteer Fire Department took possession of its newest fire truck on Monday. The department announced that the new pumper truck, which will be called Engine 11, was delivered. The truck was made by E-One fire engines and was paid for by a grant of just over $490,000. Fire officials said at the time of the grant announcement that Engine 11 is replacing an engine that is more than 20 years old. ...

Duke donation fuels summer school science programs

Aug 15, 2017 45

Duke Energy provided a $20,000 grant to Bartholomew Consolidated schools that helped 500 students take part in science, technology, engineering and math programs this summer. Chip Orben with Duke Energy explain his company’s support for the Summer Learning Academy. Orben said that the school district had previously taken advantage of grants to aid with reading projects. Company officials were happy to provide help to the schools for the summer STEM program, Orben said. The school district said that students from all grade levels were chosen for the academy based on their test scores and classroom performance. The academy was held this year at Schmitt Elementary School. The district also received a report last night from the Men’s Brotherhood of Faith Ministries on their work to provide school supplies at Clifty Creek and Taylorsville elementaries. ...

Suspect under arrest, State Road 7 open again

Aug 15, 2017 80

A female suspect is in custody in Jennings County after an incident at Decatur Plastics that shut down traffic on State Road 7 this morning. There are no official details available yet on the situation that closed down the highway between County Road 300N and 275W. Drivers were urged to avoid the area while the incident involving the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department unfolded. Deputies are still at the scene. Staff at the sheriff’s department said at about 11:40 a.m. that the road had reopened. ...

Hope man accused of sex with teen

Aug 15, 2017 94

Madison police report that they arrested a Hope man on Friday and are accusing him of being sexually involved with a minor. 40-year-old Manuel B. Perkins is under arrest on a preliminary charge of sexual misconduct with a minor. The incident happened Friday, when officers were called to a report of suspicious vehicle in a neighborhood. Perkins allegedly told officers that he was in the area teaching a friend how to drive, even though there was no one else in the vehicle. Perkins said that his friend was an 18-year-old that he met through social media but he only knew the friend by his first name. Soon, a 14-year-old boy left a nearby home and Perkins identified the teen as the friend he was there to meet. After talking with the teen’s mother, police discovered allegedly inappropriate phone messages between the two. The teen also told police that he and Perkins had been sexually active, exchanging money and gifts for sexual favors. ...

Seymour police revive child after near-drowning

Aug 15, 2017 85

Seymour police are reporting that they revived a toddler who fell into a swimming pool Sunday, nearly drowning. The incident happened at about 8 p.m. Sunday night when officers were on another call and heard a woman screaming a few doors away. A 1-year-old child had escaped from a back door left open by older children and fallen into the small, above-ground pool. The child was not breathing, when Sgt. Brandon White began CPR while Officer Seth Sage drove to Schneck Medical Center. The police say that the child is in stable condition and has been transferred to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis. ...

Services set for slain Columbus soldier

Aug 15, 2017 93

A funeral date has been set for a Columbus soldier who died in Afghanistan. Barkes, Weaver and Glick funeral home has announced that services for 23-year-old Army Sgt. Jonathon M. Hunter will be held at 2 the afternoon of August 26th at Columbus East High School gymnasium. Those will be with full military honors by the Indiana Army National Guard Honor Guard. Calling will be start at 10 a.m. until the time of services. Hunter and 25-year-old Specialist Christopher Harris, of Jackson Springs North Carolina, died earlier this month in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan The “Fayetteville Observer” newspaper reports that Harris was laid to rest yesterday. For more information on the funeral services for Hunter, you can go to barkesweaverglick.com ...

Sheriff to make case for increase in jail staff

Aug 15, 2017 67

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers will be making the case today for more jail staff. The County Council will hear the sheriff’s 2018 budget request at 1:45 p.m. this afternoon. He said yesterday on Facebook that he wants enough staff to provide for drug treatment in the jail: My goal before I leave the Sheriff’s Office is to have evidence based treatment options for inmates serving and or awaiting sentencing in our jail. I would like to see the old part of the jail partially used to treat inmates with heroin and Methamphetamine addiction. I’m not sure what the treatment would look like at this point, but I truly feel it would change lives and help the heroin and Methamphetamine epidemic we currently face in our community. The current problem is that I don’t have enough staff to operate the jail we currently have opened. The treatment options we have right now in the jail are not ideal for a successful outcome. The bottom line is, If the community member... ...

‘Exhibit Columbus’ preview party details revealed

Aug 14, 2017 41

The Preview Party for the opening of the inaugural Exhibit Columbus, originally scheduled for the grounds of the Cummins Corporate Office Building, has changed it’s location to the Mill Race Park Amphitheater. The party is set for the evening of Friday, Aug 25th. The Indiana University School of Art, Architecture, and Design is the presenting sponsor. Organizers say the Preview Party of Exhibit Columbus’ inaugural exhibition opening is an evening of cocktails, food, and entertainment in celebration of architecture, design, and community. They note that the party will be an occasion to meet and honor the five J. Irwin and Xenia S. Miller Prize winners, other designers whose work is being presented in the 2017 exhibition, as well as those who have helped make this exhibition possible. The schedule is as follows: 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.: VIP/Patron Reception; 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Preview Party Reception and Dinner catered by Kahn’s Fine Catering of Indianapolis; Organizers have also announced entertainment for the evening. The band “Salaam” will be playing... ...