Seven new CASAs sworn-in to help area kids in need

Mar 17, 2016 362

Seven volunteers were sworn in as Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASAs, this week. Rick Scalf, with Advocates for Children, says the group was sworn-in Tuesday evening in the Bartholomew County Circuit Courtroom by Juvenile Magistrate Heather Mollo. Prior to the ceremony, Advocates for Children’s Executive Director, Therese Miller, welcomed the new advocates to the agency’s staff. She noted that the volunteers represent the most important piece of the organization, doing the daily work of lifting up the lives of the children they serve. That was reflected in the individuals pledge to serve in the best interests of local children who have entered into the child protection system. She also took a moment to thank the families in attendance for supporting their loved ones in this new endeavor. “They may have restless nights,” Miller observed, “and may not be able to tell you much about what’s happening in their case, but you’ll know that they’re making a difference.” The volunteers sworn in will immediately begin serving cases involving children who... ...

I-65 lane restrictions set for early next week near Franklin

Mar 17, 2016 288

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) will restrict lanes on Interstate 65 in Johnson County during overnight hours next week for pavement patching. INDOT Spokesman Harry Maginity says that plans call for repairs to be made Monday night in both the right and left lanes of southbound I-65 on either side of the Main Street bridge at Greenwood between mile markers 100 and 98.8. On Tuesday night, patching will occur in both I-65 southbound lanes on either side of the Hurricane Creek bridge between mile markers 93.8 and 92. Maginity says that spot patching may also take place in northbound lanes Tuesday night between mile markers 93.8 and 88. Overnight restrictions will begin at 9 p.m. and end before 6 a.m. Milestone is the state’s contractor for this $84 million Major Moves 2020 added travel lanes project on I-65 between Greenwood and Franklin. Maginity says that crews are currently focused on bridge work at State Road 44, Hurricane Creek, Whiteland Road and Main Street. He adds that shoulder strengthening operations... ...

Motorcycle crash claims life of Seymour woman

Mar 17, 2016 1529

A Seymour woman died after a motorcycle crash in Jackson County Thursday morning. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department says that at about 10 a.m., 23-year-old Justin Smith, also of Seymour, was piloting a motorcycle north on State Road 11. Deputies say that 23-year-old Destiny Howard was a passenger on the bike. As Smith reached a curve near County Road 50 North, authorities say that he lost control of the motorcycle. The bike went down an embankment and Smith and Howard were thrown off, said police. Police say that Smith called 911 and told dispatch that Howard wasn’t breathing. Medics with the Jackson County Ambulance Service arrived moments later and determined that the woman died from her injuries. Smith was taken to Schneck Medical Center for injuries to his legs and wrist. The Sheriff’s Department says that both Smith and Howard were wearing helmets. They add that Smith had just purchased the motorcycle the day before the crash. ...

CPD saves woman from overdosing near her children

Mar 17, 2016 417

A Columbus woman was arrested after allegedly overdosing on heroin inside of a vehicle while her children were in the backseat. Columbus Police Department (CPD) Spokesman Officer Justin Black says that at approximately 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday, CPD officers responded to the driveway of a home in the 900 Block of McClure Road, after receiving a report of woman who was not breathing. After arriving on scene, Officer Chris Strickland and Officer Tony Kummer reported seeing the woman, 25-year-old Christina L. Wilson, slumped over the steering wheel of the vehicle while her three young children were in the back seat. After the officers were unable to stir Wilson, they determined that she was likely overdosing on heroin. Black says that Officer Matt Martindale then administered Narcan. After a few minutes, officers report that Wilson woke up and was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital (CRH). Wilson’s three children, who were in the vehicle and under the age of five, were placed in the care of a relative. Black says that the... ...

Troopers arrest man carrying drugs, fake cash

Mar 17, 2016 356

An Indianapolis man was arrested by state troopers after allegedly being found with marijuana and fake cash during a traffic stop on Interstate 65 yesterday. Police say that they stopped the vehicle in Jackson County for a traffic violation at 2 p.m. and allegedly discovered 30 grams of marijuana and more than $2,000 in fake $100 bills. 24-year-old Justin Callaway of Indianapolis was arrested on preliminary charges including counterfeiting and possession of marijuana. In a second traffic stop on the interstate at about 6 p.m., troopers allegedly found marijuana, digital scales and what they believe is a legend drug. The driver in that traffic stop, 21-year-old Sean Jones of Cook County, Ill., was arrested on preliminary charges of possession  of marijuana and of a legend drug. A passenger, 22-year-old James Warren of Cook County, Ill., was cited for possession of marijuana and released at the scene, troopers report.   ...

Ninth Street neighborhood watch to meet Tuesday

Mar 17, 2016 323

A Ninth Street neighborhood watch meeting will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Second Baptist Church in Columbus. Special guests will be Lt. Matt Harris and Officer Troy Love from the Columbus Police Department. Refreshments will be provided and the event is sponsored by Lincoln Central Neighborhood Family Center. If you want more information call 812-379-1630. ...

Bring your own instrument to Saturday bluegrass jam

Mar 17, 2016 307

You can bring your own instrument to a bluegrass jam, Saturday at Donner Center starting at 4 p.m. The Columbus Bluegrass Jamboree will feature bluegrass and gospel bluegrass by several bands. Donations will be accepted and snacks will be available for purchase. Bands include StraightLine, New Balance, Liberty Hill, High Octane and Friends of Bluegrass. The jam is sponsored by the Lincoln-Central Neighborhood Family Center, Columbus Parks and Rec and the Columbus Area Arts Council. For more information call 812-379-2408 ...

State Attorney General Office holding civic event at IUPUC

Mar 16, 2016 330

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office is inviting you to a “round-table discussion and brainstorming session” Tuesday in Columbus. The goal, say organizers, is to enhance citizens’ involvement in their communities. The program, called “Value Your Voice: Redefining Indiana,” takes place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Summerville Room of Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is scheduled to speak about the 2015 Indiana Civic Health Report, a study of citizen involvement in community issues. From there, organizers say that the audience will break into small groups. Wabash College students from the Wabash Democracy and Public Discourse Initiative will lead participants in round-table conversations about Indiana’s civic health culminating in recommendations to the whole audience. Organizers say that this event is geared toward college-age “millennials,” though the event is open to all ages. The program is free but participants are asked to register online at http://bit.ly/1M60gsv or by calling (317) 234-7127. This program is being hosted by IUPUC and Professor Ryan Neville-Shepard. This nonpartisan, nonpolitical... ...

Healthy Communities release walkability plan

Mar 16, 2016 299

Healthy Communities, in partnership with the City of Columbus-Bartholomew County Planning Department, is pursuing strategies to increase walkability throughout the community. Laura Garrett, Healthy Communities spokesperson, says that 51.3 percent of Bartholomew County residents do not meet the daily recommendations of walking set by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. She adds that “adults living in highly walkable neighborhoods engage in 41 minutes more physical activity per week than those in low-walkability neighborhoods.” Garrett says that last October, the team hired the Walkable and Livable Communities (WALC) Institute to facilitate a two-day Active Living Workshop to help determine what could be done to make streets and neighborhoods “more walkable, livable, healthy and sustainable.” Garrett says that the WALC Institute recently released the final report from their visit, entitled: Columbus, Indiana: Walking Towards Greatness. She says that this 71-page report includes comprehensive information about a range of active living concepts, observations and recommendations for Columbus. Garrett says this report also includes a plan for 25th Street. She explains that the... ...

City Cemetery clean-up set for April 1

Mar 16, 2016 292

The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department says that the City Cemetery, located south of Donner Park, is scheduled for spring clean-up on April 1. Cemetery Sexton Casey Ritz says that those who have family plots in the cemetery are asked to pick up any items that they wish to save by March 31. He says that parks department personnel will remove and discard worn and out-of-season decorations that remain on the ground after that date. Sexton says that the cemetery is cleaned up twice each year. The fall cleanup is scheduled for October 1. If you have questions or need more information, please call (812) 376-2599. ...