BCSC preparing for new mental health initiative

Oct 13, 2017 75

The Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation is preparing to strengthen its effort to address mental wellness. BCSC Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts explains that the school corporation has received notice that it will receive $1.1 million from the Lilly Endowment as part of the it’s comprehensive counseling initiative for students in kindergarten through grade 12… Dr. Roberts says that BCSC is not looking at adding additional counselors, but rather in developing a holistic approach to mental health that will benefit all students and help them achieve academic and career success. He notes that the role of the school counselor has changed drastically over the years… Roberts says that BCSC is not looking at adding additional counselors, but will instead concentrate on developing a holistic approach to mental health that will benefit all students. Roberts says this gift would not have been possible without the help of community partners… Roberts adds that this grant will fund the BCSC initiative for four years. ...

Sleepy driver arrested on drug-related charges

Oct 13, 2017 144

A Columbus man was arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop last night by Columbus police. 44-year-old Kevin D. Calvert is facing preliminary charges of operating a motor vehicle under the influence, as well as possession of methamphetamine, a controlled substance, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. That’s on top of warrants from Decatur and Bartholomew counties for failing to show up for court. Officers stopped the vehicle at about 5:40 near 10th and Pearl streets. Calvert appeared to be falling asleep while talking to the officer and was taken into custody for the outstanding warrants says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus police. Officers allegedly found the drugs inside Calvert’s vehicle, Harris said. ...

Ethnic Expo underway this morning around City Hall

Oct 13, 2017 115

Ethnic Expo kicks off this morning in downtown Columbus. Events get underway in the streets around City Hall at 11 a.m. and are scheduled to run until about 10 p.m. tonight and Saturday. Mayor Jim Lienhoop talks about why this long-running event is important: First Financial Bank is the title sponsor for this year’s Ethnic Expo, the eighth year that the bank has assumed that role. Zac Nelson with First Financial Bank explains why the bank supports this event. Tonight’s entertainment includes Celtica on the City Hall plaza from 7 to 8 p.m., the Jay Fox Band from 8-9 p.m. on the First Street stage and Colin Matthews playing in the Biergarten starting at 9 p.m. Velvet Caravan will be the headline act at City Hall from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday with fireworks at 9 p.m. Germany is this year’s host country. The Ethnic Expo parade starts at 11 a.m. Saturday. The mayor talks about his  highlights for the parade: The parade route will be: East on Eighth Street South... ...

Columbus offers program to rid owners of inoperable vehicles

Oct 12, 2017 101

The City of Columbus will begin marketing the Inoperable Vehicle Abatement Program next week. Robin Hilber, with the city’s Office of Community Development, says that the city has already successfully piloted this program. She explains that Columbus paid the towing fee for two vehicles while the vehicle owner received the full scrap metal value of the vehicle, each about $200. Columbus residents who are interested should call the Office of Community Development at (812) 376-2520. Those wishing to take part must have a clear title on the vehicle they wish to have scrapped. While there is no obligation to participate, city officials are reminding residents that the city council recently passed an Inoperable Vehicle Ordinance, which can result in fines for having unsightly, inoperable vehicles on private property. ...

Thrive Alliance addresses misconceptions about proposed homeless housing effort

Oct 12, 2017 98

The Thrive Alliance and city officials want to set the record straight about a proposed project aimed at addressing Columbus’ homeless problem. Mark Lindenlaub with Thrive Alliance took part in Thursday night’s forum at the Roby and America Anderson Community Center on the city’s east side. He says that there have been false reports in the media that mis-characterize the proposed project, which would likely be housed at the Victory Church at 17th Street and Home Avenue. Lindenlaub explains that the “Housing First” model allows people to have a place to live, which would then enable residents to address other issues. He says that currently, most renters require to you have any personal issues resolved before they will consider renting to you. Lindenlaub talks about the focus of the proposed project. Area residents turned out to express concerns about the proposal. Many argued that, while there needs to be a solution, the location under consideration isn’t a good fit. Lindenlaub says that an in-depth presentation will be presented to the... ...

Two Columbus residents arrested after traffic stop

Oct 12, 2017 92

Two Columbus residents were arrested on drug charges Wednesday after a traffic stop. Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, says that a deputy stopped a vehicle after he observed it speeding on southbound US 31 near County Road 550 North at 2:46 a.m. While speaking with the driver, 22-year-old Ashley Shuffitt, and her passenger, 25-year-old Levi Underwood, the deputy says he detected the odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. Jackson says that a search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of drugs and drug-related items. In addition, she says that additional drugs and drug-related items were found on Shuffitt after she was taken to the Bartholomew County Jail. Shuffitt is facing preliminary charges of: Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana, Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated, Driving while Suspended with a Prior Conviction; Shuffitt is being held of $68,500 bond. Authorities say that a small bag containing a white, crystal substance, consistent with the look of methamphetamine, was found in Underwood’s wallet. He was... ...

Deputies seeking Franklin E. Byars as most wanted

Oct 12, 2017 119

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is looking for your help finding this week’s most wanted fugitive. Deputies are searching for 34-year-old Franklin Earl Byars. The is a white man, six feet three inches tall and about 165 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Byars is wanted on three Bartholomew County warrants, charging possession of methamphetamine and of paraphernalia and conversion. If you have any information on his whereabouts, you can contact Detective Sg. William Kinman at 812-565-5926. Or you can call the sheriff’s department tip line at 812-379-1712. Information can be left anonymously. ...

Town hall tonight for east side Columbus residents

Oct 12, 2017 63

There will be a town hall meeting tonight at the Roby and America Anderson Community Center on the east side of Columbus. The event will include members of the city council and Mayor Jim Lienhoop. It is being organized by the State Street Area Association. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the former Eastside Community Center on McClure Road. ...

Scholarships offered for high school musicians, singers

Oct 12, 2017 60

Applications are now available for next year’s Brown Music Awards for Bartholomew County high school seniors. The $3,500 scholarship winners are chosen during a music competition that will be held on February 10 at First Christian Church. The awards are the Anna Newell Brown Award for Vocal Excellence and the Betty F. Brown Award for Instrumental Excellence. The scholarships aim to encourage formal vocal and music education for Bartholomew County students. Applications are due by December 8th. You can get more information or apply by looking for the scholarships link at heritagefundbc.org. ...

Drug epidemic event to include prescription takebacks

Oct 12, 2017 65

When the Alliance for Substance Abuse Progress in Bartholomew County gives its update to the community on Oct. 24th, it is also hoping to take something away — unwanted prescription medications. Beth Morris, director of community health partnerships with Columbus Regional Health, says that the community update and forum will also include a drug take back event. You can bring any unwanted medications, either yours or someone else’s, to the event and they will be taken, no questions asked. Morris says that anyone who brings in a prescription for disposal, will also receive a copy of the book “Dreamland” which explains how the opioid and heroin epidemic came to be. The community forum will be at The Commons at 6:30 p.m. on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 24th. ...