Three arrested in fraud case involving cigarette sales

Mar 20, 2017 110

A group of New York men are accused of trying to use fake credit cards to buy cigarettes from local gas stations over the weekend. The three were arrested just before midnight on Saturday after attempting to purchase multiple cartons of cigarettes at the Village Pantry store in the 3100 block of Washington Street, says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus police. After their arrest, a search of their vehicle allegedly revealed marijuana, fraudulent credit cards and a credit card skimming device, Harris. Two of the men also allegedly gave fake names to police.  All three were from Brooklyn, N.Y. Those arrested and their preliminary charges included: Greggory Arzu, 21, Possession of a Credit Card Skimming Device and Fraud; Gregory Meade, 20, False Informing, Possession of a Credit Card Skimming Device and Fraud; Hamou Soumare, 21, False Informing, Possession of a Credit Card Skimming Device, Possession of Marijuana and Fraud.   ...

Four arrested after early morning drug search

Mar 20, 2017 87

North Vernon police arrested four people and recovered heroin, marijuana and drug paraphernalia when they served a search warrant just after midnight this morning. According to police, investigators received a tip several weeks ago about possible drug activity at a home in the 1100 block of West County Road 115S. Police say that they recovered about half a gram of heroin and five grams of marijuana, along with drug packaging materials. They arrested 40-year-old Jeremy M. Jones, 27-year-old Kevin V. Swindall, 23-year-old Christopher L. Branum and 27-year-old Amanda J. Grajales. Preliminary charges included: Jones, maintaining a common nuisance, possession of a narcotic, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Swindall, Branum and Grajales, visiting a common nuisance, possession of a narcotic and drug paraphernalia. ...

Firefighters battle auto blaze at gas station

Mar 20, 2017 92

German Township firefighters extinguished a car fire in Taylorsville after the owner noticed smoke coming from under his dash while he was driving. Deputy Chief Matt Lynch, spokesman for the fire department, said they first got the call at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday on a report of a burning car at a gas station on U.S. 31. When firefighters and the Bartholomew County sheriff’s department arrived the car was fully engulfed in flames. They quickly knocked the flames down but a fuel leak kept feeding the fire. Overall, firefighters used about 2,000 gallons of water plus foam to extinguish the blaze. The car’s owner explained that he recently had a new cigarette lighter installed and wondered if that might have been the cause of the fire. ...

Gas leak closes street in Columbus

Mar 20, 2017 50

Columbus firefighters had to block off a street and evacuate homes Saturday and Sunday after a contractor hit a gas line. Capt. Mike Wilson says that the incident happened at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon at 19th Street and Home Avenue when Miller Pipeline hit the Vectren-owned line. Crews shut off power to the area and evacuated seven residences, Wilson said. Firefighters worked overnight to keep the area safe while Vectren tried to shut off the flow of gas. Wilson said it wan’t until about 10:20 a.m. Sunday morning that they finally were able to shut off the leak and firefighters could leave the scene. That was after about 20 hours. ...

Columbus North student to host event to help kittens

Mar 17, 2017 94

A Columbus North High School Student is doing what she can to help homeless kittens. Nicohl Birdwell Goodin, general manager of Columbus Animal Care Services, says that Madeline Morris will host “The Whole Kitten Caboodle” Kitten Shower on Saturday, March 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Animal Care Services Center, located at 2730 Arnold Street. This event is being held to help provide the felines with the items they need. If you would like to help, you are asked to donate any of the following items: • Kitten Chow • Cat Litter • Bottles for Nursing Kittens • KMR Brand Kitten Formula (found at local pet stores or online) • Bleach & Paper Towels • Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (blue) • Monetary donations Attendees can enjoy refreshments and visit the animals available for adoption at the shelter. ...

Severe Weather Preparedness Week begins Sunday

Mar 17, 2017 77

Severe Weather and Flood Preparedness Week runs from April 19 thru April 25. Officials say that Indiana typically has its most severe weather during the spring months. You and your loved ones are urged to plan, prepare and practice what to do in the event of severe weather. As part of the week, a statewide tornado test will take place Tuesday. Tornado sirens throughout the state are slated to be tested at 10:10 a.m. and again at 7:35 p.m. In the event of severe weather, the test will be rescheduled. Dave Tucek, a meteorologist from the Indianapolis National Weather Service office will conduct a basic Severe Weather Spotters Class. This free class will be offered March 28th at 6:30 p.m. at the Columbus Learning Center. It is open to all first responders and the public. ...

Columbus JC Penney set to close

Mar 17, 2017 108

JC Penney is closing five stores in Indiana, one of them inside the Fairoaks Mall in Columbus. The chain announced Friday that it is shuttering 138 stores nationwide in an effort to boost profitability. JC Penny says that approximately 5,000 positions will be affected by the closings. The chain says that liquidation at most affected stores should begin April 17th, with the stores completely closed by sometime in June. ...

Deputies seeking suspect in theft from country club

Mar 17, 2017 117

Bartholomew County deputies have released a photo  of a suspect they believe was involved with a theft at Harrison Lake Country Club. The photo shows a man walking out of a store carrying a bag. According to the sheriff’s department, the man allegedly took a purse from a vehicle at the country club in early March. If you have any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, you can contact Detective William R Kinman Jr. at (812) 565-5926. ...

State Road 252 to see closures next week

Mar 17, 2017 85

The Indiana Department of Transportation plans to have intermittent closures on State Road 252 near Flat Rock next week. Contractors will be clearing the right-of-way for an upcoming road widening and resurfacing project on State Road 252 and are expected to be working between Interstate 65 and Flat Rock starting at 8 Monday morning. The $12 million dollar project will work on seven miles of the state road in southwestern Shelby County. That will include bridge work at Lewis Creek and the Flat Rock River. They will also be replacing many drainage structures along the highway. ...

Sheriff warns of threatening phone scam

Mar 17, 2017 112

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department is warning of a scam that is targeting local residents. Sheriff Matt Myers says that an employee at the sheriff’s department has received three calls this week warning that she was in trouble with the law and that officers would be notified if she did not call back. The sheriff says that the message was barely understandable. According to the sheriff, the number of the caller was 305-501-2223. He says if you receive one of these calls the first thing to do is hang up and do not call back. He also suggests that you warn family members and friends, especially older residents who might be more vulnerable to such a scam. For more information, or to report a scam, you can call the sheriff’s department at 812-379-1740 ...