2019 in review: Our top stories April through June

We are taking a look back at our top stories of the year 2019.

In April, Bartholomew Consolidated Schools were considering a change to student’s schedules. Superintendent Dr. Jim Roberts explained

Also in April, Former Indiana Senator Richard Lugar died after complications of a neurological disorder. He was 87. Lugar, an Indianapolis native, served in the U.S. Navy before entering a life of public service. He served as the mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975 before moving on to the Senate from 1977 to 2013. He ran for President in 1996.

And in April, 23-year-old Donavon Booker of North Vernon was shot to death in Country Squire Lakes. The investigation led to the arrest of four people. 30-year-old Stephon Moore of Louisville was caught on home security cameras shooting at Booker and two other men outside the home. Moore was convicted in October in the murder.

In May, Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop won the Republican primary election over his challenger Glenn Petri 71 to 29 percent…

In other contested Republican primary races in Columbus, incumbent Dascal Bunch defeated challenger Chris Rutan in the District 1 Council race, while incumbent Dave Bush defeated Russell Poling in the District 3 council race.

In the three way race for the two nominations for the at-large seats on Columbus City Council. Josh Burnett and Laurie Booher won spots on the November ballot.

Also in May, Democratic presidential candidate Eric Swalwell drew a crowd of enthusiastic local supporters to a town hall and rally at the Factory 12 Event Loft. Swalwell, a four-term incumbent Congressman from California is married to Columbus native Brittany Watts Swalwell.

IndyCar drivers including Tony Stewart took a lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway driving five antique Cummins race cars. To commemorate Cummins’ 100th anniversary, the cars participated in a vintage parade lap just prior to the green flag dropping at this year’s race.

In June, Cummins requested, and received, a tax abatement on $3.3 million in building improvements and $29.7 million in new equipment at its Central Avenue plant. That was related to creating a headquarters for its electrification business here.

Mayor Jim Lienhoop said that Columbus is fortunate to be home to Cummins.

Also in June, Columbus city leaders were asked to ban vaping in public places and businesses in the same way cigarettes have been banned. Kylee Jones, tobacco awareness coordinator with Healthy Communities at Columbus Regional Health said that use of e-cigarettes is skyrocketing among the youth in our community and the devices are possibly as harmful to public health as actual cigarettes.

Columbus Police Chief Jon Rohde announced in June that he would be stepping down as chief at the end of this year. He has plans to run for Bartholomew County Superior Court II judge. Later in June, the mayor announced that Rohde would be replaced by long-time local officer and current Deputy Chief Mike Richardson on January 1st.