Wanted Hope man arrested on drug charges

May 26, 2017 12

Shawn Sanford; photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept.

A Hope man was arrested early Thursday morning on drug charges. Judy Jackson, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman, says that at 12:21 a.m., Deputy Dane Duke responded to a welfare check call in the 700 block of Jonesville Road. Upon arrival, Duke found 40-year-old Shawn Scott Sanford sleeping in his vehicle. While checking Sanford’s information, the deputy learned that Sanford was wanted on a warrant out of Jennings County.

Once Sanford was taken into custody, Deputy Duke reported finding several syringes and a digital scale in Sanford’s vehicle. In addition, police allegedly found plastic bag with a crystal substance, believed to be methamphetamine and a plastic bag containing what is believed to be marijuana in Sanford’s possession.

Sanford was arrested on the warrant, along with preliminary charges of:

Possession of methamphetamine,
Possession of a legend drug injection device,
Trafficking with an inmate,
Possession of marijuana,
Possession of paraphernalia, and

Sanford is being held without bond.

Man wanted on 5 warrants arrested after pursuit

May 26, 2017 11

Michael Baxley. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A man wanted on five warrants was arrested by Columbus police after he ran from officers early this morning.

Officers noticed 39-year-old Michael E. Baxley Jr. on the street near State Street and Marr Road and confirmed that Baxley had the outstanding warrants. When Baxley noticed the officer, he allegedly took off running.

Officer Branch Schrader and his police dog Argo found Baxley hiding underneath a large bush. While searching Baxley, they allegedly found two syringes in his backpack. In addition to the warrants, he is facing preliminary charges of possession of a legend drug injection device and resisting law enforcement.

Unlicensed handgun leads to arrest of Franklin man

May 26, 2017 11

Matthew W. Robertson. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Bartholomew County deputies arrested a man allegedly carrying an unlicensed handgun after finding a vehicle sitting at a dead end early Thursday morning.

Deputies report that Matthew W. Robertson of Franklin was a passenger in the vehicle, which was found sitting on North Spring Hill Lane at 3:36 a.m. yesterday morning. The driver said the vehicle was having mechanical problems.

While talking to the driver, a deputy noticed that Robertson kept dropping his right hand after being ordered to keep his hands where they could be seen. Suspecting he might have a weapon, deputies asked Robertson to get out ot the vehicle and found the gun under him, according to police reports.

He is facing a preliminary charge of carrying a handgun without a license.

Interstate accident injures one

May 26, 2017 27

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

One person was seriously injured in a crash on Interstate 65 yesterday afternoon near Columbus that tied up traffic for hours.

Indiana State Police say that 50-year-old Wendy Crowder of Veedersburg, Ind. was seriously hurt when her SUV was struck by a semi driven by John G. Olson of South Milwaukee, Wis. near the Walesboro exit at about 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Police say they don’t know why, but Olson’s semi crossed the centerline into the southbound lanes of the highway striking Crowder’s vehicle before going back into the median.

Crowder was flown to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Olson was uninjured.

Olson’s trailer contained a load of potatoes that shifted during the crash. Traffic was slowed in both directions for nearly six hours while crews worked to offload the potatoes before removing the vehicle from the median.

The investigation is ongoing.

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

Former mayor Poynter-Brown honored as Democrat of the year

May 26, 2017 24

Nancy Ann Brown Poynter and speaker Morton Marcus at last week’s Democratic Party dinner. Photo courtesy of Bob Pitman.

Nancy Ann Brown Poynter was named the 2017 John Rumple Democrat of the Year at last week’s annual Bartholomew County Democratic Party dinner at Donner Center.

Brown Poynter was honored for her achievements having served as the youngest and first female Bartholomew County treasurer and Columbus mayor.

In presenting the award, Democratic Outreach Chair Bob Pitman cited her willingness to return from retirement to serve as Bartholomew County Democrat’s interim chairwoman for the past 18 months.

The Rumple Award is named in honor of John Rumple, who served as Democratic Party Chair from 1985-89 and was the Indiana State Candidate for Attorney General in 1988.

Salute! concert stays on courthouse lawn tonight

May 26, 2017 26

Rain or shine, tonight’s Salute! concert will be on the Bartholomew County Courthouse lawn, near the Veterans Memorial. The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic made that call yesterday.

Conductor and Music Director David Bowden says he is a big fan of soloist Sylvia McNair, who is performing this evening.

Bowden says he is looking forward to McNair’s performance of “I’ll be Seeing You”…

Part of the evening includes standards that take place at every Salute! concert, Bowden says.

Bowden explains that the evening is about recognizing American military veterans…

Tonight’s event is free. It starts at 7 p.m. and you should bring your own lawn chairs.

For more information, visit thecip.org.

Fertilizer spill kills fish near Flat Rock

May 26, 2017 21

State environmental authorities are investigating a chemical spill that caused a fish kill near the Shelby/Bartholomew County line.

A farmer was transporting a trailer of nitrogen fertilizer and ran off the road while attempting to let a vehicle pass on the narrow county road Wednesday afternoon, according to conservation officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. That was on Shelby County Road 1200 South, east of State Road 9.

Conservation officers say part of the fertilizer went into a tributary of Little Tough Creek in Flat Rock. DNR and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management took steps to contain the chemical, but a small fish kill occurred.

Messer talks about potential Senate run

May 25, 2017 40

Rep. Luke Messer addresses Bartholomew County Lincoln Day Dinner attendees

Local Republicans were hoping to get confirmation during Thursday night’s Bartholomew County Lincoln Day Dinner that Rep. Luke Messer would be running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Joe Donnelly. Unfortunately for them, they’ll have to wait a little longer.


Addressing local Republicans, Messer says that Donnelly votes too often in the interests of the national Democratic Party.


Messer went on to say that comments made by Donnelly after his vote to confirm Gorsuch revealed where the Senator’s allegiance truly lies.


Messer thanked his family, and local Republicans, for their support throughout his political career.

Traffic slow on southbound I-65

May 25, 2017 38

Photo courtesy of Bob Morrison

Traffic is moving very slow on southbound I-65 near the 58 mile marker in Bartholomew County. Indiana State Police say that crews are unloading a semi that is stuck in the median of the interstate. The plan is to allow some traffic to pass before stopping it and resuming unloading work. It is expected to be a few hours before the southbound lanes are completely cleared. You should avoid the area if at all possible.

Fire at Driftside started by discarded smoking materials

May 25, 2017 62

Photo courtesy of German Township Volunteer Fire Dept.

A fire at the Driftside Trailer Park early Thursday morning brought out firefighters from the German Township Fire Department, as well as Clifford and Edinburgh. Matt Lynch, Deputy Chief of the German Township Volunteer Fire Department, says firefighters were called to the trailer park, at 13500 North US 31, just before 5 a.m. He says that a passerby noticed fire on the front porch and called 911 while also trying to alert those inside the home. Lynch says that the woman was able to wake the two males and one female inside. A Bartholomew County dispatcher was also able to talk to one of the residents and confirm that everyone was out of the trailer.

Lynch says that Edinburgh Fire Engine 41 arrived on the scene and knocked down the fire with a single hand line. Crews continued to extinguish hot spots and also check the house for any fire that could have extended into the walls. The fire was marked complexly extinguished at 5:20 a.m.

Photo courtesy of German Township Volunteer Fire Dept.

Investigators say the fire started next to the front deck. They say there was a five-gallon bucket of used motor oil that was on the porch, a lawn mower under the porch along with two bikes and a tall plastic trash can were all in the area of the fire. Lynch says that both bikes had the front tires melted away, the lawn mower sustained heavy damage and the trash and bucket of oil were completely consumed by the fire. The skirt around the mobile home had melted, however fire crews kept the fire from extending under the home.

The Bartholomew County Fire Inspector says the fire was accidental. He noted that it was likely started by discarded smoking materials in the trash can, which had smoldered overnight.

Fire officials say this incident should serve as a reminder about the importance of having working smoke detectors in your home. You are also reminded to make sure that your smoking materials are completely extinguished before discarding, preferably into a metal trashcan with non-flammable materials.