Three arrested after truck stolen from Jennings home

Nov 17, 2017 45

Jennings County deputies arrested three men, accused of stealing a truck from a home on Tuesday morning.

A homeowner heard the sound of a vehicle in his driveway near County Road 850W and 350S at about 6:45 a.m. that morning and realized that it was his own truck being taken. He followed in another vehicle and eventually two men jumped out of the stolen truck and ran away. A third suspect was in a parked truck down the road and also ran away.

Deputies arrived and cordoned off the area, eventually catching two men running in a field about a mile away, according to the sheriff’s department. The third man was arrested later in the day without incident.

Both of the vehicles had been reported stolen and one was found to have about $2,500 in stolen tools and scrap metal in the bed of the truck.

21-year-old John Meisberger II of Butlerville and 20-year-old Christopher Carf Junior of Holton are facing preliminary charges of auto theft, burglary, theft and criminal trespass. 26-year-old Dustin Gifford of Butlerville was arrested on a parole warrant and on a preliminary charge of theft.

Four families to be recognized tonight as “Family of the Year”

Nov 17, 2017 38

Four area families will be recognized as family of the year at an event tonight at St. Peters Lutheran Church on Fifth Street.

Judy Lifferth is local organizer for the National Family Week activities.

Liffeth said the four families will be recognized for working together, playing together and overcoming obstacles and grief with grace and dignity.

The four families are:

  • The Humes-Gilberts: Molly Hume and Megan Gilbert.
  • The Poueriets: Pablo, Jennifer, Oliver and Lucas/
  • The McCauleys: Michael, Marci and Cierra
  • The Lancasters: Doug and Laura

That event will be from 7 to 8:15 p.m. tonight in the church sanctuary.

Pence reappointed to state tourism council

Nov 17, 2017 37

Columbus resident Denise Pence has been reappointed to the state’s tourism council by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

The governor’s office announced yesterday that Pence, owner of the Exit 76 Antique Mall in Edinburgh, will continue her service on the council. Her term expires in 2019.

Heritage Fund awards grants to community groups

Nov 17, 2017 38

Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County recently approved three grants to community organizations.

  • $11,000 will go to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department for gear that lets deputies safely test dangerous drugs.
  • Developmental Services Inc is receiving $26,500 to make a more welcoming programming space for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
  • IUPUC is receiving $25,000 to hire a staff person to come up with women’s programming through the university’s office of women.

All of the grants came from Heritage Fund’s Community Fund, which distributes about half a million dollars a year to aid community efforts.

For more information on the Heritage Fund, you can go to

Sheriff seeks more money for deputy overtime

Nov 17, 2017 36

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers will be getting more money for deputies’ overtime. The sheriff said that two shooting incidents this year pushed his overtime budget even further into the red than previously estimated.

The county had originally budgeted about $84,000 in overtime for sheriff’s deputies, but the department has spent more than $155,000 so far this year, says the sheriff. The department has already moved money around to cover part of the shortfall, but needed County Council approval to access $31,000 in other funds to make it to the end of the year.

Myers said that there have been several incidents this year that required exceptional overtime. For example, deputies aided in the search in late September of a man who shot at a Columbus police officer and then fled into the woods near the city’s wastewater treatment plant.

Myers explained there have also been personnel reasons there has been so much overtime including new deputies who can’t patrol alone, retirements and injuries.

Myers asked to recover money that was paid for a deputy assigned to the federal DEA task force in Indianapolis.

The County Council earlier this week approved moving funds to allow for the overtime expenses.

Construction equipment breaks gas line

Nov 16, 2017 55

A natural gas leak caused by a trenching machine led to the evacuation of one home this morning at Candlelight Village in Columbus.

Firefighters were called to the 2800 block of Rosewood Lane at about 10:54 this morning after maintenance crews damaged the one-inch gas line while they were burying electrical lines at the site of a new home in the park.

Firefighters closed the street and called Vectren Energy in to stop the leak. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department, said that you should always call before you dig. Vectren officials told firefighters that the utility location survey had been completed for the site prior to the incident.

But Wilson said Vectren also suggested hand digging if you are excavating close to an underground line.

Lincoln playground efforts win award

Nov 16, 2017 47

An effort to improve the playground at CSA Lincoln Elementary School is being recognized by Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County with the annual James A. Henderson fundraising award.

The LInden Project is a group of parents and volunteers working to upgrade the playground, turning it into an outdoor learning environment. In partnership with Bartholomew Consolidated Schools, the project has raised more than half a million dollars toward the renovations.

The Heritage Fund donated $2,500 to the award-winning effort, through the Bartholomew Consolidated School Foundation.

BCSC students polled on drug use; numbers down

Nov 16, 2017 34

Bartholomew Consolidated School students are making some historically good choices when it comes to drug use.

But there are concerns that after leaving the school system, young people in our community are choosing to imbibe.

Larry Perkinson, employee and student assistance coordinator for the school district, said that the recently released results from the Indiana Youth Data survey shows extremely low rates of drug usage, down in several categories to near-record lows since 1993.

Students were asked what substances they have used in the last month.

Tobacco use is at the record low for high school seniors and alcohol is at a near low. One drug that did edge higher recently was marijuana use, which is up from 13.2 percent in 2015 to 15.6 percent this year. Perkinson attributed that to the legalization efforts for both medical and recreational marijuana use around the country, which could be giving students a positive view of the drug.

The use of harder drugs was in the fractions of percentage points, Perkinson said.

Perkinson said he is concerned about the disconnect between student attitudes and the 18 to 25 year olds in the community. The number of overdoses of young adults in that age group has quadrupled in recent years.

He said that there may be more opportunities for the schools to prepare students for the dangers of after-school life.

Graphics below courtesy of Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp.

Car bursts into flames after hitting deer

Nov 15, 2017 68

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

A car hit a deer this morning on Becks Grove Road. Then the vehicle burst into flames.

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

No one was injured in the crash at just before 7:30 a.m. this morning, according to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department. But the road was shut down while firefighter battled the vehicle fire in the 13,000 block of Becks Grove Road.

Deputies donate ton and a half of food to pantries

Nov 15, 2017 47

A 9-year-old girl will get to be sheriff for a day in Bartholomew County.

Kyria Rodriguez was the winner of the contest after donating 1,100 items to the Pack-a-Patrol-Car drive to benefit Love Chapel and Salvation Army food banks.

The sheriff’s department delivered almost a ton and a half of food this morning to Love Chapel at the end of the food drive, which began during the Ethnic Expo parade last month.

Kyria will be able to follow the sheriff during his normal duties including a tour of the jail, introductions to department staff members, attending meetings and having lunch with Sheriff Matt Myers.

The food drive, organized by Tammy Johnson and Jessica Niese, concluded yesterday at the end of normal business hours. This was the third annual Pack-a-Patrol-Car effort and it generated 2,934 pounds of non-perishable food and personal hygiene items.