Columbus Fire seeks poster contest entries from kids

Sep 19, 2017 20

The Columbus Fire Department is looking for young artists to create a poster for next month’s Fire Prevention Week.

Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the department, explains the theme of this year’s contest is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” .

Wilson said that they will be stressing during Fire Prevention Week that every family should have an escape plan and it should be practiced.

The contest winner will receive tickets to Holiday World and Splashin Safari courtesy of White River Broadcasting.

2017 Fire Prevention week is Oct. 8-14.

Posters must be on 8 1/2 by 11 paper and may be created using pen, pencil, colored pencil, crayon or paint. Children must include their name, age and telephone number on the back of their poster. The contest is open to children 12 and younger.

Posters should be dropped off at the fire department’s administrative offices at 11th and Jackson Streets before October 4th. The offices are open 7-4 Monday through Friday.

Hope’s Yellow Trail Museum to unveil Indiana Bicentennial Barn Quilt

Sep 19, 2017 22

The Yellow Trail Museum in Hope will have two new displays in time for this weekend’s Hope Heritage Days.

The museum, on the northwest corner of the Hope Town Square will be holding an open house from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday to launch the new veterans display and to show the Indiana Bicentennial Barn Quilt.

Barb Johnson, director of the museum, says that the quilt started in 2015 with artists creating quilt blocks representing old barns in their communities. Each of the state’s 92 counties are represented, including the Bartholomew County quilt block by Peggy Sanqunetti.

The quilt is on loan from the new owner Melba Shilling of Knox, Ind. who won it at the end of last year’s bicentennial activies in an online auction.

The Yellow Trail Museum will be offering a book about the quilt for sale for $10. That is a fundraiser for the Indiana Barn Foundation. In addition to Friday’s open house, the Yellow Trail museum will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Seymour driver dies after weekend crash

Sep 19, 2017 25

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

Photo courtesy of Indiana State Police

A Seymour man died Monday as a result of a weekend crash.

57-year-old James S. Hinton died at an Indianapolis hospital from his injuries in the Saturday afternoon crash, says Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, spokesman for the state police.

19-year-old Justin L. Gudgel was in an SUV, turning left at the intersection of U.S. 50 and U.S. 31, just east of Seymour, at about 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon, when he crossed into the path of Hinton’s vehicle, sending that car down an embankment, Wheeles says.

Gudgel was uninjured. Hinton was flown by medical helicopter to the Indianapolis hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Phase 1 of State Street project nears completion

Sep 18, 2017 45

Work continues on Columbus’ State Street Revitalization Project. Heather Pope, the city’s redevelopment director, says that work on the bridge over Haw Creek is nearly finished…


Phase 1 also includes tying the gateway nodes to the people trail connection along Haw Creek.

Pope says that Phase 2A is “coming along nicely,” noting that all of the right-of-ways on the south side of the street are in place…


Pope says that work on lighting, landscaping and other architectural elements on the north side of State Street likely won’t get underway until this winter.

County contributes $2 million to railroad overpass fund

Sep 18, 2017 54

The Bartholomew County Commissioners officially signed an agreement with the city on Monday as it relates to the overpass project taking vehicle traffic over the railroad at State Road 11 and Jonathan Moore Pike. The county is set to contribute $2 million dollars over the next three years.

Dave Hayward, Columbus city engineer, explained during Monday’s meeting of the Columbus Redevelopment Commission that the county commissioners signed the pledge that morning. John Dorenbush, a member of the Railroad Community Committee, explained that the county will contribute $1.5 to the railroad fund by mid-November, with the remaining $500,000 paid out over the next two-years.

The cost of the project, estimated at $30 million, will be split between the state and local governments. Of the $15 million local contribution, the downtown Cummins TIF District is expected to contribute $5 million, while CSX and the Louisville & Indiana railroad companies have reportedly pledged to cover $1.5 million. However, Dorenbush says that the city does not yet have a signed agreement from the railroads. Mayor Jim Lienhoop says that the city is working on securing the remaining funds. He, as well as Dorenbush and other city officials, indicated that they were confident that the funding will be in place well before work is slated to begin. The city is scheduled to make a payment out of the railroad fund to the Indiana Department of Transportation before the end of the year.

The Redevelopment Commission also gave its blessing for Hayward to continue his work in negotiating with an engineering firm to serve as project manager for the overpass work. While this will be an INDOT project and the state will have its own project manager, Hayward says it is important for the city to have its own project manager to keep the project moving along and to work on Columbus’ behalf. The commission agreed with Hayward that the position is necessary. Redevelopment Commission member George Dutro, who also serves on the Railroad Community Committee, says that the position is needed to ensure that the overpass is built “the Columbus way.” Don Trapp, another member of the Redevelopment Commission, said it just makes good sense having someone on-site looking out for the city’s best interests. He, as well as other city officials, have stated that the project should be aesthetically pleasing and compliment Columbus’ architecture.

No official action was taken on Hayward’s continuing work to negotiate a professional manager services contract. An update on these negotiations are expected at next month’s meeting of the redevelopment commission.

VA to help veterans sign up for benefits at Columbus campus

Sep 18, 2017 104

The Veterans Affairs administration in Indianapolis will be holding events Tuesday and Wednesday in Columbus aimed at getting veterans signed up for benefits they are entitled to.

Alison Quinn, with the Veterans Health Administration office in Indianapolis explains.

Quinn says that they will be set up on the campus of IUPUC and Ivy Tech from 10 to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Wednesday.

Quinn said that it is important to bring a copy of your DD-214, although if you have lost the discharge form, the VA staff will help you fill out the paperwork to receive a replacement. You should also bring an estimate of your annual income, she said.

Pete Scoville, with the Veterans Health Administration office in Indianapolis, says that veterans, especially younger ones, don’t know what their benefits can do for them.


Officer injured in brawl at children’s restaurant

Sep 18, 2017 87

Zach Tillison. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A Columbus man was arrested after a brawl at a children’s restaurant over the weekend that injured a police officer.

Police were called to the Chuck E. Cheese on North National Road at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon after a man was discovered unconscious in a booth with an unsupervised small child in the restaurant.

Police tried to administer Narcan to the man, 33-year-old Zacheriah A. Tillison of Hope, but Tillison became combative says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the city police. During the struggle, an officer injured their knee.

After Tillison was subdued, he was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital to be checked out and then taken to the Bartholomew County Jail. He is facing preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement, public intoxication and child neglect.

The officer was treated for the knee injury and released.

The 4-year-old girl was released to her mother.

Parade entrants still wanted for Hope Heritage Days

Sep 18, 2017 57

There is still time to sign up for this weekend’s Hope Heritage Days parade.

The annual festival in northeastern Bartholomew County is celebrating its 50th year and organizers hope to make this the best parade ever. Michael Dean, CEO with Heritage of Hope, explains.

Dean says that you can still sign up in several categories, including horse-drawn entries, fire trucks and parade floats.

This year’s grand marshals will be former clerk-treasurers John and Shirley Robertson.

Dean gave credit to shop owner Adora Paetzel, who is organizing the parade for the first year.

Hope Heritage Days kicks off on Friday. The parade is Sunday with the military plane flyover at 2:15 p.m. and the parade itself starting at 2:30 p.m.. You can sign up online at

Electrical fire damages home on east side of Columbus

Sep 18, 2017 57

An electrical fire damaged a Columbus home Sunday afternoon.

The resident had just finished baking a cake when she noticed flames coming from behind the stove at about 3:55 p.m. Sunday in the 500 block of Gladstone Avenue. Firefighters extinguished the fire and it immediately reignited, leading firefighters to believe it might be electrical.

They shut off power to the home and were able to quickly put the fire out, says Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department.

When officers went to the basement they found charred flooring and evidence that a short had caused the fire. Damage was estimated at $5,000.

Wilson said the home did have smoke alarms, but they did not sound because they were more than 10 years old. Firefighters installed three new alarms in the home.

Two adults and an 11-year-old escaped from the fire unharmed.

Bomb threat disrupts Columbus Target store

Sep 17, 2017 140

A bomb threat led to the evacuation of the Columbus Target store on National Road, but no bomb was located.

Police later determined that Targets across the country received similar threats.

At about 9:45 p.m. Saturday night, Columbus police were called to the store. Employees were already evacuating the store as police arrived.

The Columbus police bomb squad search the building and found nothing unusual says Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the department.

Harris said police found that several other Target stores across the country received similar threats on Saturday.