Date set for next local food summit

Jan 23, 2018 5

The third annual Columbus Area Local Food Summit has been set for Tuesday Feb.  13th

The keynote speaker will be IU professor and Columbus native James Farmer talking about “Growing a Local Food System: Emerging Trends with Space for All.”

Other sessions will discuss Local Food Success, Producer Best Practices, and Local Food Partnerships.

Registration is free and ends on Feb. 6th. A locally-sourced lunch will be provided by Cummins Corporate Hospitality. The summit will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 13th at Donner Center.

To register go to

For more information, contact Kris Medic at Kris Medic at Purdue Cooperative Extension-Bartholomew County:  812-379-1665

Missing scrap metal leads to theft arrest

Jan 23, 2018 8

Isaac D. Spiehler. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A pile of missing scrap metal from a Taylorsville business led to a man’s arrest at a recycling company in Columbus Monday according to deputies.

49-year-old Isaac Spiehler of Columbus is facing a charge of theft — receiving stolen property after the incident yesterday morning.

According to reports from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, a deputy was patrolling the school zone in Taylorsville when he was alerted to a theft of the pile of scrap metal at the business. A friend had taken a photo of a suspicious vehicle near the pile and had a license plate number.

Columbus police were contacted and intercepted Spiehler driving the vehicle at Kroot’s in the city. The truck was full of the stolen scrap materials, which were given back to the rightful owner, deputies report.

Board denies request for dog kennel in northern Bartholomew County

Jan 23, 2018 25

White River Broadcasting photo

A proposed dog kennel in northern Bartholomew County has been denied. That’s after a crowd of sign-waving animal advocates turned out to last night’s county board of zoning appeals meeting to protest the plan, filling the downstairs meeting room at the Columbus airport to overflow.

Opponents talked passionately about their love for their dogs and their distaste for what they called a puppy mill proposed on the property. Among those protesting were neighbors who were concerned about the noise and property values, and a former owner of the property who said her family would be rolling over in their graves if they knew what was being planned there.

Chad Miller said he owns the neighboring property, 1,500 feet from the location of the proposed kennel.

Aaron and Lena Oberholtzer asked for the ability to construct the kennel on a farm at County Road 950N and Road 500E in Flatrock Township. They planned to breed up to 100 adult dogs at a time at the location. The property is zoned for Agriculture (Preferred) but a dog breeding operation requires the approval of a conditional use for the property.

Rhetta Glick said that the farmland had been in her family for 200 years before being sold. She believes the Oberholtzers are wonderful people but their plans were causing her a heavy heart.

Ultimately, the board voted 4-1 to turn down the request, citing concerns about the proper use of prime farmland and suggesting that the operation was more appropriate in a commercial area.

The crowd waved their red and white signs in anticipation of the decision and erupted in cheers after the proposal was turned down.

White River Broadcasting photo

Fire destroys garage on Cottage Avenue

Jan 22, 2018 39

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department from Amia Hendry, of Columbus

A detached garage was completely destroyed in a Monday morning fore. Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the Columbus Fire Department, says that firefighters were called to the 700 block of Cottage Ave. At approximately 4:44 a.m. He says that a neighbor was preparing to leave for work when she saw flames coming from the rear of 728 Cottage Avenue. The neighbor was able to alert the family and they escaped safely.

Firefighters arrived on the scene to find the garage fully engulfed, about 20 feet from the home. A car was just feet away. Wilson says that as firefighters began to stretch fire hoses to the building, they encountered arcing power-lines above the garage. Within minutes, a portion of the power-lines fell to the ground in the area of the garage, causing crews to reposition.

The fire was marked under control at approximately 5:10 a.m. During the fire a large portion of the garage roof collapsed into the building, which contained an a passenger car and lawn moving equipment. A minivan located near the home sustained radiant heat damage. The home itself was not damaged.

Wilson says that as firefighters cleared the scene, Duke Energy was making repairs to the electric utility. Due to the condition of the block wall garage, and the potential for secondary collapse into a public alleyway, the fire department requested the assistance of the Department of Public Works. A front end loader was requested at the scene to push down a block wall leaning into the alleyway.

Wilson says that investigators have not yet been able to determine what caused the fire. Damages have been estimated at $6,000. No one was hurt.

Columbus man arrested after gun threats

Jan 22, 2018 73

Michael Shuffitt; photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Dept.

A Columbus man was arrested after allegedly threatening people with a gun. Deputy Cody Low with the Jennings County Sheriff’s Department says that authorities received information on Sunday that 30-year-old Michael Shuffitt was inside a home in the 7000 block of US 50 West threatening the residents with a firearm and also threatening to harm anyone that called the police.

Authorities say that Shuffitt was wanted on an outstanding Bartholomew County Warrant for burglary. Deputies arrived on the scene at approximately 2 a.m. and took Shuffit into custody without incident. Further investigation led deputies to discover heroin, methamphetamine, syringes, scales, paraphernalia, approximately $1,200 in cash and a firearm.

Shuffitt is facing preliminary charges of:
Possession of Syringe (Level 6 Felony);
Possession of a Narcotic Drug (Level 6 Felony);
Possession of Methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony);
Dealing in a Narcotic Drug (Level 4 Felony);
Possession of Paraphernalia (A Misdemeanor);
Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon (Level 4 Felony);
Possession of Marijuana (B Misdemeanor);
Maintaining a Common Nuisance (Level 6 Felony)

Shuffitt was held on a $6,255 cash bond and a Bartholomew County Warrant for felony Burglary.

Caitlyn Rhodes; photo courtesy of Jennings County Sheriff’s Dept.

Deputies also arrested 24-year-old Caitlin Rhodes, of Seymour, on preliminary charges of:
Possession of a Syringe (Level 6 Felony);
Possession of a Narcotic Drug (Level 6 Felony);
Possession of Methamphetamine (Level 6 Felony);
Dealing a Narcotic Drug (Level 4 Felony);
Possession of Paraphernalia (A Misdemeanor);
Maintaining a Common Nuisance (Level 6 Felony)

Rhodes was held on a $3,155 cash bond.

Edinburgh man faces charges in alleged domestic disturbance

Jan 22, 2018 51

Kody Weber; photo courtesy of Johnson County Sheriff’s Dept.

An Edinburgh man is facing charges after an alleged domestic violence incident Sunday in Franklin. The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department says that at about 2:30 a.m., deputies were called to the 5800 block of South County Road 700 East. When they arrived, they learned that the suspect, 22-year-old Kody Weber, had fled the scene. Authorities say that a K9 unit found Weber moments later in a doghouse behind the home.

Investigators say that Weber had returned to the home that he shares with his girlfriend when the pair got into an argument. The girlfriend reportedly told deputies that Weber got violent and began breaking things and hitting her. She then texted her sister. The sister told authorities that when she arrived, Weber met her vehicle, forced his way inside and punched her in the head.

Deputies say that Weber strongly smelled of alcohol. He later tested .186 percent BAC on a portable breath test, according to the report.

Weber is facing preliminary charges of Criminal Recklessness, Aggravated Battery with Injury and Battery.

Two arrested on drug charges after Saturday police stop

Jan 22, 2018 60

Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Rebecca L. Fast. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

Two people were arrested on drug charges after a traffic stop Saturday evening.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department reports that a deputy noticed a suspicious looking car pull out of a parking lot as he entered at just before 7 p.m.  A records search revealed that the registered owner was wanted on a warrant from out of the county.

After pulling the car over in the 10000 block or North U.S. 31, the deputy noticed the smell of marijuana inside, according to police reports.

The sheriff’s department police dog Bolt alerted to the smell of drugs inside the vehicle and a search revealed methamphetamine, opioids, marijuana, unprescribed prescription medicines, syringes, and drug paraphernalia.

A passenger, 34-year-old Rebecca L. Fast of Plainfield is facing charges of possession of methamphetamine, marijuana, a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

Richard Benedict. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

The car’s owner 33 year old Richard Benedict of Danville is facing a preliminary charge of possession of a legend drug.

North Vernon man accused of sexual contact with minor

Jan 22, 2018 74

Raymone Clarke. Photo courtesy of North Vernon Police Department.

A North Vernon man is facing charges over his relationship with a 14 year old girl.

20-year-old Raymond Clarke is facing prelminary charges of sexual contact with a minor and contributihng to the delinquency of a minor. That’s after an investigation last week.

North Vernon police say that they were called by the 14-year-old girls parents Thursday who were concerned about the relationship. Police served a search warrant at the suspect’s house in the 200 block of High Street Friday. They found items related to the investigation as well as a 14-year-old who had been reported as a runaway earlier in the day.

Shoplifting call turns into drug arrest at Columbus store

Jan 22, 2018 63

Layne M. Schwartz. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Columbus police say that a shoplifiting call turned into a drug arrest Sunday at a local store.

Police say there were called to the Walmart store on Whitfield Drive at about 4:30 Sunday after a man was accused of stealing headphones. Police found 26-year-old Layne M. Schwartz hiding in the parking lot. A search allegedly revealed the headphones asw well as heroin and methamphetamine in his pockets and wallet.

Schwartz is facing preliminary charges of theft, along with possession of heroin and methamphetamine.

SWAT team called after man accused of pointing gun

Jan 22, 2018 50

Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Lawrence T. Pushor. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

The Columbus SWAT team was called out last night to the 100 block of North Ross Street on a report of a man pointing a gun at a neighbor.

Police report that they arrested 62 year old Lawrence T. Pushor after a two-hour standoff, which started at about 6:30 p.m.

A neighbor said he was doing construction work at home, when Pushor confronted the man and his fiance with a gun. Pushor than went back into his home.

When police arrived, they could not get Pushor to leave his residence, and called in the SWAT team and crisis negotiators. Pushor eventually surrendered without incident.

He is facing charges of intimidation with a deadly weapon, and possession of a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia and marijuana.