Scuffle with officers leads to arrest for Columbus man

Apr 27, 2017 60
Demarcis Scrogham. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Damarcis Scrogham. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A 21-year-old Columbus man is back in jail after failing to return from his work release program, then allegedly getting drunk and fighting with police.

Police arrested Damarcis C. Scrogham at about 5:45 a.m. Wednesday morning after receiving a report of a man yelling and stumbling in the street near 19th and Union. Police say that Scrogham refused to obey police orders, would not get into the police car and struck an officer.

He is facing preliminary charges of public intoxication, resisting law enforcement, battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. He has a hold that is keeping him in jail because of the work-release problem earlier this week.

Columbus Food Co-op finds new home

Apr 27, 2017 150

The Columbus Food Co-op has found a home. The community owned grocery announced last night that it has signed a letter of intent and plans to have a lease in hand in the next few days.

The grocery plans to open in the 1500 block of Central Avenue, in a renovated factory space.

Mike Johnston, the co-op board president, says that the co-op plans to focus on locally grown and healthy food.

He said that will benefit local farmers by giving a new outlet for their crops and products. He estimates that the co-op will spend $500,000 in its first year on local produce and $2 million by year 10.

A co-op is a community grocery store owned and operated by its members. They elect the board overseeing the operations and the co-op is responsive to local needs.

The Columbus group formed in 2010 and had originally planned to open in the former Aldi’s space on 25th Street, but that deal fell through.

A fundraising campaign is under way. They need to raise $2.1 million dollars to open by the end of 2018. That would include just over $600,000 in loans from the members of the co-op.

Membership is $90 for a household and there are just under 900 members. You can find more information at columbusmarket. coop

Residents safe but pets lost in East Columbus home fire

Apr 27, 2017 67
Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Two people are safe but their pets are missing and they are homeless after a fire yesterday afternoon on Mapleton Street.

Columbus firefighters were called out at 5:45 p.m. to the rental home at 31 Mapleton St. after a resident reported that a fire had started in a bedroom.

When firefighters arrived they discovered fire shooting from the bedroom windows, says Capt. Mike Wilson, spokesman for the fire department. Both women who lived in the home had already escaped when firefighters arrived. After knocking down the flames, firefighters were searching for any more fire hiding in the walls and ceilings when the living room burst into flames, Wilson says. That flashover fire caused significant damage to the home, Wilson says.

A pet cat and dog were missing after the fire. A third resident was not at home at the time of the fire. The residents were assisted by the American Red Cross, Wilson says.

No working smoke detectors were found in the home. Wilson says this is the fifth home fire this year where no working smoke detectors were in the residence, which means half of the home fires so far this year in Columbus had no working smoke detectors.

Damage to the home and its contents was estimated at $80,000.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Photo courtesy of Columbus Fire Department.

Visitors Center annual meeting highlights sports, other tourism

Apr 26, 2017 58

The Columbus Area Visitors Center held it’s annual meeting Wednesday afternoon. Karen Niverson, executive director of the visitors center, says there were many highlights in 2016. A big one, she says, is sports tourism.


The annual report says that sporting events hosted locally in 2016 were up nearly 15-percent over the previous year. That led to a total estimated economic impact of $16 million.

Niverson also touched on another project coming this year, related to the life of the late philanthropist J. Irwin Miller.


Niverson says that exhibit, done in cooperation with Cummins, will take attendees on a tour of Miller’s office, just as it was when he utilized it. It will also have educational panels and displays to help illustrate portions of Miller’s life and work. She estimates that a ribbon-cutting ceremony for this exhibit will be held next month.

Wednesday’s annual report highlighted the importance of tourism in and around Columbus.

Space limited for CPD’s Public Safety Academy

Apr 26, 2017 58

The Columbus Police Department is inviting you to take part in its annual Public Safety Academy. Lt. Matt Harris, department spokesman, explains the purpose of the academy, which he calls the department’s “keynote event.”

Lt. Harris talks about what attendees can expect.

Lt. Harris explains why past academies have been so popular with residents.

CPD says that space for August’s academy is extremely limited. There is no charge to attend.

Drug-laced candy has authorities concerned

Apr 26, 2017 94
Deputy T. A. Smith displays samples of the candy. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Deputy T. A. Smith displays samples of the candy. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew Co. Sheriff’s Dept.

Drug-laced candy has Bartholomew County authorities urging parents to be vigilant in watching what their children consume. Officials with the Sheriff’s Department say that the candy, Sweet Tarts, may be becoming a popular way for area high-school students to ingest Xanax.

Sheriff Matt Myers says this candy will look like normal candy. He adds that it would be difficult to know if it is laced until it is eaten. The Sheriff went on to say that there may be some candy circulating in the community that is laced with Xanax.

Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders. Side effects of taking the drug include:

Drowsiness and feeling tired;
Slurred speech, lack of balance or coordination;
Memory problems; or
Feeling anxious

Sheriff Myers says that an Indiana University student was charged last year with selling Xanax-laced gummy candy out of his off-campus apartment. However, local authorities say that the drug-laced candy has only recently appeared in Bartholomew County. The Sheriff says that a 17-year-old Columbus high school student was recently found possessing the candy.

Myers says the candy’s appearance is troubling. “Apparently, the candy’s appearance is not changed by this process,” said the Sheriff. “We are very concerned that someone might overdose if they eat the candy unaware that it has been laced with drugs,” he added. In addition to the Sweet Tarts candy, authorities say that there are reports of drug-laced gummy bears in other nearby communities.

Authorities urge you to monitor your child’s candy intake, especially for younger children. If you think you have drug-laced candy, you should call the authorities.

Sheriff adds new civil process servers

Apr 26, 2017 44
Dave Brown. Photos courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department.

Dave Brown. Photos courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department has added two new civil process servers as a way to free more time for deputies to be out on  patrol.

Sheriff Matt Myers says that the new positions were suggested during a Six Sigma review of the department’s operations last year. The civil process servers will be delivering non-criminal court paperwork to residents — a task that previously fell to deputies.

Myers said that the change frees up time for deputies to do traffic enforcement, criminal warrant service or other policing activities.

Max Haymaker

Max Haymaker

The new civil process servers are former Columbus police officers Dave Brown and Max Haymaker. They have served more than 700 civil papers to date.






Business hosting Big Brothers/Big Sisters fundraiser

Apr 26, 2017 57

A Columbus business will be holding a fundraiser this weekend for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Matt Miller, owner of Raft to Rafters on 25th Street, explains that lunch will be $3 at the store on Saturday and will include grilled items as well as sides.

The store has been having the charity cookouts for five years, each year benefiting another not-for-profit. Past recipients have included Advocates for Children and the Humane Society.

Miller said they turned to a Facebook live event to settle on Big Brothers/Big Sisters as this year’s beneficiary.

That lunch will be from 11 to 1 Saturday. White River Broadcasting’s own Mike Sullivan will be the DJ for the event.

Downtown businesses and traffic concerns of residents

Apr 26, 2017 77

Downtown Columbus development and traffic were the big concerns of residents who attended a Town Hall meeting at Yes Cinema earlier this week.

Heather Pope, director of the city’s redevelopment department, said the city is considering a comprehensive study of the downtown needs to try to figure out what type of business should go in the vacant spot in The Commons.

Tom Dell, city councilman and downtown business owner, said that the downtown needs some outside expertise on luring businesses and what those should be.

City engineer Dave Hayward said traffic in and out of downtown would be improved by a proposed overpass at State Road 11 and Jonathan Moore Pike. That overpass is meant to help solve traffic tieups caused by increasing train traffic, but it would also reduce rush hour traffic jams, he said.

The Tuesday event was organized by City Councilwoman Elaine Wagner.

Sheriff Myers to address jail overcrowding

Apr 25, 2017 77

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is slated to present findings about the jail’s staffing and overcrowding issues. Judy Jackson, department spokeswoman, says that Jail Commander Major John Martoccia will be joining Myers in the presentation during Monday evening’s work session of the Bartholomew County Council.

The Sheriff’s Department says that occupancy at the jail continues to increase. Sheriff Myers has said recently that a factor in recent overcrowding is a change to state law that requires low-level felons to be housed in county jails instead of the state’s prison system. The Sheriff says that overcrowding issues are being faced by many jails throughout the state and Monday’s presentation will be an attempt to “get in front” of the problem.