Craft fair will bring awareness of Lyme Disease

Mar 28, 2017 36

A craft and vendor fair will be held on April 8th and 9th at Hotel Indigo in Columbus to benefit those who have been afflicted with Lyme Disease.

Money from the LYMEaid Fundraiser will go to benefit Indiana Lyme Connect, which works to support those with the tick-born infection and to educate the community about the disease, which frequently goes misdiagnosed for years.

The fair with more than 30 vendors will be from 10 to 1 on April 8th and 1 to 5 on April 9th. For more information, call 812-350-4654.

Driver arrested after crash that killed pedestrian

Mar 27, 2017 132
Michael B. Demaio. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

Michael B. Demaio. Photo courtesy of Columbus Police Department.

A Columbus man is under arrest, accused of killing a pedestrian while driving under the influence last evening.

36-year-old Michael Demaio was arrested at a home in the 2000 block of Chandler Drive shortly after the 7:15 p.m. crash on Taylor Road near Lakeside Drive.

Police say that 30-year-old Anshul Sharma died after being hit by the van last night. 28-year-old Samira Bharadwaj was seriously injured. She was flown by helicopter to IU Methodist Hospital where she remains in critical condition.

Witnesses saw a minivan with a damaged windshield driving erratically after the accident. Police found the vehicle at the home on Chandler Drive and spoke to Demaio inside, where they noticed he appeared to be under the influence. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for blood tests and is facing preliminary felony charges of failing to stop after an accident that resulted in death, failing to stop after an accident involving injury, operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in death and operating a vehicle while intoxicated resulting in injury.

Dozens arrested in Jennings drug crackdown

Mar 27, 2017 50

The North Vernon police, Jennings County sheriff’s deputies and officers from the county probation and community corrections departments made more than 30 arrests last week as part of a crackdown on illegal drugs in the community.

Lt. Mike Mowery, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said the 12-hour-long countywide operation happened Thursday when the police began a series of home searches, criminal interdiction patrols and warrant services. 33 people were arrested, about 40 homes were searched, 13 vehicles were stopped and the police dogs Heros and Vampyr went out on seven searches.

Mowery said that the charges ranged from possession of drugs to driving while intoxicated and possession of alcohol by a minor.

North Vernon Police Chief James Webster said this was an effort to disrupt and dismantle drug distribution channels in the community.

Pedestrian killed in Taylor Road accident

Mar 26, 2017 79

One  pedestrian died and another was injured in an accident Sunday evening on Taylor Road.

Lt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the police department, says the accident happened about 7:15 p.m. on Taylor Road near Lakeside Drive. The injured pedestrian was transported to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.

Harris says the driver of the vehicle was arrested but no further information is yet available.

State officials offer public comment on proposed rate-increase

Mar 24, 2017 129

The Eastern Bartholomew Water Corporation has requested rate increase, and state officials want to hear from you.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is inviting written consumer comments on the utility’s request through May 9th. The agency, which represents consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, is scheduled to complete its review of the utility’s request and file testimony on May 16th.

Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp. is a not-for-profit utility with more than 5,100 customers in Bartholomew, Decatur, and Jennings Counties. Its most recent base rate case concluded in 2008.

Under the utility’s request, the monthly water rate for a residential customer using 5,000 gallons would rise from $22.83 to $33.77. Eastern Bartholomew Water Corp. is also seeking IURC approval to issue up to nearly $7.7 million in long-term debt. According to its testimony, the utility is seeking the changes due to higher operating and maintenance costs along with the need for capital improvements. They include: a new water treatment plant, a new storage tank, new office and maintenance buildings, new hydrants, meter replacements, main extensions, and GIS system mapping of the utility’s distribution system.

Consumers who wish to submit written comments may do so, no later than May 9th, at;

Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204


Fax: (317) 232-5923

Comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to “IURC Cause No. 44903.” Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.

MMA fighter found guilty in assault of Columbus native

Mar 24, 2017 170

A Mixed Martial Arts fighter has been found guilty of a slew of charges in his attack on a former Columbus resident. According to reports, Jonathan Koppenhaver, who is also known as War Marchine, was found guilty of 29 felonies including burglary, battery, coercion, kidnapping and sexual assault in the attacks on his former girlfriend, Christy Mackinday in August of 2014. Mackinday required plastic surgery and was severely injured after the attacks on her and a man at her Las Vegas home.

Mackinday, a Columbus North graduate, uses the name Christy Mack in the adult film industry.

Koppenhaver was convicted on Monday and is set to be sentenced on June 5th.

Shelbyville man arrested on drug charges in Indy

Mar 24, 2017 89

A Shelbyville man was arrested Friday morning after police received several calls about a man driving erratically in Indianapolis.

Indiana State Police say that, just before noon, several drivers reported the van on I-465 speeding northbound near Brookville Road. They say the van hit the concrete median wall several times. According to callers, the van was believed to be traveling over 90 miles per hour at one point. The rear tire of the van blew out, but it continued north on the shoulder of the road. Troopers were able to catch the vehicle just south of Pendleton Pike and get it stopped safely.

During the course of the investigation the driver, who troopers say appeared disoriented and unsteady, was allegedly found to be in possession of heroin and prescription drugs. After a field-sobriety test, 52-year-old Brett Cooper was arrested on preliminary charges of Driving Under the Influence of Narcotics and Possession of Heroin. Cooper was taken to an Indianapolis hospital as a precaution.

Multiple 911 calls result in Seymour arrest on drug charges

Mar 24, 2017 195

Seymour police were called to a motel Thursday after a man called 911 repeatedly, saying people were watching him.

Unfortunately, the suspicion appears to have been drug-fueled, according to police reports. A search of the hotel room rented by 26-year-old Justin Deaton revealed methamphetamine, syringes and drug paraphernalia, according to reports from the Seymour police.

Deaton was arrested on preliminary charges of maintaining a common nuisance and of possessing the drugs and paraphernalia.

Columbus police seeing “perfect storm” of addiction

Mar 24, 2017 161

Columbus and other communities are facing a perfect storm of heroin and other opiate addictions.

Sgt. Jay Frederick with the Columbus Police Department says that a variety of factors have acted together to create the current opiate overdose epidemic including pharmaceutical companies need to sell their products, doctors’ changing views on managing pain and decisions to make it easier to obtain some potent painkillers. He referred to an author’s description of a “perfect storm” hitting communities.

Frederick said that the local number of overdoses so far this year have more than doubled over he same time period last year. In January and February last year there were 24 overdose calls, compared to 52 this year. However the number of deaths due to drug overdoses locally have dropped, due to the use of Narcan.

He said Columbus has been hit as hard as other communities, it began carrying Narcan earlier than most, helping save more people.

“We are just a slice of the pie, Columbus is no different than any other community facing the same struggles,” Frederick said.

Frederick said the only way to understand the epidemic is to understand that drugs from heroin to various prescription painkillers, whether natural or synthetic. are all derived from the same source — the opium poppy.

Frederick said that by combining opium-derived painkillers with over-the-counter painkillers like acetaminophen and making them time release, the drug companies were able to move some pills to the less restrictive classification called Schedule III. Which makes them easier to get.

Now those pills can sell for $80 each on the street and police call them Green Devils:

Frederick and Larry Perkinson, the Bartholomew Consolidated schools student assistance coordinator, talked to local Democrats about the drug problem earlier this week.

Frederick suggested the people who would like to know more about the opiates epidemic plan to attend a session to be held in April at The Commons. Sam Quinones, author of “Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic,” will speak along with Dr. Kendall Stewart, a psychiatrist and chief medical officer of the Portsmouth, Ohio Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The forum will be from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 19th at the Commons.

Area real estate figures mixed

Mar 23, 2017 160

F.C. Tucker Company’s monthly real estate market stats indicated the housing market is still going strong. According to the reality group, the average year-to-date home price for the 15-county Central Indiana region rose 9.5 percent to $184,170.

Pending home sales locally from Feb. of 2016 to Feb. of 2017:

Bartholomew County – increase of 9.1 percent
Brown County – increase of 17.2 percent
Decatur County – decrease of 10 percent
Jennings County – increase of 57.1 percent
Johnson County – increase of 2.6 percent
Shelby County – increase of 14.5 percent

Active listings from Feb. of 2016 to Feb. of 2017:

Bartholomew County – increase of 9.1 percent
Brown County – decrease of one-percent
Decatur County – decrease of 11.8 percent
Jennings County – increase of 64.7 percent
Johnson County – decrease of 19 percent
Shelby County – decrease of 24.9 percent

Average sale prices from Feb. of 2016 to Feb. of 2017:

Bartholomew County – $193,761 increase of 13.9 percent
Brown County – $164,493 decrease of 15.7 percent
Decatur County – $126,121 increase of 7.9 percent
Jennings County – $102,556 increase of 16.5 percent
Johnson County – $192,325 increase of 5.6 percent
Shelby County – $122,631 decrease of 5.9 percent