Real estate report shows fluctuations from county to county

Feb 20, 2017 59

Real estate market stats in central Indiana indicate the housing market is still going strong. F.C. Tucker says that January 2017 pending sales were up 11.7 percent compared to January 2016. Similarly, the average year-to-date home price for the 15 county region rose 7.1 percent to $180,866.

According to the report, pending sales in Bartholomew County were down 6.5 percent in January of 2017, compared to January of 2016. Decatur County pending sales dropped by 5.9 percent and Shelby County saw a 6.7 percent decrease in that same period. F.C. Tucker says that Brown County saw a 25 percent increase in pending sales, Jennings County a 15.4 percent increase and Johnson County saw an increase of 14.3 percent in the same period.

F.C. Tucker says that active listings for area counties varied wildly from January 2016 to January 2017. According to the company’s report, Bartholomew County saw a five-percent increase in active listings. Jennings County saw an 80.6 percent increase. Brown County had 20.9 percent decrease in active listings. Decatur County saw a 27.4 percent drop, Johnson County had a 22.4 percent decrease and Shelby County had a 24.9 percent decrease in active listings.

Average sale prices also ran the gamut. F.C. Tucker says that people buying a home in Bartholomew County paid 11.8 percent more in January of 2017 than they did in January of 2016. Last month’s average sale price was $196,906. Johnson County sale prices were up 20.6 percent, averaging $205,007. Sale prices were down 8.1 percent in Brown County, averaging $172,236, according to the report. In addition, Decatur County saw a huge drop. F.C. Tucker says that home sale prices dropped there by 30.9 percent, to an average of $112,400. Jennings County saw a modest decrease of 0.7 percent, with an average sale price of $124,571. Shelby County average sale prices fell by 17.6 percent, to $121,528 for the same period.

Flu causes change to visitor policy at hospital

Feb 20, 2017 62

The flu has led to extra precautions being taken at an area hospital. Stephanie Furlow, spokeswoman for Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, explains that the hospital has implemented visitor restrictions in an effort to help protect patients, staff and the community from the spread of influenza.

Furlow says that, until further notice, no more than three visitors may be admitted to a patient’s room at one time. In addition, visitors must also be at least 18-years-old and immediate family members or a significant other, as identified by the patient.

Schneck staff are asking anyone with flu-like symptoms to stay away from hospital patients. These symptoms include:

• Fever and/or chills
• Sore throat
• Muscle aches
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Cough
• Fatigue
• Headache
• Vomiting and/or diarrhea

Furlow adds that all visitors must wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after visiting a patient. She says that hand sanitizer can be found throughout the hospital, as well as outside each patient’s room.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people with flu-like symptoms in the last few weeks,” said Stacy East, Infection Preventionist at Schneck. East urges you to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible in order to protect themselves for the rest of the season.

iGrad program launches in Jennings County

Feb 20, 2017 37

Ivy Tech Community College has launched the iGrad high school student success program at Jennings County High School with two Jennings County natives and graduates of the school leading the program.

Ivy Tech officials say that LeAna Matern is serving as the Jennings County High School iGrad Team Leader, and Shelly Perry is the school’s iGrad College and Career Coach. The iGrad program recognizes and removes barriers for 9th-12th grade students to increase academic success through coaching, mentoring and tutoring. The Jennings County iGrad program is specifically focused on preparing students to enter science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) career fields that employers say are vital to regional economic development.

“Our team leaders and coaches in the iGrad program are integral in helping students shape their futures and find success in their education and careers,” iGrad Program Director Laurie Dickerson said. “LeAna and Shelly are very familiar with the Jennings County community, economy and educational system and are well suited to lead the iGrad program at Jennings County High School. Together with our volunteer mentors and tutors, they will provide Jennings County students with focus and determination to advance themselves, complete high school and reach their academic and career goals.”

The iGrad program started as an initiative five years ago through a partnership of the Bartholomew County School Corp., Flatrock-Hawcreek School Corp., the Community Education Coalition, and Ivy Tech Community College and is supported by Cummins Inc. and the Heritage Fund – the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County with the goal of increasing high school graduation rates.

Ivy Tech says it received a $74,724 Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education grant in the summer of 2016 to expand the program to Jennings County High School with a particular focus on guiding students toward STEM-related careers. The college says it offers 31 dual-credit courses at Jennings County High School, including 12 STEM-related courses.

“The new iGrad Program at Jennings County High School is open to all students and is already reaching many of those who may otherwise slip through the cracks,” said Dr. Terry Sargent, Superintendent of Jennings County School Corporation. He adds, “More of our students will graduate from high school and more of them will go on to pursue additional education because of this wonderful program.”

Area hospitals honored in ‘Top 100’ list

Feb 20, 2017 61

Schneck Medical Center in Seymour and Major Hospital in Shelbyville have been named to the “Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals” in the nation. That’s according to The National Rural Health Association’s Rural Health Policy Institute, iVantage Health Analytics and The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

Stephanie Furlow, Schneck spokeswoman, says that the release of this list expands on research presented as part of the report: “2017 Rural Relevance Study: Vulnerability to Value” from The Chartis Group. She explains that the hospitals named are top performers in managing risk, achieving higher quality, securing better outcomes, increasing patient satisfaction and operating at a lower cost than their peers.

Crash with semi hospitalizes Columbus man

Feb 20, 2017 166

A Columbus man was hospitalized after a crash with a semi-truck in Jennings County.

Lt. Randall Marshall, spokesman for the North Vernon Police Department, says that officers were called to the intersection of State Road 7 and State Road 750 at 10:41 a.m. Monday. Police say that a car driven by 77-year-old William Thompkins was northbound on State Road 7 and collided with a semi driven by 53-year-old Randy Perkinson, of Vernon, who was traveling west on the 750 Bypass.

Lt. Marshall cites witnesses who say that Thompkins’ vehicle ran a red light, striking the side of the semi’s trailer. The car then became lodged under the trailer and was dragged west of the intersection before the semi could get stopped. He says that both vehicles then caught on fire. North Vernon Police say that several people stopped and helped to fight the blaze until officers and firefighters arrived.

Lt. Marshall says that Thompkins had to be cut from the car. He was to St. Vincent Jennings Hospital before being transferred to St. Vincent’s in Indianapolis. His condition has not been released.

Rep. Smith talks about road funding plan

Feb 20, 2017 34

Republicans’ plan to raise gas taxes to pay for roads has passed the House and is headed for the Senate. State Representative Milo Smith, who represents Columbus and most of Bartholomew County, voted in favor of the increase. He says that the bill is targeted to raise $1.6 billion over 20 years…

Smith admits that he has some reservations…

Smith says the bill, which would raise gas taxes 10 cents a gallon immediately, has other benefits…

Smith says the bill is also expected to create up to 10,000 good paying jobs.

Driver arrested after Sunday morning crash

Feb 20, 2017 40
Evan Wischmeier. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department

Evan Wischmeier. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department

Bartholomew County deputies arrested 20-year-old Evan Wischmeier of Columbus early Sunday morning after a crash. Deputies say that Wischmeier crashed his car near the intersection of County Roads 450S and 400W at about 2:25 a.m. Sunday morning.

He allegedly told deputies that he fell asleep while driving, and his car ran off the road and down an embankment.

He was arrested on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing an accident, illegal consumption and possession of a controlled substance.

Homeowner arrested after shooting incident

Feb 20, 2017 41
Adam M. Brown. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff's Department.

Adam M. Brown. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

A Columbus homeowner was arrested on Saturday afternoon, accused of getting drunk and firing weapons in his neighborhood.

34-year-old Adam Brown of Sheffield Court was arrested on a preliminary charge of criminal recklessness with a firearm after the incident. Bartholomew County deputies were called to the 8400 block of Colony Parke on a report of shots fired at about 5:30 p.m. Saturday. When they talked to Brown, he appeared to be intoxicated. He allegedly told deputies that he had been shooting a .22 hand gun and a 12-gauge shotgun at an archery target in this back yard, says Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s department.

Deputies report that Brown’s home is in close proximity to others and there were many people in the neighborhood outside that evening. Deputies reported finding 81 .22 caliber shell casings and three shotgun casings in the area, Jackson said.

Brown was released on $7,500 bond, Jackson said.

Teen dies in Saturday night SUV incident – UPDATED

Feb 20, 2017 81

A Columbus teen died Saturday night in an incident involving a vehicle on Franklin Street.

15-year-old Abbott F. Garn was struck and killed while trying to get back into a moving SUV at about 9:30 p.m. in the 2500 block of Franklin, according to the Columbus Police Department. Lt Matt Harris says that Garn was taken by Lifeline helicopter to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he later died. The driver, 16-year-old Jonah Michael Wichman, was not hurt.

Garn was a student at Columbus East High School.

Driver dies in National Road accident

Feb 20, 2017 67

A driver died after a Friday afternoon crash on National Road in Columbus.

Columbus Police are reporting that a car driven by 80-year-old William H. Everroad of Columbus drove into the rear of a semi near the intersection of Commerce Drive and U.S. 31 at about 4:15 p.m.

He was cut from the vehicle by rescue workers and then flown to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he later died. The southbound lanes of the highway were closed for several hours. The accident remains under investigation.