Refinancing to save Columbus $684k

Jan 26, 2016 407

Refinancing bonds the city of Columbus issued to build the Fourth and Jackson Street parking garage would save Columbus more than $684 thousand dollars under a plan being considered by the Columbus Redevelopment Commission.

Last night, the redevelopment commission heard a plan to refinance about $9 million in bonds at today’s lower interest rates. Sarah Cannon, the new president of the redevelopment commission, explains the benefits.

01-26 Sarah Cannon-1

The commission passed a resolution recommending the refinancing to the Columbus City Council. The commission is expected to vote to approve the refinancing at its meeting next month, followed by the City Council’s approval. The refinancing would move forward by early March, according to the city’s financial advisers from Reedy Financial.

In other business:

  • New members Cannon, John Dorenbusch, Umar Farooq and Donald Trapp were sworn in. Cannon will serve as president, Dorenbusch as vice president and Trapp as secretary.
  • The commission agreed to approve the last $125,000 payments on two interest-free $500,000 loans made in 2011 by Cummins Foundation and the Heritage Fund.
  • Mary Ferdon, the city’s director of administration, reported that the meeting’s live video feed was disrupted by a previous parks board meeting in the room. She said she believed the meeting was being recorded though and would be available on the city’s website for viewing.

Jennings deputies arrest wanted man

Jan 26, 2016 257

The Jennings County Sheriff’s Department reports it arrested a wanted man on Sunday afternoon in Montgomery Township after serving a search warrant.

The department reports that 44-year-old Greco Lewis was wanted for failing to appear in court on a Jackson County warrant for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, dealing in marijuana, , maintaining a common nuisance, neglect of a dependent and taking a minor/endangered adult to a common nuisance.

Deputies say he was arrested without incident. Deputies had been searching for him since mid-December.

Taylorsville intersection cited for danger after Speidel crash

Jan 26, 2016 552

Edited: Josh Speidel’s name was spelled incorrectly in an earlier version of this story.

A Taylorsville intersection is dangerous for drivers and prone to serious accidents, according to a Columbus attorney.

Last Super Bowl Sunday, Columbus North star basketball player Josh Speidel was critically injured in a crash at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Bear Lane Road.

Attorney Richard Eynon told Bartholomew County Commissioners yesterday that he is so concerned about the dangerous intersection that he hired his own experts from Injury and Crash Analysis LLC of Indianapolis to take a look at what could be done to improve the safety there. Eynon said he is not representing any party in the discussion, but has a personal interest in seeing the safety improvements.

Eynon’s experts provided several actions that could be taken to improve the safety at the intersection, including better lighting and pavement markings. They suggested that the intersection also be made into a right-out-only configuration and that the speed limit be reduced and that the exit ramp from I-65 be extended with marked right turn only lanes as soon as possible.

Danny Hollander, the county engineer, said that because U.S. 31 is a state highway, almost any changes would have to be approved by the state. One of the suggestions, that the county install overhead lighting on Bear Lane Road, would be the first street lighting the county has installed at any location, Hollander said.

County Commissioners President Rick Flohr said that the next steps would be to get the state involved in the discussions so that action could be taken.

Bartholomew County Humane Society receives supplies

Jan 25, 2016 318

An Indianapolis-based group has helped to gathered one-half ton of supplies for the Bartholomew County Humane Society.

Sara Holtz, with BPS Marketing, says that during this past holiday season, IndyVet Emergency & Specialty Hospital joined forces with two veterinary practice partners, Athens Animal Clinic and Best Friends Animal Healthcare & Laser Center, along with Ivy Tech Community College and Pet Supplies Plus, located on Indianapolis’ south side, to collect the supplies.

Holtz says that after Thanksgiving, all the sites accumulated bins full of cat and dog food, kitty litter, laundry detergent and other supplies as part of its annual holiday drive, which concluded at the beginning of the year. On top of the supplies, Holtz says that IndyVet also collected $68 in donations for the nonprofit.

For more information on IndyVet and its services, log on

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy helps in Greenwood arrest

Jan 25, 2016 662

A Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy helped Greenwood Police with a recent arrest.

Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that on Friday,

Reserve Deputy Matt Miller

Reserve Deputy Matt Miller

at approximately 11:40 a.m., Reserve Deputy Matthew Miller was off duty when he exited Gander Mountain in Greenwood. As he pulled from a parking space, he observed a female running from the store pushing a shopping cart and a female employee running from the store asking for help. Miller then reportedly pulled his vehicle in front of the suspect’s car.

Deputy Miller reported that when he checked the suspect’s license plate, it was purposefully covered so that no one would be able to obtain the number. At this point, Jackson says that Deputy Miller believed that a robbery had taken place.

The Deputy reportedly exited his vehicle and identified himself as a law enforcement officer. The subject then allegedly got into her vehicle and, as Deputy Miller approached the driver’s side door, put her car in reverse. Deputy Miller reported that he believed this was done in an attempt to back over him.

Jackson says that as Miller reached in to pull the subject from her vehicle, she continued to drive, dragging Miller. That continued until she hit an obstacle in the parking lot. The suspect then reportedly pulled forward, which allowed Miller to free himself from her vehicle.

The suspect reportedly fled the Gander Mountain parking lot, driving west. Greenwood Police located the vehicle and was in pursuit on Main Street. Police say the suspect ultimately crashed her vehicle into two other vehicles, then fled on foot. She was apprehended by a Greenwood K-9 in the area of Valle Vista Golf Course.

The suspect has been identified as 23-year-old Stephanie N. Rogers, of Indianapolis. Authorities say that she had two outstanding warrants and was driving on a suspended license. Rogers was arrested by Greenwood Police and booked in the Johnson County Jail. She is reportedly facing preliminary charges of Theft, Criminal Recklessness, two counts of Resisting Law Enforcement and two counts of Leaving the Scene of an Accident.

Sheriff’s Department announces scholarship opportunities

Jan 25, 2016 222

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers announced Monday that the Indiana Sheriff’s Association (ISA) will again be awarding college scholarships to qualified high school seniors or college students who are pursuing a degree in criminal justice studies. The Sheriff says that there will be approximately forty $500 scholarships awarded to qualifying students throughout the state.

Sheriff Myers explains that applicants must be an Indiana resident, a current member of the ISA or a dependent child or grandchild of a current member, attend an Indiana college or university, major in a law enforcement field and enrolled as a full-time student. The full-time student qualification means that the students is enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester.

The scholarship application can be downloaded from the Indiana Sheriff’s Association website at Myers adds that  applications are available at the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office.

Applications must be completed and received by the Indiana Sheriff’s Association, 147 East Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204-3608, on or before April 1.

Area man arrested after allegedly touching nursing home resident

Jan 25, 2016 754

A Jennings County man was arrested Friday evening after he allegedly touched a nursing home patient inappropriately.

Columbus Police Department (CPD) Spokesman Sgt. Matt Harris says

Benjamin Reinert

Benjamin Reinert

that just before 9 p.m., officers responded to the nursing home on the city’s north side after receiving reports that an intoxicated man was causing problems. Nursing home staff reportedly told police that 34-year-old Benjamin R. Reinert, of North Vernon, was visiting a patient when he became disruptive. Harris says that staff allegedly witnessed Reinert urinating outside on the building and throwing glass clippings on one of the residents. According to the report, staff also alleged that Reinert touched a female resident inappropriately shortly before officers arrived.

Reinert was arrested and booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of Sexual Battery (Level 6 Felony), Public Intoxication (Class B Misdemeanor), Disorderly Conduct (Class B Misdemeanor), and Resisting Law Enforcement (Class A Misdemeanor).

City considers paying off last of $1 million in loans

Jan 25, 2016 259

The city of Columbus will be paying off a million dollar loan tonight, originally made to help with downtown development.

In May and June of 2011, Cummins Foundation and the Heritage Fund loaned the city $500,000 each to aid with the construction and buildout of The Commons and for the Indiana University Center for Art and Design. The city has been paying $125,000 a year to each of the foundations since then.

At tonight’s Columbus Redevelopment Commission meeting, the city is going to consider the final payments to pay off the last of that debt. The commission meets at 6 p.m. in the council chambers at Columbus City Hall.

Jennings hospice gala set for Feb. 6th

Jan 25, 2016 531

The 18th Annual Gala Benefit for Our Hospice of Jennings County is set for Feb. 6.

Suzie Singer, spokeswoman for Our Hospice of Jennings County, says this Mardi Gras-themed event is a fundraiser for the patients and families cared for by the facility. She says that the evening includes a buffet dinner, silent an live auctions, dancing, cash bar and the crowning of a Queen from contestants from Jennings County High School.

Singer says that the 2016 court includes Danielle Cosby, Heather Feiles, Adrianne Garris, Adrianna Gasper, Emilee Greathouse, Kaylin Klosterman, Megan Koons, Courtney Stoner, Brooke Williams and Stefani Williams. She explains that these 10 JCHS students are in the community raising awareness and funds.

Singer explains that Our Hospice of South Central Indiana of Jennings County is a not-for-profit community-based hospice that provides a family-centered team approach to support the needs of patients with life-limiting conditions. She adds that this is the signature event in the county to raise funds for the organization.

The Feb. 6 event is being held at St. Mary’s Church in North Vernon. The Gala begins at 6 p.m. with a social hour, silent auction and cash bar. Tickets are $35 per person. You can get them by calling Chris Hall at Our Hospice of Jennings County, (812) 346-5944 or Julie Davis, (800) 841-4938, ext. 8085.

For information on how to support Our Hospice as a Gala Event Sponsor (individual or corporate), or as a Gala table sponsor or auction donor, call Julie Davis at 800-841-4938, ext. 8085.

Pro wrestling show to benefit Seymour food pantry

Jan 25, 2016 578

NWA Supreme will present a pro wrestling event to benefit a Seymour food pantry Friday night. The show will be at The Point, at 311 Myers Street, in Seymour. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. bell time.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Anchor House Family Assistance Center and Food Pantry.

Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door and are available at Brooklyn Pizza Company, B2 Bikes and Boards or from any Anchor House board members.

For more information, call 812-522-9308.