“Ugly Holiday Sweater Stroll” viewed positively by downtown businesses

Dec 10, 2015 395

The “Ugly Holiday Sweater Stroll” took place Thursday night in downtown Columbus.

The event was put on by the Columbus Downtown Merchants Association and The Commons. Residents, visitors and business owners were encouraged to do their loudest Christmas sweaters, the walk through downtown and visit area businesses. Many businesses who took part stayed open for extended hours, as the event ran from 5 to 8 p.m.

Participation appeared light, on both the business and consumer side, but those who took part said they were pleased. Mike Dell, with Dell Bros., said that business was steady. Dell, who was sporting his own holiday sweater, noted that this was the first year for the Stroll and that overall, it was a “good start” to what he hopes will be an annual event.

Dell said that events like these are always welcome as a way to to get more people to visit downtown businesses like his, which is about to enter its 100th year in Columbus. He went on to say that even if new potential customers only take part in window-shopping, events like these make these people think of his business, and a potential return with an intent to buy.

Terry Whitaker, who was manning the register at Viewpointe Books, seemed to agree. He said that he saw several people out and about during this event. While his sales weren’t exceptional, Whitaker said that every extra sale is appreciated.

Jennings County man arrested on outstanding warrants, other charges

Dec 10, 2015 327

North Vernon Police arrested a local man Wednesday afternoon on a number of charges.

Officers responded to the initial call of a suspicious person in the area of Ivy Park Apartments just before 12:30 p.m. During their investigation, officers reportedly found 38-year-old Jeremy Hazlewood inside of one of the apartments. After running on check, officers arrested Hazelwood for having outstanding warrants from Jennings County. He is also facing charges for Failure to Register as a Sex or Violent Offender and Driving While Suspended with a Prior Conviction.

Hazelwood was booked in the Jennings County Jail.

North Vernon Police arrest Columbus man on Theft, Trespassing charges

Dec 10, 2015 381

A Columbus resident was arrested on theft and criminal trespass charges in North Vernon.

The North Vernon Police Department (NVPD) says that just after 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, officers responded to a store in the 2400 block of Highway 3 North. Store officials reportedly told dispatch that they tried to stop the suspect, but he refused to cooperate.

Officers reportedly found the suspect’s vehicle traveling south on Highway 3. NVPD Officers stopped the vehicle and arrested 27-year-old Kelly D. Starkey. He was booked in the Jennings County Jail. Bond information was not immediately available.

North Vernon man arrested on hit-and-run charge

Dec 10, 2015 394

A North Vernon Man was arrested Wednesday after allegedly fleeing the scene of a crash.

The North Vernon Police Department (NVPD) reports that the incident happened near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Rogers Park Drive. According to the officer’s report, 46-year-old Amelia Suhre, of Columbus, was on North Madison Avenue, waiting to turn right onto Rogers park Drive at 7:10 a.m. A vehicle reportedly struck the rear of Suhre’s vehicle, then left the scene.

NVPD Officers got a description of the vehicle and found it a short time later heading south on Madison Avenue. Officers reportedly stopped the vehicle and arrested 21-year-old Seth Ferguson.

Ferguson is facing preliminary charges of Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident. Damage to both vehicles is estimated to be between $10,000 and $15,000.

New Albany man faces drug charges after traffic stop

Dec 10, 2015 342

A New Albany man was arrested on drug charges early Thursday morning after a traffic stop in Bartholomew County.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that at about 12:07 a.m., Deputy Teancum Clark located a vehicle that matched the description of one possibly being driven by an impaired driver.

Jackson says that an off-duty Indiana State Trooper had been following the vehicle and observed multiple infractions and near-crashes. She says that as Deputy Clark began following the vehicle, he reported witnessing similar activity.

Deputy Clark initiated a traffic stop on the I-65 exit to westbound State BRADLEY DAVID PRENTICERoad 46. He reported that the driver, 23-year-old David Bradley, appeared to be under the influence. During the traffic stop, Columbus Police Department K-9 Argo arrived and alerted to the vehicle. At that point, Bradley reportedly told officers that he had needles and heroin inside the vehicle.

Jackson says that a search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of those items, as well as two pre-loaded syringes, a grey cotton-type material, a white powder, scales, a spoon, a razor and two mirrors with white powder residue on them.

Bradley was booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on charges of: Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated – Drugs, Possession of Heroin, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Legend Drug Injection Device. He was being held on $37,500 bond.

Columbus man hurt after early morning crash on 25th Street

Dec 10, 2015 643

A Columbus man was hurt after a crash in the early morning hours of Thursday.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that Deputies Nate Nichols and Matt Bush arrived on the scene, in the 8000 block of East 25th Street in Columbus, at about 1:10 a.m. First responders reportedly found a vehicle resting on its side in a tree line on the north side of the road.

Deputies spoke with a witness who stated that she was an acquaintance of the driver, 30-year-old James Rodarte. The unidentified woman reportedly told them that she had met Rodarte at a convenience store at 25th Street and Taylor Road. The woman is reported at saying that, for an undisclosed reason, Rodarte became angry. The witness told investigators that she then decided to leave and noticed moments later that Rodarte was following her. As the vehicles traveled east on 25th Street, Rodarte apparently lose control of his vehicle and crashed into the tree line.

Rodarte was airlifted by Lifeline to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. His condition has not been released. No one else was reported injured.

Jackson adds that Sgt. T. A. Smith was called to the scene to reconstruct the accident. It remains under investigation.

Two arrested on warrants in Columbus

Dec 10, 2015 591

Columbus police arrested two wanted suspects Wednesday in separate incidents.

Travis Kelly

Travis Kelly

Sgt. Matt Harris says that Wednesday morning, police arrested a man wanted on Missouri warrants who was believed to be armed and dangerous.

After receiving a tip that 32-year-old Travis A. Kelly of Fullton, Missouri was working at a construction site on West County Road 450S in Columbus, Columbus Police Officers Greg Ross, Rusty Imlay and Lt. Joe Richardson arrested the fugitive without incident.

He was wanted on a long list of felony charges stemming from alleged inappropriate contact with a relative under the age of 14, where a weapon was displayed.

Charges included:

  • Sodomy or Attempted Sodomy (Dangerous Weapon Displayed)
  • Armed Criminal Action
  • Sodomy or Attempted Sodomy (1st Degree)
  • Statutory Sodomy with Person Under 14 Years of Age (Dangerous Weapon Displayed)
  •  Abuse or Neglect of a Child Under 14 Years of Age
  • Endangering the Welfare of a Child
John E. Reid II

John E. Reid II

A Shelbyville man was arrested on a parole violation warrant after allegedly trying to hide his identity from police, Harris said.

Sgt. Kyle Young stopped a vehicle that was speeding near Third and Chestnut streets Wednesday evening and the driver allegedly gave a fake name and birthdate. But officers determined that the driver was really 33-year-old John E. Reid II and he had previously given a relative’s information.

He was arrested on preliminary charges of false informing, driving while suspended and on the warrant.

German Township volunteers clean cheese mess off I-65

Dec 10, 2015 294

German Township Volunteer Firefighters helped scrape cheese off of Interstate 65 late last night after a truck fire.

Matt Lynch, the deputy chief, reports that firefighters were called to a truck fire just north of the Edinburgh exit on the Interstate at about 8:24 p.m. The truck driver said he had picked up a load of liquid cheese in Wisconsin and had just noticed that the trailer’s brakes were smoking.

Before he could pull over, flames started shooting out of the trailer’s back wheels and one tire exploded from the heat. He stopped, unhooked the cab and moved away.

Lynch says that German Township volunteers were able to contain the fire to the back of the trailer, before it could spread to the refrigeration unit. After putting out the fire by about 10:30 p.m., the firefighters returned to the scene at 12:30 this morning to clean the cheese off the road.

The interstate was completely reopened by about 1:30 this morning. The southbound lanes were closed for about 5 hours.

Sheriff considers selling surplus guns

Dec 10, 2015 355

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers is considering selling firearms from the department’s property room to raise money for training, equipment or other department needs.

Myers estimated that it has been more than 20 years since the property room was cleaned out.

Myers on the gun inventory

Myers said earlier this week that the department is allowed to sell the guns to a specially federally licensed gun dealer and the guns are then resold to other police departments or government agencies.

Myers estimated that the county could raise $40,000 to $50,000 through the gun sale program, but he has not yet decided whether to pursue the option. Myers told the county council that he does not want to leave the perception that the department is in the business of putting weapons back on the street.

Rocky Ford Road improvements on tap

Dec 10, 2015 258

The city of Columbus plans to make improvements to Rocky Ford Road between Taylor Road and Tally Road at an estimated cost of $8.5 million dollars.

Mayor Kristen Brown made the announcement that preliminary engineering work has been completed and the project is expected to go out to bid next month.

The goals of the project are to widen the road, increase the safety for pedestrian and bicyclists and to improve storm drainage. The project will also install a new bridge over Sloan Branch.

Brown said that 80 percent of the project cost, or about $6.8 million, will be paid out of federal funds.