State Road 135 to close in Jackson County

Sep 29, 2015 446

The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT)is set to close a portion of State Road 135 in Jackson County next week to replace three drainage structures. INDOT Spokesman Harry Maginity says they are all at the intersection with County Road 550 South.

INDOT maintenance crews are scheduled to be on site Monday to make cuts in the pavement, as well as excavate and replace existing drainage pipes. Maginity notes that two of those pipes have already failed. He adds that the third one is undersized and will be upgraded while the highway is closed.

The closure is expected to last four days. A state highway detour will route motorists around the closure via State Road 56, State Road 60, State Road 37 and U.S. Highway 50.

Three arrested after attempted armed robbery

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A 20-year-old Columbus woman is being accused of trying to rob a downtown convenience store and then kicking a police officer as she was being arrested. And two others are under arrest for allegedly trying to assist her.

A young woman went into the Marathon gas station at 11th and Washington streets late Sunday night with a knife and tried to rob the cashier, said Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the city police.

When the cashier told her no, she ran out of the building, police say. But the city has security cameras installed across the street and officers saw a woman on camera get out of a white Oldsmobile at the time of the robbery and then get back in the car and drive away afterwards.

Harris said Officer Justin Black searched the area and found the car with three people in it, sitting in a parking lot a few blocks away at about 3:30 Monday morning. 20-year-old Rachael A. Roberts was arrested on preliminary charges of attempted armed robbery and battery on a police officer.

23-year-old Ashley Allman of Elizabethtown and 27-year-old Anthony S. Walker of Columbus were arrested on charges of assisting a criminal. And Allman is also facing a charge of disorderly conduct.

Commissioners hear poor relief case

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The Bartholomew County Commissioners took on an unusual role yesterday morning, acting as a court to hear an appeal on a poor relief decision made by the Jackson Township trustee.

Commissioners president Larry Kleinhenz and county attorney Grant Tucker said that the township trustees are tasked with giving poor relief in their townships, but they have a great deal of leeway in how to perform that service. But when there is a dispute the commissioners  act as a court to hear appeals in those cases. That has only happened rarely in his time as a County Commissioner, Kleinhenz said.

The commissioners heard a case between a young mother with two children who was denied help with her electric bill by Jackson Township Trustee Bruce Bartells. The woman said Bartells told her to get a job, would not let her fill out an application and said Bartells had not given her a denial letter which would have let her seek help elsewhere. Bartells said that the township had helped the woman recently and has limited poor relief funds. He also said the woman had a live-in fiance who is working and the woman would not provide him with information he needed to make a decision.

The commissioners took the dispute under consideration for a week before rendering a verdict and urged the two sides o meet and try to resolve some of the issues before coming back to the commissioners court.

Nearly 150 sex offenders register in Bartholomew County

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Tammy Harper

Tammy Harper

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department tracks almost 150 sex offenders a month, according to Sheriff Matt Myers.

Myers said that there are about 85 registered sex offenders that live in the county and another 60 who work here. Sex offenders must register annually, with violent sex offenders required to update their information every three months.

Deputies and reserve deputies regularly verify the addresses on the registry, to make sure the information is correct and up to date Myers said.

The sheriff said he has recently promoted a civilian employee, Tammy Harper, to maintain and update the database. She has been a department employee for about three years and also oversees all sheriff’s sales.

You can take a look at the data base online at

Stop sign violation leads to passenger arrest

Sep 29, 2015 356

A driver blowing through a stop sign in downtown Columbus Sunday afternoon led to the arrest of a passenger on drug charges, according to police reports.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the police department said that Officer John Searle saw the vehicle drive through the stop sign at Eighth and Franklin Streets at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

After stopping the car, Searle spoke to the driver and passengers and found out that a passenger, 27-year-old William J. Leonard, was wanted on two local warrants. Searle’s police dog, Max, allegedly alerted to the odor of drugs in the car. Police allegedly found a syringe, digital scales and drug paraphernalia. And Leonard was allegedly carrying a small amount of methamphetamine, Harris said..

Leonard was arrested on the warrants and preliminary charges of possession of a legend drug injection device, violation of the legend drug act and reckless possession of drug paraphernalia.

Columbus man faces charges after crash

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A Columbus man was arrested Sunday night after a two vehicle crash. Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that just before 9 p.m., Deputy Matt Bush was dispatched to the scene on County Road West 450 South.

The driver one of the vehicles, a 46-year-old woman who was CODY ADAMtraveling with her three-year-old granddaughter, told Deputy Bush that the other vehicle, a pick-up truck, had crossed the center line and side-swiped her vehicle.

Deputy Bush reportedly spoke with the driver of the pick-up truck, 30-year-old Adam Cody, of Ninth Street. According to the deputy’s report, Cody appeared to be under the influence and the odor of alcohol was present.

Cody was booked in the Bartholomew County Jail on a preliminary charge of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated. He was later released on $2,500 bond. Jackson says that luckily, no one was injured in the crash.

Kentucky man arrested on drug, DUI charges

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A Kentucky man was arrested over the weekend on drug and DUI charges after allegedly fleeing the scene of a crash.

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department Spokesperson Judy Jackson says that at approximately 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, Sgt. James Stevens, received word that a car had rear-ended another vehicle at a traffic light at County Road 400 South, then continued on US 31.

Sgt. Stevens reportedly found the suspect vehicle on County Road 250 East, just north of County Road 100 South. He allegedly witnessed the car almost drive off the road, then veer to the center of the roadway, before turning east onto County Road 100 South, almost running off the road again.

Sgt. Stevens reports that he then turned on his emergency lights for a traffic stop. He says the car then drove completely off the roadway before stopping. Upon making contact with the driver, 61-year-old as Willie F. Patton, of Columbia, KY, Sgt. Stevens says he immediately detected the odor of alcohol.

Patton was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital before being transported to the Bartholomew County Jail. Sgt. Stevens allegedly found a small amount of Marijuana on Patton, while a burnt marijuana cigarette was allegedly found in his cigarette package by jail staff.

Patton is facing preliminary charges of Operating While Intoxicated and Possession of Marijuana. He was being held on $8,500 bond.

Local elementary school students to learn about safety around natural gas

Sep 28, 2015 666

Area elementary school students are learning more about natural gas and how to be safe around it. Vectren Energy Delivery and the National Energy Foundation (NEF) are presenting “Energy Safe Kids,” described as “an interactive, hands-on safety education program,” to area schools. Vecren officials say the program, aimed at fourth graders, uses classroom presentations and take-home energy safety booklets to educate children about natural gas safety.

The first Energy Safe Kids presentations took place Monday at Southside Elementary and CSA-Fodrea. Additional presentations are set for:

• L. C. Schmitt Elementary School – Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 8:25 a.m. and 9:20 a.m.
• Rockcreek Elementary School – Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 12:45 p.m.
• White Creek Lutheran School – Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 9:00 a.m.

“While the topic is serious, Energy Safe Kids uses fun, memorable exercises to help the fourth graders learn about safety issues. In fact, a lot of our employees seem to have just as much fun during the presentations as the children do,” said Mike Roeder, vice president of government affairs and president of Vectren North.

This fall, Vectren and NEF officials say they plan to provide approximately 180 classroom presentations to more than 10,000 students in approximately 90 schools throughout Vectren’s Indiana service territories.

Shoplifting call leads to drug arrest

Sep 28, 2015 532

A 23-year-old Columbus man was arrested on drug charges after a shoplifting call at a store on the west side of Columbus.

Sgt. Matt Harris, spokesman for the Columbus Police Departments, said police were called to the store at about 11:05 a.m. Friday but one of the suspects had already left in a vehicle. Police found and stopped the car near Third and Brown streets. Levi W. Underwood denied he had been involved in any shoplifting but police did find that he had four outstanding warrants for his arrest.

While searching his belongings, officers allegedly found heroin and methamphetamine in his wallet, Harris said.

He was arrested on the outstanding warrants and for preliminary charges of theft, possession of meth and heroin, driving while suspended and operating a motor vehicle without ever receiving a license.

Hope honors team, mail carrier with awards

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Hope mailman Danny Burton and the Hauser High School girls softball team were recognized yesterday afternoon with a ceremony in front of the reviewing stand of the Hope Heritage Days parade.

Burton was recognized by the Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment for his years of service to the community. Burton has been a mailman in the area for 30 years.

The Hauser girls were the parade’s grand marshals, after winning the state championship this summer.

Hope Heritage Days wrapped up last night.