Near-collision leads to chase, arrest on drunk-driving charge

Jun 4, 2015 660

A Bartholomew County deputy had to dodge an oncoming driver Tuesday night, which led to a high-speed chase and an arrest on charges of driving while intoxicated.

According to the sheriff’s department Deputy Matt Bush was patrolling near County Road 500N and Marr Road at just after 8 p.m. when he saw the pickup truck veer into his lane as it attempted to pass another vehicle. Bush tried to pull the driver over, but the driver allegedly fled at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, racing through stop signs and passing another vehicle.

The driver, identified as 40-year-old Christopher E. Jackson of Indianapolis finally stopped on Rockyford Road and was held at gunpoint by Bush until backup from Columbus police arrived.

Jackson was arrested on preliminary charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and resisting law enforcement with a vehicle. He was was also cited for reckless driving.

Traffic delays expected on I-65 for bridge work

Jun 4, 2015 706

The Indiana Department of Transportation will be putting a new deck on the bridge over Big Blue River on Interstate 65 Friday night, weather permitting.

The agency reports that the interstate will be down to one lane from Edinburgh to Franklin starting at 9 pm. Friday and running to 6 a.m. Saturday. Northbound traffic will be routed across the median.

Emergency agencies seeking Public Safety Academy applicants

Jun 4, 2015 378

Columbus and Bartholomew County emergency agencies are looking for members of the public interested in taking part in the 2015 Public Safety Academy.

The 10-week program gives participants an inside look at the operations of agencies including the Columbus police and fire departments, the county sheriff’s department and the dispatch center. Classes begin in August and are held on Thursday evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. They feature presentations and tours of various locations including the county jail and a trip to the Columbus police firing range.

The class is limited to 30 particpants and is only held once a year. To download an application, you visit the Columbus Police Department website at and click on the CPD Community Programs tab. You can also call Sgt. Matt Harris with questions at 812-376-2605.

INDOT to hold “Rumble Stripe” session Thursday

Jun 3, 2015 446

The Indiana Department of Transportation wants to update the public on its plans for “Rumble Stripes” and to explain why they are being installed.

The agency will have a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday at its Seymour offices to make a presentation on the traffic safety devices. Harry Maginity, spokesman for INDOT, says Rumble Stripes are installed down the centerline of highways and are a cost effective way to warn drivers that they are crossing over into oncoming traffic.

Magnity said the stripes have been installed on several area highways including State Road 46 from State Road 9 to State Road 3 in Bartholomew and Decatur counties, and on State Road 46 from Nashville to Country Club Road in Columbus. Rumble Stripes are being scheduled for installation on State Road 11 north of Seymour.

The INDOT Seymour offices are at 185 Arco Lane, just north of U.S. Highway 50.

Brown County deputies make domestic violence arrest

Jun 3, 2015 555

Brown County deputies have arrested a man on domestic violence charges after an incident that allegedly started at the Indy 500.

According to reports from the sheriff’s department, deputies took a statement from a woman at the department Monday about the event on May 24th. The woman said that she and her husband got into an argument at the speedway that continued on the way back to their Brown County home.

The man, Todd Links, is accused of hitting her several times in the head and then confining her, both in the vehicle and in their home. Links was arrested on preliminary charges of domestic battery and criminal confinement.

Premier Energy to hold military family fundraiser

Jun 3, 2015 381

Columbus-based Premier Energy will hold a fundraiser to benefit military families before the July 4th holiday weekend.

According to a company spokeswoman, from noon to 5 p.m. on Friday, June 26th, the company will donate 50 cents of every gallon of fuel pumped at participating CountryMark fuel stations to local National Guard Family Readiness groups. The company will also donate $1 for every gallon of lubricants sold at the stores.

A total of 39 CountryMark fuel stations have signed up to take part in this year’s event, called Fueling Freedom 2015 — a record number of stations. Last year, CountryMark raised $48,000 for the family readiness groups.

The company started the fundraiser seven years ago. Tina Hunter, Premier Energy retail fuel manager, said the event is an opportunity to give back to local National Guard soldiers and their families, as well as to spend time with the communities the company serves.

There are two CountryMark stores in Greensburg. The Main Street store in Greensburg led the 33 stores that participated in last year’s event, selling 5,256 gallons of fuel during the event.

County officers join together to fight drugs

Jun 3, 2015 410

Bartholomew County law enforcement’s uniformed officers joined together to fight drugs coming into the community on Monday.

According to Judy Jackson, spokeswoman for the Bartholomew County sheriff’s department, officers from the sheriff’s department, the Columbus Police Department and the Indiana State Police performed narcotics investigations Monday using saturated patrols throughout the county.

Maj. Chris Lane, the chief deputy in the sheriff’s department, said the goal was to intercept drugs coming into Bartholomew County from other parts of the state and other areas.

The sheriff’s department, police department, and prosecutor’s office joined together earlier this year to create a Bartholomew County Drug Task Force. Those officers also took part in the narcotics interdiction efforts, Jackson said.

Columbus turns down request by Chevrolet of Columbus

Jun 2, 2015 632

A Columbus car dealership did not get the reception the owners had hoped for from Columbus City Council last night, but the company might have other opportunities to still build on the west side of the city.

Chevrolet of Columbus was turned down for its request to declare a lot on Merchants Mile as part of an Economic Development Target Area. That would have allowed the company to apply for a tax abatement on the property that would have saved the company about $600,000 in property taxes over 10 years.

But City Council members and the mayor found it hard to justify the designation because the surrounding area has seen a lot of recent development and is not distressed or undevelopable. Council members voted against the request and the company withdrew the proposed tax abatement.

Councilman Frank Jerome said approving the special development area would have been a stretch.

The company president, Leo Portaluppi , said that zoning restrictions on the property made it hard to develop, necessitating the tax abatement to offset the costs.

Mayor Kristen Brown said she had met with the company owners and suggested a solution. The City Council decided the city should take a closer look at zoning restrictions in the area that make it hard to develop the empty Menards-owned lots. The city planning department and plan commission will take up the issue.


New children’s theater group forming in Jackson County

Jun 2, 2015 400

Jackson County is forming a new Jackson County Kids’ Theater.

According to Jane Hays, with the Jackson County Visitors Center, after attending a basic workshop from June 8th through the 12th, the young actors can be cast in a role in the musical production of “Disney’s 101 Dalmatians Kids.” That show will be presented at the Royal-Off-the-Square Theater in Brownstown on June 26th and 27th.

Participation in the musical following the workshop is not required, but workshop participants who wish to take part will be cast on the last day of the workshop in the parts of Pongo, Perdita, their 15 Dalmatian puppies, the London dogs, and Sargent Tibbs.

The Jackson County Community Theater is accepting applications for the Children’s Workshop. There is no charge for the workshop. It is being sponsored by a grant from the Seymour chapter of Tri Kappa.

You can register online or get more information at

Police standoff ends without serious injury

Jun 2, 2015 654

A tense standoff between a possibly suicidal man and officers from the Bartholomew County sheriff’s department and Columbus police ended Sunday morning with an arrest and no serious injuries.

But that was after an hour of negotiations and the use of non-lethal weapons by police.

Judy Jackson, spokesman for the sheriff’s department, said 54-year-old Thomas C. Burton allegedly held a shotgun to his head in the incident in the 4100 block of West County Road 500N.

The situation started at about 6:42 a.m. when deputies were called to a report that a man had broken a window in a home in the 1300 block of Mill Street in Taylorsville and was trying to enter the home. When deputies arrived the suspect, later identified as Burton, fled the scene in his vehicle, leading police to his home on Road 500N, Jackson said.

Burton allegedly held the shotgun to his head first in the vehicle and then after negotiations he got out of the vehicle and appeared to be planning to fire the gun. Columbus police fired the non-lethal weapon and officers were able to take Burton into custody.

Burton is being held on preliminary charges of Resisting law enforcement by fleeing in a vehicle, Criminal recklessness with a vehicle, operating a vehicle under the influence and possession of stolen property.